Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
April thru June, 2014


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June 30, 2014

A major decision was released by the U.S. Supreme Court today.  In the case of Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, the ruling was in favor of Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby covers 16 out of 20 contraceptives for its employees, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  These contraceptives prevent conception from occurring.

However, the company had a problem covering the other 4 contraceptives, which prevent an egg that has been fertilized from being implanted in the womb.  These contraceptives are Plan B and Ella, along with two intrauterine devices (IUDs).  Essentially, these cause an early-term abortion, which violates the religious beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby ruling: Why
Supreme Court got it right
          
5-second slideshow

This does not mean, however, that Hobby Lobby is attempting to disallow its female employees from taking one of these 4 contraceptives on their own.  Hobby Lobby simply feels that its First Amendment rights of freedom of religion allows it to refuse to pay for these specific, abortion-causing contraceptives.

The majority decision of five members of the Supreme Court (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy) agreed with this, while four members (Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer) disagreed.  The majority said that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 protects family-owned businesses and closely held corporations from having to pay for abortion drugs for their employees if these companies object to doing so on religous grounds.


June 28, 2014

I received an email from someone about sin and Jesus.  The concept behind it was interesting.  We know that the main reason Jesus came to earth as a man was to die for the sins of mankind, I believe on Good Thursday.

The question is whether or not Jesus’ suffering over 1,900 years ago can be lessened if we choose not to perform certain sins now.  Since God inhabits all of time—past, present, and future—then I think it is possible, on some level, for this to be true.  I explain this in the following email response:


June 25, 2014

The amount of change in the U.S. gross national product (GDP), for the first quarter of 2014, was released today.  The GDP shrunk 2.9%, which was not expected by most economists.  In fact, it was the largest quarterly decrease in the past 5 years.  I also have heard that it was the biggest non-recession quarterly drop in 58 years.

Economy shrinks 2.9 percent, worst
drop in five years. But why worry?

The significant slide downward is being blamed, by many, on the extremely bad weather this past winter.  I suspect that a bigger factor was the negative ramifications of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Moreover, I suspect that this terrible health care law is going to cause further disastrous effects on the economy next year and beyond.


June 24, 2014

Daniel Wani, Meriam IbrahimIn Sudan, 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim has endured an extreme amount of Islamic persecution for her faith.  Although she was raised a Christian, she was accused of converting from Islam to Christianity.

Furthermore, she married a Christian U.S. citizen, Daniel Wani, in 2011.  Since Sudan does not allow Islamic-Christian intermarriage, she was accused of adultery.  However, Meriam refused to renounce her Christian faith.  Early last month, she was sentenced to 100 lashes and then to death by hanging.

Although Meriam was pregnant with her second child, she was forced to spend weeks in a substandard prison.  She gave birth to a daughter in her jail cell on May 28.  Last week, a judge overturned her conviction and death sentence and she was freed.

Yesterday, Meriam was liberated from prison.  Today, Meriam, her husband, and their son and daughter were at the Khartoum airport preparing to fly out of Sudan when the entire family was detained.  Miriam was questioned about providing forged information.  Hours later, though, the family was released and taken to a safe house for protection.

Meriam Ibrahim is free once
more according to Sudanese official

Time will tell if Meriam and her family will be permitted to leave the country.  We need to pray for their safety, their release, and their exit from Sudan.


June 21, 2013

Four SeasonsToday is the Summer Solstice, which is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere.  Summer officially began early this morning at 6:51 a.m. EDT (or at 3:51 a.m. PDT).

The sun will be at the highest point in the sky today, plus there will be the most number of daylight hours of any day during the year.  This is because the earth’s north pole is more inclined toward the sun than it is on any other day.

I really like summer a lot, since I like hot weather.  Southern California has had a very hot Spring, overall, and Summer is expected to be even hotter.  That is fine with me.

However, I don’t particularly like that the days will be getting shorter and shorter for the next six months.  This will change again at the Winter Solstice on December 21, after which the daylight hours in the northern hemisphere will begin increasing again.

On the equator, the length of daylight, from sunrise to sunset, does not vary much throughout the year.  Also, in most places (except in mountainous regions), the temperatures are pretty constant year-round.  There also is little distinction among the seasons.

Interestingly, although San Diego is nowhere near the equator, there is not much variance of climate or seasons throughout the year, which I like very much.  This is a big reason why San Diego is my favorite city in the USA, probably even in the world.


June 20, 2014

I haven’t made lasagna since July 14, 2013.  I planned to make two of them today.  However, the amount of vegetables I had bought enabled me to make three.  That’s the most I’ve ever made at once.

It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it because they will last me quite awhile.  I will freeze two of them.

 
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I haven’t used mustard greens and collard greens for awhile in my lasagna.  This time, I used both.  They made the overall taste outstanding.


June 19, 2014

I have been questioned about the ongoing ISIS invasion of Iraq, about which I commented on June 16.  One thing I have been asked is if I think that the Antichrist will emerge from the Middle East and that his appearance is imminent.

