Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random this and that

I'm constantly amazed by Jesus. I feel such strong emotions while worshiping. I am amazed that the love of Jesus and from Jesus can be so universal, so powerful, and the desire to worship Him the best way I can is so permeating, that it transcends my very brain structure and pierces every biological limit. I feel sometimes that I love Him so much I am about to burst! I feel close to Him in a great and wonderful way.

I like to read a Pastor’s blog that has a goal of encouragement. It really does meet that goal every day, for me at least. He is a good writer and what he writes about is uplifting. It's "Pastor Paul's Blog" a pastor from LaSalle, Quebec, Canada. Yesterday he wrote about “Letting to of our victim mentality” and its main message was having strong faith and taking bold action on that faith, because Jesus is there to sustain us. The message reminded me of a person who always has the opposite message:opposite: Beth Moore, who is always telling us that we are victims. Victims of falling into pits. Victims of circumstance. Victims of our past. But I prefer the message of the Pastor who says that of anyone who could legitimately claim victimhood, Paul, when on the boat in the storm took such a bold stand for Jesus that the sailors on the ship cut away the lifeboat. They did not look at their past and moan about it. They did not look at the storm and cry about it. They looked past the storm, and chose to depend on the promises of Jesus. Now that's strength!

I watched a documentary about Fractals last night on NOVA. It was pretty interesting. I remember when I used to subscribe to Smithsonian Magazine in the 1980s, the cover at one time featured this new geometry. I read the article bug didn't understand it. I said to myself that someday I was going to study it again, and I guess that was last night. Fractals as I understand it, is a geometry that brings to visual life in this dimension the curvy geometry, as opposed to straight geometry such as Euclidean geometry. Of course, that is a gross oversimplification, but to add to the confusion, it also brings to life the half dimension. Fractal geometry isn't 2 dimensional, or three dimensional, but somewhere in between. NOVA's program description is "You may not know it, but fractals, like the air you breathe, are all around you. Their irregular, repeating shapes are found in cloud formations and tree limbs, in stalks of broccoli and craggy mountain ranges, even in the rhythm of the human heart. In this film, NOVA takes viewers on a fascinating quest with a group of maverick mathematicians determined to decipher the rules that govern fractal geometry. For centuries, fractal-like irregular shapes were considered beyond the boundaries of mathematical understanding. Now, mathematicians have finally begun mapping this uncharted territory. Their remarkable findings are deepening our understanding of nature and stimulating a new wave of scientific, medical, and artistic innovation stretching from the ecology of the rain forest to fashion design. The documentary highlights a host of filmmakers, fashion designers, physicians, and researchers who are using fractal geometry to innovate and inspire."

If you zoom in on a fractal, it will look like the bigger fractal, and zoom in again, it will retain its look, and over and over and over, to infinity. Look for yourself, an interactive fractal zoomer widget, here at NOVA.

What I found interesting is that the pattern of branching in tree growth is similar all over the tree, and the pattern of trees in the forests as they grow replicates the same pattern as tree branch growth. Also interesting is that the closer you zoom in on a fractal, the more same it is. Fractals are repetitive, iterative, and, well, here is what NOVA explained: "Applying zoom-ins and different iterative prisms to the numbers in the boundary area of the Mandelbrot set has revealed that this region is a mathematical strange attractor. The "strange attractor" name here applies to the set because it is self-similar at many scales, is infinitely detailed, and attracts points (numbers) to certain recurrent behavior."

In other words, the patterns in the numerical representation of the geometry of the fractal is orderly, and infinite. Just like God. his patterns at the visible level and the invisible level are magnificent. This orderliness did not come from chaos (like a "big Bang"). It came from an orderly mind. God's orderly mind.

At school, I was walking down the hallway leading a group of kindergarten kids. One little guy fell down. I turned to see him getting up. I asked if he was all right, and he said that he was except his hand hurt a little. I said "How did you fall down, anyway?" He said, "Like this," and proceeded to show me by falling down again. I laughed all day over that one.

At church tonight the kids were great. I am always astounded by how the kids have strong spiritual connection to the Truth. For example, I asked the kids to listen to Psalm 100. I re-read it, emphasizing all the words "His". His gates, His people, His sheep, His pasture. I asked them what they thought about what I read. That's all I said. Immediately one of the kids said, "Well, God made it all, so obviously, it's all His." These kids are seven years old.

We're closing on on another day, if it not be the rapture tonight! Have a good one, and see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man vs. bees

Do people have a short fuse these days, or what?


Man avenges bee-stung friend, sets hive on fire
"(AP) LYNDEN, Wash. - A Washington state fire chief says a man dumped gasoline on a beehive in a tree in retaliation for a bee sting, then ignited the hive, causing an explosion heard throughout his suburban neighborhood just a few miles south of the Canadian border. Lynden chief Gary Baar tells the Bellingham Herald that the Sunday night fire caused a large "whoosh," singed the tree and killed the bees but no people were hurt. Baar says the man's friend had been stung earlier in the day. The fire chief says, "The correct way to do that is to call a beekeeper." Firefighters explained that to the homeowner, and the newspaper says it doesn't appear that that the man will be cited."

If Syria's regime fails, what happens to its chemical weapons?

The bible prophesies that a certain battle will occur and that prophecy has not been fulfilled. It is parked intercessory prayer for Israel's victory in a battle against her neighbors, and it is in Psalm 83. We know that it has not occurred yet because the specific line-up of nations participating in the war has never happened.

In this battle, Israel is soundly vanquishing attacking enemies Palestinians, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese, and various terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda. The victory Israel execute is firm, these nations and organizations do not rise again.

People who watch the prophecies and know the bible wonder what it will take for Israel to go into a battle such as the one described in Psalm 83. Would she be defending herself after a heinous attack Would she be executing  pre-emptive attack because of imminent threats Would it be a retaliation for an accumulated drip-drip of constant rocket and terrorist attacks unknown. But we watch and we notice what is happening int he Middle east from the vantage point of knowing the end and living it in the present. Some things are happening in the Middle East that have me concerned.

Syrian unrest raises fears about chemical arsenal
"The Middle Eastern state with the dangerous chemicals was not Libya, whose modest stockpile was thrust into the spotlight last week because of fighting there. It was Syria, another violence-torn Arab state whose advanced weapons are drawing new concern as the country drifts toward an uncertain future. A sudden collapse of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could mean a breakdown in controls over the country’s weapons, U.S. officials and weapons experts said in interviews. But while Libya’s chemical arsenal consists of unwieldy canisters filled mostly with mustard gas, the World War I-era blistering agent, Syria possesses some of the deadliest chemicals ever to be weaponized, dispersed in thousands of artillery shells and warheads that are easy to transport."

Dr. Jill Dekker is a consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism. Dr. Dekker is also a member of the board of advisors of the Intelligence Summit. She gave an interview to the New English Review in December 2007. In it, she said,

"Contrary to how the US State Department and other agencies tend to downplay the sophistication of the Syrian biological and nuclear programs, they are very advanced. Syria has always had the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Middle East. The US and other western agencies have in a sense been distracted by this, but their biological programs and the “concept of use” are robust. Syria’s biological weapons capability today is closely tied to the former and current Soviet and Russian programs respectively, the DPRK, Iran and the former Iraq regime. A major concern is their strategic concept of use - which has gone from one of ‘special weapons’ to incorporation into their ‘conventional arsenal.’ That is a significant shift and one that seems to have eluded the US. The Syrians run their biological programs out of the Syrian Scientific Research Council (SSRC) in Damascus."

