Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
April thru June, 2023

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June 30, 2023
Stock Market

Solar maximum and minimum activityOur sun’s Solar cycle, or solar magnetic activity cycle, lasts an average of 11 years.  It can be as short as 8 years and as long as 14 years.  The cycle lasts from a period of minimum solar activity to a period of maximum activity and back again to a period of minimum activity.

In our present Solar cycle 25, which began in late 2019, it initially had been anticipated that the maximum activity would occur in 2025.  However, observations last year and this year indicate that maximum solar activity during this cycle could occur before the end of this year, 2023, or in 2024.

The period of solar maximum, with notably increased activity, is a potentially perilous time for Earth.  Our planet can get bombarded by solar storms that disrupt communications, damage power infrastructure, cause internet outages, harm some living creatures (including astronauts) and send satellites plummeting toward the planet.

There are 10 signs indicating that the solar maximum may be closer than expected:

  1. Rising sunspot numbers
  2. X-class flare frequency
  3. Geomagnetic storm bombardment
  4. Thermosphere temperatures rising
  5. Surprising solar eclipse image
  6. Towering solar tornado
  7. Fiery plasma waterfall
  8. Enormous polar vortex
  9. Butterfly CME
  10. 1 million-mile-long plasma plume

The sun's activity could peak
2 years early, frying satellites
and causing radio blackouts by
the end of this year, experts say
    10 signs the sun is
gearing up for its
explosive peak —
the solar maximum

June 29, 2023
Stock Market

In much of Southern California, and in some other states, garden vegetables can be grown year-round.  In hot summers like this one, it is important to make sure that the plants are provided with an adequate amount of water.

I cannot think of a single vegetable that I do not like.  Here is a good guide for growing a nice variety of vegetables, whether in a garden or in individual containers (click on it to see a larger chart):

Vegetable Gardening Guide
June 28, 2023
Stock Market

Landers and Big Bear quakes, June 28, 1992Living in California, I have felt numerous earthquakes.  However, only once have I felt two big earthquakes on the same day.  That was exactly 31 years ago on June 28, 1992.

The first quake was the 7.3 Landers earthquake, occurring at 4:57 a.m.  The second quake was the 6.5 Big Bear earthquake, occurring at 8:05 a.m.

Mission Bay, San Diego, CAMy friend Barry had rented a beach house for a couple of weeks in Mission Beach, San Diego, and invited another friend and me to join him.  We were located on a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay.

The day we moved in, which was the day before the two quakes, I pointed out that the land on that peninsula probably would shake significantly during an earthquake.  Early the next morning, we discovered that, indeed, this was the case.  Fortunately, having lived in Orange County (the next county north) for a long time, I had been conditioned to expect such a “seismic surprise” at anytime.

I was awakened almost instantly after the shaking began.  After 10-15 seconds of feeling like I was atop a rubber raft in a very wavy pool, I jumped out of bed and ran to Barry’s room to warn him of the quake, if he was not aware, in case the shaking got worse.  Being a very light sleeper as I am, he was quite awake and aware.

Within 10 seconds, I was back in my “life raft” bed, riding out the remainder of nature’s rolling wonder for at least another minute.  Fortunately, since we were about 125 miles from the epicenter, there was no damage where we were.  It was the largest quake in the 48 contiguous states in the forty years prior to 1992.

Just over three hours later, we could tell a second series of shock waves was arriving, due to the clanking dishes in the kitchen cabinet and jiggling rabbit ears on the TV set.  The epicenter of that quake was about 22 miles northwest of the first quake’s epicenter.  Although it did not last as long as the first one, it was somewhat rougher and more jolty.  Many desert and mountain communities in Southern California experienced severe damage from both quakes.

The coffee mug I was holding had an earthquake fault engraved around it, along with the printed words, “Official California Earthquake Mug.”  I had given it to Barry the previous year for his birthday, and he happened to have brought it with him.  After the shaking subsided, we both got a good laugh out of that.

June 27, 2023
Stock Market

June 26, 2023
Stock Market

Dream, Happiness, Fearless
June 25, 2023

June 24, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Alex Newman.  They present the idea that a one-world government could be mandated over health issues and administered by the World Health Organization.

Digital health passports will make this possible and they are on the scene now.  If we do not fully comply, we will not be able to buy or sell.  This is leaping out of the Bible.  Antichrist’s system is on the horizon.



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

Going Digital Or You Cannot Buy Or Sell — Audio | Video
June 23, 2023
Stock Market

OceanGate Tital submersible Five Explorers
Earlier this week, on June 18, the Titan submersible (basically a very small submarine) went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland, Canada.  Communication with Titan, by its company OceanGate, stopped about 1 hour and 45 minutes after it began its downward descent into the ocean.

The planned destination of Titan and its five male passengers was the wreck of the Titanic, a British ocean liner.  In 1912, that large ship collided with an iceberg during its first voyage.  It sank down to the sea floor, at a depth of about 12,500 feet (3,800 meters).  Its location was not discovered until 1985.  Since then, it has been visited by numerous tourist and scientific expeditions.

There was no communication with Titan after June 18.  For days, several ships and aircraft from the U.S. and Canada were searching for the submersible craft.  Yesterday, June 22, a debris field was found on the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic.  Later, it was confirmed to be sections of the Titan submersible.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the loss of the submersible was due to an implosion of the pressure chamber.  It is assumed that this took place back on June 18, the first day that the Titan began its trip.  Most likely, all five explorers on board died immediately after that occurred.  These included Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Stockton Rush.  Numerous details about the entire event can be seen at 2023 Titan submersible incident.

Titanic-bound submersible suffered
‘catastrophic implosion.’ The US Navy
detected an implosion Sunday and
told rescuers, an official tells CNN
    'Catastrophic Implosion'
Killed All 5 Passengers
On Titan Submersible,
Confirms US Coast Guard

June 22, 2023
Stock Market

Adam SchiffYesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 213 to 209 to censure Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA).  A censure vote is a formal reprimand of a member’s conduct.  The resolution, H. Res. 489, was introduced on June 9 by Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL).

Schiff played a major role in the Democrat’s congressional investigations of Donald Trump during his tenure as president.  The resolution alleges that Schiff pushed a false narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election.  The resolution indicates that Schiff, as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee, abused the trust of the committee, where he was afforded access to sensitive intelligence.

The resolution accuses Schiff of lending credibility to the Steele dossier, a collection of unsubstantiated accusations linking the 2016 Trump campaign to the Kremlin that were later debunked.  The resolution also says that with his privileged access to classified information, Schiff knowingly “composed a false memo justifying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application on Trump associate Carter Page.”

In rowdy scene, House
censures Rep. Adam Schiff
over Trump-Russia investigations
    House Republicans Vote to
Censure Trump Impeachment
Prosecutor Adam Schiff

June 21, 2023
Stock Market

13-second slideshow

In most of the northern hemisphere, the Summer Solstice happened today.  For most places, the sun will be at its highest point in the sky today, which will have the most number of daylight hours of any day during the year.  This is because the earth’s north pole will be more inclined toward the sun than it is on any other day of the year.

The Summer Solstice occurred this morning in North America at 10:57 a.m. EDT (= 7:57 a.m. PDT).  That is when Summer officially began.

June 20, 2023
Stock Market

Hunter BidenPresident Joe Biden’s son, Robert Hunter Biden, has reached a plea deal with the Department of Justice.  He has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges following an investigation into his taxes.  He also is admitting to a felony charge of gun possession

In a court filing by the US Attorney for District of Delaware, David Weiss, he said that the president’s only living son will plead guilty to two federal charges of willful failure to pay federal income taxes and one charge of a firearm by a person who is “an unlawful user or addicted to a controlled substance.”  At the time of his firearm purchase, Hunter Biden was actively addicted to drugs.

The court hearing case says that in 2017, Hunter Biden had received taxable income in excess of $1.5 million, $100,000 of which was taxable to the federal government, but he failed to pay it to the Internal Revenue Service by April 17, 2018.  He reportedly failed to do the same the following year.

Hunter Biden also agreed to a pretrial diversion agreement regarding the firearm charge.  According to the legal filing, Biden knew that he was addicted to a controlled substance and that he possessed and was an unlawful user of a Colt Cobra 38SPL firearm, which was shipped through interstate commerce.

Hunter Biden to plead guilty
to two tax charges, resolve
federal gun violation: DOJ
    Hunter Biden agrees
to plead guilty in
federal tax investigation

June 19, 2023

13-second slideshow

In many states, Juneteenth has been observed as a holiday on June 19 since 1866, one year after it initially was observed in Texas.  It also has been referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day and Liberation Day.

The date first was commemorated in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.  On that date, a proclamation was made by Union Army Major General Gordon Granger that all slaves in Texas were free.  However, it was not until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865, and then proclaimed as law on December 18, 1865, that slavery officially was abolished in all states.

The day became a federal holiday in 2021 and officially is known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.  Some feel that it should be called Juneteenth National Emancipation Day, since July 4 is the nation’s official Independence Day.

June 18, 2023
Stock Market

My dad is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing him again one day.  My heavenly Father gave me the best earthly father and role model that I ever could have had.

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. 

13-second slideshow

June 17, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Pastor Brandon Holthaus.  They talked about how if the globalists have their way, our lifestyle could change significantly.  We won’t be able to buy or sell without a proper environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) score.