I feel that there will be two major end-time leaders, the Antichrist and Gog, as outlined in my Final Battles commentary.  Many believe that these two men will be the same person.  I disagree, as I have explained in these these three email responses:

It could be that the appearance of one of these two men on the world scene may be soon.  Endtime events most certainly will explode once Israel becomes involved.  I have a personal suspicion that this may be as soon as next year, 2015.

June 17, 2014

Ahmed Abu KhatallahThe Pentagon announced today that the U.S. captured Ahmed Abu Khattala.  He is suspected of organizing the attacks on diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.  He was captured in a secret operation two days ago.

Ahmed Abu Khattala is on an American navy vessel sailing back to the USA.  He could be detained and questioned on the ship for up to a month.

U.S. captures suspected ringleader
of 2012 attack in Benghazi

A criminal complaint has been filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.  It charges Abu Khattala with terrorism and murder, as well as conspiracy to commit these crimes.  If found guilty of these crimes, he could face sentences that include the death penalty.


June 16, 2014

ISIS flagThe dangerous radical Islamic and jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been marching from Syria into Iraq.  Last week, they captured two major Iraqi cities, Mosul and Tikrit.  They seem set upon taking Baghdad, the capital.

The merciless warlord leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.  For some reason, he was released from a U.S. detention camp in Iraq in 2009.  As he left, he stated, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”  Some now are referring to him as “the new Osama bin Laden.”

Apparently, ISIS members have been posting images of “apostates” in Iraq whom they have been executing along the way.  Warning: These images are graphic and disturbing.

         
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ISIS has claimed the territory of Syria and Iraq as its own.  It also has made futue claims over Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Southern Turkey.  The involvement of Israel could become a giant leap toward the end of this age.

Mike Rogers, U.S. Congressman from Michigan, is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.  He notes that thousands of Americans and other Westerners are fighting with ISIS in eastern Syria and Iraq.  Rogers also indicates that these fighters are being trained to return to the USA and Europe to wage terrorist attacks.

Mike Rogers: The Battle Will Come to America

Personally, I feel it is not a matter of “if” but “when” more terrorist attacks will happen on U.S. soil.  Most likely, the attacks on 9/11/01 were just the beginning.  The least that I expect from this is a slide in the stock market and an excalation in gas prices.


June 15, 2014

My dad is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing him again one day.  For all of you other dads:  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families. 

My dad was very smart and knowledgeable about many things.  He had some hobbies, the main one of which was professional photography, but he also enjoyed oil painting.  Although has has been gone for awhile, I would like to share with you three of his nature paintings:

   
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One of the Ten Commandments reads this way:

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

On this Father’s Day, for those whose fathers are living, do something to honor your earthly father or even your heavently Father.  Do it even if, for some reason, you are estranged or alienated from him/Him.

All things happen for a purpose and a reason.  Sometimes it is up to those who have been disrespected or disregarded to attempt to make things right.  Doing this, even with a dad (or mom) with whom you have not had a good relationship for years or decades, actually may cause you to live longer than you otherwise would, according to the Fifth Commandment.


June 14, 2014

Today is “Flag Day” in the United States.  The flag of the USA was adopted on June 14, 1777, by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Two years later on June 14, 1779, the U.S. Congress adopted “the American continental army.”  So this also is the birthday of the U.S. Army.


June 13, 2014

It is Friday the 13th.  Although I am not superstitious, I do think it is interesting that there is a full moon tonight.  It actually will be a rare occurrence, as the next full moon on a Friday the 13th will not be until October 13, 2049.


June 10, 2014

My June 9 entry addressed the ever-increasing problem of illegal immigrants, particularly unaccompanied children, entering the USA from south of the border.  But caring for these tens of thousands of immigrants, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, is not the only problem.

Many U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas have contracted scabies from contact with detained illegal immigrants.  The infections do not end with scabies, though.  Other transmittable diseases being brought over by these immigrants include chicken pox, MRSA, and various viruses.

Border agents warn of "chicken pox,
MRSA staph" from illegal child crossings

Hundreds of these illegal immigrant children already have been flown to Nogales, Arizona and then bussed to a converted warehouse.  There already are plans to send hundreds, if not thousands, more of them to shelters in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  Over time, this potentially could pose disease-related threats to hundreds of thousands, if not even millions, of Americans.


June 9, 2014

The surge of illegal immigrant minors rushing over the Rio Grande threatens to overwhelm the Texas Border Patrol.  On a daily basis, about 1,200 illegals are entering Texas, with up to 400 of those being under the age of 18.

Unaccompanied children and partial families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala make up the majority of those crossing the border.  Some of the unaccompanied children are as young as three years old.

The Border Patrol in Texas has been overwhelmed.  Last month, the Department of Homeland Security flew hundreds of illegal immigrants from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to Nogales, Arizona.  Hundreds more are expected to be transferred.

Arizona sends supplies to illegal
immigrant children "dumped" in warehouse

In 2012, President Obama decided to stop most deportations of young people brought to the USA as children.  With terrible economic and violent conditions being common in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, Obama’s policy is an open invitation for them to come here.

