Wednesday, August 31, 2011
My heart is feeling such peace and containment. The last two days have been such a wonderful time of fellowship and relaxation. Yesterday as we count time on earth one by one people began to come by. Some people that I had grown to love and respect in my time here others that I had known for some time on earth. It all culminated in a grand celebration of food, fellowship, and joy as we all dedicated this new place God has given me.
We all sat around the table inside and enjoyed the food the angels had prepared. Moses and Enoch were already present and one by one the others arrived all bringing a message of cheer and blessing. I was blessed not only by their presence but to have to opportunity to spend some time with each one as they arrived.
Enoch and I took a walk together in the forest of God surrounding my lodge. There was a slight breeze blowing and it filled the air with the intoxicating aroma of all the foliage all around us.
Enoch said, “Michael it is such a joy to be here and enjoy this time of fellowship together. You have grown a great deal in your walk with Father. You are going to be moving into a whole new realm of understanding and revelation. So much is happening in the earth as Father’s plans and purposes shall be made known”.
With this he stopped talking and turned and put his arm on my shoulder and said, “Son we shall be spending some time together but for now let your heart be at rest and your spirit be filled with joy.
We continued in our walk just enjoying the fellowship and wonder of the forest in which we were walking. I am feeling such an internal feeling of peace. We by and by made our way back into the clearing by the lodge.
I saw that two others had arrived and we made our way over to them as we greeted one another. I don’t think any two individuals could present a more distinct difference than Abraham and the apostle John. Abraham is a tall barrel chested man, while John is a very short small-featured individual.
We greeted each other in the name of the Lord and Abraham indicated that he wished to speak to me. We made our way over to the arbor that I spoke of in my last vision while John and Enoch went off together. I watched as they walked off together in the direction of the Lodge. As I turned my attention back to Abraham we both entered the arbor and sat down. Abraham’s voice is as distinctive as his appearance. He has a booming voice and he is a very loving, kind, and emotional man. When he speaks to you he gestures with his hands and with a voice filled with generosity and warmth.
“Michael we all are blessed to be here and celebrate this special time with you. I have much to share with you not only about what you have experienced so far but also in that which is yet to come”.
He stopped speaking for a moment and took my hands in his and looked deeply in my eyes. His eyes are a bluish gray and they are large and as expressive as he is.
He leaned forward and continued “Son have you ever wondered why Father has sent you the individuals that you have met on this son’s journey? Why not some one else? I, Moses, Elijah, Enoch, Daniel, and the apostle John all have one thing in common with you my son. Father told you years ago he was calling you to be a prophet to your generation. Michael we were and are many things but all of us were also sent to be prophets to our generation”.
Abraham sighed and stood to his feet and gazed off into the distance to the mountain of God rumbling as usual with the power and glory of Father. He stood there for some times his eyes filling with tears and then he knelt down in the place prepared in the arbor for prayer.
He said, “Holy Father my heart has been and ever shall be filled with wonder, love, and joy at your presence. Here in Michael’s new home we are ever reminded of your great power as we kneel here before you in sight of your holy mountain. I pray for Michael holy one that in the days of darkness that are soon to come that you will lead and protect him Holy one. Beloved Father we witnesses of your love can testify readily from our own lives of how you guarded and protected us in our earth walk with you.
Yet we all faced the trials and temptations of doubt and at times our resolve buckled under the pressures we were encountering at the time. I in the midst of famine left the land you promised and went to Egypt. I went Lord in fear of losing my entire household to the famine. Elijah after his greatest victory fled in fear of his life.
We one and all had our moments where faced with the pressure of the moment we failed in our resolve to follow your guidance. Yet not one of us ever faced the pressure that Michael and this end time generation shall see. They will walk in the greatest anointing Lord for many reasons but one is they shall surely need it. Theirs shall at some point be a quest for just survival in the midst of world wide catastrophes they shall see unfolding all around them”.
Abraham fell on his face and his body was contorted with such grief. I was greatly moved by the sincerity of his heart. I could just imagine him seeking God so long ago. What a remarkable man he is. It is no wonder that Father chose him to be the Father of many nations, the one whom the blessed Messiah would come through.
Abraham just lay their weeping before the Lord and I was sitting on the ground beside him trying to console him the best I could. He after sometime rose to his feet and we both left the arbor and went outside. The concerns he had for me and others were for the moment forgotten in the serenity and beauty of this place Father has given me.
Abraham said, “Michael never lose sight of this place and the ultimate vision that resides in your heart and comes from here. The earth is facing its greatest tests and the body of Christ with it. Gain your vision and direction no matter what you see and here in the days ahead from here. For yours shall be a voice of love, hope, and compassion to those whom Father shall soon send you to”.
With this he hugged me and I noticed two other individuals had made there way over to us they were John and Daniel.
Abraham said, “Son we shall spend sometime together soon but for now these two wise prophets of the Lord would speak with you” and as Abraham walked off John and Daniel both hugged me.
John said,” come my son for we have much to share with you” and as we embraced in a group hug we were caught up into the Spirit and I knew in my heart that they had something special to share with me. We left behind for the moment the Lodge with all its tranquility lost in the light of God’s glory as we soared in him to whatever God was to impart to me.
Story Taken From
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate Israel, ISNA news agency reported Thursday.
"Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.
"Iran follows this issue (the eradication of Israel) with determination and decisiveness and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy," the Iranian president added in the interview with the Al-Manar network.
The remarks by Ahmadinejad came one day before the annual anti-Israeli rallies named Qods (Jerusalem) Day, which are held nationwide in Iran on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should hold Qods rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this "infectious tumor and this regime full of rascality."
The Iranian president provoked international condemnation in 2005 when he said that Israel should be eliminated from the map of the Middle East and transferred to Europe or North America.
