Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
July thru September, 2018


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Sep. 30, 2018

One of the main messages in our church service this morning was about sin, which is a breaking of God’s eternal Law.  Thus, sin equates with lawlessness, which is rampant throughout the world today and continues to increase in every nation.

Most of the world does not know the one, true God.  Even for those who do, it is human nature to do things the ways that we want to do them, even when we know they are wrong.  Even the apostle Paul struggled with sin (Romans 7:7-25).

Sin has its penalties, and the ultimate penalty is death.  Therefore, it is advantageous to do the following:

  • recognize the sin in our lives and get serious about eliminating as much of it as we can, and
  • realize that sin is a “thief” and robs us of many things that are beneficial to us.

 

All of us sin, and all of us will die (unless we are removed first by the Rapture), since the ultimate penalty of sin is death.  But Jesus, the only person who was sinless, came to atone for our sins and remove their penalty of eternal death so, in Him, we may have eternal life.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8,9)

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1,2)

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.  And in him is no sin. (1 John 3:4,5)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10,11)

Sep. 29, 2018

In an interview with CNN yesterday, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he would consider a two state solution, suggested by the Trump administration, with an “open mind.”  He confirmed that the U.S. and Israel have “a strong and brave friendship.”

However, during the interview, Netanyahu declined to state whether or not he actually supports a two-state solution.  He said, “I discovered that if you use labels you don’t get far, since different people mean different things when they say ‘states.’  I would rather talk about content than labels.”

He also said “Israeli forces must control security.”  He added that without such measures, “Islamic terrorists will taker over that place: ISIS, Hamas, Iran or all of them combined.”

The interview followed a recent statement made by President Trump, who said that he “likes a two-state solution.”  The Trump administration claims to be working on a peace plan that Trump used to describe as “the deal of the century” with the aim of resolving the century-long Arab-Israeli conflict.

PM vows to keep 'open mind' on US
peace plan, won't voice support for 2 states

Sep. 28, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines this afternoon to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor.  The 11-10 vote came just one day after Republicans heard testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens.  Kavanaugh denied the accusation.

However, after being confronted by two female protesters, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he could not promise to vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor.  He called for a delay of up to a week for an FBI investigation.

Then President Trump directed the FBI to launch the supplemental investigation.  He said that the investigation “must be limited in scope” and “completed in less than one week.”

Trump orders FBI probe into
Kavanaugh; Senate vote delayed

Sep. 27, 2018

For most of today, there was a very lengthy Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.  The accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, first testified.  This was followed by the testimony of the accused, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

I watched and/or listened to almost all of it on TV and radio all day, as I was busy doing other things.  The whole thing was quite amazing.

This intense hearing probably will determine whether or not Kavanaugh becomes the next Supreme Court Justice.  A Senate Judiciary Committee vote on this issue should take place tomorrow.

The following video, a little over 9 hours in length, shows the entire hearing, plus a few other things before, during and after.  I think this is the most lengthy video I’ve ever seen on YouTube.


Sep. 25, 2018

Today, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, NY.  It was the second time that he has addressed the assembly.  His speech was just over 35 minutes in length.

In case the video is unavailable, you can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKrpEuyEHqc


In other news, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is President Trump’s selection to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  The selection was announced on July 9.  If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired on June 27.

Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings began on Sep. 4 and lasted for four days.  However, a Senate vote on whether or not to confirm him still has not taken place.

This mainly is because accusations by Christine Blasey Ford have derailed Kavanaugh’s nomination.  She claims that Kavanaugh attempted sexual contact with her at a party in 1982, when he was 17 and she was 15 (both under the legal age of 18).

In Martha MacCallum’s TV interview of Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh last night, he denied Ford’s accusations.  The interview is 20½ minutes in length.

In case the video is unavailable, you can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxEGNt5EwGo

Sep. 24, 2018

This is the first full day of the week-long Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.  It also is a special Sabbath when no regular work is to be done (Leviticus 23:33-35).

       
15-second slideshow

Sukkot in JerusalemAll native-born Israelites are to construct and to dwell in booths or “sukkot” (which is the plural of booth or “sukkah”) for a week.  This is a reminder to them of the temporary tabernacles in which their Israelite ancestors lived for 40 years after leaving ancient Egypt (Leviticus 23:42,43).

Jesus, whose birth was in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1), most likely was born in a sukkah during Sukkot, not in a stable in December.  The word “tabernacle,” used as a verb, means “to take up temporary residence, especially to inhabit a physical body” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the Only Begotten, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The words in that verse translated as “made his dwelling” among us are more accurately translated as “tabernacled” among us.  So Jesus tabernacled with mankind for a few decades while He was here the first time.

Being a Jew, Jesus celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and even taught in the temple courts during the days of this feast (John 7:1-44).  In the future Messianic era, during the Millennium, Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah will return to tabernacle with us again.  Representatives from the nations of the world will go to Jerusalem, where King Yeshua will be sitting on His throne, to observe the Feast of Tabernacles—essentially, a giant birthday celebration for Jesus:

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)

The LORD will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. ... Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:9,16)

Sep. 23, 2018

Hurricane Florence, which made landfall on the coast of North Carolina on Sep. 14, continues to wreak havoc in North and South Carolina.  The flooding actually got worse after the hurricane passed through, and rivers still are overflowing their banks.

One of my good friends lives in Fayetteville, NC.  He has been through numerous hurricanes, but he says this one may be the most devastating of all.  Click here to read an interesting message that he sent me on Facebook.


Sep. 22, 2018

Tonight, the Autumnal Equinox happens in the USA at 6:54 p.m. PDT or 9:54 p.m. EDT.  In most parts of the world, though, this takes place early in the morning on Sep. 23, which will be the first full day of Fall.

       
13-second slideshow


Sep. 21, 2018

In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 26,700 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.32% to 26,743.50, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 0.04% to 2,929.67.

The S&P 500 was up most of the day, topping yesterday’s record high.  However, it went down slightly in the final 30 minutes before the market closed.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 26,743.50.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,929.67.
Sep. 20, 2018

The previous record high close of the Dow Jones Industrial Averate (DJIA) was earlier this year on Jan. 26.  On that date, the Dow closed at 26,616.71.  The previous record high close of the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) index, on Aug. 29, was 2,914.04.

Today, there were new record highs.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed up 0.95% to 26,656.98, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.78% to 2,930.75, also a record high.  This was the 100th record high of the Dow since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 26,656.98.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,930.75.