The influx of immigrant children is expected to last at least through the summer.  Personally, I see it as a rapidly escalating problem with no end in sight.  This is an appalling and atrocious situation.


June 8, 2014

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

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

I believe the fifty-day calculation is made erroneously by most, as explained in this email response:

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

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


June 6, 2014

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day: June 6, 1944.  On that day was the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, in World War II.  D-Day may have been the most critical turning point in world history.  It signaled the beginning of the end of fascism and the return of liberty to hundreds of millions of people.

       

       

       
38-second slideshow

Harold Bradley, D-Day VeteranIn the following article are quotations by Harold Bradley, a D-Day veteran who celebrated his 21st birthday on the day he landed in Normandy.

D-Day veteran: I don't
want them to be forgotten

Speaking from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial today, President Barack Obama stated, “These men waged war so that we might know peace.  They sacrificed so that we might be free.  They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight.  We are grateful to them.”

However, does the world know peace yet?  Are we in a day when there no longer is a need to fight?  Certainly not.  That day will not happen until Yeshua HaMashiach—Jesus the Messiahreturns to earth, destroys the enemies of Israel, and sets Himself up in Jerusalem as King of the whole earth (Zechariah 14:3,4,9).  Only then will the world know true peace.


June 4, 2014

On God’s Learning Channel, I enjoyed listening to music by Troy Mitchell.  He has been blind most of his life and has used music as a way to connect with God and with other people.  I did a search for him and found a few of his songs:

If you like, you can visit his Facebook page.  One of his audio CDs can be purchased at Yoke of the King.


June 1, 2014

My friend Kathy invited me to lunch today.  She has a Scripps Passport card, which entitles her to two meals for the price of one at various restaurants in the San Diego area.  We decided to go to Balboa Park and walk around for awhile.  This included a stoll through the Botanical Building.  Then we ate at the Prado Restaurant.  All of it was very enjoyable.

         

         

         

         

         

         
90-second slideshow

After that, we drove to Seaport Village and walked around there for awhile.  We didn’t go there to buy anything; most things are too expensive for our budgets.  We just enjoyed being near the ocean.

         

         
30-second slideshow

May 30, 2014

Listening to San Diego’s KOGO AM 600 radio this morning, I heard about license plates that have been banned in California.  A few of them are here; some are pretty outrageous:

       

       

       
38-second slideshow

Most of the plates were not “tame” enough for me to include above.  You can see all of them at Banned California License Plates, but caution is recommended.  Some of them are very offensive.  On that page, scroll down a tiny bit; then click on the right of each license plate to go to the next one.  There are quite a few of them.


May 28, 2014

Someone asked me about Matthew 25:31-46, in particular whom Jesus may have meant when He referred to His “brethren” (or “brothers”) and the “sheep.”  Here is my response:


May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day.  Today we honor those who have fought, and especially those who have died, for us.  The following picture was displayed on Bing.com today, which is my preferred search engine.

Happy Memorial Day

My friend Joanne’s gym closed early today, and we got there too late.  So she suggested that we walk around Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.  I used to work about a mile from there, during all of the 1980s and a little after that.

We usually walk clockwise around the park (four miles), but today we decided to walk counterclockwise.  We both think we’ll do the same again next time.

         

         

         
45-second slideshow

At one point, I had to run across a busy street to snap a pic of the Fountain Bowl sign.  I used to bowl in leagues there in the 1980s.  I think my average was about 185 to 190 during that time.  My highest game ever was 279.

Most of the photos I took on our walk today were just quick snapshots.  I wasn’t really in the mood to take pics, just to enjoy the scenery and enjoy some laughs with my friend.  But I took some anyway to post here.  We did enjoy watching the sunset, which we planned the timing of our walk to see.


May 25, 2014

Some friends and I had our Memorial Day “bash” today because a few of the guests have plans tomorrow.  The main course was barbecued baby-back pork ribs.  I rarely ever eat pork, but I could not resist these because they smelled too good on the grill.  They were outstanding.

The friend who cooked the ribs also brought over some vegetables from his garden in Fullerton.  These included a blossoming artichoke (I’d never seen one of those before), zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.  There also were several other food items, all of which were yummy.

     

     

     
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Good friends.  Good food.  Good time. 


May 23, 2014

The “Giraffe” meteor shower will be taking place tonight.  It will be visible in most of North America, during the early-morning hours of May 24 (after midnight).  The shower will be radiating from the constellation of Camelopardalis (or the Giraffe).  However, meteors should be observable in much of the sky.

This little-known constellation is located about halfway between Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) and Cassiopeia, right under Polaris, the Pole Star.  However, the meteors should be able to be observed just about anywhere in the sky.  On the west coast (where I am), the best observation time with the most number of meteors per minute (maybe 3 or 4) should be about midnight to 1:00 a.m.

"Giraffe" meteor shower could
light up skies Saturday morning

This is a “first-of-its-kind” meteor shower.  It is a “first” because Earth never has run into the debris from the 209P/Linear Comet before.  This meteor actually will be closest to Earth on May 29, but we will be intersecting its orbit tonight.