"They have separate wings for separate pathogens. They also have a number of programs running in Aleppo. The Syrians are 100% committed to deniable operations as their modus operandi. Biological weapons, particularly those which might occur naturally, are the ultimate in deniability, for example, their cryptosporidium program for force reduction. The Wednesday Report noted a few years ago that in terms of the Syrian anthrax program, Syria has extensive expertise in the industrial cultivation of germs and viruses for the civilian production of anthrax (and smallpox) vaccines. It also noted that Russian experts, contracted by Syria, are apparently helping them to cultivate a highly virulent anthrax germ for installation in missile warheads. Their pharmaceutical infrastructure is fully integrated with their defense structure. Syrians cannot reach parity with US and Israeli conventional weapons. However, they view their bio-chemical arsenal as part of a normal weapons program. This is a huge shift in thinking by the Syrian military. It means they condone the use of biological pathogens as 'offensive' weapons. NATO and the United States should be very concerned about that re-designation."

We know that in Isaiah 17 the prophecy says Damascus will be destroyed. The prophecy does not say when or how, just that the city and its area will be razed and unfit for human habitation.

Israel knows that Damascus is a center for bio-warfare. Israel knows that the regime handling these deadly weapons at their abutting border is fighting for its life, gasping even today. How far will Israel demonstrate restraint in the face of these threats? This week an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post proposed that Israel should intervene in Syria.
"There is no question Israel will have to deal with a post-Assad Syria, so why not start that process now? For those who support Israel, perhaps the most ironclad principle of our diplomatic posture is non-intervention in the Arab Spring. Unless there is an active Arab attempt to drag Israel into conflict to deflect popular internal dissent – as Bashar Assad attempted on the Golan to protest Naksa Day in June – conventional wisdom has Israel withdrawn to the periphery. The argument, of course, is that a provoked Israeli response is just the tonic embattled Arab despots need to deflect attention to the old Zionist monster under the bed and stir up Iranian and leftist critiques of Israel. Further, a desperate Assad (or even post-Mubarak Egypt) might escalate to non-conventional weapons in a bid to retain power: the massive Israeli retaliation would end internal uprisings. These high-risk scenarios cultivate a conservative Israeli mindset according to which the Devil one knows is better than the Devil one doesn’t."

More at link. The devil indeed...

Is Israel rousing herself? Today, Israel sent two warships to the Egyptian border.
"Military sources tell AP Israeli Navy sent additional warships to maritime border with Egypt following intelligence indicating viable terror threat. Meanwhile, Iran set to send 15th fleet to area as well as 'to thwart pirate activity'. The Israeli Navy (INF) has decided to boost its presence and patrols near Israel's maritime border with Egypt due to a viable terror threat in the area. Israeli security sources told the Associated Press on Tuesday that two additional warships have been dispatched to Israel's Red Sea border with Egypt. Another source stressed that the operation was routine, telling Reuters that "two naval craft have been sent to the Red Sea. This is not unusual."

Sure. Sure it isn't. Keep your eyes on Israel and the Psalm 83 nations. We know the end. At some point, the flashpoint will be reached.

The costs from Hurricane Irene are outweighed by the cost of not repenting

That natural disasters are on the rise is unquestionable. The data is the data and the facts are the facts. The debate is not whether they are increasing, but is over the cause of the increase. Some people say that these disasters are increasing because of changes in the magnetosphere, which, they say, caused the aflockalypse of bird deaths at the beginning of this year. Others say the cause is from government conspiracies such as HAARP, or High Frequency Active Auroral research Program which purposely disturbs a segment of our ionosphere and measures the effects. HAARP really exists but conspiracy theorists posit that it is being used for dark purposes. Others say it is global warming, such as the author of this first article. But whatever the cause (and it is GOD) the effects are real.

In this article by Bill McKibben, he attributes the recent increase of disasters to global warming but in his article he totes up the effects, which are devastating:

"Remember—this year has already seen more billion-dollar weather-related disasters than any year in U.S. history. Last year was the warmest ever recorded on planet Earth. Arctic sea ice is near all-time record lows. Record floods from Pakistan to Queensland to the Mississippi basin; record drought from the steppes of Russia to the plains of Texas. Just about the only trauma we haven’t had are hurricanes plowing into the U.S., but that’s just luck—last year was a big storm year, but they all veered out to sea. This year we’re already on letter I—which in a normal year we don’t get to until well into October."

But then Irene hit.

In an incredible decision, all Mass Transit in NY City was closed in advance of Hurricane Irene, costing millions. There were no flights Sunday at the 5 NY-area airports; 9000 flights were canceled, and the George Washington Bridge lower level was closed in both directions. Amazing. What an incredible shut-down for our largest city. But that was not the worst of it. Upstate NY and Vermont were hammered.

Hurricane Irene flood damage stuns inland areas
"Brattleboro, Vt. -- Rippling creeks became deadly deluges. Bridges collapsed into roiling waves. Dry streets turned into fast-rising lakes, closing in around stunned towns. While Irene - first a hurricane and then a tropical storm - unleashed its initial share of damage along the sandy shores of the Eastern Seaboard, by Monday its greatest impact was felt far from the coastline, in places such as landlocked Vermont and the bucolic mountains of upstate New York. Even so, more than 48 hours after Irene made landfall early Saturday, about 4.5 million people remained without power in 13 states from North Carolina to Maine. The death toll jumped to at least 40, according to the Associated Press, and some rivers had yet to crest."

"Hundreds remained stranded in communities cut off by washed-out roads, including at least 2,500 residents of remote Hatteras Island in North Carolina, where severed utility lines also left them without power. The only access to the island was via a ferry limited to emergency use. Police in suburban Parsippany, N.J., had to rescue dozens of people who became trapped in two hotels Monday when a nearby lake spilled over its banks and sent enough water into the streets and hotel parking lots to swallow vehicles. Evacuees included guests who had fled to the hotels after heeding advice to evacuate their homes in advance of Irene."

The economic cost of the advanced protection and evacuations, the lost revenue from closed businesses, and the cleanup afterwards is incalculable.

Joel Rosenberg wrote a good piece this week titled "This was a wake up call: American East Coast shaken by Hurricane Irene." Joel write in part--

"This was a wake up call. At its peak, Hurricane Irene was the size of the State of Texas. Had it remained a Category 3 storm — or even increased in intensity — it could have created the greatest natural disaster catastrophe in the history of the United States. Fortunately, that’s not what happened. The storm is now over, and even as the clean up begins, critics are saying it was hyped up and “overblown” by government officials and weather forecasters. But did the experts really badly “misjudge” Irene, or did God hear people’s prayers and have mercy on us by weakening the storm faster than the experts had predicted? I think both are true. I am grateful to the Lord for His grace and mercy on us. I am also grateful to the forecasters and the government leaders who warned us as best they could and took decisive action to put public safety first. As I have written about several times in recent months, the Lord is shaking us, trying to wake us up and get us to focused back on Him and on His Word. We need to recommit ourselves to prayer, fasting and reading the Bible and get our hearts right with the Lord. For Bible prophecy tells us that far greater storms are coming as we steadily approach the Day of the Lord."

And another storm has formed. She is on the same track as Irene. Her name is Katia... I'll repeat Joel's good advice: "We need to recommit ourselves to prayer, fasting and reading the Bible and get our hearts right with the Lord. For Bible prophecy tells us that far greater storms are coming as we steadily approach the Day of the Lord."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bachmann pulls a punch: says eq & hurricane was warning from God, then says she's joking

Presidential Candidate Michelle Bachmann is an evangelical conservative. This always makes the political world nervous. It makes everyone who is not saved nervous, frankly. The world does not understand our adherence to Jesus, our love for Him, and certainly does not understand submission to Him and His ways. Christians and the world are separate. (1 John 2:15; James 4:4).

