Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
April thru June, 2015


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June 30, 2015

After being on the verge of default yesterday, Greece defaulted on its payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today.  If Greece ultimately is unable to pay its debts, or to finance its domestic obligations, the country’s economy and financial system most likely would collapse.

Greece defaults on IMF payment despite
last-minute overtures to creditors

Greek voters will decide in a referendum on July 5 whether their government will support the tough economic overhauls and budget cuts that creditors are requiring for more emergency cash.  European officials are casting the referendum as a decision whether or not Greek voters want to stay in the eurozone.

Greece even had one extra second today to pay its debt.  A “leap second” was added to the Coordinated Universal Time, due to a fractional slowing of the earth’s rotation.  The only time there is a “60” in the seconds position is when a leap second is added.


June 29, 2015

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 350.33 points, or 1.95%, today.  This was the largest one-day drop since 2013.  The big sell-off is due to fears about what is happening with Greece’s financial situation.

Greece owes about €330 billion ($367 billion) to creditors, mostly the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other European nations.  The country faces a critical deadline tomorrow, June 30, when a loan payment of €1.5 billion ($1.7 billlion) payment to the IMF is due.

Many think that Greece will default on this payment.  If so it will be the biggest country in history to default on its debt.

Dow Plunges 350 Points,
Worst Drop of 2015,
Amid Ongoing Greek Crisis

The word “Grexit” has been floating around.  This is an abbreviation for “Greek exit” and refers to Greece’s potential withdrawal from the eurozone.  Should that happen, Greece might have to revert to using the drachma, which was its currency until 2001, rather than the euro.


June 28, 2015

In ancient Israel, the prophet Isaiah lived during the 8th century B.C.  He was the greatest prophet of all.  For instance, he correctly predicted both the destruction of Israel by Assyria and the destruction of Judah by Babylon (Isaiah 7:17-25, 39:5-7).

Isaiah also made numerous prophecies about the coming Messiah, who would be a suffering servant (at His first coming) and a ruling king (at His second coming).  One of the greatest chapters in the entire Bible is Isaiah 53.

Traditional Judaism most often identifies the entity in Isaiah 53 as the nation of Israel, which has suffered greatly throughout history.  Christians see this entity as describing aspects of the suffering Yeshua/Jesus, whose affliction brought healing, hope, and deliverance to the world.  Here is one passage:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.   He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-7)

Day of Discovery Ministries has released a four-part video series focusing on Isaiah 53, from both Jewish and Christian perspectives.  The videos, each under 30 minutes in length, can be viewed here:

The Mysterious Prophecy of Isaiah 53 — Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

June 26, 2015

Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation, in all 50 states.  Here is the 103-page Supreme Court syllabus for this case, along with justice opinions and dissents:

Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director,
Ohio Department of Health, et al.

Included is a requirement of every state to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state.  This is one of the most momentous and culturally significant rulings in American history.

Supreme Court Says Same-Sex
Marriage Is a Constitutional Right

President Obama called the same-sex marriage ruling a “victory for America.”  He also said, “This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality.  In doing so, they have reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law, that all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.  Today we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we made our union a little more perfect.”

However, this directly conflicts with Mr. Obama’s view when he first ran for the office of President of the United States.  At that time he said that, as a Christian, he believed marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.  He also said that, historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution; rather, our tradition has been a matter of state law.  View this short video from 2008:

White House with rainbow colorsTonight, the White House is saturated with rainbow colors, clearly displaying approval of today’s victory for gays.  So much for Barack Obama’s alleged “Christian values” in originally deeming that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.

For decades, I have felt that God’s ultimate judgment on the United States has been dependent upon the way this nation deals with three major issues:

  • rights of unborn children,
  • treatment of Israel, and
  • traditional marriage.

Abortion was legalized in 1973.  The U.S. has become less and less friendly toward Israel, especially during the Obama administration for the past 6½ years.  And, today, the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.  Since the foundational meaning of marriage (Genesis 2:23,24; Matthew 19:4,5; Ephesians 5:31,33) has been fundamentally transformed, anything else could follow.  This very well might lead to polygamy—and even the “right” to marry animals, children, and inanimate objects.