They also discussed a “woke church” and how it got that way.  And “15-minute cities” (such as Neom in Saudi Arabia) could involve more lockdowns, should they come to our neighborhoods.  Large investment firms like BlackRock are leveraging their massive investment portfolios and our retirement money to force companies across the U.S. to implement the ESG agenda in their business practices.

The United States is the greatest nation founded by freedom-loving people.  It is the most economically-prosperous nation on earth because of its entrepreneurial spirit.  It has an abundance of natural resources that has powered its growth.  Unfortunately, all of that is at risk.

Everything that makes the U.S. the greatest nation in history is being threatened by an ESG agenda—which is targeting food, energy and the economy—that could dismantle life as we know it.  In essence, it is the beginning of the Babylonian beast system described in the Bible (Revelation 17:1-14), which ultimately will be overcome by Jesus, the Lamb of the tribe of Judah.




45-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

Things Are About to Change — Audio | Video
June 16, 2023
Stock Market

My friend JoAnne and I like the Jeopardy game show.  Sometimes when we have dinner together, we like to watch it on TV while eating.  Neither of us saw the program a few nights ago (on June 13) when a $200 puzzle went unanswered by all three contestants.  When we heard about it the next day, we both agreed that we would have responded correctly if either one of us had been a contestant.

The host, Mayim Bialik, read this puzzle to the contestants: “Matthew 6:9 says, ‘Our Father, which art in heaven,’ This ‘be thy name.’”  (It is a commonly-known verse quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.)  All of the contestants were silent until the timer ran out, and then Bialik provided the answer.  The correct response would have been “Hallowed” for what the word “This” referred to.

This was a puzzle to which many Christians would have responded correctly, while many non-Christians would not have known how to respond.  Many Jeopardy fans immediately began making comments on Twitter, indicating that they were amazed that no contestant knew the correct response.

Jeopardy! fans explode after ALL
three contestants fail to solve
puzzle about the Lord's Prayer
    Jeopardy! fans fuming over
contestants' 'pathetic' answer
to 'obvious' Bible question

In the Bible, Jesus stated a common prayer that people should say, usually referred to as the Lord's Prayer.  I have said it countless times over many decades.  It is stated as follows in the New King James Version of the Bible:

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us 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)

Incidently, pertaining to the phrase “do not lead us into temptation,” some versions of the Bible read, “lead us not into temptation.”  In my mind, I view that as a request to the Lord that He lead us around or away from temptation as we walk along our pathways of life.

June 15, 2023
Stock Market

At the Federal Reserve board meeting on May 3, the Fed raised the interest rate by 0.25% point.  It pushed the benchmark fed funds rate up to 5%-5.25%.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Fed decided not to hike the interest rate.  The vote to hold rates steady was unanimous.  This was after 10 consecutive rate increases since Mar. 16, 2022.

Jerome Powell indicated that the rate hikes have been successful in reducing inflation.  However, although inflation is at a reduced level in recent months, interest rate forecasts signal that rates could be raised once or twice more this year to a level of 5.6% or higher.

Federal Reserve holds interest
rates steady, forecasts two
more rate hikes this year
    The Federal Reserve paused
its interest-rate hikes after
10 consecutive increases

June 14, 2023
Stock Market

13-second slideshow

Happy Flag Day, fellow Americans!  This commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, 246 years ago.

The History of Flag Day

Proudly display a flag on your house or on your desk at work today.  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)

Also, the United States Army is 248 years old today.  It was formed on June 14, 1775, to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

June 13, 2023
Stock Market

Donald Trump appeared in a federal court in Miami, FL, today.  This happens to be the day before his 77th birthday (June 14), which is Flag Day.

The former U.S. president entered not guilty pleas to a 37 counts as he appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in a hearing closed to cameras and live broadcasts.  The hearing lasted a little more than 45 minutes.  He was accused of willfully retaining classified documents after he left office and of obstructing justice.

After the court appearance, Trump was allowed to leave the court with no bail set for travel conditions.  Prosecutors told Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman they did not believe the former president was a “flight risk.”

Donald Trump pleads
not guilty to classified
documents charges
    What to know about Trump’s
appearance in federal court
in Miami to face felony charges

June 12, 2023
Stock Market

Air Defender 23 participantsThe Air Defender 23 exercise began today in the skies above Germany.  It will continue until June 23.

This is not an exercise initiated by NATO, although it includes most nations within NATO, along with Japan and other European countries in European airspace, including Sweden.  It was initiated by the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany.  It is the largest Air Force deployment exercise since the founding of NATO in 1949.

About 10,000 participants and 250 aircraft from 26 nations will respond to a simulated attack on a NATO member.  The United States is sending 2,000 U.S. Air National Guard personnel and about 100 aircraft.

The exercise was proposed in 2018, but only now is it taking place.  The drill comes as the military alliance is planning a broader overhaul of its defenses, a matter made more urgent following Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine since February 2022.

Facing its 'biggest security crisis' in years,
NATO has kicked off its largest ever air drill
with hundreds of aircraft to send a 'clear message'
    NATO's largest-ever
air force drills kick
off over Germany

June 11, 2023
Stock Market

His Pain Your Gain
June 10, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the first half of the program with Ken Mikle and the last half of the program with Todd Hampson.

Jan and Ken talked about how, as we see the day of Jesus’ return near, we will watch events in our world that may be astounding and even disconcerting.  Some of these issues are discussed so that we may redeem the time as we see the day approaching.  Jan featured Todd’s book, “The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy.”  They talked about some eschatological issues, questions and topics.

Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence (AI) will be a primary tool of the Antichrist in his global kingdom.  The threats from this are astounding.  Eventually, AI could replace lawyers, teachers, writers and musicians.  It could take over almost every profession.  We could be a society run by machines that are driven by AI.

Elon Musk has said, “We are ‘summoning the demon’ with artificial intelligence.”  While he believes that smart machines can take us to Mars and drive our cars for us, Musk remains worried that artificial intelligtence holds a darker potential.  AI is a system that will understand us better than we understand ourselves.  It will be able to predict our feelings and our decisions, and it ultimately will make our decisions for us.

ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an AI chatbot.  It interacts with people in a conversational way and answers questions within a matter of seconds.  The dialog format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises and reject inappropriate requests.



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 55 minutes, can be heard here:

As We See the Day Approaching — Audio | Video
June 9, 2023
Stock Market

Donald Trump, Joe BidenDonald Trump announced yesterday evening that he is being indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  He said that he will surrender to authorities and will appear in Federal District Court in Miami on Tuesday of next week.  After that, it is expected that the judge will move forward with scheduling a trial.

The DOJ is levying federal charges against the former president.  This stems from accusations that he allegedly mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House and thwarted efforts from the government to reclaim them.  The DOJ unsealed the 49-page indictment today.

Trump’s acknowledgment came just hours before FBI Director Wray granted GOP House Oversight Committee members access to a document alleging Joe Biden’s involvement in a $5 million dollar payment from Burisma Holdings in Ukraine.  That is where his son Hunter sat on the board.

The document claims that Biden, while he was vice president, accepted a $5 million bribe from Burisma Holdings in Ukraine.  That is where his son, Hunter, sat on the board.  The document is based on 2020 testimony to the FBI from a confidential source.

Republicans with disparate views of former President Donald Trump largely defended him in the wake of his latest indictment.  Some have indicated that Trump’s indictment is a ploy to distract Americans from news that Biden and his family took $5 million worth of bribes from foreign nationsls.

Ron DeSantis, who potentially will be Trump’s main primary opponent in the 2024 president election, decried the unprecedented indictment.  He said, “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society.”

Donald Trump indicted: Don Jr.
blasts indictment on 'same day'
as Biden Burisma bribe claims
    GOP lawmakers blast Biden
for ‘weaponization’ of DOJ
after Trump federal indictment

June 8, 2023
Stock Market

Smoke in U.S. from Canadian fires Smoke ini New York City
Hundreds of wildfires have been burning across Canada for months and have been worsening over the past few weeks.  Yesterday, officials in Canada reported that there are more than 400 active fires.  About 240 of them were listed as “out of control.”  For weeks, smoke has been moving down into the U.S.  This has included central states and even southern states.

This week, a great deal of smoke has been drifting into Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.  Hundreds of airline flights have been canceled.  There have been numerous air quality alerts and warnings in many U.S. cities, even as far south as Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas.  Tens of millions of Americans have been affected.

In New York City, a dense haze of smoke has enshrouded skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty.  A baseball game at Yankee Stadium was delayed, and flights were temporarily halted into LaGuardia Airport due to low visibility.  Outdoor city events were canceled.

So far this year, according to Canadian government data, about 2,300 wildfires have burned approximately 9.4 million acres across Canada.  Hot summers months are yet to come.  At the current rate, Canada is on track to experience the worst wildfire season in its recorded history.

Canada wildfire smoke
has covered the U.S.
for more than a month
    Smoke from Canadian
wildfires engulfs East
Coast, upending daily life

June 7, 2023
Stock Market

Pilot shortages have become a problem at airlines in the U.S. and in other nations.  One estimate indicates that U.S. airlines are short by about 10,000 pilots.

Airlines have complained about a shortage for several years.  However, they made the problem worse during the COVID pandemic by encouraging pilots to take early retirement when air travel collapsed in 2020.