We are told to be bold in declaring Jesus as savior and not to deny Him before men or he will deny us. (Matthew 10:33; Mark 8:38; 2 Tim 2:12).

Today Bachmann said the following: "While courting conservative and religious voters in Florida over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann used the significant natural disasters that recently hit the East Coast to jokingly make the case that God would approve of less government spending. "I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians," Bachmann said at a rally, eliciting chuckles from audience. "We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now... They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending." After reports of the remarks generated some criticism, the Bachmann campaign clarified the candidate was joking."

Now, I do not believe that her comments denied Jesus, exactly. She seems to me to be a year-round believer, unlike some fair weather, political believers (calling John McCain...). But it just makes me sad to hear someone say something that's true- God is sending warnings, and when criticized, pulls back and claims she's 'joking.' That is worse. Warnings of imminent judgment are not a joking matter. Either be up front about your thoughts on God, or down't say anything at all in the public spheres.

Just once, I'd love to hear a candidate who follows Jesus say something about Him that we all know will rile the unsaved, and stand on the comment with boldness and joy. If Bachmann had responded, "Yes, I said that and I believe it. Next question, please", I'd be so much happier with her right now.

Comet Elenin info for the worried

I dunno who this guy Astro Blogger Ian Musgrave is, aside from being a knowledgeable amateur astronomer, but he seems both scientifically solid and on the up-and-up. Check out his post with Elenin facts. At his web page his article has live links to much of the information which explains more. As Elenin comes into view, and I understand that it can be seen now by amateur telescopes in the southern hemisphere, really, we have enough real events to worry about in the near term than the fabricated hype of Elenin ... like, the Federal Reserve/Treasury has to refloat the bonds coming due in Mid September, and QE3 (third round of quantitative easing, i.e. flooding the economy with freshly printed fiat money)  will be required (even though Bernanke says no QE3 is on the horizon, yet) because there are no  buyers for US Notes at present. Printing more money means that we will dig ourselves very deeply into the hole we already cannot get out of and dilute the already crumbling buying power of the dollar. Also, the upcoming vote at the United Nations to allow Palestinians their own state on Israel's lands will be an earth-shattering moment. The EU has some decisions to make about bailing out several of their member nations in trouble. Not to mention the ongoing natural disasters happening in the world every day. Forget Elenin. Pray for the real problems.

Comet Elenin: the FAQ for the worried.

Will it Hit Earth: No, its closest approach is 0.23 AU on Oct 16, 2011, where 1 AU is the distance from the Earth to the Sun. To put this in perspective, this is only a little closer than the closest approach of Venus to Earth, and roughly 100 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. This distance is from the latest MPEC ephemeris which is based on over 100 observations from multiple observatories that have been continuously tracking the comet, so it won't change appreciably.

But its Earth MOID is only 0.03 AU! MOID stands for Minimal Orbital Interaction Distance. It is how close the orbits are together, not how close the objects are themselves. It's important for objects that have multiple return orbits, like potential asteroid impactors, but not for a one-off visitor like Elenin (well, you could wait for another 10,000 years or so). Earth and Elenin themselves never get closer than 100 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Surely if Elenin Was Going to Hit the Earth NASA/the Government Would Hush it Up? Which government? The Australian Government, the UK Government? The Italian Government? The South African Government? Amateur astronomers world wide are following this comet and continually talking to each other. The have the programs to work out where the comet is going. If the comet was coming anywhere near us, the amateur community would be first to know, and there is no keeping them quite. Consider how wide spread the information is about Apophis, which is a real, if extremely marginal, hazard.

Will it Cause Earthquakes, Abnormally High Tides or Other Disasters: No, Elenin is a mere 3-5 kilometres across and has less than a billionth of the tidal force of the Moon at closest approach (as well as a negligible magnetic field). If the Moon can't cause the poles to tip, cause massive tidal floods or earthquakes, Comet 2010 X1 Elenin won't. We've been closer to other comets before with no ill effect.

But What About Mensur Omerbashich's Paper that Says Elenin is Causing Earthquakes? It shows nothing of the sort, earthquakes are no more common during comet alignments than at any other time (see here for an update, earthquakes still not caused by Elenin).

But it's bigger than Jupiter! No, that's the coma , the thin haze of gas and dust that surrounds the comet nucleus. The nucleus of C/2010 X1 Elenin is roughly 3-4 Km in diameter and Elenin has a coma around 50,000 km wide at the time of writing (which is a third of the diameter of Jupiter). The average density of the coma is about the same as the density of the atmosphere on the Moon. A coma is a feature of all comets that approach the Sun closely, for example comet 81P Wild (nucleus 4 Km diameter) had a coma of 50,000 Km and 103P Hartley had a coma of 150,000 Km. The Great Comet of 1811 had a nucleus of around 30km in diameter and had a coma nearly as big as the Sun. Comet Halley is 6x15 km and had a coma 100,000 km wide when it last approached Earth. We survived them all (and 103P Hartley came nearly twice as close as Elenin will), and we will survive Elenin without incident.

The size of Elenin has been independently confirmed (well, it's probably smaller), by observation of the orbit of the small asteroid 1999 RQ176 when it had a close encounter with Elenin.

But I Can See a Picture of it in WikiSky, it's HUGE! That is the carbon star CW Leonis.

Didn't it Just Cause Saturn's Tilt to Change? No, the author of that article didn't realize that telescopes invert the image.

Is Elenin a Moon of a Brown Dwarf Star? No.

But Brown Dwarf Stars are so Cold, you Can't See Them. No, coldest detected so far is ~370K (about the temperature of a hot cup of tea), the the warmest are around 2200 K, and most range between 500-1000 K. They may not produce much visible light, but they reflect light. Jupiter has a composition similar to those of Drown Dwarf stars. Jupiter's cloud tops are a chilly 128 K and it reflects light just fine. Any Brown Dwarf in the inner solar system would be painfully obvious.

Will Going Through the Comets Tail Affect Us? No, should the rather small tail of Elenin actually pass over us, it's doing a pretty good imitation of a vacuum (about 100 atoms per cm3). We have been through bigger and denser comet tails before with no effect whatsoever (especially the Great Comet of 1861).

Why isn't Comet Elenin in the News? For the same reason that the other 16 comets discovered in 2010 didn't get in the news, or the 5 comets discovered in 2011. They are all dim. The News is only interested in comets that are spectacular, readily visible to the unaided eye or are being visited by spacecraft. Comet 2009 P1 will be as bright, if not brighter than C/2010 X1 Elenin, but that's not in the news either. Amateur and professional astronomers are watching comet Elenin and others avidly, but the news channels don't care about our obsessions with faint fuzzies.

Why Can't I Find Information of Elenin at the NASA Website? Because NASA is not the arbiter of all things astronomical. You won't find information on C/2009 P1, C/2011 C1 or any of the faint comets discovered during 2010 and 2011. NASA does have information of comets that its spacecraft have visited, or are interesting in some other way, but it's not an exhaustive comet site like Cometography or Aerith.

I Saw Comet Elenin Near the Sun in August 2010/Now: In August 2010 only really powerful telescopes could see Elenin. You saw Venus. If you are seeing something bright near the Sun in the morning sky now, it's Venus.

How Can I Tell What IS in the Sky and Avoid The Venus Confusion? For freeware standalone programs there is Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium (my favourite). For Web based solutions Skyview Cafe, Sky-Map and GoogleEarth (KMZ file here) all work.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fave storm reporting: Michelle Kosinski in a canoe

This clip below is not from the current storm of Hurricane (now TS) Irene. It is from 2005. But it is funny anyway and kind of representative of Irene. Now as for the blame going around regarding Irene, remember that 17 inches of rain fell on NC, 10 people died, including a fireman performing a swift water rescue, there is billions of damage, more billions in lost economies and millions without power. I think the government officials did a good job of preparing, especially Mayor Bloomberg of NYC. I understand it takes at least 12 hours from the stop order to do the things he ordered, such as evac hospitals and shut transit, so he was going on the best information at the time. They did a good job and I commend them all.