I fear that there now will be an increase in harassment and aggression against traditional organizations, including churches, across the nation.  I also greatly fear that God finally may have had enough of America’s wandering away from His fundamental precepts and commandments and soon will remove His protective hand from our nation.  It would not surprise me if there are significant terror attacks, on U.S. soil, this Summer, Fall, and beyond.


June 25, 2015

Today, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obamacare subsidies nationwide.  Here is the 47-page Supreme Court syllabus for this case, along with justice opinions and dissents:

KING et al. v. Burwell, Secretary of
Health and Human Services, et al.

The court ruled that subsidies are valid even in states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges.  About 8.7 million Americans receive a subsidy.

Obamacare survives at
the Supreme Court, again

The case revolved around four key words in the Affordable Care Act law: “established by the State.”  The law was written to persuade each state to establish an exchange, where its residents would have to go to obtain health insurance.  Many states did not set up exchanges, though, which should have stopped Obamacare in its tracks and forced the Congress to make needed changes in the law.

However, the Supreme Court has changed the meaning of the word “State” to mean the federal government, even though this was not that word’s original intent.  Chief Justice John Roberts, who said that the meaning of the “established by the State” phrase was “ambiguous,” authored the opinion in favor of this stunning and confounding change.

Obamacare survives at
the Supreme Court, again

This was the second time that Roberts has been a positive vote and voice for Obamacare, the first time being on June 28, 2012.  Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

As expected, President Obama was very happy with the Supreme Court’s ruling.  In a Rose Garden speech, he declared, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”  He added, “Five years in, this is no longer about a law.  This is not about the Affordable Care Act as legislation, or Obamacare as a political football.  This is health care in America.”

I am extremely disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision pertaining to the UN-Affordable Care Act, which was passed solely by Democrats in the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009, passed by the House of Representatives on Mar. 21, 2010, and signed into law by Barack Obama on Mar. 23, 2010.  Due to the complications of Obamacare, I lost my own health insurance in 2014.

Furthermore, I am very disillusioned with the three branches of the U.S. government.  The Legislative branch (Senate and House) is the only one that is supposed to make laws, and Obamacare was an atrocious and horrendous law.

The Executive branch (President, Vice President, and Cabinet) is supposed to execute or carry out these laws.  However, President Obama has issued his own laws in the form of executive orders, several of which have been illegal.

The Judicial branch is supposed to evaluate laws.  Today’s ruling is a prime example of how the Supreme Court has failed to interpret the letter of the law but, rather, has rewritten the law, which also is illegal.

All of this makes me long for the coming of Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Christ), when He will bring the Kingdom of God to earth.  Only He will govern with absolute fairness and righteousness because He is the ultimate fulfillment of the Law/Torah.


June 24, 2015

There are many who challenge the deity of Jesus.  One argument points out how Colossians 1:15 says that He is “the firstborn over all creation.”

The assertion is that this means God created Jesus before everything else was created; and since Jesus was created, then He cannot be God.  Here is my response to someone raising this question:


June 21, 2015

On this first day of summer, 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:

     
12-second slideshow

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 19, 2015

The bond hearing of Dylann Roof took place today.  Roof, 21, ruthlessly murdered nine members of the AME church in Charleston, SC, two nights ago.  This was after a prayer meeting, at which Roof was graciously welcomed by those he later killed.

At the bond hearing, Judge James B. Gosnell Jr. gave family members of the shooting victims the opportunity to speak.  Roof was able to hear everything they said.

Many of those who spoke offered amazing words of forgiveness to Roof.  These words can be read in the following article and heard in the video:

The powerful words of forgiveness delivered
to Dylann Roof by victims' relatives

The hearts of these exceptional people are extraordinary, and they are to be greatly commended.  They are very powerful examples of doing what Jesus said:

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (Mark 11:25)

Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:37,38)

Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves, and love is stronger than hate.  I believe that those who have forgiven the wicked man who murdered their loved ones will receive many blessings in their lives here on earth and great rewards after Jesus returns to rule and reign.


June 16, 2015

An incredible young man, 16-year-old Hunter Treschl, was interviewed in his hospital bed today.  This was at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Two days ago, he was attacked by a shark, which bit off most of his left arm, in waist-deep water near a NC beach.  It was the second shark attack off the NC shore in about 90 minutes.