Meanwhile, airlines have been in a hiring frenzy.  This is likely to continue for several years as the carriers replace pilots who reach the federal mandatory retirement age of 65.

Many planes are parked at various airports, due to a lack of pilots to fly them.  For instance, Southwest Airlines has more than 700 planes, but it parks 40 to 45 of them each day because it does not have enough pilots to fly them.  That amounts to more than 200 flights a day or up to 8% of the Dallas-based airline’s planes not being flown.

Virtually all of my flights for 52 years have been with Southwest Airlines.  Typically, their flights have departed on-time and often have arrived early at their destinations.  I never experienced any flight cancellations on Southwest until the past three years, when five flights were cancelled and several more were delayed.

I have not taken any of my standard trips to far this year.  Also, there is a good chance that I will not fly before the end of the year.  The possibility of dealing with one or more flight cancellations is not appealing to me at all.

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan
Believes Pilot Shortage
Will Last For Three Years
    Southwest Airlines CEO sees
industry-wide pilot shortage
persisting for three years

June 6, 2023
Stock Market

13-second slideshow

This is the 79th anniversary of the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.  Often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a 6½-minute speech, including a lengthy prayer, for those involved in the invasion:

June 5, 2023
Stock Market

A federal investigation is continuing today concerning a private Cessna plane that took off yesterday from Tennessee.  It flew to Long Island, NY, made a U-turn there, and flew hundreds of miles off its flight path.  The plane’s wayward travel included restricted airspace over Washington, DC.

F-16 fighter jets scrambled at supersonic speed to intercept the Cessna plane.  A sonic boom from one of the pursuing jets startled residents across and Washington and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

The jets fired off flares in an effort to gain the Cessna pilot’s attention, but the plane continued on its path with no response from the pilot.  The plane ultimately crashed in a Virginia forest.

All four people on the plane were killed.  It will take days to clean up the highly fragmented wreckage and to complete an investigation.  It is possible that the plane lost pressurization, causing the pilot to become incapacitated and lose consciousness.

Four dead in plane
crash that sparked
Washington alert
    Virginia plane crash investigators
ask when pilot became unresponsive
and why aircraft flew its path

June 4, 2023

Lord, Rock and Redeemer
June 3, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Curtis Bowers, writer and producer of the Agenda DVDs.  They talked about how digital money, the banking crisis, election fraud, weaponization of justice, and even the firing of Tucker Carlson fit into the Marxist agenda to infiltrate America.

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.  Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:1-6)




45-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 55 minutes, can be heard here:

Infiltration — Audio | Video
June 2, 2023
Stock Market

On May 31 this week, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 to raise the debt ceiling.  The vote was 314 to 117.  Then the bill was sent to the Senate for a vote.  Last night, following hours of discussion among senators, the bill finally passed by a vote of 63 to 36.

President Biden thanked Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell for quickly passing the bill.  The bill was sent to Biden’s desk to be signed, which must be done prior to June 5 to avoid a debt default.

Biden praises Senate passage
of debt ceiling deal:
'A big win for our economy'
    Senate passes
debt ceiling deal,
staving off default

June 1, 2023
Stock Market

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale 2023 Atlantic hurricane season names
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins today, June 1, and runs through November 30.  After three years of La Niña, now there is a high probability that El Niño will be prominent during this year’s hurricane season.

In an El Niño year, Atlantic hurricane activity often is suppressed.  However, there can be other factors that can increase storm activity.  For example, warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea can provide the energy for storm development.  Also, potentially, above-normal west African monsoon development can contribute to stronger and longer-lived Atlantic storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that there most likely will be a near-normal hurricane season, with 12 to 17 named tropical storms with winds of 39 mph or greater.  Of those storms, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes.

Each year, the names of hurricanes are chosen by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  The list is alphabetical, and it alternates between male and female names.  None of the names begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z.  In a season with more than 21 storms, the additional names progress through letters in the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, etc.

NOAA forecasts near-
normal 2023 Atlantic
hurricane season
    Hurricane season
starts today.
Here’s what to expect

May 31, 2023
Stock Market

House debt ceiling voteLast night in the U.S. House of Representatives, the House Rules Committee narrowly voted 7-6 to send the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 to the full House for a vote tonight.  This act provides for an increase in the U.S. federal debt limit and suspends it until January of 2025.

According to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this measure could reduce the federal spending deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.  Yet, the COB estimated that the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 bill, which was passed by the House last month, would have reduced the deficit by $4.8 trillion over the next decade.

This evening, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.  House members voted 314-117 to pass the bill.  The “yes” votes included 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans.

After tonight’s vote, House Speaker McCarthy held a news conference that lasted a little under 40 minutes.  Senate Majority Leader Schumer indicated that the debt ceiling bill will be passed soon after it reaches the Senate.

House passes debt ceiling bill
in blowout vote just five
days before expected default
    Schumer says Senate will
'move quickly' to pass debt
ceiling bill upon arrival

May 30, 2023
Stock Market

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Recep Tayyip Erdogan & Kemal Kilicdaroglu
In Turkey this past weekend, Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured the victory in the presidential election runoff vote.  With over 99% of the ballots counted, he received 52.14% of the vote; while his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, received 47.86% of the vote.  The narrow margin of victory, just over 3%, appears to reflect a significant national divide in Turkish satisfaction with Erdogan’s leadership.

Erdogan has been Turkey’s leader for 20 years.  He was the prime minister from 2003 to 2014, and he has been the president from 2014 to 2023.  This recent victory adds another 5-year term to his presidency.

Following the election, statements of congratulations came from several foreign leaders.  These included leaders from Russia, the United States, Qatar, Libya, Algeria, Hungary, Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Turkey’s currency, the lira, tumbled to new lows against the U.S. dollar yesterday, the day after Erdogan’s re-election.  Presumably, this will present a difficult challenge during his new term as president.

Erdogan wins Turkish
election, extending
rule to third decade
    Turkey election results explained:
Nine things to expect after Erdogan’s
win and how it could affect the world

May 29, 2023

13-second slideshow

Happy Memorial Day!  I have a great deal of respect, admiration and appreciation for all of those who have fought, and often paid the ultimate sacrifice, for our independence and freedom in the U.S.

Vietnam Memorial Wall
Vietnam Memorial Wall

On June 6, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave an important address at the ceremony commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings or D-Day.  He had flown to Normandy to give his outstanding speech.  It lasted almost 13½ minutes and can be seen and heard below.

May 28, 2023

Pentecost, Shavuot, Holy SpiritToday is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, exactly seven weeks following Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).  At the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the disciples of Jesus (Yeshua) 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.

In most years (with last year and this year being exceptions), 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 27, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Amir Tsarfati.  They discussed his newest book, “Are We in the Tribulation?”

They asked why a loving God would allow such a traumatic event to come upon mankind.  Perhap it is because many will be saved out of it.  They do not feel that we are in the tribulation time period.  However, they feel it is so close that we can almost hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen over the horizon.




45-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

Hoof Beats of the Four Horsemen — Audio | Video

I definitely do believe in a main Rapture event, which I am convinced will be a Pre-Wrath Rapture.  Reasons why I disagree with the Pre-tribulation view of the Rapture and embrace the Pre-wrath view of the Rapture are explained in the first six email responses that I have written in Rapture Questions & Responses.

Those who believe in a Pre-tribulation Rapture feel that the whole “tribulation” period (final 7 years of this age) will consist of the wrath of God.  Yet, in the book of Revelation the word “wrath” does not appear until Revelation 6:16,17, following the Sixth Seal disturbances.

The impending wrath will be a response by God to a plea from the souls of those who had been killed following the opening of the Fifth Seal.  Their appeal is for God to avenge their blood (Revelation 6:9,10).  This will result in God’s day of vengeance, which will consist of God’s wrath and will be preceded by a Pre-Wrath Rapture.

Also, I believe that, in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, the one holding back the “secret power of lawlessness” and the “lawless one” (that is, the Antichrist) is the archangel Michael, not Christian believers or the Holy Spirit of God.  My explanation for this is in the restrainer section.

Most people who believe in an “imminent” Pre-tribulation Rapture feel that the Gog/Magog attack on Israel (described in Ezekiel 38 & Ezekiel 39) probably will take place at or near the beginning of the final 7 years.  I feel that this attack will begin sometime during the final 3½ years, with the final battle taking place when Jesus returns.  Details about this can be found in my Gog/Magog attack section of this commentary:

Third Temple, Rapture & Gog/Magog

Additional details can be found in my Gog and Magog section of another commentary and also in the Final Battles Questions & Responses section of my email responses page.

May 26, 2023
Stock Market

In Our Home
May 25, 2023
Stock Market

Popocatépetl Volcano eruption Mexico map
The Popocatépetl Volcano is the second highest peak and one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico.  It is located 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, the most populous city in North America.  Nearly 25 million people live within a 60-mile radius of the volcano.

Almost a week ago, the volcano began emitting ash, which caused schools to be temporarily closed in 11 nearby towns.  Soon thereafter, incandescent fragments were observed coming out of the volcano.  Warnings went out about the dangerous health effects of inhaling volcanic ash, especially by children, older adults and people with respiratory diseases.

The alert level in Mexico City was raised to Yellow Alert Phase 3, and airports in the capital city and in Puebla were shut down temporarily.  Since then, numerous flights have been delayed and canceled.  If the volcano’s explosive activity escalates to intermediate to high danger, the alert level will be raised to Red Alert, which would necessitate an evacuation order.

