Archive for the ‘World Events’ Category

I normally try to stay away from writing about political matters, but this year’s election has revealed the moral compass of many Americans. (And not in a good way)

The world has witnessed more back-biting, name-calling and violent protesting during this election season than most people can remember.

And sadly, the few candidates who showed high moral standards and common sense were passed over. And now Americans are left with a choice between an angry, insulting, narcissist, who believes that only HE can make America great again, or a woman who has a long history of lies and corruption. But it seems that the American people either have short or selective memories.

Trust is an important part of any good personal or professional relationship. This is especially true when comes to deciding who to choose for the highest office in the country. If past performance is an indicator of future actions, our country is in big trouble.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is either really sketchy, super savvy—or a little bit of both. Trump has made millions of dollars facilitated by high-profile connections and unprecedented subsidies and tax breaks from the government. The Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that he made millions of dollars endorsing a multilevel marketing firm called ACN. The company has undergone regulatory investigations regarding pyramid scheme allegations in three countries—allegations Trump told WSJ he had never heard of.

He has also gotten into hot water recently over Trump University—now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. The seminar initiative has him embroiled in two lawsuits in New York and California for misleading people into believing it was an actual university.

Trump’s corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on four separate occasions: the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, the Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. All of his bankruptcies were tied to casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City. And this is the man that we’re going to trust with our economy?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called for a crackdown on all types of trafficking of women and children across international borders. In a 1999 speech she said, “Finally, trafficking of women and children has emerged out of the shadows and into the spotlight. We must prevent it, protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”

That same year Human rights investigator and whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac tried to investigate cases of human sex trafficking in Bosnia—and lost her job. There were many cases, but they were never prosecuted. Young girls from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries were forced into prostitution and used on the UN and military bases as sex-slaves. The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, and the Ukraine who worked with local organized criminals. The suspects were immediately removed from the mission or transferred to other missions, but most were never charged under diplomatic immunity. (You can read her story here)

But despite a presidential directive that set a zero tolerance on human trafficking, those working in the sex trade have still been operating with impunity—Some under the cover of the U.S. government!

Just last year a report from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services indicated that “peacekeepers” working in Haiti were guilty of raping Haitian women at an alarming rate. The report also indicated that a large number of the victims were underage.

According to the report, there were 231 people in Haiti who claimed they were sexually violated by UN peacekeepers, and were forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for food and supplies that were intended as relief packages. (Read more at http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/report-hundreds-of-women-a-children-forced-into-sex-by-united-nations-peacekeepers-video/)

Sex trafficking among the elite

In 2002 Former president Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the ” Lolita Express”—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Clinton shared Epstein’s plane on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003—before any of the allegations against them became public—according to the pilots’ logbooks, which have surfaced in civil litigation surrounding Epstein’s crimes.

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton have remained mum about their ties to the Palm Beach pedophile—despite evidence that shows Bill was one of the most famous and frequent passengers

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex (and one count of adult solicitation), for which he only served just over a year in county jail. But he has reportedly settled lawsuits with more than 30 victims since 2008! The youngest alleged victim was only 12 years old at the time of her abuse! (Read more at: http://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971)

And to make matters worse, (If that’s possible) yet another victim filed a suit in New York accusing not only Epstein, but also Donald Trump—of raping her at a series of sex parties when she was only 13! Trump has denied these claims and his reps have said he barely knew Epstein—even though  Epstein had 14 private numbers for Trump and his family in his little black book.

And in spite of these disgusting reports, the American people are more outraged about some lost and leaked e-mails?

When did we lose our moral compass? 

The answer is that the two bedrocks America was founded upon and depended upon are today reviled and attacked as not being relevant to modern society—the Bible and the Constitution.

The Bible is no longer viewed as the truth a vital nation anchors its present and future aspirations upon, but is viewed as the resource of foolish and ignorant people who subscribe to a theology of bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

But if there is no God, there is no absolute truth. And if there is no absolute truth, then our decisions are based upon what feels good to us. We in effect then, contribute to the creation of chaos and disorder—because then there are no behaviors that are too wretched and evil, and nothing is unacceptable.