North Carolina shark attack
victim: "I didn't see it coming"

I am amazed at how calmly and articulately Hunter, only two days after a life-changing event, described what had happened to him.  Moreover, I am extremely impressed how determined he is to “fight and live a normal life.”

I know that I will be praying for Hunter to have an enjoyable and successful life, and I ask others to do the same.  He has my utmost admiration and esteem, as he is a solid example of the best way to respond to unexpected adversity.


June 14, 2015

Happy Flag Day, fellow Americans!  Proudly display a flag on your house or on your desk at work today.

Flag Day USA

Here are places where the U.S. flag can be flown 24 hours a day, every day of the year:

  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
    Baltimore, Maryland (Presidential Proclamation No.2795, July 2, 1948)
  • Flag House Square (Mary Pickersgill's "Star Spangled" House)
    Baltimore Maryland (Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954)
  • United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima)
    Arlington, Virginia (Presidential Proclamation No.3418, June 12, 1961)
  • On the Green of the Town of Lexington
    Massachusetts (Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965)
  • The White House
    Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4000, September 4. 1970)
  • Washington Monument
    Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4064, July 6,1971, effective July 4, 1971)
  • United States Customs Ports of Entry
    which are continually open (Presidential Proclamation No.4131, May 5, 1972)
  • Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park
    Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, 1975)

June 12, 2015

Barack Obama & Nancy PelosiThe House of Representatives failed to pass a crucial piece of the White House’s trade agenda today.  This happened despite pleas by President Obama to support the bill.

Surprisingly, a great number of Democrats voted to kill the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which would have granted aid to trade workers.  House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was included in that group.

Obama Loses: Pacific Free Trade Vote Fails In
House As Democrats Rebuff President's Appeals

The Trade Adjustment Assistance received just 40 Democrat backers, while 144 voted against it.  On the Republican side, there were 58 “no” votes and 86 “yes” votes.


June 8, 2015

USA.comI was looking for statistics about U.S. states and cities.  I came upon an interesting website, USA.com, that contains a numerous stats about each.

In the search field near the top, you can type in a state, county, city, zip code, or area code.  Alternately, you can click on a state on the large map.  The page that comes up will provide basic information about that state.

Then you can scroll down the page and click on area codes, counties, and cities/towns in the state.  I clicked on California and then San Diego and found out a great deal of information about both.

Most of the stats are based on the 2010 census results.  I wanted to know more recent population stats for states and cities.  I found the following 2014 population estimates at Wikipedia.  Click here to see the chart I made.


June 6, 2015

American Pharoah, winner of the Triple Crown, ridden by jockey Victor EspinozaFor the first time since 1978, there is a Triple Crown winner.  American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby on May 2, the Preakness Stakes on May 16, and the Belmont Stakes today.

American Pharoah is the twelfth winner of the Triple Crown.  He is owned by Egyptian-born Ahmed Zayat.  The horse was trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza.

American Pharoah claims
first Triple Crown since 1978

I’d like to ask Ahmed Zayat why he spelled his horse’s name Pharoah.  In ancient Egypt, the ruler was Pharaoh (Exodus 1:11,19,22).

Here is a list of all of the Triple Crown winners:

1919 — Sir Barton
1930 — Gallant Fox
1935 — Omaha
1937 — War Admiral
1941 — Whirlaway
1943 — Count Fleet
      1946 — Assault
1948 — Citation
1973 — Secretariat
1977 — Seattle Slew
1978 — Affirmed
2015 — American Pharoah

     

June 5, 2015

Many non-Christians have wondered, for centuries, about the beliefs professed by Christians.  These include questions about whether or not Jesus performed actual miracles and was raised from the dead.

These are events recorded in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  But there also are things recorded in so-called “gnostic gospels”—such as Thomas, Judas, Philip, and Mary—that have raised questions in the minds of some.

Day of Discovery Ministries has released a two-part video series addressing some of these questions.  The videos, each under 30 minutes in length, can be viewed here:

Jesus and the Gospels: Answers to Tough Questions — Part I | Part II

June 2, 2015

The Senate passed a House bill today that reforms the Patriot Act, which expired two days ago.  It is called the USA Freedom Act, and President Obama signed it into law this evening.