Alert level raised
for Popocatepetl
volcano in Mexico
    What To Know About About
Popocatépetl: Mexico’s Volcano
Threatening Mass Evacuations

May 24, 2023
Stock Market

Typhoon Mawar hitting Guam Typhoon Mawar hitting Guam
Guam, one of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States.  Typhoon Mawar has been approaching Guam for a few days, getting stronger as it goes.  It is the first typhoon of the 2023 Pacific typhoon season.

Yesterday, the typhoon’s sustained wind speed increased to 155 mph, the equivalent of a strong Category 4 Atlantic hurricane.  It is the strongest storm to hit Guam in over 2 decades.

Today, the center of the eye of the storm passed just north of Guam.  The typhoon itself more than completely covered the island of Guam.  There were maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, a moderate Category 4 storm, with gusts up to 165 mph.

There continue to be flash flood and coastal flood warnings throughout the island.  Devastating impacts to the island’s residents, infrastructure and landscape are expected.

According to a statement on Facebook, almost all of the Guam Power Authority circuits have been impacted by the strong typhoon.  At one point today, only about 1,000 of the 52,000 customers still had electricity.

Typhoon Mawar hits Guam
as its strongest storm
in more than 20 years
    Powerful Typhoon Mawar
slams Guam with heavy
rain and damaging winds

May 23, 2023
Stock Market

Everlasting God
May 22, 2023
Stock Market

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy held another round of debt ceiling talks this afternoon at the White House.  It was their first discussion since Biden returned from the G7 summit meeting in Japan.  No one else was present for the discussion, which lasted about 90 minutes.

Following the meeting, McCarthy told members of the media outside the White House, “I felt we had a productive discussion.  We don’t have an agreement yet, but I did feel the discussion was productive in areas that we have differences of opinion.”  More discussions will take place this week.

Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Yellen said that the government is unlikely to make it to June 15 without running out of money to meet its obligations.  Earlier today, in a letter that she wrote to McCarthy, she reiterated her deadline of June 1 for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.  She said it is “highly likely” that the government could run out of money to pay off its bills in 10 days.

Biden, McCarthy each describe latest
debt-ceiling meeting as ‘productive,’
and more talks are planned
    Yellen Doubles Down On June 1
Deadline To Avert Default—
As Debt Ceiling Talks Drag On

May 21, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Trevor Rubenstein and Olivier Melnick.  They talked about how the Times of the Gentiles are winding down and what that means.

The most significant last days’ prophecies surround Israel and the Jews, which is why they are under attack.  What is wrong with the Hebrew Roots Movement and Dual Covenant Theology?  Why are most churches silent on these issues?

Some Christians believe that “all Israel will be saved,” as noted by the apostle Paul.  However, this refers specifically to those in Israel in the future after Jesus returns and they recognize Him as Lord and Messiah.  Then He will take away their sins:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.  And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27)

This was clearly indicated by the ancient prophets, for a future time, after the Redeemer Lord Jesus returns.  God will forgive Israel’s sins and remember them no more, giving them eternal life and salvation:

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.  “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD.  “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from that time on and forever,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20,21)

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.  “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

It’s Almost Over: The Times of the Gentiles — Audio | Video
May 20, 2023

13-second slideshow

Today is Armed Forces Day in the United States.  Each year, it takes place on the third Saturday in May.  It also is the last day of Armed Forces Week.

This day was created by President Harry Truman and first was observed on May 20, 1950.  It’s purpose was to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank military members for their patriotic service in support of the U.S. republic and national interests and as an undeniable fact of American life.

This day also honors Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches.  These include the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard.

May 19, 2023
Stock Market

Debt ceiling deadlineRecently, President Biden had been engaged in debt ceiling negotiations with members of Congress, but no agreements had been reached.  He departed to Japan a few days ago for a G7 summit meeting.  Before leaving, he appointed a team from his administration to continue negotiations directly with Speaker McCarthy and other House Republicans about raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.

Biden indicated he felt confident that Congress would take necessary action to avoid a default on the national debt for the first time in history.  Treasury Secretary Yellen has warned that if Congress allows the U.S. to default on its financial responsibility, the consequences would be an “economic and financial catastrophe” for both the domestic and international markets.  This could happen as soon as early next month, and most Americans are very apprehensive that it might.

Today, after no consensus was reached, debt ceiling negotiations were stalled.  House Republicans have attempted to push back against very high amounts of government spending, primarily during 2021 and 2022.  However, Biden and Democrats have been steadfast in insisting that the debt ceiling must be raised without including conditions that would allow spending to be reduced.

Talks resumed tonight, but they ended soon after they began.  More talks should happen this weekend and next week.  Yet, even if a bill emerges, it still would need to be passed in both the House and the Senate before June 1.

Biden to call McCarthy
to discuss debt ceiling
after G7 summit
    Impasse continues in
negotiations over
debt ceiling crisis

May 18, 2023
Stock Market

Flag march in Jerusalem Flag march in Jerusalem
In Jerusalem this afternoon, thousands of Israelis took part in the annual flag march.  It was a celebration of Jerusalem Day.  It commemorates the reunification of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) with West Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967.

Men and women took separate routes during the march.  Men entered the Old City via the Damascus Gate in the north, while women entered through the Jaffa Gate on the east side of the city.  The two groups met at the Western Wall near the Temple Mount.

There was an awareness that Palestinian attacks could happen during the march.  Therefore, about 2,500 Israeli police officers were positioned all along the march route.  Fortunately, no violence broke out.

Flag march sees
river of blue and white
celebrations through Jerusalem
    Israel's nationalist 'Flag
March' in Jerusalem
rattles Palestinians

May 17, 2023
Stock Market

There is a quick and easy way to check one’s internet speed in Mbps (Megabits per second).  Going to https://fast.com will show the internet speed, in a few seconds, in the middle of the screen.  Then, clicking on the “Show more info” button will provide additional information at the bottom.

Fast internet speed
May 16, 2023
Stock Market

The president and congressional leaders met again this afternoon for less than an hour at the White House.  It was part of ongoing talks on raising the U.S. debt limit.  If this does not occur before next month, a catastrophic default and very possibly an economic recession could take place.

Those at the meeting included President Biden, Vice President Harris, House Speaker McCarthy, House Minority Leader Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell.  Prior to the meeting, McCarthy indicated that he felt the Democrats would not be agreeing to a deal.

Republicans want the debt ceiling to be raised to avoid a default.  Also, due to excessive federal spending over the past few years, they also want spending cuts to be part of the agreement.  The House passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 bill last month, but the Senate has not agreed to pass it.

Democrats also want the debt ceiling to be raised, but generally they do not want that agreement to including any spending cuts.  They feel that any possible cuts should be part of separate negotions.

Biden was scheduled to take a week-long trip to Asia.  Although he still plans to leave tomorrow for Japan, he will not be visiting Papua New Guinea and Australia.  While he is gone, he has appointed some people from his administration to negotiate directly with McCarthy and other House Republicans.  After Biden returns in a few days, more debt ceiling talks are expected to take place next week.

‘We've got a lot of work to
do’: Biden and McCarthy have
new negotiators but no deal
    Biden and McCarthy
agree to new debt
ceiling talks structure

May 15, 2023
Stock Market

This is Peace Officers Memorial Day.  It is a day each year to pay tribute to local, state and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty.  This holiday was enacted after President John F. Kennedy signed a congressional bill in 1962 designating May 15 each year to honor peace officers.

15-second slideshow

May 14, 2023

For all of you moms out there:  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families. 

15-second slideshow

My mom is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing her again one day.  There could not have been a better mom for me than the one I had.

May 13, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell introduced a discussion between Pastor Jack Hibbs and Dr. David Reagan, founder of Lamb & Lion Ministries.  They talked about world events, the church and pulpit today, and the vital importance of the hope Bible prophecy offers.

The pastors of many churches do not focus on, or even mention, prophetic messages in the Bible.  In many cases, this is not a topic that many seminaries provide much information about.  Since there are various prophetic viewpoints about the end times, they prefer not to get tied in to one particular perspective, and it is too complex to cover them all.  Many pastors simply do not want to relay the negative news about certain prophetic issues to their congregations.

There are many clear prophecies in the Old Testament about the first coming of Jesus Christ.  All of them were fulfilled, as described in the New Testament.  There also are numerous prophecies in the Old and New Testaments about Jesus’ second coming.

We now are in the season when many events, including in Israel, have been foreshadowing the prophecies describing the end of the age.  Many of the prophecies are converging for the first time, and they should provide a blessed hope in Christian believers for the return of the Lord Jesus back to this earth.  For those who never have read through the entire Bible, now would be a very good time to do so.

In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.  Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.”  The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

“Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion.  For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD.  “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people.  I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.  The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:10-12)

At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD.  No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17)

13-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 50 minutes, can be heard here:

Convergence: We’re in the Season! — Audio | Video
May 12, 2023
Stock Market

Last night, thousands of migrants jammed into border entries attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico.  This followed the ending of the Title 42 expulsion program, which had been in place for over 3 years.

During that time, more than 2.7 million migrants were expelled back into Mexico.  Many of them were those who were crossing repeatly.

During the same period, about 2.8 million migrants ineligible for expulsion were allowed into the U.S. under Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  They were able to pursue their immigration claims in court, a process which can take months or years.