Sep. 19, 2018

Today is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.  It is the highest Sabbath during the Hebraic year.  Today also is the final day of the 40-day season of Teshuvah, a major period of repentance, asking God for forgiveness and returning to a meaningful relationship with Him.

       
15-second slideshow

God ordained this day in ancient Israel for the high priest to enter the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle, and later the temple.  He was to make atonement for his sins and for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:1-34).

Later, God also told Moses that this Day of Atonement was to be a special day of commemoration.  It was to be a day of sacred assembly, a day to deny oneself (for example, to abstain from eating), and a day to refrain from work (Leviticus 23:26-32).

On Yom Kippur each year in ancient Israel, the high priest selected two goats that would be the slain goat and the “scapegoat”.  It is because these goats made atonement for the sins and guilt of the people that the day was referred to as the Day of Atonement.

There are direct connections between Yom Kippur and Jesus, atonement sacrifice and Redeemer.  Firstly, He was our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7b) whose blood was shed for the atonement of our sins, and there are other parallels between Jesus and the Passover lamb.  Secondly, He will return to earth, to begin to rule and reign, on a future Yom Kippur, at the end of the 70th Week.

Here are two email responses I have written in the past having to do with Yom Kippur:

I have been abstaining from food since sunset last evening, which is when Yom Kippur began.  I will be fasting for 24 hours.


Sep. 18, 2018

Socialism has never worked anywhere that it’s been tried.  Over time, it always results in oppression of the masses and a failed economic system.

Socialist rule always fails, such as most recently in Venezuela, where terrible things are happening to the people.  They are experiencing horrible living standards, a minimal supply of basic goods and an environment of declining personal safety.

This pretty much sums up how naïve people are tricked into accepting the implementation of a socialistic government and system:

   

Sep. 17, 2018

I do not watch TV comedies, dramas, variety talk shows or other series.  I lost interest in most television programs many years ago and watch mainly new networks.  I want to know what is going on in the real world.

However, I know that many people have an interest in nightly and weekly TV series programs.  The 70th Annual Emmy Awards ceremony took place tonight at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.  The full list of winners can be seen here:

70th Emmy Awards
Nominees and Winners
  | 
  | 
Emmy Awards 2018:
See the full list of winners

Sep. 15, 2018

       
15-second slideshow

Today is Shabbat Shuvah, which means “Sabbath of Return.”  It always is the Sabbath between Rosh haShanah (the Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).  Shabbat Shuvah also is a play on the phrase “Shabbat Teshuvah” or Sabbath of Repentance.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9)

This is a day of reflection leading up to the highest holy day of Yom Kippur, which is a few days from now on Sep. 19.  It is a time of penitence, seeking reconciliation with God, knowing that we have fallen short of His high expectations.

Shabbat Shuvah always takes place during Yamim Nora’im or Days of Awe.  These are the final 10 days of the season of Teshuvah.


At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell and Eric Barger had a discussion with Billy Crone of Get a Life Ministries in Pahrump, NV.  They talked about the dangers of artificial intelligence in today’s world and the invasion of privacy in our lives.

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

A Robot Messiah?: Audio

Sep. 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence aerial view Hurricane Florence landfall in North Carolina
Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning at Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington, in southeastern North Carolina.  It was a Category 1 storm with about 90 mph sustained winds.  It has moved west into northeastern South Carolina.

A few days ago, while still a few hundred miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, Florence was a Category 4 hurricane.  Over 1 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were told to evacuate their homes as the hurricane headed toward the coast.

Due to a catastrophic storm surge, massive flooding had occurred in many coastal areas of North Carolina before noon and still continues.  Almost 500,000 people in NC were without power.

The flooding and power outages are expected to increase and spread throughout NC and SC over the next several days.  Florence could drop over 10 trillion gallons of water on North Carolina alone.  It probably will set a record for flooding in NC.

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina,
with plenty of destruction and suffering ahead

Sep. 13, 2018

There was another bountiful garden harvest today.  The last one was on Sep. 4, but there were a whole lot more tomatoes today.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many tomatoes at one time in Barry’s garden.

He blended the tomatoes in a food processor and simmered the tomato sauce for quite awhile to condense and concentrate it.  Then he mixed in other vegetables (onions, eggplants, garlic, mushrooms, Kalamata olives and jalapeños) and made a lot of outstanding pasta sauce.  He put most of it into plastic containers and then in the freezer.

     

     
20-second slideshow

I think I have eaten about a boatload of tomatoes since I’ve been here.  The last picture above shows the result. 


Sep. 11, 2018

Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the horrific and ghastly September 11 attacks by radical Islam on the USA.  Let us keep in our minds and hearts the great sacrifice that thousands of people made with their lives on that day.

Many in the past have claimed that America is not at war with Islam and have insisted that “a religion did not attack us.”  The problem is that true, Qur’an-believing Muslims are at war with the USA, with Israel, and frankly with everyone in the world who does not embrace Allah as “God” and Muhammad as “his Prophet.”

Thus, the idea that we are “not at war with Islam” is merely a “politically correct” notion accepted by those who are asleep and who have chosen not to perceive the obvious because they do not want to acknowledge it.  Just as most Christians have not read the Bible from cover to cover, most Muslims have not read through the Qur’an.

Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, have been told that the Qur’an complements and sychronizes with the Bible.  Yet, those who have read both books all the way through, which I strongly recommend doing, have seen that this is an erroneous assumption; the two books are incompatible in countless ways.  Some ways are demonstrated in this section: Gabriel’s messages.

Here is an email response I wrote about some of Islam’s beliefs, mostly pertaining to Christians and their beliefs, included in the Qur’an:

Although “moderate” Muslims will point to passages in the Qur’an that promote “peace,” such harmony and unity is to be among “believers” who have embraced the god, prophet and tenets of Islam.  All others (that is, the Mushrikûn), who have rejected these things, are to be captured, besieged, ambushed and killed.  It has happened before, and I feel quite certain that it will happen again—only on a much larger, more mind-boggling scale.  God—and I don’t mean Allah—help us.


Sep. 10, 2018

       
15-second slideshow

Today is the Feast of Trumpets, which actually began yesterday evening at sunset.  It also is the Jewish New Year or Rosh haShanah, which means “head of the year.”  Furthermore, it is a new moon, which takes place on the first day of every Hebrew month.  This is the month of Tishrei or Tishri, the first month on the Jewish secular calendar and the seventh month on the Jewish religious calendar.