With passage of USA Freedom Act,
Congress tweaks security-privacy balance

June 1, 2015

Yesterday, the Senate was unable to pass a temporary extension of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying authority.  This allowed several surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act, including one that collects and stores phone records from nearly every American, to expire at midnight.  The Patriot Act has been in effect since Oct. 26, 2001.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set up another procedural vote on the USA Freedom Act on Tuesday.  The Senate will try to pass an amended version of that bill this week and send it back to the House for final passage.

NSA bulk phone data collection program
expires after Senate misses deadline

May 29, 2015

U.S. ConstitutionU.S. Marine Jon Ritzheimer has organized a Freedom of Speech Rally II in Phoenix, AZ.  It is to be held in front of the Islamic Community Center.

Ritzheimer says that this rally is in response to the attack, by two Islamic jihadists, on the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) event on May 4.  This “Draw Muhammad” contest took place in Garland, TX.

Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi drove all the way from Phoenix, AZ, to shoot attendees at the event; but they both were shot dead by police before they could harm anyone.  Simpson and Soofi had attended a mosque in Phoenix.

Anti-Islam, Free Speech Rally to Be Held
at Islamic Community Center This Friday

May 26, 2015

I saw two items on the news today that impressed me.  Both of them happened last week.  One was a spontaneous prayer given by a student, Christian Crawford, at a high school graduation ceremony in Alabama.

He did this because someone in the audience began to experience a medical emergency.  I hope that God blesses Christian for being bold enough to speak those words to all those who were in attendance.

"Holy Spirit Began to Speak in Me,"
Says Alabama Student Who Gave
Spontaneous Graduation Prayer for
Woman Suffering Medical Emergency

A couple of days later, in North Carolina, a young couple was about to get married.  Following tradition, Marine Corporal Caleb Earwood did not look at his bride-to-be, Maggie, before the ceremony.

As they faced different directions and held hands, Caleb asked God’s blessing on their marriage.  I hope that God will bless their lifelong marriage greatly.

Photo of Marine Praying
With Bride-to-Be Goes Viral

Here are two young men who were not hesitant to pray publicly  Good for them.  May God use them, all their lives, to glorify Him before others.


May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day.  Today we honor those who have fought, and especially those who have died, for us.

Happy Memorial Day

May 24, 2015

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.


May 23, 2015

There are many Christians, including myself, who observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (today), as stated in Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, and Leviticus 23:3.  Most who believe this will observe the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.

On the other hand, some feel that the Sabbath begins at sunrise or dawn and runs until sunset on Saturday.  As support for this, they use the fact that God called the light "day" (Genesis 1:5). Thus, they observe it only during daylight hours.  My response to that is here:


May 20, 2015

Late Show with David LettermanAfter 35 years on TV, tonight was David Letterman’s final show.  Over the decades, I have not watched his Late Show too much, as I found him to be only mildly humorous and interesting.  For me, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno were funnier and more entertaining.

One segment of Letterman’s show that sometimes gave me a few laughs, though, was his Top Ten List.  Last night, ten celebrities appeared on the program to give this final list: “The Top Ten Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to David Letterman”:

It was sort of funny.  I thought the five presidents saying, “Our long national nightmare is over,” was funnier.

I did watch the entire Late Show finale, which lasted 1 hour 17 minutes.  Then I yawned really wide and went to bed. 


May 16, 2015

Most Christians observe the Sabbath on Sunday.  Many of them do this because they consider Sunday to be the “Lord’s Day,” since it was the day that Jesus rose from the dead.

Yet, there is nothing in the Bible that equates the “Lord’s Day” either with Jesus’s resurrection day or with the first day of the week. More details about this can be found in one of my email responses here:


May 15, 2015

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sentenced to deathToday in Boston, a federal court handed down the death penalty to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  He and his brother, Tamerlan, exploded two bombs at the Boston marathon on Apr. 15, 2013, exactly 25 months ago today.  Four days later, on Apr. 19, Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar was taken into custody.