This week, before Title 42 ended, record numbers of migrants attempted to enter the U.S.  They had heard that it would be more difficult to enter the country after May 11, so they rushed to cross over before the deadline.  Daily apprehensions rose above 10,000, and the detention capacity of migrants has maxed out.

The chaos has severely strained U.S. border authorities and border cities.  President Biden has acknowledged that the border is “going to be chaotic for a while.”

Title 42 is over; Biden says
new approach at southern
border will take time to work
    US border communities declare
disasters as Title 42’s expiration
sets the stage for a migration rush

May 11, 2023
Stock Market

Illegal migrants at the Mexico/U.S. border Illegal migrants at the Mexico/U.S. border
The Title 42 expulsion program went into effect under President Trump in March 2020.  It was enacted as part of the Public Health Service Act of 1944.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants appearing at the southern U.S. border were processed and given a chance to claim asylum.  After the COVID-19 pandemic began, Title 42 expulsion was implemented to allow border officials to expel migrants that they encountered at the border immediately back into Mexico.  It was an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

At one minute before midnight EDT tonight, Title 42 is scheduled to end.  Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations will continue to be used to facilitate and accelerate removals of migrants entering the U.S. illegally.  The DHS also said that, beginning in Guatemala and Colombia, it would establish regional centers where migrants can apply for asylum or other means of immigrating to the U.S.

A U.N. figure last month indicated that up to 660,000 migrants were moving across Mexico toward its border with the U.S.  This month, the number of migrants at the border, who will attempt to enter the four U.S. border states as soon as Title 42 ends tonight, has grown precipitously.  Without adequate securing of the border, the innumerable problems associated with countless migrants illegally entering the U.S. are expected to escalate substantially and become chaotic over upcoming weeks and months.

Title 42’s end
is raising alarms
at the border
    GOP senators call on
Biden to secure the border
ahead of Title 42 ending

May 10, 2023
Stock Market

Yesterday in the White House, President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy had their second debt ceiling meeting.  The first meeting was back in February.  Also present in the room were Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senate Minority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader Jeffries.  They have indicated that they are planning to meet again on Friday, two days from now.

Following the conversation, which lasted about an hour, McCarthy expressed concern that Biden would not give him any possibie spending cut proposals.  McCarthy told reporters, “I didn’t see any new movement.  I’ve done everything in my power to make sure [the country] will not default.  We have passed a bill to raise the debt limit.  Now, I haven’t seen that in the Senate, so I don’t know.”

Schumer indicated that the Senate staff will “start sitting down as early as tonight, certainly tomorrow, to see where we can come to agreement on the budget and appropriations process.”  Speaking of McCarthy’s House bill, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, Schumer added, “His bill doesn’t have a single Democrat in support, and it gets us nowhere because you have to negotiate to get this done.  Take default off the table and let’s resume negotiations in the appropriations process.”

On May 1, Treasury Secretary Yellen warned federal lawmakers that without congressional action to lift or suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the country will run out of money to pay its bills as soon as the first week of June.  If the debt limit is not raised, there is heightened fear that the U.S. would have its first-ever debt default, which most likely would have dangerous financial and economic consequences for this country.

McCarthy says no ‘new
movement’ on debt ceiling
deal after Biden meeting
    McCarthy says no progress in
debt ceiling talks with Biden:
‘I didn't see any new movement’

May 9, 2023
Stock Market

Victory Day parade Vladimir Putin Victory Day speech
Yesterday, May 8, was the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II.  It is known as Victory in Europe Day.  The German Instrument of Surrender took place late in the evening, which was after midnight in Moscow.  Today in Russia is Victory Day (9 May).

Russia always has celebrations and parades on this date.  Due to continuing attacks on Ukraine for well over a year, though, there has been concern in Russia that some of the Victory Day events could be targets for Ukrainian attacks.  There also were recent drone attacks in Moscow, which Russia blames on Ukraine; however, Ukraine denies involvement.

This morning, Russia fired more cruise missiles at Kyiv, Ukraine.  Also, the main Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square took place today.  However, there was heightened security in the area.  President Vladimir Putin gave a fiery 10-minute speech in front of the Kremlin.  He roared against the “Western global elites” and stated that civilization is at “a decisive turning point.”

Why does Russia celebrate
Victory Day on May 9, and
what does it mean for Putin?
    Russia marks Victory
Day with new strikes,
but pared-back parade
Russia’s Victory Day:
Ukraine war challenges
May 9 celebrations

May 8, 2023
Stock Market

Everlasting God and Creator
May 7, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Pastor Mark Henry and author and journalist William Koenig.  There is a sense that the world is on the brink of something stunning.  The book of Daniel says much is sealed until the end and yet today, much is being revealed.

They talked about how those nations that bless Israel will be blessed, but those that curse Israel will be cursed (Numbers 24:9b).  Examples were given of disasters that occurred in the U.S. when presidents attempted to convince Israel leaders to give up portions of Israel’s land to Palestinians.  They also noted how there are many churches in the U.S. that have adopted a Replacement Theology view and promote anti-semitic policies.

It was explained how America changed on January 28, 2020.  They discussed how we may be headed toward a financial crisis similar to 2008.  Many things appear to be headed in that direction, probably sooner than later.  The best things to do right now are to have a stronger personal relationship with Jesus than we ever have before, put our complete trust and faith in Him, and read the Bible, the word of God, often.  Jesus said:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)




45-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

On the Brink — Audio | Video
May 6, 2023

King Charles and Queen CamillaThe longest living monarch or the United Kingdom was Queen Elicabeth II.  She served as queen for 70 years, from 1952 until she died in 2022.

Her oldest son, Charles III, was born in 1948.  When his mother ascended to the throne in 1952, Charles became the heir apparent.  He was made Prince of Wales in 1958.  On the day of his mother’s death, Sep. 8, 2022, Charles III became King of the United Kingdom at age 73.  He became the oldest person to accede to the British throne.

Today, the official coronation of King Charles took place at Westminster Abbey.  At ages 74 and 75, he and his wife, Camilla, were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingtom.  The Archbishop of Canterbury crowned Charles as King and then Camilla as Queen.

King Charles and
Queen Camilla crowned
in historic ceremony
    King Charles III formally
crowned: A recap of the
monarch's coronation day

May 5, 2023
Stock Market

13-second slideshow

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  However, this was not Mexico’s Independence Day.

Mexico’s independence from Spain was an armed conflict that lasted from 1808 to 1821.  On September 16, 1810, Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidaldo y Costilla rang the church bell in Dolores, Mexico.  That gave the call to arms that triggered the war of independence.

Cinco De Mayo: How did the holiday become
more popular in the United States than Mexico?

May 4, 2023
Stock Market

13-second slideshow

Today is the National Day of Prayer in the USA.  Each year, it takes place on the first Thursday in May.

A law formalizing the annual observance of the National Day of Prayer was enacted in 1952.  As such, this is the 71st anniversary of this noteworthy day, on which the president is required by law (36 U.S.C. § 119) to sign a proclamation each year encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

For the past three years, due to the COVID pandemic, there were less gatherings of people on this day to pray.  Hopefully, there will be a notable increase of these gatherings this year.

May 3, 2023
Stock Market

The most recent interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve was on Mar. 22.  The increase was one-quarter of a percentage point (0.25% point).  Following their meeting yesterday and today, the Federal Reserve raised the interest rate by another 0.25% point.

This is the fastest pace that the federal interest rate has been raised in 40 years.  Today’s hike now pushes the benchmark fed funds rate to 5%-5.25%, up from a nearly zero just 12 months ago and its highest level since September 2007.  This could be the last interest rate hike for 2023, but possibly not.

The Federal Reserve just hiked
interest rates for the 10th time
in a row. It could be the last.
    Federal Reserve
raises interest rate
by quarter point

May 2, 2023
Stock Market

I listened quite a bit to American Family Radio (https://afr.net) this past weekend, as I often do.  One program that I often find interesting is “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” with Dr. Frank Turek.  Sunday’s program was a repeat of one of his programs from a few days ago.

Frank interviewed the author Steve Deace, the writer of the novel A Nefarious Plot.  A film, Nefarious, has been made from the book and was released earlier this month on April 14.  The movie shows examples of spiritual warfare.  Frank and Steve discussed the good, the scary and the downright strange occurrences that took place while working on the book’s film adaptation.

Steve initially had no thought of having a movie made about the content of the novel, but interesting things happened that motivated him to do so.  However, along the way, a series of completely unexpected and bizarre events occurred in Steve’s life and in the lives of those who made the movie, including car accidents happening to eight members of the movie crew.  Clear examples of incredible spiritual warfare took place.

In effect, spiritual warfare can be seen on the movie screen, and spiritual warfare happened to those who were bringing the movie to the screen.  Even more amazing is that very strange and potentially deadly events have continued to crop up after the movie’s initial premiere on April 14.

What Satan means for evil, God can use for good.  Since God has a plan for everything, those uncanny events can be understood as “God-incidences” rather than “coincidences.”  All things work together for the glory of God and for those called according to His purpose.  In spite of all of the events that could have brought this film to a halt, Nefarious finally is being shown in theaters and is a film that both Christians and non-Christians are guaranteed to find mesmerizing and gripping.

The podcast of this program can be heard below.  The discussion between Turek and Deace lasts just under 36 minutes.