May 22, 2014

I’ve lost some weight without trying recently.  One of my good friends thinks I need to “put some meat on” and suggested a seafood buffet that we hadn’t tried before.  So she took me to the Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet on Katella Avenue in Anaheim.  It is less than a mile from Disneyland.

Their lunch price, $7.95 for all you can eat, was very reasonable.  The very first item I put on my plate was a big slab of salmon; I think I could eat that every single day.  I also got several sushi rolls, along with lots of other seafood, vegetables, fruit, and dessert.

           
18-second slideshow

I was very impressed with the variety, quality, taste, and price of the buffet.  Without a doubt, we will go back there to eat again, hopefully soon.

After stuffing ourselves, we went right next door to her gym, Planet Fitness.  Although I belong to L.A. Fitness, I go with her there sometimes because she can bring a guest at no extra charge.

We both rode adjacent elliptical machines for 30 minutes.  Afterwards, we joked about how we should go back to the buffet and chow down a few more plates of food.  That didn’t happen. 


May 21, 2014

Before driving back up to Orange County, I wanted to eat lunch at my favorite Thai place, Taste of Thai, in San Diego.  It is one of the few Thai restaurants that will make my food as hot and spicy as I like it.

I ordered the red curry vegetarian lunch special and requested that it be made ped mak mak.  Basically, that means “as hot and spicy as possible.”  Sometimes, the eyes of the person who takes my order get really big in disbelief, but this waitress just smiled and nodded.

     

     
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I know that my food is hot enough when the hair on the back of my head, at my neckline, gets wet while I’m eating.  I also feel like I have enough energy to jump over the moon.  Both of those things occurred, and it made my day.


May 20, 2014

A week ago today, the first of several fires north of San Diego began.  One of my good friends lives in that area.  She and all of her neighbors were evacuated because the flames came within a couple of miles of their condos.  Fortunately, the fire was contained, and none of their structures were damaged.

I drove to the canyon where the main section of the terrible fire was located.  I walked right through the middle of it and took photos.  It was pretty surreal seeing the burned-out landscape and plants around me.  It looked like utter desolation, and the smell was terrible.

       

       

       

       
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One sign had the words “Keep Out” and “Revegetation Project in Progress” on it.  Unfortunately, I guess that won’t be working out too well for awhile...pretty sad.


May 19, 2014

I mentioned “the Millennium” in my May 15 entry.  Someone has asked me what people and the Kingdom of God will be like during that 1,000-year period of time.  Click here to see my response:


May 16, 2014

Numerous fires have ravaged multiple areas of northern San Diego County this week.  High winds, broiling heat over 100°, and a severe drought have made the fires spread rapidly and become difficult to extinguish.

Thousands have been evacuated.  One person, in Carlsbad, has been found dead.  These fires are the worst on record in San Diego County during the month of May.

       

       
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Law enforcement is investigating the possibility that at least some of the fires have been a result of arson.  So far, three arrests have been made.

Man arrested for arson in California fire as
Marines, families flee Camp Pendleton blaze

May 15, 2014

This morning marked the opening of the September 11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan.  Numerous survivors, rescuers, and victims’ relatives were present, many of whom gave their amazing testimonies of that fateful day: September 11, 2001.

While I was watching, a choir sang one of my favorite songs ever, “Somewhere.”  It is from one of my favorite movies of all time, West Side Story (1961).  Here are the lyrics to that great song:

Somewhere (A Place for Us)
Music by Leonard Bernstein | Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
 
There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us,
Somewhere.
There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us;
Time together with time to spare,
Time to look, time to care,
Someday,
Somewhere!
    We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving,
Somewhere.

There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow,
Someday,
Somewhere!

That song always has reminded that there is a “somewhere” (the earth after Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah returns) and a “someday” (the Millennium) when countless multitudes of people will be joyously reunited with their lost loved ones again.  Only then will there be real, lasting peace on earth.

I long for that somewhere and someday to come, with Yeshua sitting on His throne in Jerusalem as King over the entire earth (Zechariah 14:9).  What a glorious world and time that will be!


May 12, 2014

Rabbi Scott Sekulow on God's Learning ChannelThis evening on God’s Learning Channel, the fascinating guest for two hours was Rabbi Scott Sekulow, a Messianic Jew.  He is the brother of famous attorney Jay Sekulow, of the ACLJ (American Center of Law and Justice), who frequently argues cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scott talked about many interesting topics.  I thought that one of the most relevant was his discussion of how God’s Torah/Law actually dated back further than Moses; it went back to Adam and Eve.  Furthermore, the Torah is not just for Israel; it is for all the nations (as described briefly in my Torah and Prophets section).

To see Rabbi Scott discuss this topic for 15 minutes (out of the two hour interview), first click on the following link (which should work for about 5 days):

Scott Sekulow on GLC, Program 012512

Start the video, and then place your arrow at the bottom of the video player it to bring up the time line.  (To see this more clearly, click on Scott’s picture at the top of this entry to see a larger view of it.)  Move your arrow back and forth on the time line until it indicates the 1-hour (1:00:00) mark and click there.  Then listen for the next 15 minutes.