Tsarnaev was convicted on all 30 counts against him on Apr. 8 of this year.  There will be an automatic appeal to overturn the death penalty for Tsarnaev.  However, even if the appeal is unsuccessful, it probably will be several years before the punishment, by lethal injection, is administered.

Jurors sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
to death for Boston Marathon bombing

I have heard that Dzhokhar was hoping for the death penalty.  If so, perhaps this was because he did not like the prospect of spending the rest of his life confined to a small prison cell.  Or perhaps he has been thinking about the unending luxury, abundance of fruits and drinks, and chaste females (virgins) that allegedly will be his in paradise, according to the Qur´an (Sâd: 49-54).

Of course, these are merely false promises and idealistic fantasies that most Muslim men seem to have accepted as fact and look forward to with great antipation.  It is just one of the many countless deceptions in Islam.


May 14, 2015

Believers in Islam have a difficult time comprehending the Trinity of God, whom they see as monotheistic.  They feel that Christians worship three Gods, and to them that is blasphemous.  Here is my response to a Muslim about this topic:


May 11, 2015

Anyone who believes in God has wondered why, if He is so good, so many bad things happen in the world and in our own lives.  My simple response to that is to quote what God said about it:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)

Basically, it is beyond our ability to fathom the way God does things and the reasons He allows events to happen.  I believe that, after Yeshua/Jesus returns, He will enable us to comprehend, on a higher level, God’s vast thoughts and ways, and His great Plan will make a great deal more sense to us.

Day of Discovery Ministries has put out a two-part video series helping to explain why bad things happen, even though we have a good God.  The videos, each under 30 minutes in length, can be viewed here:

If God is God, Why do Bad Things Happen? — Part I | Part II

May 8, 2015

Flyover of vintage WWII aircraft in Washington, D.C.Today is the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day or VE Day.  It marked the end of World War II in Europe.  That happened eight days after Adolf Hitler committed suicide, on Apr. 30.

Today, World War II there was a flyover of vintage aircraft near the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  It commemorated the Allied victory in Europe during World War II exactly 70 years ago.

US, Europe Mark 70th Anniversary of VE Day

         
15-second slideshow

Unfortunately, even with Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces, Japan officials refused to accept the Allies’ demands for unconditional surrender.  Had they done so, it would have prevented the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki three months later.


In other news, Judicial Watch recently filed a lawsuit, on behalf of the Alliance for Defending Freedom, against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  It is an attempt to obtain documents pertaining to the decision by the IRS to re-evaluate the criteria it uses to determine the tax-exempt status of churches and investigations into church activities.

In July 2014, a request was sent to the IRS requesting documents for the previous 5½ years.  The IRS invoked its own extensions to process the request in August, September, and November 2014 and in January 2015.  As of March 31, 2015, the IRS still had not complied with the request.  Thus, the lawsuit has been filed, stating that the IRS is unlawfully withholding the records requested.

Obama IRS Targets Churches

Most likely, Christian churches in the U.S. will continue to be investigated by governmental agencies, including the IRS.  Furthermore, the Supreme Court may announce in June that same-sex marriages are legal nationwide.  As we approach the end of the age, there will continue to be an escalation in the persecution of churches and the Christians who attend them.


May 7, 2015

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and it was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  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.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

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

May 6, 2015

ISIS with flagsAn online threat has been released by ISIS.  It was posted by Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki and indicates that they are increasing in number bithnillah or with the permission of Allah.  Click here to read the threat.

The terrorist group says they intend to slaughter Pamela Geller and also will target those who protect her.  The terrorists also claim to have 71 fighters in 15 different states, and 23 already have signed up for missions like the failed attack in Garland, Texas, on May 4.

Purported ISIS warning claims
terror cells in place in 15 states

Geller has responded as follows:

This threat illustrates the savagery and barbarism of the Islamic State.  They want me dead for violating Sharia blasphemy laws.  What remains to be seen is whether the free world will finally wake up and stand for the freedom of speech, or instead kowtow to this evil and continue to denounce me.
Of the 15 states in which ISIS claims to have soldiers ready to attack when the word is given, 5 states were listed in the threat: Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan.  There also was a statement that “the next six months will be interesting.”