But the reporters in the storm were funny nonetheless. In one example from today's storm, "For the television reporter, clad in his red cagoule emblazoned with the CNN logo, it was a dramatic on-air moment, broadcasting live from Long Island, New York during a hurricane that also threatened Manhattan. “We are in, right, now…the right eye wall, no doubt about that…there you see the surf,” he said breathlessly. “That tells a story right there.” Stumbling and apparently buffeted by ferocious gusts, he took shelter next to a building. “This is our protection from the wind,” he explained. “It’s been truly remarkable to watch the power of the ocean here.” The surf may have told a story but so too did the sight behind the reporter of people chatting and ambling along the sea front and just goofing around. There was a man in a t-shirt, a woman waving her arms and then walking backwards. Then someone on a bicycle glided past."

And here is NBC's Michelle Kosinski-

and here is the 2005 news article about that Canoe moment courtesy of the NY Observer.

Is Glenn Beck a false prophet?

I used to watch Glenn Beck because I agreed with his politics. I remember the first time I watched his show when he was on CNN. I immediately thought to myself, 'what is this guy doing on CNN? I bet he won't last long.' Sure enough, about 5 months later he was on Fox.

Although I knew he is a Mormon, I hung in there with him until I sensed he was using his platform for Mormonism. News pundits are paid to give the news and form opinions on them, and to host roundtables where other people espouse opinions. As long as Beck was doing that, I felt OK to watch him. I really enjoyed his teachings early on at the chalkboard on our political system. He did a great job of referring our thoughts and our hearts back to the founding principles of our nation. Really, the political lessons he gave on TV were magnificent. He also alerted a great many people to the truth of the Twelver Muslim beliefs, and that was valuable too.

But then I sensed he was slipping Mormonism into his show. I was NOT OK with that. He rapidly became a kind of Christian leader that biblical evangelicals gravitated to and I was not OK with that. This article is good: Some evangelicals on defensive over partnering with Glenn Beck, a Mormon:

"A handful of prominent evangelical activists are defending their decision to attend television host Glenn Beck's conservative rally in Washington this weekend after some Christians complained that evangelicals shouldn't be partnering with Beck because of his Mormon faith.Video: Glenn Beck rally stirs controversy"There is no need to 'de-Christianize' each other over the matter," wrote Jim Garlow, an influential California pastor, in a five-page memo this week arguing that evangelicals can attend Beck's rally and partner with the television and radio personality in good conscience."Glenn Beck is being used by God - mightily," Garlow wrote in the memo, which was obtained by CNN. "The left loves to slam him and do so viscerally and often with vulgarities. Glenn is not perfect... But his expose on America's sins is stellar."

I disagree with the partnering. I disagree with the statement that God is using him. If Beck is not Christian then satan is using him. Those are the only two options. God, or satan. Now, God did use Darius in a mighty way and He has used other pagans for His plan. I'm not saying God can't use a non-saved person. But Beck's rise to Christian prominence while not being a Christian makes me wary.

My go-to guy, John MacArthur answered a Mormon issue at a Q&A . He wasn't addressing Glenn Beck (because it was in 1983) but he is answering a question about what to do if a Mormon comes to your house proselytizing. Here is a partial transcript.

QUESTIONER: Hi, Jesus commanded us to go out and preach the gospel. The question I have this, was Jehovah witnesses or Mormons if they come to your door it says in 2 John not to even let them in...

JOHN: Right.

QUESTIONER: ...or to bid them God speed. Are we to do this? Are we to send them away with that or are we to witness to them? Where do we draw the line?

JOHN: Well, when 2 John says if you bid them God speed you become a partaker and their evil deeds. The assumption there is if you encourage them along the way in their work. That's...that's what it's really saying. If they come to you and preach another doctrine and another Christ and you encourage them, God speed, you know, have a good day, nice going fellow, you know, whatever, and you sort of scurry them along in the work and encourage them, then you become a partaker in their evil deeds. You're an accomplice to their evil deeds.

QUESTIONER: Then we are to confront them.

JOHN: Yeah, I think that...this is the way I would handle...this is the way I handle those people. If they come to the door. I say, "I'm very happy to talk to you if you'd like to hear what I have to say. I do not care to hear what you have to say."


JOHN: "Because I know the truth out of the Word of God. But if you'd like to hear what I believe to be the Word of God or if you'd like give me your address I'll send you some tapes and so forth, but I really am not interested in giving you a platform to articulate heresy and lies." It doesn't do you any good. That kind of teaching eats like a gangrene. That kind of thing confuses and creates doubts, and it needs to be confronted. Boy, I remember one time when a guy in our church got into Mormonism, and there were a couple of Mormon...everybody's a Mormon Bishop of one kind of another I guess, and they were over at his house. And I was so angry at this proselytizing of this guy, that I went over there and I just confronted all of them."

"And I...I gave them a hell fire damnation message, just to three people. You know, just strongly as I could. I consigned them to eternal damnation for blasphemy. And I mean, they got on their bicycles and you never don't normally lay rubber on a bicycle, but they were gone out of there. But the thing...the redeeming thing in my own mind is this, and I wasn't trying to be unkind. I was trying to startle them. And I think that when we give them a platform and we don't confront them with a horror of the lies they propound in a sense, we tacitly send them on their way with the God speed. You need to nail them, I think in love, but just in prophetic indignence about the heresy they espouse. That's what I think. And then remember this, if you do it in love, you may in this case because of the seriousness of it, I really burst out, there are times when...when a cult comes along, I'll be sensitive to it, and if I see that they're somewhat vulnerable, if they're the Bishops or one of those kinds of people, I just go after them."

And then there was a follow-up question asking what to do if a Mormon wants to join your bible study:

JOHN: need to be sensitive if he wants to join your Bible study and you sense there's a hungry heart. You know, the truth can...the truth can overpower the lie. But if he is firmly entrenched and sees as a way to gain territory, then you've got a deal with that. That's a gangrene. That's a leaven."

I see Beck as a person who wants to gain territory, not partner with biblical Christians so as to learn the truth. Therefore the 2 John 1:10-11 verse comes in: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."

We cannot follow Beck, partner with him, or I believe, even attend his functions, because if a person does not follow Jesus Christ (the Jesus of the bible), then the truth is not in them and they are an antichrist:

"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." (1 John 4:3)

"Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist." (2 John 1:7)

Beck sounds almost right. But Charles Spurgeon said that discernment is not just about seeing the difference between right and wrong, but about what is right and what is almost right. Satan is subtle, crafty, and has schemes. Those are words from the bible used to describe him. So satan will wrap the truth in a lie and the lie in some truth.

Though Mormons sound almost right, they do not acknowledge the Jesus of the bible because they believe He is flesh, and that satan is his brother, and therefore that He is a created being. They do not believe Jesus' work on the cross was enough to cleanse us from our sins but that good works are required as part of salvation also. Mormons believe Jesus came in the flesh but that he was born of ONLY flesh and that God is flesh also. More here on what Mormons believe. More here on "Is Glenn Beck a Christian?" I believe Beck is a false prophet. I feel this because the bible verses above let us know this. Pray for Beck and others like him who are laboring under a false Gospel. Love him as a neighbor. But avoid Glenn Beck as a leader in the faith.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mysterious bubble over Beijing skies mystifies observers

Scientists are baffled as panicked Chinese upload photos of phenomenon. Report by Jeremy Barnes.

