Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
January thru March, 2014


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Mar. 31, 2014

Victor mousetrapIf you have a weak stomach or feel squeamish at the sight of blood, you probably should not read any further, nor look at the photos below.  I had been keeping a small amount of fruit on the (enclosed) back porch because there wasn’t quite enough room in the refrigerator, and it is cooler out there than in the house.  The fruit was on top of a large plastic cooler.

One day last week, it appeared that small bites had been taken out of a couple of apples and a pear.  I also saw tiny bits of something that looked like grains of brown rice, but I knew I did not have any rice out there.

So I looked closer and realized that it was poop from a small animal or animals.  I figured it probably was from mice, although I couldn’t figure out how they had crawled up the side of the cooler, which is a large, tall one.

This weekend, I bought four basic mousetraps at WalMart.  I put a small glob of peanut butter on each, as recommended on the package.  However, I could not figure out how to set a trap, as the instructions were kind of vague.  So I went online and found a page with a photo showing how to set it.  It was simple.

I put the four baited traps on the back porch.  When I looked again several hours later, I saw that two of the traps had been tripped by mice, both of which were dead.  Interestingly, the peanut butter had been eaten off the other two traps, but they had not sprung.

Even more strange was that only one mouse was still in its trap; the other one was a few inches from its trap  I still don’t know how the latter happened.

I have a good friend, and we like to “freak out each other” sometimes.  My advantage is that I have a very strong stomach, and he usually does not.  In particular, he doesn’t like dead animals or blood, so I figured the following photos would do the trick. 

         

         
30-second slideshow

I hope someone from the ASPCA or PETA doesn’t see those photos and get upset.  Oh well, if they do, too bad. 


Mar. 30, 2014

Not only is today a new moon, it also is Rosh Chodesh Nisan or Nisan 1—the first day of the Hebraic or Jewish month of Nisan.  Furthermore, it is the beginning of the Jewish holy or religious year.  Long ago, God proclaimed it as such with this declaration:

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” (Exodus 12:1,2)

Then God described to Moses, and to his brother Aaron, the detailed progression of the first Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Israelites made their successful exodus from Egypt, under God’s guidance (Exodus 12:3-51).

Passover, on which there always is a full moon, is Nisan 14.  This year, it falls on April 15.  There will be a total lunar eclipse on that day, the first of four total lunar eclipses between now and the Fall of 2015.

In fact, one of the lunar eclipses takes place next year on Rosh Chodesh Nisan or Nisan 1 (which happens to be March 20, the first day of Spring), as well as (again) on Passover next year.  View the chart of eclipses.

Many are referring to these four lunar eclipses as a “tetrad of blood moons.”  It is exceedinly rare—in fact, virtually unheard of—for six eclipses (four lunar and four solar) to occur, in consecutive years, on Hebraic holy and feast days.  Some feel that these lunar eclipses will portend ominous events for Israel, and that the solar eclipses will be bad signs for the nations of the world, in the relatively near future.  We shall see.


Mar. 29, 2014

I haven’t assembled my vitamin supply since Dec. 24, 2013.  The vitamins and supplements I take everyday are a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, and E; magnesium, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine and chondroitin.

112 days of vitamins

This time, I have put together enough vitamins and supplements to last for 16 weeks or 112 days.  This will take me until July 19, 2014.  I will remove them from the refrigerator as I need them.  I like the convenience of being able to pour a day’s worth of vitamins into my hand and take them in just a few seconds.


Mar. 28, 2014

A 5.1 earthquake struck in La Habra, California, tonight at 9:09 p.m. local time.  La Habra is in the northwestern corner of Orange County.  This is about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  There is about a 5% chance of a larger quake occurring in the next few hours or days.

Power outages were reported for about 2,000 customers.  The quake was felt over a wide area, including all the way down in San Diego approximately 90 miles to the south.

The L.A. Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels were playing an exhibition game at Dodger Stadium.  Although they felt the queke, the game continued.

5.1 earthquake shakes L.A.,
Southern California

The epicenter of the quake was about three miles from Fullerton, where I attended optometry school decades ago.  I have not yet heard of specific damage in that area, but I suspect that things fell off of shelves where I used to live.


Mar. 26, 2014

In the past, I have received numerous emails from advocates of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible who have insisted that the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, which I prefer, is inferior and inaccurate.  I have addressed three of these emails here; the first one is the most recent:

No translation of the Bible is completely accurate and flawless.  Personally, though, I feel that people should read whatever version(s) of the Bible they choose to read.

The main message of any translation is that all of us are sinners, and Jesus Christ atoned for our sins with His death.  Those who believe this, and also believe that He was raised from the dead, will inherit eternal life.  I do not know a mainstream Bible translation that does not teach these fundamental principles.


Mar. 21, 2014

This year, Passover is April 15 (beginning at mid-afternoon on April 14).  I plan to attend a regular Jewish Seder at that time.

However, a local church had a Messianic Passover Seder tonight.  A Jewish representative from Chosen People Ministries conducted the service.  He was Dr. Rich Freeman.  Since he conducts other services, the only night he was available to be at this church was tonight.

Normally, I would not attend a Passover observance unless, at the very least, it was during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  However, I “rationalized” attending it tonight because it was Friday night, which is the beginning of my Sabbath.

According to Leviticus 23:3, properly observing the Sabbath involves being part of a sacred assembly or convocation with others.  So, for me, being part of the group attending the Seder tonight satisfied that condition.

       

       

       

       
50-second slideshow

I have to say that the service was excellent.  I was extremely impressed with Dr. Freeman’s knowledge and ability to incorporate Yeshua/Jesus, our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), very effectively into the ceremony.  Furthermore, the buffet meal was great. 


Mar. 20, 2014

This is the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of Fall in the southern hemisphere.  I remembered to stand a raw egg on both ends, which for some reason is easy to do on the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes.

     
10-second slideshow

Strangely, I had only one egg in the refrigerator, and I did not want to go to the store to buy more.  So rather than put two eggs side-by-side, one on the wide end and one on the narrow end, I stood the same egg on both ends.

I took two photos with it on the wide end, one with without a flash and one with a flash.  Then I did the same with it on the narrow end.  I don’t know why I like standing an egg on its ends.  I just do.


Mar. 18, 2014

One of the names of the Messiah is Poretz, which means “the One who breaks through.”  Poretz sounds similar to Perez, who was one of the sons of Judah and Tamar.  His twin brother was Zerah.  Here is the story:

When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.  As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.”  But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!”  And he was named Perez [breaking out].  Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah [scarlet or brightness]. (Genesis 38:27-30)

Perez was an ancestor of Yeshua/Jesus, the Messiah/Christ (Matthew 1:3; Luke 3:33).  Just as Perez broke out, Yeshua will return and “break out” of the standard, worldly, routine definitions of how to serve God and how to worship Him.  No Jew or Christian really knows how to serve and worship the Father as He truly wants to be served and worshipped.

Ultimately, the Messiah, when He sits in Jerusalem as King over the whole world (Zechariah 14:9), will redefine right and wrong within Judaism, since Judaism’s “right and wrong” religious, man-made practices will not apply to Yeshua.  He will have full authority to redefine not only the proper meaning of the Torah but also to redefine Judaism and its proper practice.

“I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.  I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.  One who breaks open the way [Yeshua, the Poretz] will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out.  Their king [Yeshua] will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” (Micah 2:12,13)

Mar. 17, 2014

This is the day each year that everybody is Irish even if they’re not.  I actually wore green today, even though I usually don’t on St. Patrick’s Day, since I’m not Catholic.  I also don’t mind getting pinched.

 
 
10-second slideshow

I attended a St. Patrick’s feast with friends tonight.  All of the food was outstanding I actually had an Irish beer, which is extremely rare for me.  It wasn’t green, but it sure tasted good with my Irish meal.

Also, there was so much food that I was urged to fix a plate to take home.  It didn’t take much encouragement to do that. 


Mar. 16, 2014

Full Moon on PurimPurim began last night at sunset.  Today is the first of two days of Purim.  It also is a full moon. (See the Calendar of Hebraic Holy Days 2012–2020 for dates of other Hebraic feasts, festivals, and holy days.) 

Had it not been for the great Queen Esther, the Jews might have been destroyed millennia ago.  She was bold and wise enough to inform her husband, King Ahasuerus of the Medo-Person Empire, of the plot against them by the evil Haman.

Read the Book of Esther to see the wonderful story of a very brave and heroic lady.  Also, you can read my brief summary here:

Queen Esther and the
Feast of Firstfruits

I attended a Purim festival, which was a blast.  The Megillah was read.  It is a biblical narrative of the Book of Esther, traditionally read in synagogues to celebrate the festival of Purim.  Several people were dressed up as characters in the chronicle of Esther, such as Esther herself, Haman, Mordecai, and King Ahasuerus (to whom Esther was married).

The Megillah can be read here:  Megillah (DOC file)  |  Megillah (PDF file)

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow

Afterwards, there was an awesome feast of very tasty food.  One of my favorite things are the hamantashen, which are three-cornered pastries with various fillings.  Traditionally, each hamantash represents the hat worn by Haman, the defeated enemy of the Jewish people.  I think I ate too many of them.  Nah, that’s not possible.


Mar. 12, 2014

Two popular views of the Rapture are the Pre-tribulation view and the Post-tribulation view.  The Pre-trib view insists that the Rapture will take place at the very beginning of the 70th Week, while the Post-trib view is adamant that this catching-up event will happen on the last day of that period.

Actually, both of these views are extreme, polar opposite views that make numerous invalid assumptions.  Here is an email response I’ve written to someone who maintains that the term “last day” in prophetic passages must refer to the literal last 24-hour day of this on which Jesus will return to earth, with which I disagree:


Mar. 8, 2014

In most locations in the USA and in a few other parts of the world, Daylight Saving Time begins early tomorrow morning at 2:00 a.m., local time, when the time will become 3:00 a.m.  Hawaii, parts of Arizona, and most overseas territories, are exempt from this.

It is a good idea to set your clocks ahead an hour before going to bed.  I plan to hit the sack an hour earlier than usual tonight, since we will lose an hour of time by tomorrow morning.

We will be on Daylight Time for 35 weeks until Nov. 2 (two days before the national election), when we will revert back to Standard Time.  I prefer Daylight Time because I like how the sun both rises and sets an hour later than with Standard Time.

During the time that the federal government was shut down in Oct. 2013, my favorite online clock at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stopped working.  Recently, though it has been updated and works fine.  It also has larger numerals than it did before, which I like, plus it keeps extremely accurate time.

Official U.S. Time, HTML5

Either one of the following links should show the clock.  But if one does not work on your computer, the other one should.

http://nist.time.gov  |  http://time.gov/HTML5

Another clock at the NIST that I like, which is smaller, also keeps accurate time.  It is called a “widget” and I display it on my home page, about halfway down on the right.

Official U.S. Time, Widget

The following link should display the small “widget” clock:

http://time.gov/widget.html

Mar. 7, 2014

At a friend’s house a few days ago, I saw a quotation of Mark Twain hanging on the refrigerator.  I thought it was clever, and it made me laugh.  He emailed it to me, so I will post it here:

I do not fear death.  I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. — Mark Twain

Some feel that Mark Twain was an atheist or an agnostic.  Others disagree.  Whatever he was, he certainly was brainy and witty.

Of course, as a Christian, I do believe that it will be very “inconvenient” for atheists and agnostics in the afterlife.  But that is their free will choice to make.

Regardless of any of that, it does seem that Mark Twain did imply in his statement that created things, as we know them, are billions and billions of years old.  I agree with that, as explained in my two-part commentary, The Creation.


Mar. 5, 2014

Troubles between Ukraine and Russia have been escalating for weeks.  As world leaders met in Paris today, Western powers increased the pressure on Russia to withdraw forces from the Ukraine’s Crimea region and to have talks with the new government in Kiev, Ukraine.

So far, though, Russia has snubbed the West on this issue and has rejected all requests to leave Ukraine.  I expect Russia to remain in control of Crimea for awhile.

Russia rebuffs West on
Crimea amid Paris talks

Some have asked me if I think Russia’s recent aggression in the Ukraine could be setting the stage for the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel and Jerusalem.  This is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Although I feel that Russia might be part of this eventual confrontation and war, I am not among those who believe that the leader Gog will emerge from Russia.  More details on what I believe about this topic can be found in my Final Battles commentary.


Mar. 1, 2014

I receive semi-frequent emails from people trying to convince me that God is not a Trinity and that Jesus was/is not God.  Of course, it would be impossible to persuade me to believe these things, since I am absolutely convinced otherwise.

Others simply do not understand how God can be a triune Being and how Jesus, a man, could be the Son of God.  These email responses that I wrote to two people address these issues:


Feb. 28, 2014

I don’t know anyone who enjoys being bombarded by useless, worthless spam emails.  I detest it.

For well over a year, I have received continual garbage email advertisements from three email addresses in particular.  These have sent me more spam than any other addresses: support@indiadz.com, support@mobilegb.com, and support@xmodo.com.  All of them are registered with the same company: Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.

Here is a complaint page I have written to let others know about the huge volume of rubbish I have received from these three annoying and irritating email addresses:

Spam Email Nuisance

Here is a list of all the emails I have received from those three email addresses just since Dec. 29, 2013:

Spam Garbage Emailed to Me from
support@indiadz.com,
support@mobilegb.com,
and support@xmodo.com

Feb. 25, 2014

Some of my favorite things were on sale at the grocery store, so I bought a lot of each.  I also had a coupon for $2.00 off of a bag of salad mix.

I baked several seasoned chicken breasts; steamed yellow squash, zucchini squash, green beans, and broccoli; and made whipped potatoes.  That plus a slice of whole wheat toast would have made for a yummy and healthful dinner, but a close friend called and invited me out for spaghetti at the last minute.  So I saved my plates in cellophane bags in the refrigerator for tomorrow night.

Healthful Dinner

I made a whole lot of food and froze much of it.  It will last quite awhile, as I do not mind eating the same food items every night until they’re gone.


Feb. 23, 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have come to an end.  We watched most of the coverage every single night, and it has been very exciting and enjoyable.  I don’t really care that much about most of the events, but I like watching the best athletes in the world performing them.

Overall, the Russian Federation received not only the most gold and silver medals but also the most total medals.  The USA placed fourth in the number of gold medals and second in total medals.

2014 Winter Olympics Medal Tally

I will be looking forward to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


Feb. 22, 2014

On Feb. 10, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai went public with plans to monitor the news reporting at TV and radio stations.  Since then, there has been a loud outcry against this by an outraged public.

Ajit Pai applauded the decision, indicating that the federal government would have been thrust into newsrooms across the country, where it does not belong.

FCC suspends newsroom
spy plan over public outcry

I absolutely agree.  However, I do not feel that this will be the end of the matter.  I’m sure the government will figure out another way to keep the “Big Brother” ball rolling.


Feb. 21, 2014

Mikaela Shiffrin, from the USA, made Alpine skiing history today by being the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal.  She is only 18.

Midway through her second run, Shiffrin almost crashed and burned before making an astonishing recovery.  She briefly lost her balance as her left ski rose too far off the snow.  Somehow, though, she stayed upright and kept her skis moving—all the way to the gold.

       
13-second slideshow

Shiffrin also has won 9 of the last 19 World Cup or world championship slaloms.  No one else has won more than two in that span of games.  I hope this young champion has several more Olympic wins in her future.


Feb. 20, 2014

Tonight, Maddie Bowman (20), from the USA, has won an Olympic gold medal.   It is the first Olympic gold medal won in women’s freeski halfpipe, which is a new Olympic event.  This is after David Wise won the gold for the USA in the same event for men on Feb. 18.

       
13-second slideshow

The women in this contest hoped for years to see their sport included in the Olympics.  No one worked harder than Canada’s Sarah Burke, who died in a training accident on Jan. 19, 2012.  Maddie Bowman stated about her, “Sarah has inspired us on snow and off snow, and she would have been very proud of how all of the girls rode tonight.  I sure hope that I and everyone else made her proud, because we would have not been here without her.”


Feb. 19, 2014

U.S. skier Ted Ligety (29) won the Olympic gold medal today in the giant slolam event.  This is his second Olympic Alpine gold medal, the first being in 2006.  He is considered by many to be the best in the world in this event.

       
13-second slideshow

I could not believe how Ted took some of those sharp curves.  He has his own special style which, essentially, is a new way of skiing.  Congratulations, Ted!


Feb. 18, 2014

The amount of snow falling on the Olympic events in Sochi, Russia, today was amazing.  I don’t know how some of the athletes were able to see what they were doing.  Furthermore, dense fog delayed some of the events.

These things did not hamper David Wise (23) from the USA, though.  He took first place, and the gold medal, in the first ever freeski halfpipe event.

       
13-second slideshow

You’re a big winner, David.  I have no idea, though, how you can flip around numerous times in the air with skis on!


Feb. 17, 2014

Today, Meryl Davis (26) and Charlie White (27) captured the first ever Olympic gold medal for the USA in ice dancing.  They have been skating together since 1997 and currently are the longest-lasting ice dancing team in the United States.

Davis and White became the first ice dancing team to receive level fours on all their elements.  They also are the current world record holders in the short dance, free dance, and total combined score.  They even made the Bing.com page (my preferred search engine) for a day.

       

       
25-second slideshow

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen ice dancers be as much mirror images of each other, in certain parts of their short and long programs (like when they were spinning or “twizzling” together), as Meryl Davis and Charlie White were.  You are awesome, Meryl and Charlie!


Feb. 15, 2014

At WalMart today, Valentine’s candy and cookies were 50% off.  I don’t eat all that much candy and other sweets myself, but I like to have it around for others.

Half-price Valentine’s candy

Oh yeah, it’s also hard for me to pass up a good deal. 


Feb. 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!    You know whom you are. 

Happy Valentine's Day T & J

Actually, the best thing about Valentine’s Day (besides that there is a full moon tonight) is that candy will be 50% off tomorrow. 


Feb. 13, 2014

The USA swept the podium today in the first-ever Olympic men’s ski slopestyle competition.  Joss Christensen (22) won the gold medal, with Gus Kenworthy (22) winning the silver and Nick Goepper (19) the bronze.

In the women’s halfpipe competition, U.S. snowboarders Kaitlyn Farrington (24) and Kelly Clark (30) won the gold and bronze medals, respectively.  The silver went to Torah Bright (27) of Australia.  Kelly won gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics in this event.

       

       
25-second slideshow

Great job, U.S. Olympians!


Feb. 12, 2014

San Diego finally has a new mayor-elect, Kevin Faulconer, after Bob Filner resigned on Aug. 22, 2013.  Faulconer, a Republican, was victorious over Democratic Councilman David Alvarez 55% to 45%.  Faulconer now is the highest ranked and highest profile Republican in California.

San Diego mayoral victory puts
Faulconer high on state GOP ladder

The new mayor will be sworn in on March 3.  Then San Diego, the 8th largest city in the nation, will be the largest city in America with a Republican mayor.  I have a great expectation that Kevin Faulconer will be a much more effective mayor than the previous one.


Feb. 11, 2014

Most of the emails I receive from people who visit my website contain questions about God, the Bible, or biblical topics.  My responses to many of these questions are located on my Bible Question Emails and Ted’s Responses page.

Occasionally, I answer questions about the human eye and vision, from people who have visited the Anatomy, Pathology, & Physiology of the Human Eye section of my website.  I prefer not to answer questions about the latter, though, since I have been away from the eye care profession since 1991.  However, I made a rare exception in this case:


Feb. 10, 2014

Ajit Varadaraj Pai, FCC CommissionerAmericans should be very concerned about a new initiative proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  If implemented, researchers would be sent to television and radio broadcasting stations to monitor how their stories are selected, the perceived bias of the stations, and other details about the stations and their reporters.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has gone public with this information and is considered by some to be a “whistleblower.”  He is against this move by the FCC and has come out with the following report:

The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom

Hopefully, this plan by the FCC will not be approved and put into action.  There is little doubt in my mind that if it is, it will be a significant thrust toward the government’s control and manipulation of the news.

Eventually, “Big Brother” is going to be able to snoop and pry into the business of everyone, including private law-abiding citizens.  We do not need such infringement on any portion our First Amendment rights (freedom of religion, speech, press, and petition) happening any sooner than it must.


Feb. 8, 2014

The very first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has gone to 20-year-old Sage Kotsenburg of the USA.  The event was a category of snowboarding known as slopestyle.

Furthermore, in the women’s division of slopestyle, the gold medal winner was 23-year-old Jamie Anderson, also of the USA.

       

       
25-second slideshow

This is the first time that slopestyle has been an Olympic event, so Sage and Jamie are the first athletes ever to win the gold in this event during the 0lympics.  Congratulations U.S. Olympians, Sage and Jamie!


Feb. 7, 2014

The opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics took place tonight in Sochi, Russia.  It lasted over 3½ hours.  We watched all of it and felt it was spectacular.  A good summary of pictures from the opening ceremony can be seen on this page:

sochi.ru 2014

I generally prefer the Summer Olympics over the Winter Olympics.  However, we will be watching many of the events over the next two weeks, hoping that the USA athletes pick up a whole lot of medals.


Feb. 6, 2014

The suffering, afflictions, and misery that Job had to endure were greater than those of most people.  In the Bible, Job is a shining beacon of how someone, enduring the greatest agony and anguish of his life, never blamed or cursed God for any of it.

Job’s experience should be an example to all of us whenever the troubles of life befall us.  For believers in the God of the Bible, we know that something great and wonderful awaits us when the the Messiah appears.  I wrote these responses to two emails with inquiries about the book of Job:


Feb. 5, 2014

I think this short video is hilarious.  A 4-year-old kid yells up to heaven in frustration, “Jesus, make it warm!”  I easily could have been him at that age, since I’ve never liked snow or cold winters too much.

He certainly wasn’t a quitter, though.  When he realized that things were not going to go his way, he didn’t fall down and throw a tantrum; he just went back to work.  I like that.


Feb. 2, 2014

Russell Wilson, Seahawks Quarterback / Peyton Manning, Broncos QuarterbackIn one of the greatest upsets in Superbowl history, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks overwhelemed Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.  The final score was 43 to 8.

Amazingly, Manning, who is one of the best quarterbacks ever, was not even able to score until the third quarter.  In addition to that touchdown, there was a two-point conversion for 8 points.

Super Bowl XLVIII ScoreboardWithout that touchdown and extra points, the Seahawks would have shut out the Broncos.  I’m sure that tens of millions of viewers were as amazed as I was at the outcome.  No doubt, most Broncos fans were.

After the Seahawk’s surprise upset, I looked at Wilson’s Wikipedia page.  He has accomplished a great deal in only 25 years.  I was interested to discover that he became a devout Christian at age 14 after seeing Jesus in a dream.  He also posts daily Bible verses on his Twitter feed.  Good for him.


Punxsutawney PhilIn other news, today was Groundhog DayPunxsutawney Phil came out and saw his shadow, which is supposed to indicate that there will be six more weeks of winter.

The northeast USA probably is not happy about this, since this has been one of the most brutal winters ever.  There have been tons of snow and many days with sub-zero temperatures.

On the other hand, the southwest USA has had one of the mildest winters ever.  Southern California has had virtually perfect weather for weeks.  Unfortunately, winter typically is the rainy season, and there has been scarcely a drop since last winter.

This has just added to the extreme to exceptional drought in the state, which is not a good thing, by any means.  Maybe if winter lasts six more weeks, there will be a greater chance of rain...hope so.


Jan. 29, 2014

I bet that the majority of people on earth do not believe in the devil, that is Satan.  Here is a brief description of him in the Bible:

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

Originally, Satan was created as Lucifer, a wise and enlightened angel.  Now, he only masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 1:14).  My explanation of how I feel he made the transition from Lucifer to Satan is summarized in this email response:


Jan. 28, 2014

Most people are oblivious to, or at least are unmindful of, the evil spirit realm around us.  Each day, supernatural things happen that cause people to scramble to explain them in natural terms.  They fail to understand that some events do not have normal, ordinary explanations.

Here is a lengthy and detailed account about the demonic possession of a family in Gary, Indiana, in 2012, when the chief of police and child protective service agents made visits to the family’s house.  Many of them have stated that they believe the house was infested with demons, who possessed a mother and her three kids.

The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons

I do not have any reason to disbelieve this account.  Moreover, I expect that an increasing number of similar events will be brought to the public’s attention in coming years.  Satan knows that his time to wreak havoc in the world is short.


Jan. 24, 2014

Global stock markets experienced a decline this week.  The U.S. market dropped 3%.  It was the Dow’s worst weekly performance since mid-May 2012.

Fear of slowing growth
pushes down global markets

At the same time, Barack Obama’s job performance ratings are dropping as well.  Various polls show different amounts, but his job-approval has been well below 50% for quite awhile.  For one thing, the unfolding of Obamacare has been disastrous for him, not to mention seven major scandals during his 5-year term.

I’d like to share what I think is a very funny animation that my cousin sent me.  I perceive it as the perpetual falling of Mr. Obama’s ratings even though, in his own mind, he is “on top of the world.”

Click on the image to see the animation.  If he gets stuck and stops falling, you can click and drag him to get him going again.  You will need to have an updated version of Adobe Flash Player for the animation to work.

Falling Obama

Jan. 20, 2014

Rabbi Jonathan CahnExactly two years ago, on Jan. 20, 2012, I wrote about the decline of nations, including America, due to their refusal to acknowledge God and to turn away from their unrighteous ways.  As a result, it may be that the prophesied periods of the Great Tribulation and the “Day” of Vengeance are much nearer than most people, including Christians, realize.

In that entry two years ago, I highlighted Jonathan Cahn and many of the things he has pointed out in linking the 9/11/01 tragedy, Isaiah 9:10,13, and the nine harbingers.  Here is a more recent video in which he discusses why—based on the idea of the shemitah or sabbatical year—there could be a major U.S. stock market crash on or near Sep. 13, 2015 (the first couple of minutes is Bill O’Reilly):

Financial Collapse of the
US By 13 Sept 2015

Interestingly, there are six solar and lunar eclipses on Hebraic/Jewish feast and holy days in 2014 and 2015.  One of them happens to be on Sep. 13, 2015, on which the Feast of Trumpets will begin at sunset and continue through the next day.  A chart of the six eclipses can be found here, in my “End of the Age: 2020?” commentary:

Lunar and Solar Eclipses: 2014 & 2015

There is no way to be certain, right now, if Sep. 13, 2015, will be a significant date, as proposed by Mr. Cahn.  While speculative, though, it does seem plausible.  If his hypothesis takes place, it likely will correspond with a very significant devaluation or collapse of the U.S. dollar, a replacement of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and massive hyperinflation, followed by a level of chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, and revolution never before experienced in America or in the world.

If you do not know or have a meaningful, personal relationship with God and with Jesus, the Son of God, now would be a good time to begin and develop such a relationship.  This begins with acknowledging and repenting of your sins and transgressions against Him and others.  God is the only one who can meet all of our needs and protect and guide us through the distress, tribulation, and hardships to come.

Fortunately, at the end of all of the frightening and forboding events to come, Jesus and the Kingdom of God will come to earth for 1,000 years: the Millennium.  Those who have acknowledged Him as Savior and King will rule and reign with Him in a world governed by righteousness, justice, peace, and love—mankind’s desired “utopia” that can happen only when Jesus is sitting on His throne in Jerusalem.  What a time of rejoicing that will be!


Jan. 19, 2014

The championship games for both the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) took place today.  In the AFC game, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots: 26-16.  In the NFC game, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks defeated Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers: 23-17.

So the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2 (Groundhog Day).  The game will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the kickoff scheduled for 6:25pm EST.

It’s always a head-scratcher to me whenever the Super Bowl game, which always takes place in the middle of winter, is scheduled somewhere in the north, where a blizzard and sub-zero temperatures are more likely than in the south.  I hope a so-called “Arctic vortex” doesn’t blow down from the north and negatively affect the game, which would have been the case a couple of weeks ago.

Also, I was thinking that maybe it should be called Pot Bowl I, since both teams are from states that have legalized marijuana (Colorado and Washington), which I think is a shame.  I wonder how many of the spectators attending the game will be high.  Maybe the concession stands will be serving pot brownies. 


Jan. 18, 2014

I think there is a common misconception that all Hebrew or Jewish months are composed of 30 days.  These months are based on the cycles of the moon, with a new moon occurring on the first day of each month: Rosh Chodesh or the “head of the month.”

Each lunar cycle runs about 29½ days, so the length of some Hebrew months is 29 days, while the length of other months is 30 days.  Here is a good article explaining all of this:

The Jewish Month

Jan. 17, 2014

This is the 20th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes I’ve ever felt, on Jan. 17, 1994 (Martin Luther King Day).  At 4:31 a.m., I was awakened suddenly when the shaking started.  After about 30 seconds of rocking, I thought that my house in Irvine, CA, might come off its foundation.  I was 55 miles from the epicenter in Reseda, although it often is referred to as the Northridge earthquake.

The quake was felt as far away as Las Vegas, NV; however, the greatest amount of damage was in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.  The death toll was 57, more than 7,000 were injured, 20,000 became homeless, and over 40,000 buildings were damaged.  Fortunately, for me, mine was not one of them, thank God.


Jan. 14, 2014

I enjoyed hearing Diane McNeil a couple of years ago on God’s Learning Channel.  She has sent out a recent email talking about the incorrect name of God used in many translations of the Bible.  I agree with her about this.

YAHVEH — GOD’S HOLY NAME

Jan. 12, 2014

In Christendom, there is the prevalent belief that God has a triune nature.  Some describe God as being three “persons” or even as three separate “individuals.”  I have a problem with this concept, as it leads to the notion that there are three Gods, which is false.  God Himself said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Also, throughout most of Christendom is the belief that Jesus was God.  I believe that, indeed, Jesus was the physical manifestation or “body” of God on earth.  I believe this for many reasons, one of the main ones being that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins would not enable us to attain eternal life if He merely were a “good and righteous man,” as some teach.  Here are a couple of email responses I have written discussing these two related issues:

My basic beliefs about God, and other related topics, can be found here: My Beliefs and Faith.


Jan. 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of IsraelAriel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of Israel, died today at age 85.  He had been in a coma for eight years, following a stroke.

Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dies

In August and September 2005, Israelis in the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank were removed and resettled elsewhere.  This was due to the Disengagement Plan Implementation Law proposed by Ariel Sharon.  The residents were evicted, residential buildings were demolished, and associated security personnel were evacuated.

Not long thereafter, on January 4, 2006, Sharon suffered the stroke from which he never recovered.  Some feel that this was “God’s judgment” on Sharon for having betrayed all the displaced Israeli settlers.  Only God (and, perhaps now, Ariel Sharon) knows whether or not that was the case.


Jan. 10, 2014

Today is the twenty-third anniversary of my last day of work, in 1991.  I had worked as an optometrist at FHP in Fountan Valley, CA, for 11¼ years.  Then I left the eye-care profession to pursue other interests, although I have included a large section about the human eye at my website.

Technically, Jan. 11 was supposed to be my official last day.  However, I called in sick that morning and went to Long Beach for the day.  I just couldn’t wait one more day to gain my freedom, and I have enjoyed having it every single day since then, thanks to God’s provisions for all of my needs. 


Jan. 9, 2014

Governor Chris ChristieChris Christie, governor of New Jersey, gave a news conference this morning that lasted 107 minutes.  It pertained to the closure of three lanes of the George Washington Bridge for four days in September 2013.  This bridge, connecting Manhattan, NY, and Fort Lee, NJ, is arguably the busiest bridge in the world.

Christie announced that he had fired Bridget Anne Kelly, his deputy chief of staff who sent an email requesting the lane closings.  He also said he had asked his two-time campaign manager, Bill Stepien, to step down as a consultant to the Republican Governors Association and to withdraw his name from consideration to lead the state’s Republican Party.

Chris Christie Fires Top Aide,
Apologizes for Bridge Scandal

Some feel that if Governor Christie runs for President of the USA in 2016, his immediate act of dealing harshly with these aides in a very timely manner will bode well for him, since Americans are tired of their president failing to do this in his administration.  Others feel that Christie secretly knew about the plan to shut down the lanes of the bridge and, if this knowledge ever is uncovered, it will ruin his political career.  Time will tell.


Jan. 8, 2014

I love almost all vegetables, but I haven’t been eating as many as I should lately.  So I made a huge batch of steamed broccoli, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, and whipped potatoes, along with baked chicken.

       

       
25-second slideshow

I also made a nice salad.  It was all extremely tasty.  Best of all, I made so much that it will last me awhile, since I don’t mind eating the same thing numerous nights in a row.


Jan. 6, 2014

The last entry I made about “black eyes” was on Jan. 14, 2013.  I included two emails from those claiming to have seen people with black eyes—that is, eyes where the white parts had turned black.

The most recent such email is from a Christian lady who implies that she has seen multiple cases of black-eyed people: “mere dull, endless, bottomless pits of blackened darkness.”  She describes a dying, comatose man who, after being prayed for, bolted up with black eyes and stared at her and the person praying with her.

Dying, Comatose Man with Black Eyes

There is much taking place in the evil supernatural realm that overlaps into ours.  Sometimes certain things become visible to those who are perceptive enough to see them.  Just because most people do not see such things does not mean that they do not happen.


Jan. 3, 2014

I used to smoke cigarettes in the 1970s.  My last puff on a cigarette was June 28, 1978; I quit “cold turkey.”  Since then, I have had dreams in which I was smoking.  In the midst of thinking what an idiot I was to do that again, I’ve woken up being very relieved that it was just a dream.

I also have become extremely sensitive to the smell of cigarette or cigar smoke.  Even outside, I can smell a few molecules of the smoke of people who are nearby, and I move away because I can barely stand it.  I’ve heard other ex-smokers who have said they also are very sensitive to other people’s smoke.

A friend has smoked regularly for 35 years.  Recently, he stopped smoking cigarettes and began “vaping”—inhaling the vapor of e-cigarettes (that is, electronic cigarettes).  This is a battery-powered device utilizing a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution composed of nicotine and flavorings.  He has three e-cigarettes.

   
8-second slideshow

In only three weeks, his wife (who never smoked) says he is “sexier” and more fun to be with.  He says he likes being able to take a couple of puffs without being concerned about where to flick the ashes.  They both like how there is no lingering smoke smell in a room or in the car after vaping.  Here are other advantages and improvements that both of them have reported:

  • very convenient
  •  
  • breathing is easier
  •  
  • no smoke smell on clothes or person
  • much calmer
  •  
  • less anxiety
  •  
  • more even-tempered
  • whiter teeth
  •  
  • clearer whites of eyes
  •  
  • clearer complexion
  • no circles under eyes
  •  
  • more quality sleep
  •  
  • quicker recovery time after exertion
  • no smoker’s cough
  •  
  • no second-hand smoke
  •  
  • heightened sense of smell
  • I took a puff from one of his e-cigarettes and inhaled it.  I could feel the warm water vapor on the back of my throat, but it did not make me cough.  I may have felt a slight increase in energy (due to the nicotine) over the next few minutes, but I’m not certain about that.  In any case, it did not make me want to take up vaping; I just wanted to try it.

    My friend started vaping a solution containing 24 mg of nicotine.  He already has purchased solutions of decreasing amounts of nicotine, all the way down to 0 mg.  Over time, he intends to decrease his intake down to no nicotine at all.  I think that’s great.  I just wish that e-cigarettes had been around when I was smoking a few decades ago.


    Jan. 1, 2014

    Happy New Year.  Below are links to my annual calendar and list of 2014 holidays and observances that many like to download and tape to a wall nearby.  That is what I do, with the calendar on one side and the holidays/observances on the other side of one piece of paper.  Both are in .doc and .pdf format.

    Click on each image below and print out the two pages (.doc files) on either side of one piece of paper.  Just change my name, at the top of the calendar page, to your name before you print it.

     

    Or else you could print out these two pages (.pdf files), with no name on the calendar page:

     

    If you’ve never read the Bible straight through, from cover to cover, you might want to do it in 2014.  Go to the following page, print out the pages in either .doc, .pdf, or .html format, and check off the passages as you read them:

    Chronological List of Bible Passages

    The Bible is God’s Law and Instruction Manual for life.  Don’t worry if you are unable to understand everything you read; eventually, God will give us answers to everything we wonder about.  One of the main things you will come to understand is God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—see God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?

    So in case you’ve never read the Bible all the way through, do it!  If you’ve done it before, do it again; you never can get too much of God’s written Word!  I did it last in 2013.

    You can read one of a number of Bible versions at BibleGateway.com.  If you read it for an average of 15 minutes a night before bed, you will sleep better for a whole year. 

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