Who is Nefarious? | with Steve Deace” from April 28:

May 1, 2023
Stock Market

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen warned federal lawmakers that without congressional action to lift or suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the country will be unable to pay its obligations as soon as June 1.  This follows a similar warning made by Yellen to Congress on Jan. 14.

Yellen previously had warned Congress in January that the United States had reached its $31.4 trillion debt limit and that the Treasury Department would have to take “extraordinary measures” to buy time for Congress to act.  Since then, the Treasury has collected the tax filings of millions of Americans, allowing the Treasury to better predict when it will be unable to pay its bills.

Yellen stated in a new letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, “After reviewing recent federal tax receipts, our best estimate is that we will be unable to continue to satisfy all of the government’s obligations by early June, and potentially as early as the first week of June, if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time.”  Financial analysts previously had predicted the so-called "X-date" for lawmakers to lift the borrowing limit would be sometime in July, or possibly as late as September.

Last week, House Republicans passed a debt ceiling bill, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, which included some spending cuts.  Senate Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, generally are insisting that the nation’s borrowing limit must be raised without any attached conditions.

Previously, Senate Leader Schumer said that the measure is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.  However, the Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing on raising the debt ceiling later this week.  Even if the Senate were to pass the House bill, though, President Biden has insisted that, without any changes, he would veto it if it reaches his desk.  If the debt limit is not raised, there is heightened fear that the U.S. would have its first-ever debt default, which most likely would have dangerous financial and economic consequences.

Yellen Says U.S. Risks
Default as Soon as June 1
Without Debt Ceiling Increase
    Yellen says drop-
dead date for debt
ceiling is June 1

Apr. 30, 2023

If someone needs you, make a call or send a text or an email.  You can be the light of someone’s world.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10)

Two are better than one
Apr. 29, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Dr. Mark Hitchcock.  They talked about a new film: Praying for Armageddon.  The film claims that evangelicals are trying to hasten the apocalypse on earth and to bring on Armageddon.

Jan and Mark looked at life on earth after the Rapture event.  She said that her heart breaks for those who will be left behind.  Mark pointed out that there is no true believer in Jesus Christ who is wanting this world to be plunged into judgment.  No follower of Jesus Christ is praying for Armageddon, but we are looking foward to the return of Jesus and praying for people to be saved and delivered.  Undoubtedly, the vast majority of true Christian believers feel this way.

Those who falsely believe that Christians want to hasten the coming of the apocalypse appear to be oblivious of the devastating adversities that the Great Reset, initiated by the World Economic Forum, will bring upon a large portion of the world’s population:

  • elimination of national sovereignty and independence
  • destruction and replacement of the free enterprise economic system
  • elimination of private property
  • owning nothing and “being happy”
  • abolishment of Christianity
  • bringing about a cashless society
  • implementing universal income

It definitely is true that world events are leading up to disastrous and calamitous things that will happen on the earth.  Many of these are described in the biblical book of Revelation.  As such, it is extremely important for Christians to relate information about this to unbelievers and to encourage them to accept and embrace Jesus, the physical manifestation of God, as their Lord and Savior unto eternal salvation.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 9:13; Joel 2:32a)



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

Are You a Part of the Armageddon Lobby? — Audio | Video
Apr. 28, 2023
Stock Market

Earlier this week, the U.S. House passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023.  The bill, which passed with a Republican majority, combines an increase in the debt ceiling with cuts in federal spending.

The next steps are for discussions to take place between Speaker McCarthy and President Biden and also among members of the Senate.  Republicans in the Senate say that the House bill should serve to jumpstart these negotiations.  McCarthy and Biden met in February, but they have not had a discussion about it since then.

The Senate has received the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 from the House.  However, Senate Democrats generally are insisting that the nation’s borrowing limit must be raised without any attached conditions.  In effect, if a potentially catastrophic default on the U.S. debt takes place in June or later, it will be a result of the refusal of Democrats to negotiate some cuts in federal spending that could be made.

Senate Democrats reject
debt ceiling talks even after
McCarthy shows them his plan
    Democrats Reject
Starting Talks
on Debt Ceiling

Apr. 27, 2023
Stock Market

House vote on Limit Save Grow ActYesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to raise the federal government’s debt limit and to make some spending cuts.  The vote for the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 resulted in a narrow win of 217 to 215, with all Democrats and four Republicans voting against the bill.  Still, it is considered to be a significant victory for Reputlican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Prior to the vote, Republican representatives had meetings with Speaker McCarthy.  Many of those who initially were dissenters of the bill changed their views and, ultimately, voted for the legislation.  It would raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion or through the end of March 2024, whichever occurs first.  It also would limit discretionary federal spending to fiscal 2022 levels.

The majority agreement among Republicans is that the debt ceiling needs to be raised.  Otherwise, the federal government is at risk of defaulting on its debt, which never has happened in U.S. history.  However, at the same time, they feel it is very important for the government to make significant cuts in its spending, which is a very important undertaking.

Even though the legislation passed the House, it is doubtful that it will successfully pass in the Democratic majority Senate.  Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that when the bill is sent to the Senate, it will be “dead on arrival.”  Democrats want the debt ceiling to be raised, but they are unwilling to agree to reasonable spending cuts.  President Biden has said that, if the the proposed bill reaches his desk, he will veto it.  So far, President Biden has refused to negotiate with Speaker McCarthy on spending cuts.

Kevin McCarthy's bill to raise the debt ceiling
squeezes by in the House after a series of contentious
last-minute changes to secure enough GOP votes
    House passes McCarthy’s debt
ceiling bill by two votes,
four Republicans vote against

Apr. 26, 2023
Stock Market

Today is the 75th anniversary of Israel Independence Day or, in Hebrew, Yom Ha’atzmaut.  It began yesterday evening at sundown and will continue through today until sundown.

On the Gregorian calendar, Israel’s declaration of independence took place on May 14, 1948.  On the Hebraic calendar, this was on 5 Iyar.  This date occurs at different times on the Gregoria calendar each year.

The new State of Israel was recognized by the United States, the Soviet Union and many other countries.  However, it was not recognized by the surrounding Arab states, which officially declared war on the new state.

Apr. 25, 2023
Stock Market

Joe Biden, age 80, officially has launched his 2024 re-election bid for president.  It was not a live announcement; it was done in a 3-minute manufactured video.

Biden confirms 2024
reelection bid in
video announcement
    President Joe Biden confirms 2024
reelection bid in video announcement
with obvious dig at Trump

Apr. 24, 2023
Stock Market

A good friend in Anaheim has three dogs.  One of them is a Corgi, which also is the last dog on the chart in the cartoon that she sent me below.

I really like dogs.  Now I wish, when I was examining people’s eyes at FHP in Fountain Valley, that my receptionists had scheduled me some doggies to examine. 

Dog hindsight
Apr. 23, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Michele Bachmann.  It is possible that the global government could be established on the back of the World Health Organization and the United Nations.  A global digital ID would be at the center of this.

This could be decided May 21-30, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland.  Listen and learn about this one-world push, which is outlined in the Bible, and what we might be able to do to stop this effort.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:12,13)



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:

This Present Darkness — Audio | Video
Apr. 22, 2023

13-second slideshow

Today is the 73rd anniversary of “Earth Day.”  It was founded, in 1970, by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin).  In school at the time, I remember the first Earth Day well.  We had a big rally, and then we were released from classes early and encouraged to clean up the school grounds.

I do not see this day as a celebration of “Mother Earth” or “Mother Nature” but, rather, as an acclamation and exaltation of God.  He conceived of, brought into existence and energized into motion everything in the universe.  Without Him, nothing that exists would exist, including this awesome and amazing planet Earth. 

Apr. 21, 2023
Stock Market

Lyrids meteorsThe annual Lyrids meteor shower is taking place this month: April 15-29.  The Lyrids are caused by Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.

According to NASA, this is one of the oldest-known meteor showers on record.  The first sighting dates back to 687 BC in China.

The peak nights to watch the shower are this coming weekend: April 22 and 23.  A new moon taking place last night, giving the darkest sky, means that the sky will be darker than normal for the next few nights.  This enhances the chance of seeing meteors.

The best viewing of the Lyrids, named after the constellation Lyra, will be from the Northern Hemisphere.  In the U.S., it should be best to look toward the northeastern sky, preferrably in a location away from city lights and with a sky free of clouds.

Everything to Know
About 2023's Lyrids
Meteor Shower
    The Lyrid meteor showers:
A visual guide on where,
when and how to view

Apr. 20, 2023
Stock Market

SpaceX Starship launch SpaceX Starship explosion
This morning, SpaceX launched its unmanned 500-foot-tall Starship, by far the world’s biggest and most powerful rocket ever built.  The first launch attempt of the rocket three days ago, on April 17, was aborted due to a frozen valve.

The gigantic rocket lifted off a few minutes after the launch window opened at 8:28 a.m. CDT (9:28 a.m. EDT).  This was at the company’s flight test facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on the Gulf coast.  The rocket, loaded with nearly 10 million pounds of liquid oxygen and explosive liquid natural gas fuel, flew upward for a few minutes.

However, about 24.2 miles above the ground, just before the Starship spacecraft separated from the Super Heavy rocket booster, it began to tumble.  The mission ended in a big blast and a huge ball of fire, with all of the debris falling into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  The explosion took place about four minutes after liftoff.  SpaceX commentators kiddingly called it “a rapid unscheduled disassembly.”