JungleApocalyse (lol) says:
"It was quite a sight over the skies of Beijing Thursday. A mysterious bubble cloud of sorts caught the attention of many in the city. The seemingly unique phenomenon has become somewhat of a hit on the Internet. Photos were posted online of a mysteriously huge bubble cloud over the skies of Beijing and surrounding areas Thursday, which raised concerns and discussions among netizens. “At first, it’s relatively small and bright, the upper part is something like a semi-circle, a spherical ring of light, it’s obviously becoming bigger and bigger then.” When the observation team set their instruments at the bubble, it gradually became bigger and thinner. The entire occurrence lasted for less than 15 minutes. Observers took pictures of the whole process and posted them online."

More strange things in the skies. UFO's, weird clouds, Norway spirals, and now a plasma cloud. Interesting! The signs of imminent intrusion into our lives by Jesus Christ Almighty are getting more common and more noticeable. Just like birth pangs.

Discernment lesson: The Shack and Beth Moore's treatment of Paul. Part 2

I have extensively written against Mrs Moore as a false teacher in a 7-part series titled Troubled by Beth Moore Teachings. I wrote a second series of my reactions to a two-day Beth Moore conference, here. All those essays, however, were based on video and auditory presentations. I watched her online. I listened to her online. I sat through a DVD teaching. I heard her in person. How about when she writes? Is her doctrine improved when she has time to choose her words carefully over time, edit, and reflect?

The answer is NO.

Mrs Moore wrote "To Live is Christ: Joining Paul's Journey of Faith" in 2001. This book is touted as "A spiritual odyssey through one of Christianity's most fervent journeymen and one of Christ's most passionate followers, Apostle Paul." One would have hoped Mrs Moore would have taken the attendant time to present the man clearly and biblically, but she did not.

Some of the book is good and some is entertaining, but much of it is based on the original problem I have with Mrs Moore: she approaches her lessons through a personal lens. She admits she is insecure, and then from that humanly flawed perspective sees everyone else that way too. Worse, Mrs Moore then attempts to show that people's subsequent actions are caused by their insecurity, including reactions and actions of biblical people. I wish she would approach her video, live, or written lessons from a biblical perspective but she prefers to look at the bible as a self-help book populated by people with flaws similar to her own. This is reason enough to reject her teachings. But I'll be specific.

I am not saying that the people who read the bible are not flawed nor am I saying that the people IN the bible are not flawed (except for Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit). I am saying that there is a difference in noticing a biblical character's humanness and it is quite another to see them through your own lens and expect that they have behaved a certain way because of that flaw.

Here is one example. It is actually from Mrs Moore's book "So Long, Insecurity", but this passage provides a basis for her approach to Paul. Who, of course, is insecure. Here, she is addressing 2 Cor 11:5-6,

"I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way." "Tell me that’s not insecurity. If you’re not convinced, take a look at what blurted from his pen only a chapter later: "I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the ‘super-apostles,’ even though I am nothing." [2 Corinthians 12:11]. Do you think just maybe he protests too much? In all probability, he fought the awful feeling that he wasn’t as good as the others who hadn’t done nearly so much wrong. I totally grasp that. At the same time, Paul also battled a big, fat ego. He was a complex mound of clay just like the rest of us, belittling and boasting of himself in a dizzying psychological zigzag.” (source p. 56-57).

Now let's look at how bible teacher John MacArthur explains the same verse (2 Cor 12:11). In his sermon "Signs of an Apostle", he wrote,

"Now starting at the beginning of chapter 10 and up until now, Paul has been directly confronting the false apostles. He started that in chapter 10 and he'll conclude it in our text. Starting particularly in chapter 11 verse 22, he has given his own credentials as a superior apostle. And as I said, in this two verses he sums that up. And basically there were three things that indicated his true apostleship. The first one he mentions here was the supernatural. He did the signs of a true apostle. The second was his perseverance during suffering, he mentions that in verse 12 when he says, "With all perseverance." And the third was his utter unselfishness. In verse 13 he says that he did nothing to become a burden to them. When he wants to affirm the character of his true apostleship, he has them look on the supernatural power of God coming through him. He has them look at his perseverance in suffering. And he has them look at his utter unselfishness, because those are in contrast to the false apostles who are void of the power of God, who don't want to suffer anything but get rich at the expense of the people that they deceive, and who, thirdly, are self-centered and self-focused, seeking only personal gain."

"In distinction to them, Paul does show the power of God, willingly suffers and perseveres and is utterly unselfish, never being a burden to them in any sense at all. But as far as compared to them, I am not inferior to them in any category. But when he refers to the most eminent apostles, he's a little sarcastic. That is the extra-super apostles, that's what they had labeled themselves, these false apostles. They are also called that back in chapter 11 verse 5 where he says, "I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles." It's sarcasm. They called themselves the extra-super apostles and they demeaned Paul as a nobody. But he says you know in no category do I come behind them, though myself I am nothing. You have forced me now to this comparison. You have forced me to it because you wouldn't come to my defense. You have forced me to this folly." "

My, oh my, how two bible teachers can come to such wildly divergent conclusions over the same passage. MacArthur's is biblical and Moore's is emotional. Moore's, therefore, is wrong.

In Mrs Moore's book "To live is Christ" which is also about Paul, she uses the words 'probably' and 'I believe' a lot, but the dots are far from each other. However, that does not stop her from connecting them. In the chapter Idols of Athens, Moore said, "Admittedly I am speculating based on hints in the accounts." Well kudos to her for alerting her readers that the next part of the paragraph is based on speculation. She continues,

"I suspect that Paul's visit to Athens was affecting him far more than we realize..."
"Paul was overwhelmed by the polytheistic beliefs of the residents." (no bible verse given to support this statement)
"During those long hours, I believe he convinced himself that every effort in Athens had failed."
"I suspect he became so focused on the negative that he lost focus of the positive."
Then Mrs Moore goes on to explain how aloneness affects us and our state of mind. "Solitude exaggerates our negative feelings," and concludes,
"I believe the more Paul thought about his experiences in Athens, the worse he felt.
"You can imagine the beating his ego took in Athens."
"I think Paul felt like a failure."

She finishes by saying "Obviously, Paul's experience had a great impact on his next opportunity."

No, not obviously. An author can spend a page and a half gleaning suspicions from the bible as Mrs Moore does here on page 132-133 but to conclude that her beliefs add up to an obvious impact on his next Godly task is more than a stretch. It is wrong.

She asks, "Does seeing Paul's experience in this light help you to relate to him as a fellow struggler on the road to serve Christ?" Frankly, no. The struggle she presented was based on her admitted speculations.

Blogger Kim at The Upward Call wrote of Mrs Moore's approach, addressing Moore's speculative approach in her lessons on The Patriarchs,

"Speculation doesn't introduce me to God. It may get my imagination going, and it may engage my emotions, but it does not help me understand God. The appeal to emotions and imagination is popular in "women's" bible studies, and it is understandable: women like that kind of thing. Emotions and imagination can be set apart for God, but to use them as bible study tools just does not sit well with me. My emotions and my imagination are frequently mistaken."

If Mrs Moore wants to show Paul as a struggler then she should show his actual struggles from the bible. He had plenty.

Back to choosing certain words. Do you believe that Paul engaged in a 'dizzying psychological zigzag' because of his struggle with insecurity and a damaged ego? Presenting him this way does him, and the bible, a disservice. When we get to heaven, we can ask him directly. Meanwhile, gleaning speculations from the bible based on her personal struggle with insecurity is just another in the long line of ways Mrs Moore disrespects her pupils, readers, and the bible itself.