Consider just a few of what many claim are resources of foolish and ignorant people:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

America’s moral compass is embedded in our Constitution that acknowledges that ALL men (including women and children) are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights—among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Having a moral compass means having a sense of what is right and wrong and moving toward that direction or goal. It also means that we do not idly stand by while members of our society are denied those unalienable rights by the government or other powerful groups and cliques who abuse the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.

The Constitution of the United States (and its documents) are the most influential preservers of human rights and critical in setting of limits pursuant to the reach of government. Yet today the Constitution is looked upon as an outdated creation of wealthy, old white men who are no longer relevant today.

America has replaced order and morality with chaos and selfishness. America is no longer a standard to the world that shows forth truth and constitutional justice. Instead, America has become a purveyor of lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation. America has lost its standing with the world because America has lost its moral and constitutional standing with its own people.

Regardless of who becomes president in November, the only way I see America returning to the morals and values of the Founding Fathers is that we repent of our wickedness and turn back to God. If not, we will become further entrenched in even more lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation—that eventually will lead us to cry out to God for mercy.

Either way, God wins. Maybe that’s what he planned all along.

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“Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.” (Esther 9:1)

Ancient Persia of biblical times is today known as Iran.It is now more than two millennia since the Purim story took place there and an attempted genocide against the Jewish people was miraculously aborted. Haman of old had a plan. “Death to the Jews” was his program. Celebrating Purim is our commemoration of his failure. But history has a remarkable way of repeating itself. Jew-haters still live on, renewing Haman’s efforts with even greater dedication and perseverance—not only from Iran, the biblical home of Haman, but also from ISIS and many other countries where sympathy  for Islamic radicals is on the rise.

Although celebrating Purim is not a commandment from God, it continues to be celebrated because its message needs to be remembered. Those who seek destruction of the Jewish people are evil. Their evil must be acknowledged. Their words must be taken seriously. Their goal must be prevented.

And how do we celebrate Purim today in light of modern day Haman’s seemingly rise to power, strength and wealth? Perhaps the most important words of the Megillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther are V’Nahafoch Hu – “it was reversed”. (Esther 10:1) Tragedy was turned around at the last moment, and all the plans that Haman tried to implement in order to destroy the Jews were used in the end to save the Jews.

Today, we celebrate Purim with costumes, noisemakers, and a feast that includes wine and Hamantashen, special filled cookies that resemble Haman’s three cornered hat. We give gifts of food to our friends, and money to the poor.

“…as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” (Esther 9:22)

We also read from the book of Esther and use a special noisemaker every time Haman’s name is mentioned as a sign of disrespect and make our hearts glad with wine.

“A person should drink on Purim until the point where he can’t tell the difference between “Blessed is Mordechai” and “Cursed is Haman. (Talmud – Megillah 7b; Code of Jewish Law 695:2)

Some think that just as the Irish have a springtime drinking holiday called St. Patrick’s Day, the Sages instituted Purim as Judaism’s springtime drinking holiday. This is absurd!

To begin, we first need to define the Bible’s concept of feasting and gladness. Throughout Scripture feasting is always associated with drinking and rejoicing. Rejoicing often includes laughter. Laughter occurs when the unexpected happens. A toddler puts on her father’s big shoes—and we laugh. Someone forgets their lines in a play—and we laugh. The sudden surprise catches us off guard. And the more unexpected it is, the funnier it is.

The story of Haman’s downfall and Mordechai’s rise teaches us that even at a time when we’re powerless to think and respond logically, God continues to protect us and shield us. On Purim, we drink to life (“L’chaim”) with the knowledge that all of our troubles are temporary. We capture the joy that just as God redeemed us from previous dangers, sins and problems, He will do so again. Because God is always here, running the world for our ultimate benefit.

Many people drink to forget their problems—and for a while, it works. But if we were on a higher spiritual level, we wouldn’t need to drink. But since we’re not on such a high spiritual level, we drink in order to loosen up, laugh at our troubles and forget our anxieties. If we were truly clear on the idea that the only real power operating in the world is God, we wouldn’t have nearly as much worry and anxiety as we normally do. If we trusted in God, we would be fully relaxed. Then we could really see that God has everything under control, and in spite of us, everything will work out.