May 4, 2015

Elton Simpson and Nadir SoofiInvestigations continue today following an attack at an American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) event in Garland, TX.  This is where the Islamic conference, “Stand with the Prophet in Honor & Respect” (mentioned in my Jan. 13 entry) took place on Jan. 17.

Last night, two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, began shooting at police outside the Curtis Culwell Center.  The two were shot dead.

Just prior to the attack, one of the shooters tweeted this message: “The bro with me and myself have given bay'ah to Amirul Mu'mineen. May Allah accept us as mujahideen. Make dua...#texasattack.”  The FBI now is searching a residence in Phoenix, AZ, where both men apparently lived.

Pamela Geller holding anti-Jewish sign from Hamas MTVThis was a terror attack by members of radical Islam, resulting from their outrage over a Muhammad art exhibit and contest.  It featured drawings of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad.  The Islamic State or ISIS has claimed credit for the attacks, and it is threatening future attacks on the U.S.

Pamela Geller, president of the AFDI, spoke at the event.  After the shootings, she said that this was an attack on free speech.  Another speaker was Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, producers of the film Fitna.

Police searching car, apartment
after shooting outside Muhammad
cartoon contest in Texas

If there are those who do not like what you say or do while exercising your right of free speech, does that give them the right to come and try to kill you?  An increasing number of radical Islamic jihadists believe they they have that right, and this intolerance is going to continue spreading.


May 2, 2015

I last organized my vitamins and supplements into individual compartments on Dec. 13, 2014.  Each day, I take the following: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, and E; magnesium, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine and chondroitin.

140 days of vitamins  Individual vitamins

The supply that I keep on-hand lasts for 20 weeks (140 days).  My present supply will take me until Sep. 19, 2015.  Keeping them in the refrigerator prevents them from losing their potency.


May 1, 2015

After days of protesting and rioting in Baltimore, Maryland State Attorney for the city of Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, announced this morning that Freddie Gray’s death in police custody was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.  She added that there is sufficient probable cause to file criminal charges against the six officers involved.

Now, the six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray will face criminal charges, ranging from murder to manslaughter to assault.  The driver of the police van has been charged with second-degree murder, while three officers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.  Other officers have been charged with assault in connection with Gray’s death.

There are many details to this case that need to be uncovered.  Pray that God will reveal the truth and that justice will be served.


Apr. 29, 2015

There are pre-incarnate and post-incarnate appearances of Jesus in the Bible.  A couple of these are mentioned in an email response I have written here:


Apr. 26, 2015

7.8 Nepal earthquake, April 25, 2015A large 7.8 earthquake rocked Nepal yesterday, Apr. 25.  It also was felt in surrounding countries, including Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan.

Numerous aftershocks have followed the initial quake, including a 6.6 quake yesterday and a 6.7 quake today, as well as numerous 4.0+ and 5.0+ shakers.

Part of a camp at the base of Mt. Everest was buried by an avalanche, triggered by the 7.8 quake.  Of those people who were preparing to climb the tallest mountain on earth (8,848 meters = 29,029 feet = 5.5 miles), there were at least 18 deaths and 61 injuries.  There are climbers on Mt. Everest whose trek down the mountain now has become more hazardous.

So far, the death toll from the main temblor is over 2,500, including over 1,150 people in the capital, Kathmandu.  Thousands are homeless.  All of these numbers are expected to escalate.

Aftershocks terrify survivors
of quake that killed 2,500

         

         
30-second slideshow

Immense damage has been done to areas with poorly constructed buildings.  Countless terrified people are taking refuge in makeshift tents and on city streets and golf courses, being shaken by frequent aftershocks.  All these unfortunate people desparately need our prayers and help.

Volunteers and aid have been pouring into Nepal from all over the world.  One of my favorite organizations that is doing this is Samaritan’s Purse.  The President and CEO is Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), who has devoted his life to helping disadvantaged people around the world.