Say to the Israelites: “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.  Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.” (Leviticus 23:24,25)

shofar or ram's hornGod ordained that trumpet blasts should be heard on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1).  This referred to blasts from a shofar or ram’s horn, which still is done today.  In Jewish tradition, the final shofar blown on the Feast of Trumpets is known as “the last shofar.”

The first ten days of the first month of Tishrei, on the Hebrew calendar, are the “high holy days.”  They often are called the “days of awe” (Yamim Nora’im) or the Ten Days of Repentance.  It is a time to examine one’s ways, to repent from one’s sins and to return fully to God.

This period ends on Tishrei 10, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, which is the highest holy day during the Jewish year.  I believe that the Rapture of believers will occur on a future Feast of Trumpets.  I also believe that Jesus will return to earth on a future Yom Kippur, to rule and reign for 1,000 years (the Millennium).


In other news, the swarm of major earthquakes in the world since late July continues to increase.  There have been seven in the the most recent six days, including two today.  I made a chart on Aug. 24, and the chart below has additional entries to the previous chart.

 • September 10 | 6.3 | Ile Hunter, New Caledonia
 • September 10 | 6.9 | L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
   • September 9 | 6.5 | Kirakira, Solomon Islands
   • September 8 | 5.6 | Lianzhu, China
   • September 7 | 6.2 | Alausi, Ecuador
   • September 6 | 7.9 | Suva, Fiji
   • September 5 | 6.6 | Tomakomai, Japan
        • August 29 | 7.1 | Ile Hunter, New Caledonia
        • August 28 | 6.4 | Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands
        • August 25 | 6.0 | Javanrud, Iran
        • August 24 | 7.1 | Iberia, Peru
        • August 23 | 6.3 | Tanaga Volcano, Alaska
        • August 22 | 5.8 | Yaguaraparo, Venezuela
        • August 22 | 6.2 | Bandon, Oregon
        • August 21 | 6.5 | Lakatoro, Vanuatu
    • August 21 | 7.3 | Rio Caribe, Venezuela
• August 19 | 6.9 | Belanting, Indonesia
• August 19 | 6.8 | Lambasa, Fiji
• August 19 | 6.3 | Belanting, Indonesia
• August 19 | 6.3 | Ndoi Island, Fiji
• August 19 | 8.2 | Ndoi Island, Fiji
• August 17 | 6.1 | Golfito, Costa Rica
• August 17 | 6.5 | Nggilat, Indonesia
• August 16 | 6.3 | Iwo Jima, Japan
• August 15 | 4.4 | Aguanga, California
• August 15 | 6.6 | Tanaga Volcano, Alaska
• August 12 | 6.3 | Kaktovik, Alaska
   • August 9 | 5.9 | Todo, Indonesia
   • August 5 | 6.9 | Loloan, Indonesia
     • July 28 | 6.4 | Obelobel, Indonesia

Significant earthquake during past 30 days on the Ring of Fire

Sep. 9, 2018

California became the 31st U.S. state on this date in 1850.  So this is the 168th anniversary of its statehood.

Most U.S. states were territories before they became states.  However, California jumped to statehood without first being a territory.

California becomes the 31st state in record time  |  History of California

Below is a handful of my favorite scenes in the state.  Right now I am about 30 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.

         
15-second slideshow

Sep. 8, 2018

Recently, an article at The Washington Institute indicated that increasing tensions on the border between Israel and Syria could result in a major war between Israel and Iran in Syria.  The article says that such a war could occur as soon as next year, 2019, and would be “one of unprecedented scope and complexity.”

The Great Middle
Eastern War of 2019

Sep. 7, 2018

My friend Barry likes very spicy hot food as much as I do.  In his garden, he had a recent harvest of cayenne, serrano and jalapeño peppers.  There were a few habaneros but not that many.

Each summer, he grinds up a bunch of them in a food processor.  Then he puts them on shelves in a food dehydrator in the garage for about 10 hours.  He actually parks his car outside of the garage because he thinks the strong fumes might slightly discolor the paint on the car.  I like going out there and inhaling the spicy hot vapors.

After the hot peppers are totally dehydrated, he puts on a pair of rubber gloves and crunches them up with his fingers.  He wears a mask when he does this; otherwise, the fumes burn the inside of his nose.  Then he puts them into sealed glass jars, labels them and uses them for cooking.

I took a pinch of serrano flakes in my fingers and ate them.  The taste was outstanding, and my tongue burned for about 30 minutes.  It was awesome.

The batch he made today is the only batch he’s made this summer.  He still has various hot pepper flakes from last year and the year before.  He might make one more batch before summer is over.

     

     
20-second slideshow

Sep. 6, 2018

We went wine tasting at Pezzi King winery.  Barry has a “Royals Club” membership, so he and any of his friends can go there at any time for free wine tasting.

The selection was excellent.  Of course, I’m not a wine connoisseur like he is, and everything tastes good to me.

         

         
30-second slideshow

Sep. 5, 2018

I have a membership at LA Fitness in So. California, but none of their gyms are up here in No. California.  My friend Barry’s main gym is 24 Hour Fitness, but they charge for a member to bring a guest.

However, he also has a membership at Planet Fitness, and they allow a member to bring a guest at no charge.  So we went to the gym in Rohnert Park today and had good workouts.

They are redoing the showers in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms.  There were a couple of individual rooms with showers, but we chose just to shower later at his house.  What is weird was that the men had to use the women’s locker room and vice versa.

Planet Fitness has a couple of mottos at various places in their gym:

  • “Judgement Free Zone” (which should be “Judgment Free Zone” in U.S. English)
  • “No Critics”

I guess it’s a way to attract people who are insecure or lack self-confidence around others.  Actually, I’ve never been to a gym where I heard anyone “judge” or ”criticize” others for the workouts they were doing, but maybe it happens.

         

         
30-second slideshow

Sep. 4, 2018

My friend Barry and I picked a bountiful vegetable harvest in his garden this afternoon.  It is just a portion of everything in the garden.  It included the following veggies:

  • medium to large tomatoes of various types and colors
  • red, green and yellow hot peppers (cayenne, serrano, jalapeño and habanero)
  • okra
  • green and yellow bell peppers
  • eggplants
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil leaves

We will be including a lot of this in the things we cook over the next couple of weeks.  I’m sure he’ll also be putting some out in his “Free Veges” box near the street for neighbors to collect as they pass by.  He is very generous.

I’ve eaten an abundance of fresh vegetables since I got here over 3 weeks ago.  I cannot get enough.  I think I’m starting to look like a tomato. 