The message of Purim is that even though it’s hard to see Him, God is here in the world. Even when things look bad, even if we’re suffering, in some way it has got to be all for the best, because there’s a benevolent God behind everything, manipulating events for our good. This is what is means to “drink until you can’t tell the difference between Blessed is Mordechai and Cursed is Haman.” It is only because of our limited perceptions that we see a difference. But in God’s infinite reality, there is no difference between the two. It is all ultimately for the good. (This does not mean that we are to drink to the excess where we cannot walk or talk at all, but just to the point of not being able to use our logic)

A fun fact on this theme: In Hebrew, the numerical value (gematria) of “Cursed is Haman” is 502. The numerical value of “Blessed is Mordechai” is also 502. On Purim we drink to the point that we can no longer compute the mathematics.

A final word on drinking:

Let us use good judgement on Purim. We should set a model for our children by not drinking to excess and by supervising adolescents and teenagers to make sure that they do not drink. In this way we can all enjoy a safe, respectable Purim. There have been far too many teenagers as well as adults who require emergency attention after becoming too drunk. Drinking and driving is not only against Halacha, but obviously against common sense. Rabbis, teachers and parents should be encouraged to discuss this issue with all children and adults not only before Purim, but throughout the year.

Over the past several months many have been calling for more restrictions on Muslims. Many governors have suggested that we close our borders to the Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country. Many have even labeled all Muslims as potential terrorists.

If Donald Trump has his way, all Muslims would be rounded up and placed in internment camps like we did with the Japanese during WW II.

The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States was the forced relocation and incarceration during World War II of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens! President Roosevelt ordered the incarceration of Japanese Americans shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

On February 19, 1942 Roosevelt authorized the deportation and incarceration with Executive Order 9066. This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire West Coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona.

In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the removal by ruling against Fred Korematsu’s appeal for violating an exclusion order. The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, avoiding the issue of the incarceration of U.S. citizens with no due process.

It wasn’t until 1980, under mounting pressure from the Japanese American Citizens League and other organizations, that President Jimmy Carter opened an investigation to determine whether the decision to put Japanese Americans into internment camps had been justified by the government.

The Commission’s report, titled “Personal Justice Denied”, found little evidence of Japanese disloyalty at the time and, concluded that the incarceration had been the product of racism and recommended that the government pay reparations to the survivors.

Another 8 years passed before President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act, which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 to each individual camp survivor. The legislation admitted that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to 82,219 Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs. That same $20,000.00 would be worth over $60,000.00 today. 

Even if our government allowed the exclusion of Muslims in our country, tax payers could be responsible to pay American Muslims the same reparations just as they did to the Japanese Americans.

Estimates range that there are between five to 12 million Muslims who live in the United States today. Even on the low side, that would amount to over $300,000,000,000.00 ($300 billion!) That is more than was spent on the wars since the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001!

America’s fear of Muslims is based on racial prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. (Sound familiar?) Mark my words, these fears are real. But many of these fears are unfounded.

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. But just because someone from a Muslim country applies for a visa does not make them a terrorist. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. For more information visit: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/applying-admission-united-states

Are there those who would abuse our visa program to do us harm? Of course. We have gun laws in place. Are there those who would abuse those laws to cause us harm? Absolutely!

But as a Christian, I do not have to fear. Because God promises me in his Word, the Bible, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) And the writer of Hebrews states, “For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

I don’t have to fear because, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 )

Another danger of our Islamic fear is that it creates fear of retribution in the Muslim community as well. Many Muslims have related stories of vandalism and persecution. They may be afraid to speak out against the radical Islamic terrorist acts for fear that loved ones still living in ISIS controlled countries would be killed. But when Muslims are silent, many Americans interpret it as sympathizing with terrorism.

I would encourage Muslims to speak out against these barbaric acts—regardless of the consequences.

During the civil rights era in the ‘60s there were also white people who spoke out against the racist actions of the KKK. Many of them were beaten and killed—but they still spoke out.