Samaritan’s Purse Volunteers Deploying to Nepal

Apr. 23, 2015

Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).  Someone asked me why the apostles, as recorded in the book of Acts, baptized only in the name of the Lord Jesus or Jesus Christ.  Here is my reply:


Apr. 20, 2015

Murders of Christians by ISISMembers of the violent Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) have been murdering innocent people for some time.  Here are a couple of recent examples where Christians were killed:

ISIS releases video purportedly showing
killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya


Ethiopians shocked by Islamic State killings

Furthermore, six Somali-Americans have been arrested in Minneapolis and San Diego and charged with terrorism.  They have been accused of traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.  There already have been numerous examples of others like this in the USA:

Six from Minnesota charged
with trying to join Islamic State

Our prayers need to go out to Christians, throughout the world, who are being persecuted and killed for their faith.  Furthermore, members of radical Islam are murdering those of all religions, including moderate Muslims, who do not agree with them.  All of these need our prayers as well.  Such attacks are on the increase, and they will continue escalating until the end of the age.

Many consider Islam to be a religion of “peace.”  Yet, according to numerous passages in the Qur´an, Islam is at war against those, including Christians, who do not submit to Allah or follow the tenets of Islam.  More details about this can be found in an email reaponse I wrote to someone here:

Christian believers who are not yet under attack by Islam need to consider that, with time, it may happen to them.  They need to decide whether, at that time, they will give their allegiance to the Father and Son, Jesus, or to Allah and his prophet, Muhammad.  I know what my decision will be:

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20,21)

The god of Islam wants people to die for him.  On the contrary, the one true God died and was raised for us so that those who believe in Him can have everlasting life.


Apr. 19, 2015

The first man, Adam, was made from the dust of the ground, and God told him that he would return to dust:

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19)

The name “Adam” is linked to adamah, the Hebrew for ground or earth.  Besides originating from and returning to dust, Adam tilled the soil in the Garden of Eden, as well as after he left the garden.

Humans and animals consume plants of all different types that grow in soil.  The richer the soil is in nutrients and organic materials, the more life-sustaining qualities it has.

The best video series I have seen about soil and it’s unparalleled value to life was produced by Day of Discovery Ministries.  These videos show how something as common as the earth’s soil was created by God for our benefit, and without it we could not exist.  The videos, each under 30 minutes in length, can be viewed here:

Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life — Part I | Part II

Apr. 15, 2015

This is tax day in the USA.  Sometimes it is difficult to justify paying taxes to a government that has mismanaged its revenue so colossally.  Yet, the apostle Paul stated,

Give everyone what you owe him:  If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:7)

Indeed, the only things that are certain for most Americans are death and taxes.  The difference is that death does not get any worse everytime Congress meets.


Apr. 14, 2015

According to Judicial Watch, ISIS may be in the process of moving into western Texas and southern New Mexico.

ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas,
Mexican Authorities Confirm

If I lived in or near those areas, I would think about moving out.


Apr. 13, 2015

An interesting article has been written by an unknown author.  It talks about how co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, on Mar. 24, locked everybody out of the cockpit of Germanwings flight 9525.  Then, for the next 8 minutes, he guided the plane lower and lower until it crashed into the French Alps.

The article then makes an analogy between the 8 minutes of Andreas Lubitz and the 8 years of Barack Obama.  Perhaps America is heading for a similar, catastrophic crash.

The Crashing of America

Apr. 12, 2015

Today is Eastern Orthodox Easter, as compared to the Western Church Easter (Resurrection Day) that was observed a week ago on Apr. 5.  The discrepancy partly is due to the use of two different calendars: the Julian Calendar vs. the Gregorian Calendar.  But the full explanation for the disparity is much more complicated than that.

Why Does the Date of
Easter Change Every Year?

Apr. 10, 2015

Today is a good friend’s birthday.  She is hoping that people attending her “birthday” bash will write poems for her.  I don’t think I am creative enough to write a poem.  So even though I am not a good baker, I told her I’d make her a cake instead.

         
15-second slideshow

She wanted a chocolate cake, but she couldn’t decide if she wanted chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting.  So I used both.  I think this cake has the thickest frosting of any that I’ve ever seen.  My writing on the cake was kind of sloppy, but it turned out better than a poem would have. 


Apr. 6, 2015

This morning, I bought the most candy that I’ve ever gotten at once.  It was 241.2 ounces (a little over 15 pounds), which was 0.4 ounce more than the Christmas candy I got on Dec. 26, 2014.  I still have some of that left.