Bountiful vegetable harvest.

Sep. 3, 2018

Today is Labor Day in the United States.  It always is the first Monday in September, and it is the last national holiday during the summer season.  In Canada, Labour Day also is celebrated on the first Monday in September.

The New York legislature was the first state legislature to introduce a Labor Day bill.  However, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday in 1887.

By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states observed Labor Day.  More information about this day can be found at the United States Department of Labor website here:

History of Labor Day

       
15-second slideshow

Sep. 1, 2018

The funeral of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took place today at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.  The entire event, a little over 3 hours, can be watched below.

Several people gave eulogies of McCain.  To me, the most comprehensive description of him was contained in the very moving, 17-minute speech of his daughter, Meghan, from the 34:28 point to the 51:28 point in the video.


Aug. 30, 2018

The Democratic candidate to succeed Governor Jerry Brown in California is Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.  He now is proposing to bring single-payer health care to California for everyone, regardless of immigration status.  That is, he wants even illegal immigrants to receive health care, which would be paid for by tax-paying citizens of California.

Newsom was the mayor of San Francisco, a sanctuary city, from 2004 to 2011.  In a recent podcast, Newsom said, “I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented, regardless of pre-existing condition, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status.  San Francisco is the only universal health-care plan for all undocumented residents in America.  I’d like to see that extended to the rest of the state.”

If he became governor and his health care plan were to be implemented, it would attract even higher numbers of illegal immigrants to the state.  The amount that have entered already is overwhelming, and this influx also escalates the homeless rate, especially in the largest cities.

Furthermore, the exorbitant taxes in this extremely-taxed state would escalate even higher if everyone received health care coverage, including those who have crossed the border with Mexico to reside here illegally.  The state is headed for bankruptcy if this doesn’t stop.

The political “pendulum” in California has swung way too far to the left.  The Republican candidate for governor is John Cox.  He is adamantly against illegal immigration and supports the building of a border wall.  I recommend voting for him.

California craziness: Congress may have to stop state
from giving 'free' health care to illegal immigrants

Aug. 29, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill enabling California to become the first state to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial.  This is scheduled to go into effect in October 2019.  The bill, essentially, will put an end to the bail bonds process and will replace bail with a “risk-assessment system,” although it still is unclear how the system will work.

Each county will use the framework of the state’s Judicial Council as a basis to determine who can be released before going to trial.  Under the new law, defendants will be categorized as high, medium or low risk, based on a pretrial assessment.  Those who are determined not to be flight risks or public threats will be freed to await trial.

Most suspects arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors will be released within 12 hours of being booked under the new law.  Those facing serious or violent felonies will not be eligible for pretrial release.

Supporters of the legislation say the change will end the “unfair practice” of imprisoning people simply because they are poor.  Opponents worry that dangerous people will go free and will not return for trial.  The latter is the main thing that concerns me.

5 things to know about
California's new bail reform law

Aug. 27, 2018

There is a rampant problem of poop from humans and dogs, as well as used hypodermic needles and other trash, on the sidewalks and streets of San Francisco.  I have been hearing about this for quite awhile and wondering if any serious efforts were being made to “clean up” the problem.

Then I heard about the “Poop Patrol” that will be implemented soon.  Some city workers are being assigned to rid the city’s sidewalks of the waste.  What is utterly amazing to me is the annual payment that a “pooper scooper” is supposed to receive: $184,678, including salary plus benefits.  WOW!! 

San Francisco's 'Poop Patrollers' cleaning
up -- on the streets and at the bank

Presently, I am staying about 30 miles north of San Francisco.  Out of curiosity, I have thought about driving down there to check out the amount of poop I could see while walking around.  I doubt that I will, but it’s still possible.

With all the people looking down at their smart phones while they’re walking, it makes me wonder how many of them are stepping on piles of poop that they fail to notice.  I think a video like that would go viral on YouTube


Aug. 26, 2018

Another harvest of Barry’s garden was made today.  It included tomatoes, eggplants and plums.  Some of them were put into the “Free Veges” box and placed near the street.  As usual, the contents disappeared rather quickly.

       
13-second slideshow

Aug. 25, 2018

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), dead at 81
John McCain
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has died at the age of 81.  He passed away late this afternoon at his ranch in Cornville, AZ.  He would have turned 82 on Aug. 29.

Senator McCain succumbed to glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer with which he had been diagnosed in July 2017.  He chose to discontinue further medical treatment yesterday and died today.  He will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Maryland.

This is exactly nine years to the day—Aug. 25, 2009—after Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) died of the same type of brain cancer.  Both senators made unsuccessful runs for the U.S. presidency: Kennedy in 1980 and McCain in 2000 and in 2008.

Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona will name a successor to John McCain’s Senate seat.  The replacement must be a Republican and will serve until after the 2020 election.

John McCain dead at 81  |  John McCain’s Full Farewell Letter

       

       

       
38-second slideshow


At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell’s guests were Nathan Jones and Daymond Duck.  Their discussion included how a “new world order” and a “one-world government” often are considered to be conspiratorial notions; but, indeed, they eventually will take shape and materialize.

Many leaders and statesmen, past and present, have spoken about a new world order, based on the notion that a one-world government should govern the conduct of nations.  They include George H. W. Bush, John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and George Soros.

Indeed, according to Revelation 13:1-10, a one-world government is coming, with a leader who will “exercise his authority for 42 months” (13:5).  We do not know exactly when this will begin; but when it does, this man will have “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (13:7) and will demand the allegiance and obedience of all people.  Those who refuse will be punished or killed (13:10).

Another topic of discussion was that of the Rapture.  Although I like and appreciate most of the endtime Bible views of Jan Markell and her guests, I disagree with their Pre-tribulation view of the Rapture.  She played an audio clip that included these words by Joel Richardson:

The issue of the pre-tribulational versus the post-tribulational rapture is one of the premier pastoral issues of our day.  If you’re a pastor who is not preparing your people to face potentially the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation in this hour, simply because your denomination teaches it or whatever, personally I think you’re failing in your role as a shepherd and a pastor.

What he means is that some denominations teach the notion of a pre-tribulation or imminent rapture.  They deny the possibility that church believers will be here when the Antichrist appears on the world scene and the dreaded Great Tribulation begins.

I adamantly disagree with this teaching that is popular in many churches.  I am convinced that multitudes of church believers will see the Antichrist and will enter the Great Tribulation period.  Also, I strongly feel that the rebellion or apostasy mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 most likely will include a falling away from the faith by many who were taught that a pre-tribulation rapture will take place first.