The most egregious effect of the words chosen in So long, Insecurity are these, "If you’re not convinced, take a look at what blurted from his pen only a chapter later: " She then quotes 2 Corinthians 12:11, interpretations from Moore and MacArthur I shared with you above. It is egregious because what Mrs Moore is saying is that because of Paul's struggle with a battered ego and deep insecurity, he took out his emotions toward the Corinthians through the pen. 'Blurted' evokes a mindless, knee-jerk emotional reaction to a situation. Thus Moore claims that the inspired and carefully constructed words of the bible in that verse were in actuality written hastily, with Paul practically crying over his candle, tears blotting the page as he tore through papyrus to get the words down before his emotions overwhelmed him. Her interpretation is awful. But how many readers will overlook or not even notice her carefully chosen words which skew the bible's integrity in this way? Many.

Synonyms for blurted are babble, blab, burst out with, jabber, let slip, run off at the mouth, ...

Let's substitute Mrs Moore's word blurted with a few of those synonyms and remember, we are talking of the holy scripture, every word of which was inspired and is good for reproof, doctrine, and education (2 Timothy 3:16).

'If you’re not convinced, take a look at [2 Corinthians 12:11] that babbled from his pen only a chapter later:'
'If you’re not convinced, take a look at [2 Corinthians 12:11] that jabbered from his pen only a chapter later:'

Do you believe that Paul was so upset that he was babbling from a fountain of hurt ego, and that Paul's blurted holy scripture is now good for our education? Do you believe the Holy Spirit allowed a babbling and emotional Paul to write the words that have come down to us? I do not. I also do not accept that Paul was on a 'dizzying psychological zig zag'.

Mrs Moore chose these words to include in her book. I reject her assumptions, her lessons, and her approach based on the fact that she does not take a biblical enough approach and that her conclusions in "So Long, Insecurity" and "To Live Is Christ" are admittedly based on her speculation, personal beliefs, and suspicions. I choose not to learn speculations about the bible but rather choose to accept teachings like MacArthur's which are based on solid biblical understanding of context, history, and scripture.

How about you?

Discernment lesson: The Shack and Beth Moore's treatment of Paul. Part 1

Writers live with words. We are immersed in them, basking in their variety and understanding their power. I have been a journalist, so I know this intimately. A reporter chooses words consciously because we are limited to short article lengths. We must be precise, knowing that each word must convey a certain meaning in a short amount of space. I've been a grant writer, and have been even more restricted to limiting the number of words we are allowed to use. I know that each word counts and is consciously placed on the technical document to convey a certain thought. I've been an academic researcher, overlaying words to express what the numbers are saying. When I read a book I know that the author has chosen each word, and in some cases likely has fought with an editor over them.

Therefore when I read a book like William P. Young's "The Shack" or Beth Moore's "To Live Is Christ: a Study of Paul's Life and Ministry," I know that each word is on the page consciously and for an author-chosen reason. I also know that most readers absorb information unconsciously. The most dangerous heresies come from books, in my opinion, because a speaker could possibly be forgiven for misspeaking (once or twice). An author cannot. Writing takes time, and as noted above, each word is chosen purposely.

Most people read books without thinking of the words, but they are absorbed into the mind and certain emotions the author wanted to evoke will be created in the reader's heart. So please take note carefully when I say that discerning either Christian novels such as The Shack, or biblical non-fiction theological books as the ones Beth Moore writes have an intent. They are sharing a point of view in which the author desires to present a point and often that point is made without you even noticing it. Let's take a look at exactly what I mean when I say words count and they shade meaning.

I wrote a few years ago in a blog entry on The Quiet Life that "The Shack is a devilish Deception. I'd said about The Shack,  "A concern is also in the sly ways the book chips away at solid biblical principles with craftily written statements such as, "the dusty old King James Bible" or church attendance is "religious conditioning" or that the term "Christian" is "outdated", as uttered by in the book by the character "Jesus", saying,  "Who said anything about being a Christian? I am not a Christian." People may not even be consciously aware of having read negative intent against the bible or Jesus but they are influenced by them anyway."

Pastor Walter Henegar at the blog byFaith wrote of the sly craftiness of Young's choice of words in The Shack, and their cumulative effect: "[D]isdain is conveyed early on: “God’s voice had been reduced to paper. … Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (p. 65-67). ... More significant, when Mack [the main character] mentions biblical events or concepts (often in gross caricature), “God” promptly brushes them off and glibly explains how it really is. Unlike the biblical Jesus, who constantly quoted the Old Testament and spent many post-resurrection hours “opening their minds to understand the scriptures,” The Shack’s Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu turn Mack’s attention away from Scripture, coaxing him to trust instead their simplistic lessons set in idyllic, Thomas Kinkade-like scenes and delivered in the familiar therapeutic language of our age. ... The result? To the extent that you trust The Shack, you will distrust your Bible—including huge chunks of the Old Testament and at least half of the red letters. Few errors are more corrosive to vigorous Christian faith. Some will plead that there is enough meat for careful readers to spit out the bones, but sadly, this yeast leavens the whole loaf."

Mr Henegar makes a good point about the leaven. A leavening agent is used in recipes where the desired outcome lightens and softens the entire batch. Yeast is a common leavening agent. The dough rises upon foaming bubbles as carbon dioxide is released, making air pockets. However, since leaven is an ingredient, it is mixed thoroughly in the batch, and no part of the batch is left untouched by it. If the leaven is bad, the whole loaf will be spoiled.

That is a good metaphor for bad doctrine. No part of the church will be left untouched by heresy coming from the pulpit. No part of the mind will be left untouched by a false doctrine when reading it in a book. Such use of sly language is highly corrosive. Avoid The Shack. And when reading any book that alleges affiliation with Christianity, be mindful of the words the author chooses. Young says the bible is dusty, old, and outdated. I say the bible is fresh, living, and inspired. The difference in the words we choose reveals a point of view. Don't absorb Young's.

To those who dismiss any criticism of The Shack because it is 'just' a novel, Mr Henegar explains, "Of course, not every detail is worth dissecting; a novel is not systematic theology. Yet it’s clearly more than just fiction. Mack’s conversations with Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu make up the bulk of the book, with his questions serving as little more than prompts for their extended divine speeches. Though never citing Scripture directly, the characters make enough allusions to biblical content to imply fidelity to orthodox Christianity."

Of course if Young has written, "Don't believe the bible because it is old and outdated" you would spot the heresy easily. The craftiest heresy doesn't announce itself. It lays lurking in the negative words authors use to describe holy things.

I feel so strongly that The Shack contains crafty heresy, that not only did I write about it on my secular blog, but also on this blog, The End Time. Four times in all.

Burning Down The Shack

Why Christians Should Not Read The Shack

The Shack is a Doctrine of Demons

In the next blog entry coming up momentarily, let's take a look at a book that is not a Christian novel but a biblical exploration of the life of Paul from Christian speaker Beth Moore. We'll look at how Mrs Moore uses words to shape your perspective of Paul away from the biblical presentation of his character and toward her own skewed and emotional point of view of the man.

Come On, Irene! NASA view of the hurricane from space

NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station watch Irene from above. It is a time lapse video that is pretty interesting. "Passing over the Bahamas, Irene caused major damage to the nation's outer islands. By some reports, 90% of the homes on some of the sparsely populated islands of Acklins and Crooked Islands were destroyed as Irene's eye swirled directly overhead."

Makes me smile when thinking of the future moment as the Two Witnesses resurrect before the eyes of the whole world. Our technology even now is such that we can view the earth from a space station. Amazing. I was born before we went to the moon but grew up with seeing the miracle of astronauts walking on the moon and in space, and 50 years later I still think it is amazing.