All of it was 50%-off “Easter” candy, but it wasn’t all for me, as I am not a big candy eater.  I got some for friends as well.  My favorite is any combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

15+ pounds of Easter candy

I was just thinking that the next time candy is half-off is the day after Halloween.  That’s okay because I think my share of today’s stash will last until then, probably with some left over. 


Apr. 5, 2015

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:


In other news, Arabs harrassed Jews touring the Temple Mount today.  Numerous threats were made.

Muslims Seethe as Jews Tour Temple
Mount on Chol Hamoed Pesach

This article details the history of Arab/Jewish hostility in Jerusalem since 1948:

The miracles of Passover and Easter in Israel

Apr. 4, 2015

Today is Passover, as well as a full moon.  Yeshua/Jesus fulfilled this Hebraic holy day by dying on the cross.  For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7b).  He died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to the Father (1 Peter 3:18).

I attended a wonderful Jewish Passover Seder tonight.  I enjoyed it as much as I did the Messianic Passover Seder last night.  The rabbi who officiated was very knowledgeable and went into depth about the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt and their being led into freedom by Moses, including crossing the Red Sea on dry ground (Exodus 12-14).

       

       
25-second slideshow

Apr. 3, 2015

Total lunar eclipse on Passover, April 4, 2015There will be a total eclipse of the moon very late tonight, well after midnight on Apr. 4.  In many places, it will be visible just before dawn.  The moon will have a reddish color, giving it a “blood moon” designation.

The totality phase will be one of the shortest ever recorded, being only about 5 minutes in length.  In fact, it will be the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.  For instance, in Southern California, the moon will be totally eclipsed only from about 5:57 to about 6:02 a.m.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible in western North America, eastern Asia, the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.  An unobstructed view of the western horizon will provide the best chance of seeing the total “blood moon.”

   
12-second slideshow

Passover, which is on Apr. 4, always takes place on a full moon.  This eclipse is the third of four “blood moons” on Hebraic feast and holy days during 2014 and 2015, which is highly unusual.

Many feel that this clumping of lunar eclipses in two consecutive years, on days that are important in Judaism, will portend bad events for Israel.  Perhaps, ill-fated occurrences might even begin during Passover week this year, although I certainly am hoping that this will not be the case.  We’ll see.  My very speculative commentary provides more information about this: End of the Age: 2020?

Our church put on a Messianic Passover Seder tonight.  It was extremely well done.  Yeshua, the Messiah and the true Passover Lamb, was at the center of everything.  Thank you, Yeshua, for dying for our sins, lying in the tomb, and rising again so that we can have eternal life

       

       
25-second slideshow

Apr. 2, 2015

Some call this day, during Holy Week, Maundy Thursday.  However, I call it Good Thursday.

The traditional belief is that Jesus’ crucifixion was on a Friday.  There are others who believe that His crucifixion took place on a Wednesday.  I explain why I discount both of these views in my crucifixion not on Friday and crucifixion not on Wednesday sections.  I also have responded to questions about this topic in the Good Thursday section of my email responses page.


In Israel, Rabbi Amram Vaknin is urging Jews to pray and repent.  He is saying this as the third blood moon of a tetrad cycle is approaching on Apr. 4.

Shocking Passover Blood Moon
Predictions by Israeli Rabbi

Apr. 1, 2015

The Iran nuclear talks continued in Switzerland today.  Yesterday was supposed to be the last day.  Representatives from Russia, China, and France already have left and gone home.  I keep waiting for one of those who are remaining to come out and say, “April Fool’s!”

Prime Minister Netanyahu has pointed out elements, apparently in the nuclear deal, that President Obama said last year that Iran does not need in order to have a peaceful program.  Netanyahu maintained that the biggest threat to Israel’s security continues to be Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon or weapons.

Netanyahu catches Obama in Iran-nuclear flip-flop

Iran’s uranium enrichment program is only one of many threats that Israel faces for its very existence.  That is no April Fool’s joke, either.  Pray for the safety of Jerusalem and Israel, even though prophecy indicates that they will be in great danger at the end of the age (see destruction of Jerusalem).

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