SpaceX will need a new launch license from the FAA to make another attempt.  The next test launch is expected to take place in a few months.

SpaceX searches
for answers after
Starship’s fiery demise
    SpaceX launch of
Starship rocket ends
in midair explosion

Apr. 19, 2023
Stock Market

King the only God
Apr. 18, 2023
Stock Market

Today (Nisan 27 on the Hebrew calendar) is Yom HaShoah, which began at sunset last evening.  It also is known as Holocaust Remembrance Day or Holocaust Day.

This day commemorates the Holocaust, which was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the regime of Nazi Germany, along with its allies and collaborators.  It was an evolving process that took place throughout Europe from 1933 to 1945.

In Israel, there are 161,400 Holocaust survivors living there.  The average age of those Holocaust survivors is 85.  There also are about 30,000 over age 90 and 462 over age 100.  The youngest Holocaust survivors are aged 76.

Israelis to pause
in memory of 6 million
Jews killed in Holocaust
    Ahead of annual memorial
day, 147,199 Holocaust
survivors living in Israel

Apr. 17, 2023
Stock Market

Reza PahlaviThe last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.  His reign ended in 1979, when the Islamic Revolution took place, and he died in 1980.  His oldest son, Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran, became the final heir apparent to the throne of the Imperial State of Iran when his father was overthrown.

Reza Pahlavi now lives in the U.S.  He has been a prominent critic of Iran’s Islamic Republic government.  He believes that Iran should be a secular, parliamentary democracy.

The former Iranian crown prince now is making his first trip to Israel, in the midst of very tense Iranian-Israeli relations.  He plans to hold meetings with officials and leaders about politics, the Iranian diaspora and water and agricultural technology.  He also wants to observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins at sunset this evening and continues through tomorrow, April 18.

He wants the Israeli people to understand that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not represent the Iranian people.  In a Twitter post announcing his trip, he said, “The ancient bond between our people can be rekindled for the benefit of both nations.  I’m going to Israel to play my role in building toward that brighter future.

Son of Iran's last
shah set to make
first visit to Israel
    Former Iranian crown prince
Reza Pahlavi visits Israel
for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Apr. 16, 2023

Today is Orthodox Easter for Christians in the Eastern Orthodox Church.  In the Christian quarter of Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the annual Holy Fire ceremony took place yesterday.

In most years, around 10,000 Christian worshipers attend the Holy Fire ceremony.  However, this year Israeli police allowed only 1,800 people into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with another 1,200 people outside.  The police enforced this as a safety regulation due to recent deadly attacks and clashes in Israel.

15-second slideshow

Christian Holy Light
ceremony restricted
due to safety concerns
    Thousands attend
Jerusalem 'Holy Fire'
rite for Orthodox Easter

Apr. 15, 2023

At Olive Tree Ministries this weekend, Jan Markell spent the hour with Jeff Kinley.  They discussed portions of the biblical account of Noah and the flood (Genesis 6 through Genesis 8).  Noah’s Ark is a type of Christ in the sense that they both saved the righteous.  Similarly, the Rapture event will do the same.  How do these present days reflect the days of Noah?  The story of Noah is like a shadow of what is going to happen in the last days (Matthew 24:37-39).

The sin in the world at the time of Noah was overwhelming.  It is similar to that now, but it is prophesied in the Bible to be a great deal more horrific at the end of the age.

There are consequences for the gravity of depravity.  God is getting ready to judge again in the Tribulation outlined in Revelation.  When the flood came in the time of Noah, the people were caught unaware.  Similarly, people will be caught unaware in the day that Jesus returns.

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. (Genesis 6:5,6)

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this:  If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:37-44)

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark.  Then the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26,27)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)



30-second slideshow

Today’s program, lasting 54 minutes, can be heard here:

A Flood is Coming: The Approaching Global Storm — Audio | Video
Apr. 14, 2023
Stock Market

Today is al-Quds Day.  Each year, it is held on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  This year, the last day of Ramadan is next week on April 21.

The Islamic Republic of Iran established this day in 1979 to oppose Israel’s sovereignty and Zionism in Jerusalem and to express solidarity with the Palestinian people.  Demonstrations are held around the world in over 80 Islamic and non-Islamic countries.

Iran commemorates the day with anti-Israel speeches, events and threats to “liberate” Jerusalem from Israeli control.  Mass rallies often include incitement against Israel, including the burning of Israeli and US flags and chants of “death to Israel” and “death to America.”  There often are cyber attacks against Israeli targets.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned that if Iran is able to become a nuclear nation, it could result in other Middle East nations acquiring nuclear weapons.  He stressed the importance of the U.S. and Israel preventing this from happening.

Iran mocks Israel's
'waning existence' in
Quds Day Twitter post
    In first, Iran's
president addresses
Palestinians in Gaza
Large crowds for
Ramadan prayers at
Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa
    US, Israel must stand united
on Iran nuclear issue to avoid
'9/11 with nuclear bombs'

Apr. 13, 2023
Stock Market

It is possible that a momentous collision between Israel and Iran may be approaching.  Major General Yaakov Amidror, former national security advisor in Israel, indicated today that war between Israel and Iran is increasingly likely.  He also warned that Israel should be preparing for such a conflict without the support of the U.S.

Amidror said, “We need to prepare for war.  It’s possible that we will reach a point where we have to attack Iran even without American assistance.

Earlier this week, the U.S. did send a nuclear-powered guided missile submarine to the Middle East.  This was an endeavor to “help ensure regional maritime security and stability” amid increasing tensions with Iran.  However, the U.S. is dealing with and focused on increasing problems of its own outside of the Middle East.

Recently, during the days of Passover observation, rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Syria.  All of these regions contain Islamic groups that are considered to be proxies and surrogates of Iran.

Israel seeks US support
for IDF buildup as expert
predicts Iran strike
    Israel must prepare for
war with Iran without US
help, former NSA chief says
The lessons after ten
days of Iran-Israel
conflict - analysis
    Hamas, Hezbollah Leaders
Say 'Unprecedented Crisis' Hints
Israel on 'Path of Disintegration'

Apr. 12, 2023
Stock Market

Presently in the U.S., the cost of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp is 63¢.  Due to rising inflation, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for mailing service prices to be changed.

If the request is approved, the changes will go into effect on July 9, 2023.  Among other changes, the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp will be increased from 63¢ to 66¢.

The USPS has requested the following price changes:

  • Letters (1 oz.): from 63¢ to 66¢
  • Letters (metered 1 oz.): from 60¢ to 63¢
  • Domestic Postcards: from 48¢ to 51¢
  • International Postcards: from $1.45 to $1.50
  • International Letters (1 oz.): from $1.45 to $1.50

U.S. Postal Service
proposes price hikes
for mailing services
    US Postal Service
Announces Proposed Mailing
Services Price Changes

Apr. 11, 2023
Stock Market

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Over two weeks ago, on Mar. 26, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.  It happened a day after Gallant made a public appeal for Netanyahu not to follow through with a proposed overhaul of the Israel’s judicial system.

Later that day, it was reported that there would be a postponement of the judicial overhaul legislation by the Israeli government.  The measure will be delayed until the Knesset reconvenes in a few weeks and has further discussions about the legislation.

At a press conference last night, Netanyahu announced that he had reversed his decision to fire Gallant.  “I have decided to put the arguments behind us,” Netanyahu said.  He added, “Gallant remains in his position and we will continue to work together for the security of the citizens of Israel.”

Mr. Gallant welcomed the news, posting a picture of both of them on Twitter.  He included the message, “We will continue together with full strength for the sake of Israel’s security.”

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
reinstates Defense
Minister Yoaz Gallant
    In reversal, Netanyahu says
he’s keeping Gallant as
Israel’s defense minister

Apr. 10, 2023
Stock Market

This morning, I went to a couple of stores and got 45.30 oz. (2.83 lb.) of 50%-off Easter candy.  Almost all of the Easter candy already had been removed, although it had not been replaced with anything else.  Candy isn’t much of a “thing” for me anymore, so it probably will take me awhile to eat whatever I don’t give away.

5-second slideshow

Apr. 9, 2023

I am the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25This 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.

Today also is the first day of a 50-day count, the counting of the Omer, culminating on Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Harvest.  For Christians, that is the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).  This year, that is on June 5.

During the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits fell on the date of Aviv 17 on the Hebraic calendar (as described in the prophecy fulfillment section of my Good Thursday commentary).  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:

Tensions between Muslims and Jews near al-Aqsa MosqueThe attacks on Israel are increasing, following last week’s rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza Strip, an attack in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist ramming into civilians with his vehicle, and the killing of two British-Israeli sisters in the West Bank.  Last night and early this morning, rockets were fired from Syria into Israel.  The Israel military has responded by attacking targets in Syria from where the rockets were fired.  Also, tensions between Muslims and Jews, near the al-Aqsa Mosque, are continuing.

It also is being reported that Iran is planning to attack Israeli-owned trading vessels.  In response, the U.S. military announced that it had dispatched the USS Florida, a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine, to the Middle East to “help ensure regional maritime security and stability.”