Of course, you can listen to the entire two-hour interview if you have the time.  All of it was very interesting.

I like Scott’s mathematical equation: Torah + Grace = Salvation in Messiah.  That is, the Torah alone brings death, since no one can keep all of God’s laws completely, and any violation of the Law leads to death.  On the other hand, God’s Grace alone is meaningless, since without the Torah/Law, we would not know how we have “missed the mark” and why we need His Grace.  The Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus, is the epitome of both the Torah and Grace, together.


May 11, 2014

My mom is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing her again one day.  For all of you other moms:  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families. 

Happy Mother's Day

May 10, 2014

I’m staying at a friend’s place this weekend.  The weirdest thing happened a little while ago that completely freaked me out.

I was in the kitchen and had started the microwave going.  About ten seconds after it began running, I heard a LOUD popping sound just to the right of me.  My first thought was that an object had come through the window, and my second thought was that something in the microwave had exploded.  Neither of these things was the case.

There was a glass bottle of Lecithin capsules on the counter.  For some reason, the bottom exploded off of it, causing all the capsules to come out.  I am thinking that, somehow, the waves from the microwave, which was nearby, caused this.

   
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I put all of the Lecithin capsules into a jar and labeled it.  This was a hassle because many of the capsules had tiny shards of glass on them.  I had to wipe off all of the capsules so my friend would not ingest the glass when taking the capsules.  The whole thing was pretty bizarre.


May 7, 2014

An Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram, is waging a campaign of violence in northern Nigeria.  Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.”

Boko Haram members have kidnapped nearly 300 girls, aged 16-18.  They plan to sell 223 of these girls, to the highest bidders, as child brides (essentially, as sex slaves), which is permissible under Sharia Law.

In 2011, Boko Haram terrorists bombed the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria.  Members of the U.S. Congress, and even the Obama administration, requested that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton add Boko Haram to its official list of designated terror organizations.  However, the State Department fought this and did nothing.

The group’s ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Sharia Law to the total destruction of the Nigerian state and its government.

Boko Haram: The essence of terror

Speaking of Sharia Law, it has become the law of the land in the Islamic nation of Brunei.  As a result, many Hollywood celebrities, such as Jay and Mavis Leno, are protesting by canceling their event reservations at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by Brunei.

Hollywood's snub of Brunei-owned
hotels over sharia law: Will it backfire?

Under Sharia Law, the severe punishment for violaters includes flogging, stoning, and severing of limbs.  Those who find this to be repugnant and abhorrent, as everyone should, need to consider that, ultimately, Sharia Law very well may become the dominant legal system of the world.

As we move toward the end of the age, and chaos, anarchy, and lawlessness increase throughout the world, I feel that radical Islam will spread rapidly as well.  If so, I expect that the tenets of Sharia Law could become the main means by which civil unrest and protests against Islamic rule are repressed.


May 5, 2014

A large number of Christians believe in a Pre-tribulation Rapture event.  Although I do believe in a main Rapture event, I believe that it will be a Pre-wrath Rapture.  Here is my email response to someone who feels that some Bible verses may point to a “Pre-trib” Rapture:


May 1, 2014

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Be a good prayer warrior and seek God’s grace, mercy, guidance and safety for your family, the place where you live, and the world as a whole.

I read the following short verse in the book of Isaiah recently, and it stuck with me.  I like the way it reads in the NIV better than in any other version of the Bible.

O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2)

Apr. 29, 2014

After a Freedom of Information Act request dating back to June 21, 2013, Judicial Watch finally has received documents from the U.S. Department of State.  One email in particular sheds light on erroneous statements made by Susan Rice a few days after the Benghazi, Libya, attacks of September 12, 2012.

An email from September 14, 2012 shows that Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy National Security Adviser at the time, advised Rice to state that the attacks were a “spontaneous protest” resulting from a YouTube video insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad.  Yet, transcripts revealed since then have shown that senior defense officials had informed the Obama administration that the assaults were terrorist attacks.

Email ensuring "Obama looked
good" was post-Benghazi priority

Judician Watch President Tom Filton has made this statement:  “Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good.”

Mr. Filton added, “And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an internet video.  Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”

In those attacks over 1˝ year ago, Americans Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty were murdered by Islamic terrorists.


Apr. 28, 2014

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry has been pressing for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians for months.  However, there is not much chance of this happening in the near future, as mentioned in my Apr. 24 entry..

Seemingly in utter frustration, Kerry recently made a blunt statement indicating that if Israel does not make a peace deal with the Palestinians, it risks becoming an “apartheid state.”

John Kerry warns Israel
could become "apartheid state"

There has been widespread criticism of Kerry for making these comments.  These even include statements by liberal politicians.  Here are statments made by three Democrats in the U.S. Congress:

  • Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California): “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous.”
  • Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska): “I am disappointed with Secretary Kerry’s reported remarks...(he) knows as well as anyone that negotiating lasting peace in this region of the world is difficult but it’s not productive to express his frustration in this way.”
  • Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-New York): “Inflammatory rhetoric comparing Israel’s democracy to repugnant apartheid policy is irresponsible, inaccurate and counterproductive.”