Take the warnings seriously, this storm has a high surge and heavy rain. Hurricane Katrina made landfall initially in FL as a Cat 1 storm but we all know what happened after that...

HuffPo: UFO sightings increase 67% in three years

Mainstream news outlet Huffington Post reports today that UFO sightings are way up.

"Unemployment, gas prices, and fear over global warming aren't the only things skyrocketing -- so are mysterious objects rocketing through the sky. The Mutual UFO Network -- the largest privately funded UFO research organization in the world -- tells The Huffington Post that more people than ever are reporting unidentified flying objects, mostly in the United States and Canada. "Over the past year, we've been averaging 500 sighting reports a month, compared to about 300 three years ago [67 percent]," MUFON international director Clifford Clift said. "And I get one or two production companies contacting me every week, wanting to do stories on UFOs." So far this week, mysterious aerial lights in Laredo, Texas, and Kansas City, MO., lived up to, at least initially, the strict definition of UFOs, namely "Unidentified" Flying Objects. That, of course, doesn't mean that little green men are watching us. It's generally accepted that 95 percent of all sightings are easily dismissed. Some turn out to be conventional aircraft, others are satellites or weather balloons -- and then there are the hoaxers with Photoshopped concoctions. In the case of the Kansas City sighting, the UFOs turned out to be the Army Golden Knights parachuting team, performing a nighttime jump. But the explanation for the blinking light over Laredo is still up for grabs. However, the remaining 5 percent of all UFO reports aren't as easily explained. And many of them are reported by commercial and military pilots..."

I think the point of the article is that 95% of previous UFO sightings used to be easily dismissed. I do not think it is so any more. I have been reporting on this phenomenon for about the same length of time, noting in particular, as HuffPo did, that many of the sightings are reported by officials. There have been the military men, air traffic controllers, firemen and other aerial workers trained in official capacities reporting things in the air that are unidentifiable. And even though Photoshop hoaxing is also on the rise, as HuffPo correctly noted, video is less easily concocted. I've reported this year successively on January 30, January 3 and Feb 2 on the Jerusalem UFO that was taped by three different groups of people from three different perspectives, and I've also reported on the Moscow craft that was taped hovering for an hour over rush hour traffic, and the China sightings that twice closed a major airport.

Do I believe that alien beings are driving craft from different planets to the earth? Yes and no. No because I do not believe alien life exists in the way most secular people think of it. There are no little green men. There is no robotic, psychotic overlord waiting to use us as pet food. There are no Vulcans or Romulans. But there IS a class of beings that live off-planet and visit earth. They are powerful, bright, interact with humans and some have benign intent while others have evil intent. They are angels.

Colossians 1:16 tells us they were created by God, and Hebrews 1:14 states that angels are ministering spirits to us. In Luke 2:10-12 they visited the shepherds in great number to announce the birth of Christ, and Daniel received visits from Gabriel several times.

Psalms 91:11-12 states, "For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone."

Clarke's commentary on the Psalms 91:11-12 verse says "He shall give his angels charge over thee - Evil spirits may attempt to injure thee; but they shall not be able. The angels of God shall have an especial charge to accompany, defend, and preserve thee; and against their power, the influence of evil spirits cannot prevail. These will, when necessary, turn thy steps out of the wag of danger; ward it off when it comes in thy ordinary path; suggest to thy mind prudent counsels, profitable designs, and pious purposes; and thus minister to thee as a child of God, and an heir of salvation."

So technically, angels ARE aliens, living in a different dimension, visiting earth, having a different biology, and possessing greater power than we do. We know also from the bible that not all angels have benign intent. A third of them follow satan. (Rev 12:4). They wish to do us harm. That is their entire point of reference, to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10).

To the point of today's blog entry: we know that in the time of the end, the angels will irrupt onto the earth Irrupt is a bursting in, the opposite of erupt, which is a bursting out As the LORD lifts His protecting hand and the Holy Spirit Restrainer leaves the earth (2 Thess 2:6), the days will be like the Days of Noah. (Matthew 24:37). The Days of Noah were days immediately prior to the flood when the thoughts of man were of only evil continually (Gen 6:5, Gen 6:11-12). It was also a time when the Nephilim were on earth in those days, when angels took women, all that they chose, and produced a hybrid race. (Gen 6:1-3; 4).

Fallen angels were on earth in those days, causing havoc. The bible tells of another time when fallen angels will burst in, the demons who have been kept locked up since that awful time prior to the flood (2 Peter 2:4).

In the fifth trumpet judgment, they are let out. (Rev 9:1-11). There are so many demons let out of the pit onto earth that the smoke of them blotted out the sun. It is literally hell on earth. We know that some fallen angels have been allowed to move in heaven and stalk the earth because the bible tells us that there was war in heaven that Archangel Michael fought in. (Rev 12:7). And we know from the verse in Rev 9 that some of the fallen angels (demons) are imprisoned in the deepest hell (Tartarus) and will be released in the fifth trumpet judgment in Rev 9.

So if fallen angels are allowed to visit earth and afflict the unsaved do you think it will be any hard thing for them to shine their light in the air and pretend to be a UFO? No. The world will be completely deceived by satan and his cohorts in the Tribulation by all manner of lying signs and wonders. That the deceptions from other dimensions by fallen angels and satan are ramping up now (by 67% no less) is an indicator of how eager they must be to have their day. They know that their time will be but a little time, (Rev 12:10-12) but they are eager for it nonetheless.  I picture them as a horde of racehorces at the gate, knowing that the gate will be opened shortly. At that time, they will rush pell mell onto the racetrack, circling and running and racing to cause as much destruction as possible during the time they are allowed to have. It is that time that is called the Tribulation, and you do not have to be here for it.

Is the gate about to be lifted and the fallen angels about to burst in? photo source.
If you are a child of God you will not have to worry about news media reports pondering the percentages of UFO sightings. You will not be troubled by any demon. You will not be here on earth to faint from terror at the things coming upon it. (Luke 21:26). You will be clothed in garments of righteousness, freed from all pain and suffering, given a glorified body, and meeting Jesus face to face as a friend and not an enemy. How can you obtain all this? It is already yours. Jesus died on the cross to save you from the punishments of your sins, if you confess them to Him - the Highest Judge - and repent from them. He will pardon you and you will be saved.

Otherwise, someday soon the "UFO's" will touch down, and you will lament your lost chance to have repented during the Church Age.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is today the day?

Is today that day that You will call for your church to heaven?
Is today that day You will present a bride to Your Son?
Is today the day You will deal with sin in the world?
Is today that day You will send another warning to the unrepentant?
Is today the day You will quicken the Spirit inside me to grow in Christlikeness?
Is today the day You will send the Spirit to draw my family to the cross?
Is today the day You will grow me in the spiritual fruits?
Is today the day You will chasten me, your child?
Is today the day You will send ministering angels to help me?
Is today the day You will give this land to Abraham and his offspring forever?
Is today the day You will bring Your people out from under the yoke of oppression?
Is today the day You will show Yourself in glory and power?

Today could be the day. For many of these, today IS the day. For others, soon will be the day. The Lord's promises are true. They will be fulfilled. May His name be forever blessed.

Man regains hearing after earthquake

I went out directly after school yesterday and didn't get home until 9:30. I went with a friend to see the movie "The Help." It was an excellent movie. I had read the book this summer and I think the movie stayed very close to the book. Both were good, and I recommend either reading the book or viewing the movie. Then we went to Chili's for supper. I hadn't realized that the movie was 2:20 running time! The movie was so good that you didn't notice the length of time in the theater and when we got out we were astounded to see that it was almost 7:30.