Many Christians speak out against the Westboro Baptist Church whenever the church plans a protest. Westboro is best known for protesting the funerals of U.S. soldiers with highly offensive anti-gay and anti-Semitic signs.

We need to stop being overly cautious of the Syrian refugees who risk their lives entering our country in order to escape the ravages of ISIS because they MIGHT be a terrorist. With all of the millions of dollars that ISIS has at its disposal, do you really think that one of them would risk their lives by traveling over seas in an inflatable raft with 40 or more other men, women and children?

There is more danger from wannabe gang-bangers and criminals that can illegally purchase a gun on a street corner. And when these criminals are brought before judges for sentencing, all too often judges hand down light sentences to repeat offenders who often go on to commit even more violent crimes.

So why am I not afraid? Because I remember what God has done throughout history to protect his people:

Gideon

As is the pattern throughout the Book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from God after 40 years of peace and were oppressed by the neighboring Midianites and Amalekites. God chose Gideon, a young man from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their worship of idols. On God’s instruction, Gideon destroyed the town’s altar to the foreign god Baal and the symbol of the goddess Asherah beside it. 

Gideon gathered 32,000 men to battle against the armed forces of Midian and the Amalek. However, God informed Gideon that the men he had gathered were too many—with so many men, there would be reason for the Israelites to claim the victory as their own instead of acknowledging that God had saved them. Eventually Gideon’s army was reduced to only 300 men. (Judges 7:4–7) That night, Gideon gave each man a trumpet and a torch concealed inside a pottery jar. At his signal, they blew their trumpets, broke the jars to reveal the torches, and shouted: “A sword for Yahweh and for Gideon!” (Judges 7:20) God caused the enemy to panic and they all turned on each other handing over victory to Gideon and his army of 300 men!

The Hanukkah Story

In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. This upset the Jewish people, but many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. The Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish villages and told them to bow down to an idol, then eat the flesh of a pig—both practices that are forbidden to Jews. A Greek officer ordered Mattathias, a High Priest, to bow to their demands, but Mattathias refused. When another villager stepped forward and offered to cooperate on Mattathias’ behalf, the High Priest became outraged. He drew his sword and killed the villager, then turned on the Greek officer and killed him too. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked the remaining soldiers, killing all of them. Eventually they succeeded in retaking their land from the Greeks. These rebels became known as the Maccabees.

Once the Maccabees had regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine.

Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day’s worth of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days. This is the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that is celebrated every year when Jews light a special menorah for eight days.

There were also many miraculous eyewitness accounts of God’s protection of his people during Israel’s six day war. Too many to mention here but even secular reports had to admit that the battle belonged to God.

Haaretz Newspaper’s Bottom Line
Following his blow-by-blow analysis, the military correspondent for the secular Haaretz Newspaper summed up the 6-Day War with the admission: “Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven.” [ibid, p. 445] 

A German Viewpoint
A German journalist summarized: “Nothing like this has happened in history. A force including a 1000 tanks, hundreds of artillery cannons, many rockets and fighter jets, and a hundred thousand soldiers armed from head to toe was destroyed in two days in an area covering hundreds of kilometers filled with reinforced outposts and installations. And this victory was carried out by a force that lost many soldiers and much equipment, positions, and vehicles. No military logic or natural cause can explain this monumental occurrence.” [ibid, p. 446.] 

For read the eyewitness accounts visit: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/122435#.VmcjW4SEnVo

So you see, if we would only trust in God there would be no need to fear.

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA:  WORLD WAR II/WAR IN THE WEST/THE HOLOCAUSTThe Nazi Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and ended in 1945 when the Nazis were defeated by the Allied powers. It is estimated that 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust. Six million of these were Jews.

Many people around the world were shocked and angered to find out that during World War II, a number of German physicians conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, disfigurement or permanent disability.

“Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

From reports of the kidnapping, rape and slaughter of innocent women and children and the beheadings of western journalists by Islamic terrorists, it appears that the devil is still walking about like a roaring lion.

But have we been any less evil?
The devil and the demons seek to know our weaknesses so that they can attack our most vulnerable position. Just like Uncle Screwtape says in the book ‘The Screwtape Letters’ by C.S. Lewis: “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one. This is the road taken by quiet people, responsible citizens, religious people, our neighbors and even people participating in the Christian church.”

Japanese-internment 2The 1st American Holocaust
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. The order set into motion the evacuation and mass incarceration of over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.

These Japanese Americans, half of whom were children, were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law or any factual basis, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. They were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their jobs and businesses. In some cases, family members were separated and put into different camps. President Roosevelt himself called the facilities “concentration camps.”

Some Japanese Americans died in these camps due to inadequate medical care and the emotional stresses they encountered. Several were killed by military guards for allegedly resisting orders.

At the time, Executive Order 9066 was justified as a “military necessity” to protect against domestic espionage and sabotage. However, it was later documented that “our government had in its possession proof that not one Japanese American, citizen or not, had engaged in espionage, not one had committed any act of sabotage.” (Michi Weglyn, 1976)

It took almost 50 years for Congress to pass the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that acknowledged that “a grave injustice was done”. Even then, each victim of the internment was only paid $20,000 in reparations along with a signed apology from the President of the United States on behalf of the American people! The period for reparations ended in August of 1998.

ToxicThe 2nd American Holocaust
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the declassification of top-secret studies, the “Human Radiation Experiments,” done over a period of 30 years, in which the US conducted radiation experiments on as many as 20,000 vulnerable US citizens. Victims included civilians, prison inmates, federal workers, hospital patients, pregnant women, infants, developmentally disabled children and military personnel—most of them powerless, poor, sick, elderly or terminally ill.

Eileen Welsome’s 1999 exposé The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War details “the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of men, women, and even children to nameless specimens.”

In 1950 an experiment to determine how susceptible an American city would be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprayed a cloud of bacteria from ships over San Francisco. Monitoring devices were situated throughout the city in order to test the extent of infection. Many residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms.

In 1994 Senator John D. Rockefeller issued a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War. That same year, the U.S. Government admitted that it had offered salaries and immunity from prosecution to war criminals and scientists who had performed human medical experiments in exchange for data on biological warfare research.

baby_20_weeksThe 3rd American Holocaust
From the Nazi concentration camps to black slavery, to the human experiments in America—there was one common thread: A belief that there is a portion of society that are non-persons.

Forty-one years ago the infamous Roe v. Wade decision became law which legalized abortion-on-demand nationwide. The aftermath of this tragic ruling is the deaths of over 55 million innocent unborn babies!

Today it is the unborn child—tomorrow it may be the elderly or those who are incurably ill. Who knows if a little later down the road it may be anyone who has political or moral views that do not fit into the distorted reasoning of the day?

How many physicians, scientists, teachers, artists, musicians, pastors, missionaries, engineers, and other notable contributors to society have been murdered in the womb since abortion-on-demand was legalized in this country?

Today, Matthew 23:37 could be translated: “America, America, you who kill the prophets and those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather you together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

It is Satan’s subtle devices that are the most dangerous. That is why in our society, which is so given over to materialism and hedonism, we need to be even more aware of his schemes so that we can better stand against him.

In September, Pope Francis fired a Paraguayan bishop accused of sheltering a pedophile. Francis said his decision to fire the bishop was incredibly difficult. However, it was necessary for “the greater good of preserving the unity of the local church.” Pope Francis’ decision to fire the bishop underlines his “zero tolerance” approach to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis followed up on his zero tolerance as he launched a blistering attack on the Vatican bureaucracy Monday, outlining a “catalog of illnesses” plaguing the church’s central administration, including a “narcissistic pathology of power, existential schizophrenia.” The pope also denounced the lust for power of ladder-climbing clerics—those who indulge in hypocritical double lives, and lamented a sense of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that leads clerics to forget the joy that is supposed to animate their lives. He was especially critical of cliques that enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body, eventually leading to “death by friendly fire.”

Many would argue that the same could be said about our own political leaders. But remember, we’re the ones who voted them into office. Are our own religious leaders guilty of the pope’s accusations? And what about us? Are we also suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s?

2 Peter 1:5-9 tells us to, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

We are told that the Christmas season is a time for faith, goodness, joy and godliness—that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And yet, our lives are plagued with greed, jealousy, hate, violence and discord—just the opposite of what Peter tells us we should possess as Christians! Have we forgotten that as Christians we possess all of the godly qualities that Peter speaks of?

James chapter 4 gives us the reason AND the solution for all of the hate that is plaguing our communities. The reason: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

The solution: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Pope Francis suggested that his prelates examine and improve themselves. Should we not do the same?

If ever there was a time to pray for revival in the Church, it is now! May this Christmas season fill us all with a resolute spirit to seek God and His righteousness and love for our fellow human beings.

My heavenly father, I am crying—crying for the hurting—crying for the haters. I am crying from seeing people killing one another. Please hear my prayer! Help us stop all the hate on earth! Please give us peace again. Please look at these people killing and being killed and show them your mercy! Let us return to the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please hear my prayer and do what you think is good. Amen.

 

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:1-2)

Many Americans were shocked after hearing reports of the atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIS this year. We were even more shocked when we learned of the brutal beheadings of Americans. Now there are rumors that ISIS is even beheading children!

Many of us are thinking the same thing: “How could any religion promote such evil atrocities?” Or “Why doesn’t God step in and destroy all of these enemies?”

But in the mind of the terrorist WE are the enemy of their god, Allah and it is their duty to destroy anyone who does not ascribe to their religion: “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you; therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” (Quran 8:12)

It’s part of human nature to think that the universe revolves around us. We have a tendency to think as if our desires and wants are the most important things in the world. Subconsciously we try to make God fit into our plans.

Think about it. During the crusades, many people stated that God was on their side, that their cause was just and that God would help them defeat their enemy. (Those outside the Christian faith) It is events like this which should tell us that our perspective is wrong. We need to re-think our relationship to God.

When Joshua asked the person he encountered whose side he was on, it must have been a real shock to hear him say “Neither!” (Joshua 5:13-14) The Lord’s army isn’t FOR anyone. God’s purpose is to carry out God’s will – not to be another force at the disposal of man’s whim.

The real question is not whether God is on our side, but whether we are on God’s side. Are we submitted to God? Do we really act as though Jesus is our Lord, or do we try to get God to do what we want? God sometimes graciously intervenes on our behalf, but that is only God fulfilling His plan through us for His own glory.

C. S. Lewis wisely wrote: “Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, `Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything – God and our friends and ourselves included – as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”

This is not a popular opinion, but is it possible that all that we’re seeing in the world today is the result of God’s law of reaping and sowing? Galatians 6:7 tells us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

We’ve replaced the Bible and prayer in our public schools with metal detectors and police security. We’ve given up the security of family values and replaced them with immoral ideas and attitudes. Sanctity of life is no longer fought for, and more often is legislated against. Our children have become uncontrollable beasts who murder without conscience. Pornography has been piped into our homes for us and our children to view at the push of a button on the remote control.

If we reap what we sow, well, “Welcome to the harvest!”

The only way that this war on terror will end for us is to pray as the prophet Daniel did:
“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land…Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (Read Daniel 9:1-19)

It is only when we truly repent and turn from our wicked ways and turn back to God that we will experience true peace in our land. Because God promises that, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

It has been discovered that Dr. Martin Salia, who contracted Ebola while in his native Sierra Leone and who ultimately died from the disease, did not receive aggressive treatment until nearly two weeks after he first started showing symptoms — a delay that doctors said probably made it impossible for anyone to save his life.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/18/doctor-who-died-from-ebola-endured-treatment-delays/?intcmp=latestnews

Dr. Salia was a dedicated surgeon who did his best to keep his patients safe and alive. Like so many other brave health care professionals who have traveled to this disease stricken country, Dr. Salia felt that it was his Christian duty to leave a lucrative career in America and serve the least of his brothers and sisters.

But why didn’t the Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, have the courage to publicly come out and offer a statement in regards to the death of this dedicated physician? I would like to hear Ron Klain, or at least someone from the White House, offer condolences to the family of Dr. Martin Salia, and find out why there was such a long delay in treating Dr. Salia.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the brave men and women who are making such great sacrifices in order to fight this dreaded disease, sadly, with very little recognition.