Kerry’s harmful comments give the Islamic nations who hate Israel an excuse to claim that even the U.S. is critical of Israel.  Many have come out asking for Kerry’s resignation.  I’ve actually been on that boat for awhile.


Apr. 26, 2014

There have been several noteworthy earthquakes in the world since the ones I included in my Apr. 4 entry.  A couple have been in the U.S. in locations where quakes are not too common.

• April 25 | 4.8 | Bandon, Oregon
• April 24 | 6.6 | Port Hardy, Canada
• April 20 | 4.9 | Challis, Idaho
• April 19 | 7.5 | Panguna, Papua New Guinea
• April 19 | 6.6 | Panguna, Papua New Guinea
• April 18 | 7.2 | Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico
    • April 15 | 6.9 | Bouvet Island region
• April 13 | 6.6 | Kirakira, Solomon Islands
• April 13 | 7.4 | Kirakira, Solomon Islands
• April 12 | 7.6 | Kirakira, Solomon Islands
• April 11 | 6.6 | Nandaime, Nicaragua
• April 11 | 7.1 | Panguna, Papua New Guinea

I have followed earthquakes regularly for years on the USGS page.  I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere near as many large earthquakes (fourteen from 6.3 to 6.9, six from 7.1 to 7.7, and an 8.2) in only a 1˝-week period.

It makes me wonder if this portends even more major shaking to occur in the near future.  I just hope that Southern California doesn’t get whacked anytime soon.


Apr. 24, 2014

Rival Palestinian political factions have announced a surprise reconciliation deal.  It includes plans for a unified government.  This deal, if it continues (since other similar deals have fallen through), will unite the moderate Fatah faction in the West Bank with the radical Hamas faction in the Gaza Strip.

As a result, Israeli/Palestinian peace talks have come to an end, at least for now.  Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made the following statement:  “This evening, as peace talks were about to take place, Abbas chose Hamas and not peace.  Whoever chooses Hamas does not want peace.”

Israel Suspends Mideast
Peace Talks Over Hamas Deal

Mr. Netanyah also described Hamas as “a murderous terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel.”  I cannot think of a better description of Hamas myself.


Apr. 23, 2014

During Holy Week each year, plus or minus a couple of weeks before and after, the number of emails about my Good Thursday commentary skyrockets.  The vast majority of the emails are from people who are convinced of my position after reading what I have written.

However, there are some die-hard, often intransigent advocates of either a “Good Friday” crucifixion or a “Good Wednesday” crucifixion.  I have heard virtually all of their arguments over the past 25 or so years, and none of them have convinced me of their views.  I posted a couple of responses to “Good Friday” advocates on Apr. 18.

The foundational assumption of those who promote a Wednesday crucifixion focuses on Jesus’ words that He would be in the heart of the earth for “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40).  Almost universally, they insist that this signifies a period of exactly 72 hours.

However, if the foundation of a theory is built on sand, as I believe this one is, then that theory is in danger of collapsing, as I believe this one has.  Since today is Wednesday, it seems like a good day to feature the most recent attempt to get me to consider that Jesus was crucified and died on a Wednesday.  Notice that the person who emailed me did not include even one specific Scripture reference from the Bible.


Apr. 21, 2014

At WalMart today, Easter candy was 50% off.  A friend wanted me to get a big batch for her, so I did.  It was quite a savings.  I might have a few chocolate eggs and a Reese’s peanut butter egg.

Half-price Easter candy

Apr. 20, 2014

This is the Feast of Firstfruits or Resurrection Day.  It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead.  Eventually, all who believe in His blood atonement for their sins will do the same.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The majority of these resurrections, I believe, will take place at the main Rapture event.  These glorified saints never will need to fear God’s severe judgment, and they will be exempt from His righteous wrath.

During the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits fell on the date of Aviv 17 on the Hebraic calendar.  It was the same date that Noah’s ark landed and rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4).  On that day, Noah and his family were safe and secure from harm, with no further chance of sinking or drowning.

Someone looking at my Holy Week chart questioned me about this.  Here is my response:


Apr. 18, 2014

Today is “Good Friday,” traditionally accepted as the day that Jesus was crucified and died.  I do not believe that myself.  Here are my email responses to two people convinced of a Friday crucifixion:

Personally, I am convinced that Jesus' crucifixion and death took place on Good Thursday.  Most would refer to that day (yesterday) as Holy Thursday or “Maundy Thursday.”  At a local church service last night, this excellent video (under 30 minutes) was shown:

That the World May
Know, in Gethsemane

After the Passover meal, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42).  This was an olive grove (John 18:1) on the side of the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39).

The name “Gethsemane” originates from the Hebrew terms gath (press) and shemenim (oil or oils), from which is derived “oil press.”  So either next to or within the olive grove was a gath shemenim.  There, where every bit of oil was pressed out of the olives, Jesus was pressured to the point of extreme, unfathomable mental and spiritual distress and agony.

Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled, and His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow (Mark 14:33,34), even to the point of sweating drops of blood (Luke 22:44).  He knew that He had to endure shame, disgrace, scorn, insults, and torture at the hands of those who hated Him without reason (Psalm 69:1-21).

Cup of God's WrathThe term “deeply distressed” actually means “sudden shocking awareness”; and the word “troubled” indicates “sheer terror.”  Although Jesus was the Son of God, He also was the Son of Man.  Jesus’ human nature—which was sinless and innocent, unlike that of any other human being—was wrestling with the fact that He was about to drink the cup of God’s fury, wrath, and damnation (Jeremiah 25:15-38).

God’s wrath ultimately will be poured out upon those who do not acknowledge Him or call on His name (Psalm 79:6)  But God will deliver, forgive, and avenge the outpoured blood of His servants (79:10).  His wrath will be spared from those who humble themselves, understand that they have sinned against a perfect God, and know that even their best acts are like “filthy rags” in the sight of a righteous God (Isaiah 64:5,6).

Jesus wanted nothing more than for that foreboding cup of God’s wrath to be withdrawn from Him so that He did not have to “drink” from it; yet, He was willing to sacrifice His own will for the will of His Father (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11), on our behalf.  As we acknowledge and accept Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Christ) as our Lord, and as our Savior from God’s wrath, and as we follow in His footsteps, let us be willing to sacrifice our own wills for the good and perfect will of our heavenly Father.

Thank you, Jesus, for being our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7b) and for sacrificing yourself for our countless sins and transgressions.  We long, more than anything, to witness your return to earth, when you will walk again on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) and will set up your Kingdom over the whole earth (14:9) for 1,000 years: the Millennium.  What a glorious day of rejoicing that will be!


Apr. 15, 2014

Very early today (Passover), while it still was dark, there was a total eclipse of the moon.  The time of maximum totality was 12:46 a.m. PDT = 3:46 EDT.  I was up watching it, off and on, for almost two hours.  It was pretty awesome.  This was the first of four Blood Moons on Hebraic Feast and Holy Days during 2014 and 2015.

To the right and down a bit from the moon, the bright star Spica could be seen.  Further up and to the right, Mars was visible.  Mars is the closest to the earth that it has been in 6˝ years, as described in my Apr. 8 entry.

   
8-second slideshow

Tonight, I attended a traditional Jewish Passover Seder.  It was well-attended, and the rabbi did an excellent job of going through the haggadah.  Besides all that, the food was outstanding.

       

       

       

       
50-second slideshow

I’m still looking forward to the day when Elijah shows up and sits in the empty chair.  I continue to suspect that he will be one of the two witnesses who will foretell the imminent return of the Messiah, Yeshua, in the clouds.


Apr. 14, 2014

The day of Passover, also known as Preparation Day, begins at sunset this evening and continues through tomorrow.  The day of the week on which Passover takes place varies from year to year on the regular calendar.

Yeshua/Jesus was crucified on Passover.  He died at the same time the Passover lamb was slaughtered in the temple in Jerusalem.  Indeed, he was our ultimate Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7b).  It was predestined from the foundation of the world for him to be slain (Revelation 13:8b).

Lunar Eclipse or 'Blood Moon'Traditionally, Christians have believed that Jesus died on Good Friday.  However, I am absolutely convinced that He was crucified and died on Good Thursday.  (If you do a web search for Good Thursday on Google or Bing, a link to my commentary should be one of the top 2 or 3 links on the page.)

Across North America, and in most of South America, a total eclipse of the moon can be seen tonight.  In most places, especially in the eastern sections of the viewable area, it will begin after midnight (shortly before 2:00 a.m. EDT).  Many are referring to it as a “blood moon” because the moon will appear reddish in color when the eclipse is full.

This will be the first of six eclipses—four lunar and two solar—occurring on Jewish feast and holy days in 2014 and 2015.  My chart showing this can be seen here: Lunar and Solar Eclipses: 2014 & 2015.

Four lunar eclipses, or a “tetrad of blood moons,” taking place in two consecutive years is rare.  Several times in the past, it has been associated with negative events occurring in Israel or to Jews in certain locations in the world, whether soon before, during, or soon after the period of the four lunar eclipses.

It also has been said that solar eclipses during these periods are bad omens for the nations in general.  Whether or not these things will be true during 2014 and 2015 remains to be seen.  My Blood Moons on Hebraic Feast and Holy Days page, which includes the six eclipses during 2014 and 2015, shows several “tetrads of blood moons” in the past.


Apr. 13, 2014

This is “Palm Sunday,” the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  This was prophesied to take place centuries before it happened:

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

Apr. 11, 2014

Joe Biden, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, Barack Obama, and Kathleen SebeliusThe Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, has resigned.  Pending upcoming congressional approval, she will be replaced by Sylvia Matthews Burwell, who presently is the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Sebelius' Slow-Motion
Resignation From the Cabinet

Obamacare has been a disaster since the rollout of its website on Oct. 1, 2013.  Kathleen Sebelius has been the “face” of this failing law ever since.  It is about time that she leaves her post.