Here is a re-post of a news article that I found interesting. It is just one of those things that make you go "huh!" I will post another blog entry tonight. There are a lot of thoughts going through my mind. There is so much happening in the world it will be hard to know what topic to choose! The Spirit will tell me.

I hope you enjoy this one. There is a video at the link.:

Man Regains Hearing After Earthquake

WASHINGTON - For patient Robert Valderzak, Tuesday's earthquake was a blessing in disguise. On Father’s Day, the 75-year-old lost his hearing when he fell. He has been in the hospital since then.
"He has a conductive loss, meaning that could be due to fluid or problems with the bones of the ear. And he has a nerve loss as well, so it's a combined loss," said Dr. Ross Fletcher, Chief of Staff at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Northwest D.C.
Valderzak used a special speaker phone with a light on it that flashed when it was ringing and an audio device system to communicate. But on Tuesday, something strange happened while his four children were visiting and that massive earthquake rocked the region.
When it was over, Valderzak, who sat in silence for months, sat up in his bed and told his kids, "I said, you know, my hearing is back. I can hear everything, people in the hallway.”
As he was shaking around in his bed, something happened in his head, and he could hear and talk again.
"Some people seem to be a little frightened by it, but he is delighted that this earthquake came along because soon after the event, he could hear everything in the room very clearly," Dr. Ross said. "I think there is still some hearing loss if I test him informally. We do have the ability to look into audiograms and do it more formally."

But to Valderzak, he doesn't care about any test. He already knows what happened.
"To me, it was a miracle, a blessing from God up above. Couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Valderzak.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

About God and earthquakes

I wrote on this blog yesterday about the Colorado earthquake, 5.3 magnitude quake which was the largest in Colorado since 1967. It occurred in a nearly aseismic to large quakes area, making this one a surprise to geologists.

Then later in the day a "5.8 Virginia earthquake shakes East Coast, rattles residents" and in the Washington Pot article the writer noted "It was not a killer quake, nor even a particularly injurious one. But if it didn’t add up to a natural disaster, it was still a startling geological event, the strongest East Coast tremor in 67 years..."

It was a startling geological event. Thousands poured out into the streets in shock and surprise. The author went on to state that, "Any assumption that the region is seismically serene was corrected at 1:51 p.m..."
This blog entry is about God and earthquakes. Whenever a large or an unusual quake happens, my site doubles in traffic. People are intensely interested in earthquakes, and they know instinctively that quakes somehow relate to God and also to the end time. In one essay within a series I did last year called The Language of God, I wrote about the Language of God speaking through earthquakes. It is one of His vocabulary words.

If a person is not a believer then they will try to convince themselves that earthquakes are natural happenings based in science where strike-slip quakes, normal ones, or thrust quakes have logical scientific meaning and occur in places where underlying geology supports their particular kind of quake stress relief. (Though scientists cannot and have never been able to figure out why deep-focus quakes happen. These are quakes that happen in places where scientifically, none should occur.) Note that-
Most earthquakes are shallow. They are concentrated no deeper than 20-25 kilometers down. However, a few extremely deep quakes rumble at depths of about 600 kilometers. Geophysicists are really not certain what causes the very deep quakes, because at 640 kilometers rocks are so hot that they flow rather than snap under geological stresses. The more common, shallow earthquakes are generally created when rocks snap and fracture. source
Anyway, Bible Believers love science but know that God is not beholden to science. If He wants to cause an earthquake, He will. There is no place that is 'seismically serene.' There is no place that is 'aseismic'. I thought it was ironic and amusing when the Powers that Be decided to build a seed vault to store seeds in case of a cataclysm. They spent millions to search for and then build a perfect place that was remote, could be protected, and was safe from earthquakes. They chose Svalbard Norway, atop a tiny rock atop a tiny island in the remote north Atlantic, above the Arctic Circle. It was supposed to be a seismically free zone. The day they opened the vault and had their bigwig ribbon cutting party, there was a huge earthquake. It was the largest in Norway's history, a 6.2.

"This location was chosen for the express reason that seismic activity rarely if ever occurs there. Earthquakes occur hundreds of miles away on the Norwegian mainland, but they are low in magnitude. The largest one on the mainland [1200 miles away] was 5.4 in 1904 and most eq's on mainland Norway are less than 4.0. The quake occurred even though the vault's feasibility study assured that "there is no volcanic or significant seismic activity" in the area." (source).

God can cause an earthquake anywhere, any time, of any magnitude. Satan does not cause earthquakes. The antichrist does not cause earthquakes. Nature does not cause earthquakes. There is nothing that happens on the earth that God does not permit. Nothing. There is nothing happening on earth that He does not know about. We read in Luke 12:6-7, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Earthquakes vary in kind. Some as mentioned are the mysterious deep-focus kind of quakes. There was a deep-focus quake lately, in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, there were three high-magnitude deep-focus quakes in fast succession. Read more here. Another kind of strange quake was the quake in Florida USA.  I wrote about it here in a blog entry titled "Now the ground is shaking for no reason."

Remember the mysterious kind of quake that happened with Korah?

"Then Moses said, "This is how you will know that The Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then The Lord has not sent me. But if The Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated The Lord with contempt."

"As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, "The earth is going to swallow us too!" (Numbers 16:28-34).

This kind of earth opening then closing is reminiscent of an incident that will take place in the tribulation. It is described in Revelation 12:13-16--

"When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth."

Jesus said that there would be earthquakes in diverse places in the Tribulation (Matthew 24:7). The Greek translation of "diverse" places is "against, down from, daily, day-by-day." So if we substitute diverse for against as the Greek indicates, the verse takes on new meaning. "There will be earthquakes against various places." Even more specifically, the Strong's Concordance says the definition originates from a "preposition, properly, "down from, i.e. from a higher to a lower plane, with special reference to the terminus." Earthquakes against various places from on high to a specific place or terminus. Hmmm.

As we see, Jesus will cause earthquakes against a location. He uses them for warnings and as judgments.

In the Tribulation, there will be many earthquakes. They will kill millions. Billions even. A third of the population dies almost immediately and then another third of the remainder are killed by the various judgments. (Not only earthquakes but pestilence, beast, famine, and sword (His for sore judgments; Ezekiel 14:21).

Here are scriptures that show He is in control, He holds the earth with gentle hands as gently as holding a sparrow, knowing even the numbers of hairs on your head, but also showing that He will shake the earth violently to show His displeasure in sin and rebellion against Him. After I read all these I came away with a sense of awe and humility in seeing without a doubt how much He is in control. And yet He loves us. He wants us to dwell with Him in heaven...please repent so that you will be there. Confess to Him that you are a sinner and ask Him to forgive the wrongdoing you've engaged in over your lifetime. He will forgive you. He died so that it would be possible. Now He is risen and waiting to hear your confession. Meanwhile, please enjoy these awesome verses illustrating His power on the earth:

Job 9:6
He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.

Psalm 18:7
The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.

Psalm 46:2
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

Psalm 46:3
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 104:32
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

Nahum 1:5
The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.


Matthew 24
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Revelation 6:12
[The Sixth Seal—Terror ] I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

Revelation 8:5
Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Revelation 11:13
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Revelation 11:19
And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

Revelation 16:18
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.

Ezekiel 38:18-20
This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

Zechariah 14:4
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.


Psalm 18:15
The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

Psalm 60:2
You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking.

Isaiah 13:13
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.

Isaiah 24:19
The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is violently shaken.

Isaiah 24:20
The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again.

Isaiah 29:6
the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.

Nahum 1

1 A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
The LORD’s Anger Against Nineveh
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.

I am glad I stand as His friend and not His enemy. How about you? Are you friend or foe of God?

Prata's Place / Graceful Garlands: Gradual Growth

My title comes from Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland ...