Monday, January 15, 2018

Covenant With Many

Palestinian Central Council votes to end recognition of Israel - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The Palestinian Central Council has voted to end Palestine's recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the Palestinian state. The central council also voted to cease security cooperation with Israel. Members of the Palestine Liberation Organization's policy body met in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday to discuss how to respond to actions taken by Israel and the United States. PLO leaders are upset with President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's official capital."

Abbas says Israel 'killed' Oslo Accords - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday blamed Israel for ruining the ongoing Oslo Accords and said President Donald Trump's handling of the peace talks was a "slap in the face" to Palestinians. [...] Abbas went on to say that any future negotiations would require an international committee in the framework of an international conference to minimize U.S. influence."

Comment: Interesting developments. The stage is now set for a regional security agreement that mirrors the international framework used in the Iran nuclear deal.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Persecution

Chinese authorities demolish well-known evangelical church - AP
The AP reports: "Authorities in northern China’s coal country have demolished a well-known Christian mega-church, underscoring long-standing tensions between religious groups and the officially atheistic Communist Party. [...] The church, with a congregation of more than 50,000, has long clashed with the government. Hundreds of police and hired thugs smashed the church and seized Bibles in an earlier crackdown in 2009 that ended with church leaders receiving long prison sentences. [...] There are an estimated 60 million Christians in China, many of whom worship in independent congregations like the Golden Lampstand. Millions of Christians, Buddhists and Muslims also worship in state-sanctioned assemblies."

Comment: Please join me in praying for the persecuted church in China, that they will persevere in steadfast faith and demonstrate Christian values expressed in obedience to the civil authority (Romans 13:1-7) and living in peace and harmony with their neighbors (Romans 12:18).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fearsome Events

Hawaiians jarred by false alarm of ballistic missile threat - UPI.com:
UPI reports: "A false alarm shook Hawaiians early local time Saturday as alerts mistakenly warned islanders of a ballistic missile threat. Shortly after 8 a.m. Hawaii residents began posting screenshots of alerts they had received on their phones that said 'BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.' A tweet by State Rep. Tulsi Gabbard confirmed the false alarm, saying it was sent out inadvertently and that she checked with state officials. Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN that the mistake was caused by someone pushing 'the wrong button.'"

Comment: What strange days we are living in. Imagine thousands of people scrambling to secure their families and friends thinking that a nuclear missile attack is imminent.  Imagine what is going through their heads, what that stress is doing to their bodies (talk about adrenaline!) and not to mention all the immediate stress on the institutions of society. What an amazing thing to happen. I'm sure many studies will be done in the aftermath of this false alarm to examine just how the people and institutions of Hawaii coped with this sudden fear if attack.

Covenant with Many

Dozens injured in protests over Donald Trump's Jerusalem move - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Clashes between Palestinians protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Israeli forces left dozens injured Friday, Palestinian health officials said. [...] In addition to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital in early December, Trump said the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

Comment: I'm again amused that they continue to protest when nothing has actually changed on the ground. The embassy has not been moved. Nothing has changed. I know these are not really spontaneous demonstrations (few of them are)  but rather well planned, organized and funded to represent Palestinian "rage" at the U.S. and Israel.

Persecution

Three churches firebombed in Chile days before pope's arrival - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Three churches were hit by firebombs and graffiti in Santiago, Chile, three days before Pope Francis' visit to the South American country, authorities reported. The churches sustained damage, including to the doors and faces, according to report by The Santiago Times. Police also defused two other explosives that didn't detonate at two other churches later in the day, The New York Times reported. No one was injured, and only minor physical damage was reported, authorities said."

Friday, January 12, 2018

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

China defends deployment of naval ship to Japan-claimed islands - UPI.com
UPI reports: "China defended the deployment of a naval vessel to the Japan-claimed Senkakus, also known as the Diaoyutai Islands, after Japan issued a warning about the latest move from Beijing's military. Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday China was exercising its territorial rights in its naval deployment. [...] Japan's military could be increasing its defense capabilities against China because of the incursions, the Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the missile interceptor system Aegis Ashore, to be deployed in Japan, could be used to intercept Chinese cruise missiles, a statement that may not be well received in Beijing. [...] China retains a large number of cruise missiles and is developing a new missile that can reach speeds of up to Mach 5."

Comment: A bunch of uninhabited islands could spark a war between China and Japan with the U.S. in the middle.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Covenant With Many

Palestinian leader says U.S. out of peace talks until Jerusalem policy reversed - UPI.com UPI reports: "Saeb Erekat told official Palestinian Authority radio that resuming negotiations with the United States is 'unacceptable' and that Palestinians would reject all peace talks until Trump reverses his stance on Jerusalem. Trump announced on Dec. 6 the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv as part of the change, which the president said was in the interest of peace between Israelis and Palestinians."

Comment: It's a bit delusional for the Palestinians to issue demands of the United States. Well, like I mentioned earlier, this entire episode is significant if only because it opens up the peace talks to other mediators. Good luck with that.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Kings of the East

France’s Macron embarks on first China visit - UPI.com
UPI reports: "French President Emmanuel Macron began his first visit to China on Monday, where he hopes to push for lucrative trade deals and strengthen France's ties to Chinese projects like the $900 billion Belt and Road Initiative. Macron, 40, began the trip in the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an. It was a symbolic gesture signaling his support for Chinese President Xi Jinping's plan to link Europe and Asia through new infrastructure, The Guardian reported Monday. Xi'an is located in landlocked western China."

Comment: That Belt and Road Initiative is really interesting, I think I need to study that a bit more. A Silk Road for the 21st Century has important prophetic implications. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Persecution

9 dead after gunmen attack Egypt church in terror attack - UPI.com
UPI reports: "At least nine people are dead after two gunmen attacked the Mari Mina Church in Egypt's capital on Friday, authorities said. The attack occurred in the Helwan district -- a city on the southern outskirts of Cairo, east of the Nile River. Egyptian authorities are calling the attack a foiled attempt -- as they say the gunmen had explosives that could have made the attack even deadlier. [...] No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State terror group has often targeted coptic orthodox churches in Egypt."

Comment: Please join me in praying for the church in Egypt. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year




I'm off for my holiday break and wanted to wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas. I know that the news we link to here is often grim but I'm sure that most of you who visit this site are Christians who understand that beyond the headlines we know that God is sovereign and always in control. We know that this effort to be watchful has a purpose and a focus, and that focus is on Jesus Christ.

We watch the signs of His return, but this season is all about the First Coming and not the Second Coming, so as we turn to our families and friends to celebrate the holidays we offer thanks and praise to God and above all, celebrate Jesus as the reason for the season. I'd like to leave you with the lyrics to one of my favorite holiday carols. I like this one because the words share the Good News of salvation.  Merry Christmas!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
lyrics by Charles Wesley

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Covenant With Many - Peace of Jerusalem

U.N. overwhelmingly condemns U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday decisively approved a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. During an emergency meeting, the full U.N. membership approved the resolution 128-9 that declares Trump's recognition of Jerusalem 'null and void.' Thirty-five nations abstained. [...] Egypt drafted the resolution, which affirms the U.N. decision that calls for Jerusalem's status to be decided through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It was made in 1967 when Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan. The United Nations doesn't recognize the annexation by Israel. Most nations recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and maintain embassies there, including the United States. Trump wants the embassy to be moved eventually."

Comment: What an extraordinary thing in the history of nations. Today 128 nations took a stand against Israel and against Jerusalem.  They have never read Zechariah 14 and do not realize the depth of their folly. They do not realize that Jerusalem will someday be the capital not just of Israel but of the entire planet.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Signs in the Heavens

Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program - NYT
The New York Times reports: "In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it. For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. [...] the program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift. Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft - including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004. [...] Contracts obtained by The Times show a congressional appropriation of just under $22 million beginning in late 2008 through 2011. [...] The funding went to Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program. Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes. In addition, researchers spoke to military service members who had reported sightings of strange aircraft."

Comment:  Nicely done. I mean, if you go with the "Friendly Aliens Here to Help Us" or the "Evil Aliens Attack" spin, either way it still works well as both explanation and delusion. Of course, it would be even better if people were paying attention, but you only have yourselves to blame after years of discrediting UFO sightings. Still, nicely done, love the video.