Over four years ago, on Mar. 23, 2010, President Obama signed the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (or Obamacare) into law.  Although Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama Administration claim that over 7 million people have signed up for Obamacare, it is unknown how many of them actually have paid their initial premiums.  Until they do, their insurance policies will not go into effect.

Furthermore, is a fact that several million people also have had their health insurance policies canceled by their insurance companies since Oct. 1, 2013.  Most likely, many of these are those who have signed up for Obamacare, rather than new people who previously did not have any health insurance at all.


Apr. 9, 2014

Many Christians wonder about whether or not the historical patriarchs in the Bible—such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph—were saved unto eternal life, since they lived before Jesus walked the earth.  Some also wonder if there is any possibility that people who never have heard of Jesus could be saved.  I have responsed to these and related questions here:


Apr. 8, 2014

MarsTonight, Mars, Earth, and the sun will be in a direct line.  This happens only every 26 months.  Mars also will be much closer to Earth than it normally is, as well as the brightest that it has been in 6˝ years.

Awesome alignment: Mars,
Earth, sun to line up Tuesday


Mars, Earth and Sun Align Tonight

A week from last night (Apr. 14 and past midnight into Apr. 15), when a lunar eclipse will be taking place, the view of Mars nearby should be spectacular.


Apr. 4, 2014

Today is the fourth anniversary of the 7.2 Baja California earthquake.  It shook all of Southern California, as well as parts of Nevada and Arizona, at 3:40 pm on Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday), Apr. 4, 2010.

Although I was not there at the time, several friends from San Diego to Los Angeles told me they were majorly rocked.  I knew how that felt, as I have felt many quakes, including the 7.3 Landers earthquake and the 6.5 Big Bear earthquake, both on the same day in 1992, and the 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994.

A large earthquake is quite unnerving.  There is a general feeling of helplessness, since there is nothing you can do to stop it, nor anywhere you can go to escape it.

There seems to have been a notable increase in global earthquakes over the past 3˝ weeks, many of which have been in California:

   • April 3   | 7.7 | Iquique, Chile
   • April 3   | 6.5 | Iquique, Chile
   • April 1   | 6.9 | Iquique, Chile
   • April 1   | 8.2 | Iquique, Chile
• March 30 | 4.8 | Yellowstone, Wyoming
• March 30 | 4.3 | Crescent, Oklahoma
• March 29 | 4.1 | Rowland Heights, California
• March 29 | 5.1 | La Habra, California
    • March 26 | 6.5 | Fiji Islands
• March 21 | 6.5 | Mohean, India
• March 17 | 4.4 | Westwood, California
• March 16 | 6.7 | Iquique, Chile
• March 15 | 6.3 | Sechura, Peru
• March 13 | 6.3 | Kunisaki-shi, Japan
• March 11 | 6.4 | Sandwich Islands
• March 10 | 6.8 | Ferndale, California

Inevitably, California will be struck with an 8.0+ quake that will cause tremendous damage and loss of life.  No one living in the state is looking forward to that.


Apr. 3, 2014

Someone sent me the following cartoon.  I do not see it as a joke; I feel it should be taken very seriously:

The Guardrail: God's Commands

Apr. 1, 2014

A good friend and I have extremely similar views about God and the Bible (although he prefers the KJV, and I prefer the NIV).  Also, we both love Israel.  He has been there a few times, but I never have.

Here, you can see a few of the photos he took the last time he was there:

Tim’s Israel Photos
Summer 2012

He’s such a nice guy that he sends me gifts sometimes.  For instance, my keychain has a menorah on it, which he brought back from Israel, that I really like.

Today, I received a package from him filled with cool gifts.  My favorite was a painting he did of Moses parting the Red Sea.  I really like all of the colors in it.

He painted it on a 14" x 10˝" canvas while looking at the original picture on a postcard.  I don’t think I would have the spatial transference ability to do that, but he does.  I am honored that he sent it to me, as he could have sent it to anyone else.

He also send me an Eretz Yisrael calendar and a Hawai’i calendar.  I now have his painting and the Eretz Yisrael calendar on the wall behind my desk, and the Hawai’i calendar is hanging in another room.

Another thing he sent me was a book by Brad Scott.  I’ve enjoyed many of his programs on God’s Learning Channel, so I’m sure I will like the book.

I do not have a lot of time to sit down and read, but I do it at least once a week after I order the breakfast combo at Subway on Shabbat (Saturday) morning and sometimes on Sunday morning.  Presently, I am reading The Return of the Kosher Pig (www.kosherpig.org) by Rabbi Itzhak Shapira.  It provides a great deal of evidence demonstrating the divinity and deity of Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Christ) from a Hebraic/Jewish perspective.  I plan to send this book to Tim.

Finally, Tim sent me six packets of spicy green peas.  He knows that I like hot stuff a lot...the hotter, the better. 

         
15-second slideshow

Please pray for my friend, who loves God very much.  He is one of the most selfless and humble people I’ve ever known, even though he would deny that he is.  I’ve seen him sharing the gospel message with total strangers on the street or in parks.  He will be receiving bountiful rewards—a great deal more than I will—when Yeshua returns.

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