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

Is a Shadow Government Biblical or Just Conspiratorial?: Audio

Aug. 24, 2018

I check earthquakes everyday at the USGS site.  For a few weeks, I have noticed an escalation of major earthquakes worldwide.  These include two with magnitude 7+ and one with magnitude 8+.

   • August 24 | 7.1 | Iberia, Peru
   • August 23 | 6.3 | Tanaga Volcano, Alaska
   • August 22 | 5.8 | Yaguaraparo, Venezuela
   • August 22 | 6.2 | Bandon, Oregon
   • August 21 | 6.5 | Lakatoro, Vanuatu
   • August 21 | 7.3 | Rio Caribe, Venezuela
   • August 19 | 6.9 | Belanting, Indonesia
   • August 19 | 6.8 | Lambasa, Fiji
   • August 19 | 6.3 | Belanting, Indonesia
   • August 19 | 6.3 | Ndoi Island, Fiji
    • August 19 | 8.2 | Ndoi Island, Fiji
• August 17 | 6.1 | Golfito, Costa Rica
• August 17 | 6.5 | Nggilat, Indonesia
• August 16 | 6.3 | Iwo Jima, Japan
• August 15 | 4.4 | Aguanga, California
• August 15 | 6.6 | Tanaga Volcano, Alaska
• August 12 | 6.3 | Kaktovik, Alaska
   • August 9 | 5.9 | Todo, Indonesia
   • August 5 | 6.9 | Loloan, Indonesia
     • July 28 | 6.4 | Obelobel, Indonesia

In the past, I’ve seen that if a few big quakes occur on the Ring of Fire, they often are followed by numerous other quakes on the ring.  This appears to be happening now.

Whenever so many major quakes occur in such a short period of time, it increases the chance that a megathrust earthquake, which can exceed magnitude 9.0 or greater, could occur somewhere in the world.  This term is used to describe an earthquake with exceptional destructive power, often causing a tsunami.

Significant earthquake during past 30 days on the Ring of Fire

The USGS has provided a page with a list of recommended emergency supplies following a major earthquake:

What emergency supplies
do I need for an earthquake?

Here is a list of supplies that I recommend:

Adversity Supplies Basic List

Aug. 23, 2018

The national language of Israel is Hebrew.  Rather than being read from left to right, Hebrew is read from right to left.  That is the basis of this cartoon...pretty funny:

The Coke Salesman in Israel

Aug. 22, 2018

My friend Barry emailed me from Indonesia and said he has been enjoying scuba diving today, which is his birthday.  He suggested that I go pick some ripe eggplants and cherry tomatoes in the garden and put them in the “Free Veges” box.

So I did that and put the box out near the street for people passing by to see.  I bet it won’t take long before they’re all gone.

         
15-second slideshow

I checked the “Free Veges” box a couple of hours after I put it out near the street today.  All of the veggies were gone, and a “thank you” note was in the box.

   
8-second slideshow

That didn’t take long.  I hope they enjoy their eggplants and cherry tomatoes. 


Aug. 20, 2018

I have not made lasagnas since Sep. 30, 2016, which was here in my friend Barry’s kitchen.  Today I made two lasagnas, primarily with fresh vegetables from his garden.  They were totally vegan, with no meat.

The garden vegetables included green bell peppers, yellow squash, okra, green beans and eggplants.  The remaining vegetables were store-bought.

There were enough ripe tomatoes for me to slice and spread around in both lasagnas.  However, I like to slice up and eat a half or a whole fresh tomato each day, so I did not use those in the lasagnas.

I did deviate somewhat from my standard lasagna recipe.  For instance, besides using no meat, I put spices and shredded cheese only on the top layer.

         

         

         

         

         
75-second slideshow

Actually, these may be the tastiest lasagnas I’ve ever made.  I will not get tired of eating some every night until they are gone.


Aug. 18, 2018

At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell’s guest was former U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.  She sits on President Trump’s “Evangelical Advisory Board.”

Today’s program was the second in a two-part series that began a week ago on Aug. 11.  Here are some topics they discussed on both programs:

  • the left’s increasing love of socialism,
  • how Washington DC has been turned into an ideological war zone that is spreading everywhere,
  • how dangerous a time it is to be a conservative and a Christian,
  • mass hysteria and “Trump derangement syndrome” in the U.S., and
  • accomplishments of President Trump, including on Israel’s behalf.

Both audio programs, each lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:

Discerning the Times — Part 1: Audio | Part 2: Audio

Aug. 17, 2018

I have been in Marin County, north of San Francisco, for almost a week.  My friend Barry flew me here so I could watch his house and take care of his dog Lulu while he is scuba diving in Indonesia.  I took him to the airport a couple of days ago to fly there.

The air has been somewhat hazy much of the time that I’ve been here, due to wind sometimes blowing smoke from wildfires in this direction, but it hasn’t been too bad.  The trees around here are green, but most of the ground is dry and yellow.  So I hope the fires stay away.

As usual, Barry’s vegetable garden and plum tree are flourishing.  There are not a whole lot of edible tomatoes yet, but there will be when they ripen soon.

He has filled a box with vegetables a number of times and put it near the street with an invitation for people to take.  Usually within 2-3 hours, they’re gone.

Gasoline prices in Marin County are as high as a kite, compared to most other places.  Many stations in San Francisco are even higher.

There are a lot of deer around here.  Driving can be hazardous because they often cross the road without paying attention.

Lulu dog, who is 15, loves her late afternoon walk everyday.  But, even more, she likes walking fast (sometimes running) back home to eat dinner.  She is a good doggy, and I like to call her the “Queen of Marin.”

I have taken a whole lot of snapshots, as I usually do.  A few of them are below.  The ones taken out of car or house windows aren’t as clear as those that were not.

         

         

         

         

         
75-second slideshow

Aug. 14, 2018

2 men, 3 women at a remote Muslim compound in New MexicoOver a week ago, a Muslim compound was discovered in a remote location in Taos County, New Mexico, near the Colorado state line.  Two men and three women were arrested for child abuse of 11 children living in filthy conditions with almost no food.  Several weapons also were found.

Yesterday, a state judge set a low bail of only $20,000 for all 5 defendants.  The judge said that they all must wear ankle monitors and speak with their attorneys once a week.

However, she felt that there was not ample evidence that any of them were a threat to the community, even though authorities said that the remains of a young boy were found inside a tunnel at the compound and some of the children were being trained to conduct school shootings.

Governor Susana Martinez has said that she “strongly disagreed” with the judge’s decision.  Others feel that releasing the defendants from custody potentially could put other people in danger and increase the possibility that the suspects could flee.

New Mexico compound judge has history
of issuing low bail to violent offenders

Aug. 12, 2018

The Perseids over Sinemorets, BulgariaTonight and tomorrow night will be the optimal times to watch the meteor shower known as the Perseids.  This is an annual event that I look forward to each summer.  At least a few meteors should be viewable during night-time hours until about Aug. 24.

The best viewing probably will be during the pre-dawn hours.  There was a new moon last night, so the sky should be very dark tonight as well.  Viewing conditions should be very good in locations with clear skies.

Don't Miss the Perseids (from 2014)

   
8-second slideshow

Tonight I’m in Marin County, CA, north of San Francisco.  It has been very hazy around here this afternoon.  This is due to all the wildfires in northern CA, and the wind has been blowing some of the smoke into this area today.  I kind of doubt that we’ll be able to see many (or any) meteors tonight, but maybe so.

Update:  I went outside at about 11:30 p.m. after my friend went to bed.  He thought the sky would be too hazy to see any meteors.

Yet, at that time, I was able to see many stars and even the Milky Way.  After I couple of minutes, I saw a big bright meteor streaming toward me in the northwestern sky, lasting for about 3 seconds.

During the next 10 minutes or so, I saw a few small streaks in various places, each lasting a fraction of a second.  Then there was another very bright meteor way up high, lasting about 4 seconds.  It was quite spectacular.

I saw a couple more small ones over the next few minutes and then went to bed.  Those two big ones were worth the wait.

I got up at about 3:30 a.m. and went to look again.  However, the sky was hazier than it was hours earlier.  After a few minutes I hadn’t seen even a small streak, so I went back to bed.  I’ll probably look again the next few nights if the air isn’t too hazy or smoky.


Aug. 11, 2018

This is the first full day of the season of Teshuvah, which began yesterday at sunset.  It is a 40-day season each year, with the first 30 days (the “days of repentance”) extending to Rosh haShanah = Feast of Trumpets and the final 10 days (the “days of awe”) ending on Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement.

Most likely, this was the period of time when Jesus was in the desert and was being tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11).  Yet, He resisted all of Satan’s temptations, which was an example to all who believe in Him and follow Him.

During this time, people are to examine their lives, repent of their sins and transgressions, turn back to God in revival and with refreshing and be restored back to an active relationship with God and with other people, with whom relationships may have been damaged.  A common chapter in the Bible to read during this time is Psalm 51:1-19.

We all have times of personal rebellion against God.  This is a time to ask Him to show us favor, according to His faithful love and vast compassion, to wipe out our rebellions.  In Hebrew (translated into English), the following is read each day (from right to left):

Plea to God during the season of Teshuvah

Aug. 10, 2018

Smoke from wildfires in California is now covering about 75% of the state.  Furthermore, wildfire smoke from California and other western states has made its way all the way to the East Coast and beyond.  Wow.

Smoke from California wildfires reaches East
Coast as firefighters continue to battle flames

Aug. 9, 2018

Over the past couple of days, Hamas has fired about 180 rockets into Israel.  At least 30 of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.  Other rockets landed in open spaces.

Some rockets landed near a playground, from which terrified children and their parents hurriedly fled.  The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded to the rocket fire with at least 140 airstrikes, killing at least 3 people in Gaza.

Today, a Palestinian rocket landed in Beersheba, Israel, for the first time since 2014.  The last war between Israel and Gaza was in 2014.  Many are worried that these most recent attacks, from both sides, could escalate into another war.

Israel orders 'strong action' against
Hamas as rocket fire from Gaza persists

Aug. 7, 2018

Wow!  The high temperature in Death Valley today is 120° with 5% humidity, and tomorrow it is 121° with 8% humidity.  Since I really like high heat with low humidity, I am tempted to drive over there this afternoon, spend the night and hang out there tomorrow.  I’d be sure to take along some very spicy/hot Thai red curry so I could sit out in the sun and eat it.

Unfortunately, I am too busy this week and don’t have the time.  But I can dream.  I know I’m weird, but I can’t help it. 

Death Valley 10-day weather forecast Aug. 7-16, 2018

Aug. 5, 2018

7.0 earthquake near Bali, IndonesiaI check earthquakes everyday at the USGS site.  Today I noticed that there was a huge earthquake in Indonesia.  The USGS indicated that it was a 6.9 magnitude quake near Loloan, Indonesia.  Some other places that I checked said that it was a 7.0 quake.

Either way, the quake was huge.  So far, at least 130 people are dead, and numerous aftershocks have occurred.  There was a tsunami alert, but fortunately that was canceled.

Exactly a week ago, there was a 6.4 quake near Lelongken, Indonesia.  Over a dozen people were killed, and there was a great deal of damage.  Evidently, that quake was a foreshock of today’s larger temblor.

My friend Barry and another friend (who is originally from Indonesia) are flying there next week for a lengthy scuba diving trip.  I am flying up to Barry’s in No. CA in a few days.  He purchased my flights so that I could take care of his dog, Lulu, while he is gone.

When I saw the earthquake information this morning, I sent him the following email:

You may have heard that there was a 6.9 to 7.0 earthquake today on Lombok Island, Indonesia.  At least 3 are dead.  This is exactly a week after a 6.4 quake nearby killed more than a dozen people and did a huge amount of damage.

In case wherever you're going is near those locations, you probably will feel a boatload of aftershocks while you're there.  Maybe you'll get really lucky and there will be an 8.0 quake and a big tsunami while you're scuba diving...fun!

https://www.sfgate.com/world/article/39-killed-in-7-0-magnitude-earthquake-in-Indonesia-13133539.php

I don’t suppose that he will cancel his trip.  But even if he does, my flights are scheduled and paid for.  So, barring unforeseen circumstances, my trip to No. CA is still on.  I just hope that no wildfires come close to where he lives.  He says it is hazy there but, so far, not smokey.


Aug. 1, 2018

In ancient Israel, King David ordered Joab, commander-in-chief of the army, to take a census within Israel.  Later, David acknowledged that doing this was a foolish sin, and Israel paid a heavy price for David’s action.

The Bible contains two accounts of this: 1 Chronicles 21 and 2 Samuel 24.  The first account says that it was Satan who incited David to take the census.  However, the secound account indicates that it was God who incited David to do this.

At first glance, there seems to be a contradiction here, but there really is not.  Simply speaking, God uses Satan as a tool to carry out many of His plans within His vast agenda.

Below is a link to my brief explanation of this apparent paradox.  Near the bottom of that page are links to other pages with more explanations:


July 29, 2018

Map of major fires in CaliforniaThe 5-year drought in California has been severe.  Similar to last summer, it has led to weeks of raging wildfires throughout the state.  The death toll and the amount of destruction continue to rise.

About 12,000 brave firefighters are battling at least 17 fires in record-breaking high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds.  The National Guard has been engaged, and evacuations are increasing.

Heavy rains and snow a couple of years ago actually worsened the fire threat.  Increased growth of trees and brush have provided more combustible material, which now is burning.

One of my favorite places, Yosemite National Park, remains closed due to the nearby Furguson fire, which broke out on July 13.  Hopefully, the park will be reopened by the end of this week.

Fatal California Wildfires
Spread, Wreaking Destruction

July 27, 2018

Lunar eclipseThe longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century is taking place tonight and early in the morning.  The totality portion will be visible in much of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

Portions of the eclipse will be visible from eastern South America as it is ending and from Australia as it is beginning.  None of the eclipse will be visible in North America except in a small area in the easternmost bit of Canada.

The total or “blood moon” portion of the eclipse will last 1 hour 43 minutes.  From start to finish, the entire penumbral phase will last 3 hours 55 minutes.

July 27–28, 2018 — Total Lunar Eclipse

Longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st Century

July 23, 2018

Iranian President Hassan RouhaniThe economy and currency of Iran have tanked since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran on May 8.  Also, the U.S. has renewed sanctions against Iran.

Yesterday, Hassan Rouhani, who has been the President of Iran since 2013, sent a warning to President Trump.  He indicated that Iran might shut down international oil shipments in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.  He also said, “Americans should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.  Likewise a war would be the mother of all wars.”

Late last night, responding to the latter statement, President Trump sent out a very fiery tweet, consisting mostly of capital.  The media has gone nuts over this tweet today.

President Trump's tweet to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

White House blames Iran
for war of words with Trump

I hope that this does not escalate, anytime soon, to something bigger.  Time will tell.


July 22, 2018

         
15-second slideshow

Today is the observance of Tisha B’Av, which is regarded as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.  Actually, yesterday was the ninth of Av, when Tisha B’Av typically is observed.  However, in years when the ninth of Av takes place on the Sabbath (Shabbat), the observance is on the tenth of Av, which began at sunset yesterday evening.

Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout the millennia of history.  Primarily, it commemorates the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians, in 586 B.C.E., and second Temple by the Romans, in 70 C.E.

Following both of these events, there was a Jewish exile from the region of Judea.  Also, on Tisha B’Av is remembered the expulsion of the Jewish people from England in 1290, from France in 1306 and from Spain in 1492.

This is a full day of fasting and mourning.  A 25-hour fast is common, as well as a reading of the book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem.


July 21, 2018

Coleman family, most of whom were drowned in a boat accidentIn a terrible boat accident two days ago near Branson, MO, 17 people were killed.  Due to an unexpected strong storm, the boat capsized and sunk to the bottom of the lake, where it still remains.

Of the 17 who are deceased, 9 of them were from the same family.  Tia Coleman, a family member who nearly drowned but survived by the grace of God, lost her husband and all 3 kids, along with 5 other family members.

Her testimony in the video below, which I first saw on TV, is one of the saddest and most shocking accounts I’ve ever heard in my life.  Her description is very articulate and eloquent, even though it follows the most devastating loss in her life.  I don’t know how she was able to answer all of those questions in her present state of mind.

Tia is very strong and has my full admiration and sympathy.  Please join me in sincere prayer for this wonderful lady, who suddenly is without her immediate family.  She is a supreme example of how true faith in God can get us through the worst trials in life.  Donations can be given on her Go Fund Me page.


July 18, 2018

Proposed California split measure removed from November ballotThe “Cal 3” initiative, a plan to split California into three separate states, received enough votes as of June 13 to place it on the November ballot.  The measure proposed dividing the state into California, Northern California and Southern California.

Today, however, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously to remove the measure from the ballot, amid questions about the measure’s validity.  A challenge against the initiative was filed last week by the Planning and Conservation League, an environmental group.

The group contended in its challenge that the measure amounted to a proposed revision of the California Constitution.  They claimed that the measure could be placed on the ballot only if two-thirds of both houses of the state legislature approved it.

California Supreme Court blocks proposal
to split state in 3 from November ballot

I know that even if “Cal 3” were approved by voters on Nov. 6, it would face an uphill battle in the state legislature and in the U.S. Congress.  Still, I am disappointed.  I would have liked a strong message to be sent to the CA government that a great many Califonians are sick of its extremely liberal policies.


July 17, 2018

President Trump said today that he looked at the transcript and listened to a clip of what he had said yesterday at a press conference in Helsinki, Finland.  He indicated that he had misspoken on the issue of whether or not Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 election.

Trump said that he had meant to say, “I don't see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” instead of, “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia.”  He also said that he has “full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies.”

Trump says he misspoke on Russian meddling
during press conference, accepts US intel findings

July 16, 2018

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the Helsinki Summit, July 16, 2018U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin met today for a summit in Helsinki, Finland.  Their meeting came just days after indictments were delivered against 12 Russian nationals for their alleged role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

However, Trump asserted that he did not collude with Russia in the election and recounted his victory over Hillary Clinton.  He called the special counsel investigation “ridiculous” and a source of tension between the two countries.

Trump said that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of Russian election meddling.  There are many Democrats and Republicans who disagree, though.

Trump says he doesn't 'see any reason' why Russia
would have hacked the US election when asked
whether he believes Putin or the US intel community

There is no way to know, for certain, if Trump actually believes that Russia and Putin are innocent of U.S. election meddling.  Perhaps he feels that U.S./Russia diplomatic relations will improve if he sticks up for Putin.  Who knows.


July 15, 2018

Last night was the second night in a row of flare-ups between a Hamas terrorist group and Israel.  Early this morning, two rockets fired from Gaza were downed by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missle defense system.  Earlier in the night, two mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel.

Very early yesterday morning, 174 rockets and mortar shells were launched by terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.  While over 100 of them landed in open fields and 30 were intercepted by the Iron Dome, several landed within communities within southern Israel.  Some Israelis were wounded.

The IDF responded by bombing dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip.  It was the largest bombing campaign against Hamas since the 2014 Gaza war.  Examples of that can be seen in my July 8 and July 17, 2014, entries.

Iron Dome downs two rockets fired
from Gaza in second night of unrest

July 13, 2018

       
13-second slideshow

This is Friday the 13th.  Although I am not superstitious, I have to admit that it was one of the weirdest days I’ve spent in a long time.  It would have been better if I could have seen a black cat—one of my favorite animals—but I didn’t. 

Three aquaintances who virtually never call me decided to call at various times today.  Of course, all of the calls occurred while I was in the middle of doing some very important projects that needed to be finished.

Interestingly, none of the callers had anything important to talk about.  They all just wanted to have lengthy social chats about topics such as the weather, silly things their pets were doing (none of them black cats) and other things on which my mind had difficulty focusing today.

One call was terminated in the middle of a sentence; however, she called back about 25 minutes later saying that her phone battery had died.  Then, although she is a very nice and interesting person, I did not have the time to continue the discussion.  Fortunately, she was perceptive enough to understand this, and our conversation did not last too much longer. 

At the post office this afternoon, there were no clerks available to help customers.  I glanced at my watch as soon as I got in line.  I really needed to have something weighed, but I decided to wait no more than 10 minutes.  The two people ahead of me and several behind me were having immaterial discussions, and it was difficult for my mind to concentrate on the other things I needed to do before the day was over.

I kept glancing at my watch and actually was looking forward to the 10-minute time limit to come so that I could get out of there.  However, after more than 9½ minutes, one postal clerk showed up.  Then I had to wait almost 5 more minutes to get my item weighed.  I felt like lying on the floor to take a nap; I’ve never before had to wait that long in a post office.

There actually were a number of other weird and annoying things that happened today that I will not take the time to list here.  Suffice it to say that I experienced a “bad luck” Friday the 13th.  I’m glad there aren’t any more of those for the remainder of 2018.  In fact, the next ones aren’t until Sep. 13 and Dec. 13, 2019.  Yippee!! 


July 10, 2018

Boys and coach rescued 2.5 miles from entrance to caveOn July 5, I recommended prayer for the safety and eventual rescue of the twelve boys and their coach from the cave in northern Thailand.  They had been stranded in the cave since June 23.

Over the weekend, a productive rescue effort ensued.  As of today, all of them have been removed alive, and all are expected to recover successfully.

ALIVE: All 12 boys and their coach are safely out of the
Thai caves after a 17-day ordeal that gripped the world

I see this as a miraculous undertaking directed by the merciful God.  I feel that He responded to earnest prayers from people around the world, and I am very excited and relieved.

I hope that this experience will have a positive effect on the boys’ lives, showing them that there always is hope in the most ill-fated situations.  I also hope that this will strengthen their relationships with Jesus, their Lord and Savior.


July 9, 2018

President Trump has announced his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who resigned on on June 27.  Trump’s nominee is Brett Kavanaugh, 53, who is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

This video shows an 8-minute introduction of Brett Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, by Donald Trump.  Then Judge Kavanaugh speaks for another 8 minutes.


July 7, 2018

At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell’s guest was Trevor Loudon.  Although he is from New Zealand, he is very pro-America.

One topic of their discussion was about the Communist infiltration into the U.S. government and national security.  Loudon’s documentary, The Enemies Within, talks about the “Trojan horses” infiltrating the infrastructure of the Anerican government.  Here are three trailers for the documentary:

Trailer #1  |  Trailer #2  |  Trailer #3

Loudon says that “the U.S. Constitution is the guiding light for anyone who loves liberty.  And if the U.S. Constitution is allowed to die, the light of liberty will go out across the planet—not just in America but in every free country in the world.”

He points out how various radical factions are infiltrating the U.S. and its government.  “They actually have bad actors who have penetrated our system, basically making decisions the way Iran, North Korea, China and Russia would like us to make decisions.”

The audio program, lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:

The Enemies within: Audio

July 5, 2018

In northern Thailand, a dozen boys on a youth soccer team, ages 11-16, continue to be stranded in a very deep cave with many tunnels.  Their assistant coach, 25, is there as well.  They have been there since June 23.

Heavy rains and flooding trapped them and have complicated the efforts to rescue them.  Water is being pumped out, but the downpours continue.

Anupong Paojinda, the Thai interior minister, has said that the boys might have to learn to dive in order to escape the tunnels.  However, this could be very dangerous, since many of the boys do not know how to swim, much less use diving equipment.

Food and other essential supplies have been delivered to them.  All of them are alive, and most are in stable condition.  Overnight, though, a former Thai Navy Seal, Saman Gunan, tragically died due to lack of oxygen during a rescue attempt.

Thailand cave rescue: Former Thai
Navy SEAL dies from lack of oxygen

I am very concerned about this group of kids and their coach.  I cannot imagine their levels of anxiety, as well as the stress that their families and friends are undergoing.  Please join me in daily prayer for their safety and, hopefully, their eventual rescue.


July 4, 2018

America’s 242nd Birthday

       
15-second slideshow

Bill of Rights    Lord’s Prayer

Tonight, I went with several friends to a park to watch a fireworks display.  It was really awesome.

         

         

         

         

         

         
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July 3, 2018

Pillsbury DoughboyPlease join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.  The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma, complications from repeated pokes in the belly.  He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin.

Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch.  The gravesite was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.  Born and bread in Minnesota, Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.  He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.

Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.  Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven.  He also is survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If you smiled while reading this, please rise to the occasion and pass it on to someone having a crumby day and kneading a lift.


July 2, 2018

Recently, a U.S. envoy, including President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, visited the Middle East for a week.  A peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians was discussed.  On June 24, indications were that the announcement of such a plan was near.

Since then, a public opinion poll of Israelis was taken by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University.  The survey indicates that about three-fourths of the respondents think the plan has a very low or moderately low chance of success.  I tend to agree.

Poll shows most Israelis have
little hope for Trump peace plan

July 1, 2018

People pronounce words in diverse ways.  Sometimes this is due simply to not observing the proper spelling of words, and sometimes it results from different accents or cultural variations.

I feel that on TV and radio in the U.S., people should enunciate the clearest American English possible.  This is important to ensure the most widespread understanding by listeners.

Here is a list of words, properly spelled, along with common ways that they are incorrectly spoken:

Correct and Incorrect Pronunciations

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