Israel hits Syria
after rockets fired
towards Golan Heights
    Israeli Military Retaliates
After Rockets Fired
From Syria
Iran plans to attack Israeli-
owned vessels to avenge
advisers killed in Syria
    Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas:
Israel Now Faces the Perfect
Storm of a Multi-front War

Apr. 8, 2023

Never stop praying

The months-long violence in Israel has escalated this week, especially since the beginning of Passover a few days ago.  Many are considering the possibility that certain prophetic endtime events could take place soon.

Several people have suggested that I post a link to a section in my End of the Age: 2024 – 2027? commentary containing prophetic signs that are expected to happen at the beginning of the final 3½ years of this age.  That section, near the end of the commentary, is here: onset of the Great Tribulation.

Note: In retrospect, nothing of any prophetic significance happened in Israel during Passover week.  However, it is conceivable that it might next year.

Apr. 7, 2023

Yesterday afternoon, there was a rare rocket attack from Lebanon into northern Israel.  Dozens of rockets were fired into Israel, which has not happened all at once since 2006.  There also were rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.  Israel retaliated by attacking targets in southern Lebanon.

As of today, Israel has placed the blame on the Hamas terror group for both rocket attacks into Israel.  Israel then made further attacks on Palestinian militant targets in southern Lebanon and Gaza.  Also, in Israel’s West Bank today, two British-Israeli sisters, aged 16 and 20, were shot and killed, presumably by Palestinian terrorists.  Their mother was seriously wounded.  Furthermore, several pedestrians on a sidewalk in Tel Aviv were slammed and injured by a vehicle driven by a suspected terrorist.

Furthermore, there has been a phone conversation between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi.  A Turkish presidential office announced, “The call addressed the Turkiye-Iran relations and regional developments, including the Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.  President [Erdogan] highlighted the importance of the unity of the Islamic world against Israel’s increasing inhumane attacks in Palestine, especially on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”  In addition, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said today, “The Zionists are bewildered by the wave of convergence in the Islamic world as well as the outlook of the internal collapse of the regime.

The violence in and around Israel the past few days stems from Israeli police raids at the al-Aqsa mosque this week during the eve and day of Passover.  Many are expecting the violence to escalate this weekend.  On April 9, tens of thousands of people of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faiths, from around the world, will be gathering in Jerusalem.  For Christians, this will be a celebration of Easter Sunday.  Potentially, significant violence could arise in and around Jerusalem at that time and during the remainder of the week following Passover.

Israel launches strikes in
Lebanon and Gaza after barrage
of rockets fired across border
    Projecting unity, Netanyahu
and Gallant warn foes not to
test Israel after attacks
Turkey's Erdogan aligns
with Iran against
Israel's 'attacks'

Apr. 6, 2023
Stock Market

15-second slideshow

Today is the first full day of Pesach or Passover, which began at sunset last evening.  There also was a full moon early this morning.  This day is a commemoration of the exodus of Israel out of Egypt, as described in Exodus 12:1-51.  It is followed by the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Just as lambs were slain on the first and subsequent Passovers, the Lamb of God, Yeshua/Jesus, also died on Passover.  His shed blood atoned for the sins of all who will accept His unique sacrifice on their behalf.  According to John the Baptist and the apostle Paul,

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7b)

His death, of the righteous for the unrighteous, is the only thing that can bring us to God the Father.  According to the apostle Peter,

Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

There are clear links between the life, death, resurrection and future return of Yeshua/Jesus and the feasts and holy days of Israel.  (See more in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of my online book.)  More connections also can be found in my Good Thursday commentary.

Indeed, Yeshua/Jesus our Passover Lamb was slain, and He lay in the tomb during the first few days and nights of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Fortunately for us, He did not remain there; He rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits = Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).

He is in heaven now waiting to return to earth, at which time He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem.  There, He will rule and reign as King over all the earth.  I hardly can wait.

Rocket fire into Israel Rocket explosion in Israel
This afternoon, during the first full day of Passover, dozens of rockets were fired across the border from Lebanon into northern Israel.  Air raid sirens were sounding loudly.  It is suspected that the rockets were launched either by a Lebanon-based Palestinian militant group or by the Iran-backed terror group, Hezbollah.

Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that in response to the rocket fire, Israel struck targets in southern Lebanon.  In addition, several rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian militants.

Rocket fire from Lebanon is rare.  This was one of the largest cross-border rocket barrages since 2006.  The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon described the situation as “extremely serious.”  There is a major concern that a broader regional conflict is on the way.

The rocket fire followed a second night of violence around the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.  Last night, many worshipers locked themselves inside the mosque.  When Israeli officers broke into one of the mosque’s prayer halls, worshipers threw stones and firecrackers at them.  Israeli police responded with the use of stun grenades, rubber bullets and batons to disperse many of the worshipers.

The mosque is located on the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews.  Israeli authorities allow free access to the mosque.  However, many Muslim visitors repeatedly have attempted to stay there overnight since Ramadan began on March 22.  This is permitted by Israeli police only during the final 10 days of the month-long holiday of Ramadan.

Rockets fired at Israel
from Lebanon raise
risk of conflict
    Gaza militants blast
rockets into Israel as
Passover holiday begins

Apr. 5, 2023
Stock Market

The main U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is located in Washington D.C.  They produce and distribute information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government.  They also provide for public access to Federal Government information at no charge.

Benjamin Franklin, who lived from 1706 to 1790, was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.  At the GPO website, there is an interesting and informative section that Ben Franklin would have liked.  It is a free resource that is designed to inform students, parents and educators about the Federal Government.

Ben’s Guide  Ben’s Guide

Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government

Apprentice level ages 4-8  Journeyperson level ages 9-13  Master level ages 14+

I’ve always been fascinated with the general map of the states within the U.S.  When I was very young, I learned the locations of all 50 states, as well as all of the state capitals.

In the Games section of Ben’s Guide, I clicked on Place the States.  It didn’t take me long to drag all of the states to their proper places, and I remembered all of their capital cities.  I think that all Americans, age 9 and older, should be able to do that.

15-second slideshow

Apr. 4, 2023
Stock Market

Donald Trump in Manhattan court Protests near Manhattan court
On March 30, former president Donald Trump was indicted by a New York grand jury in Manhattan, NY.  It was the first time in U.S. history that a former or a current president had been charged criminally.

Yesterday, Trump traveled by plane from Florida to New York.  His motorcade took him to Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he spent the night.  This afternoon, Trump was arraigned in a criminal court in Manhattan.  He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Hours before Donald Trump turned himself in at the New York courthouse, hundreds of his supporters and opponents had swarmed into a nearby park.  On one side of the park, people whistled, shouted, and held placards voicing their support for Trump, who has announced that he plans to run for U.S. President in 2024.  On the other side of the park, separated by a metal barrier, were counter-protestors who initially appeared to outnumber the former President’s supporters.  Many held homemade placards celebrating Trump’s indictment.

Following the arraignment, Trump left New York and flew back to Florida.  Tonight, he gave a 30-minute address to at least a thousand people in Mar-a-Lago.  He countered the charges against him and called them “election interference,” spoke out against the present Democratic administration and the Manhattan district attorney for being partisan, and encouraged the consolidation of his base.

Trump being arraigned
in Manhattan court on
grand jury charges
    Donald Trump surrenders,
pleads ‘not guilty’,
in New York court

Apr. 3, 2023
Stock Market

After using a simple calculator for less than a week after I purchased it, it stopped working.  A description of the calculator says, “With the calculator using classic solar diode power, you will never have to worry about replacing the batteries.”

However, it would not work under a bright light, nor even outside in direct sunlight, no matter how many times I pressed the “ON” button.  Therefore, I assumed that there was something wrong inside of the calculator.

I still had the receipt, which I pulled out of the trash can; so I planned to take it back and exchange it for another one.  However, I was just curious to know if possibly it might work if I took it apart and put it back together again.

I got my container of tiny screwdrivers and found one that fit into the screws on the back panel.  After lifting off the panel, I gently lifted up the thin strip behind the buttons, which caused many of the buttons to fall out.  Then I put all of them back in place, pressed the strip tightly against the backs of the buttons, and carefully replaced the back panel.

Since then, it has worked great.  In fact, it not only works under bright light but it even works in a dark room at night with no lights on.  I’m not sure what I did that fixed it, but I’m glad it works fine now. 

15-second slideshow

Apr. 2, 2023

Jesus on Palm SundayToday is Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  This happened one week prior to the resurrection of Jesus, the firstfruit from the dead, which occurred on the Feast of Firstfruits (commonly referred to as “Easter Sunday”).

His triumphal entry was prophesied to happen by the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 9:9.  Jesus’ entry into the city is described in Matthew 21:1-11 and in Mark 11:1-11.

A very large crowd of people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem.  They tossed palm branches onto the road in front of Him.  They praised Him as they walked along with Him, and they shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Psalm 118:25,26).

This took place on 10th day of Aviv, the day that each Israeli family in Egypt was to select a Passover lamb (Exodus 12:3).  Four days later, on the 14th day of Aviv, was when the lambs would be slaughtered (Exodus 12:6).  Likewise, four days after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Sunday, He was slaughtered on Good Thursday.  Jesus was the ultimate Passover Lamb for Israel and for the rest of humanity.

See more about the parallels between Jesus and the Passover Lamb.  Also, see a chart of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the Feast of Firstfruits/Resurrection Day.

Apr. 1, 2023

Happy April Fool’s Day.  Don’t play too many pranks unless you like to get pranked back. 

13-second slideshow

April 2022 calendar

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