Honduras recognized on Friday the state of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority-based WAFA news agency reported.
According to the report, Honduras sent a letter to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in which it said that Honduras recognizes the state of Palestine based on the 1949 armistice lines.
Honduras also stressed in the letter it will support the PA’s statehood bid at the United Nations in September.
Abbas reportedly thanked Honduras for its decision and expressed hope that its recognition of Palestine will bolster bilateral relations.
On Thursday, El Salvador recognized Palestine as an independent state, with President Mauricio Funes saying the decision “was made in the context of the profound respect El Salvador has for sovereign decisions by members of the United Nations, the majority of whom have recognized the Palestinian state.”
Funes said he hoped his decision would help foster peace in Israel, adding that he supported Israel’s right to maintain secure borders.
Both countries’ support comes as the PA is preparing to present its statehood bid to the United Nations on September 20 and is recruiting countries to support the bid. WAFA noted that the announcements by both Honduras and El Salvador are crucial, as having Central America and Caribbean states support the bid would give the PA two-thirds of the number of votes needed at the United Nations General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday that that the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, had warned him that the U.S. would cut aid to the PA if they proceed with their unilateral bid for statehood.
According to Erekat, Rubinstein told him that the U.S. Congress will take “punitive measures” if the PA proceeds with seeking recognition of statehood.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Story Taken From
Despite the prominence of religious believers in politics and culture, America has shrinking congregations, growing dissatisfaction with religious leaders and more people who do not think about faith, according to a new study by a Duke University expert.
In "American Religion: Contemporary Trends," author Mark Chaves argues that over the last generation or so, religious belief in the U.S. has experienced a "softening" that effects everything from whether people go to worship services regularly to whom they marry. Far more people are willing to say they don't belong to any religious tradition today than in the past, and signs of religious vitality may be camouflaging stagnation or decline.
"Reasonable people can disagree over whether the big picture story is one of essential stability or whether it's one of slow decline," said Chaves. "Unambiguously, though, there's no increase."
Chaves, who directs the National Congregations Study, used data from that research and from four decades' worth of General Social Survey results to draw what he aims to be an overview of contemporary American religion. The study will be published this week.
Today, as many as 20 percent of all Americans say they don't belong to any religious group, Chaves found, compared with around 3 percent in the 1950s. Yet, those people aren't necessarily atheists, agnostics or others. Instead, about 92 percent of Americans still profess belief in God, they just don't use religion as part of their identity.
"It used to be that even the most marginally active people wouldn't say they have no religion, they'd say `I'm Catholic' or `I'm Baptist' or `I'm Methodist' or whatever," Chaves said. "That's not the case today."
Even signs of robust religious faith may not be what they appear, Chaves found. The strength of religious conservatives in politics, for example, has coincided with a growing disillusionment about faith's role in the public square. Chaves found that between 1991 and 2008, the percentage of Americans who strongly agreed that religious leaders should stay out of politics rose from 20 percent to 44 percent.
At the same time, those who remain devout have become more conservative. In the mid-1970s, knowing that someone attended church regularly wouldn't reveal much about their political leanings; today, regular churchgoers are far more likely to be Republicans than Democrats.
"It's not random who's leaving churches," said Bradley Wright, a University of Connecticut sociologist who studies American Christianity and wrote the 2010 book "Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told."
"As Christians affiliated more through the Republican Party, liberal, marginal churchgoers became offended and left," she said.
The notion of decline misses important developments like the enthusiastic devotion of Christian immigrants, argues Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
"Much of our immigration is coming from countries where Christianity is blossoming," he said. "I think God's doing some great things in African-American churches and among Hispanic immigrants."
Anderson thinks the change is better described as a shift than a decline, as people become more willing to leave the denominations or faiths in which they were raised and look elsewhere for spiritual nourishment.
Wright also believes that a decline might be overstating the case, and says polarization is a better description. He recently plotted survey data over the last 25 years recording what Americans say about the importance of religion in their lives. Those who say it's extremely important have grown slightly, along with those who say it's not at all important. But the number of people who said it was "somewhat" important dropped from 36 percent to 22 percent in about 20 years.
"Forty or 50 years ago, it was almost a form of deviance not to be religious," he said. "When you take away that external form of motivation, people either drop away or they find their own kind of motivation."
Chaves agrees, saying churches are likelier today to consist largely of a "hard core" of believers, and to have fewer casual or lukewarm members that used to swell the ranks.
"That's what's changed," he said. "Certainly as a percentage of their time, it's less important than it was."
These trends developed slowly over decades, Chaves said, and he doesn't think they can be reversed by ramped-up evangelism or other conscious decisions by religious groups. The main force may be demographic, since the data show that the households most likely to be devout consist of two parents and children. As fewer people have children and more couples split up, religious institutions see their numbers dwindle.
"Religious leaders know this," Chaves said. "That's why they look for ways to attract single people and people without kids. But it's hard, because on the whole, mainstream religion is kind of geared toward families."
The study wasn't all bad for religious groups, though. Older people are more likely to be religious than the young, and America is on the cusp of having the largest elderly population in its history, Chaves said.
Immigrants to the U.S. also tend to be active religious believers, and birth rates may also favor the faithful. Devout families usually have more children than the kinds of non-traditional arrangements contributing to the demographic drain on religions, Wright said. Finally, there's an extraordinary amount of good will toward religious faith in the U.S., especially in contrast with other Western countries.
"It's not like there's a lot of hostility toward religion in the United States," Chaves said. "It's just that there's been a softening of religiosity."
Story Taken From
Israel is gearing up for what could be massive Palestinian protests in September, when the United Nations may move forward with the recognition of a Palestinian state.
"The most immediate one is the decision of the Palestinian Authority to reject negotiations with Israel," former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold told CBN News.
Palestinians want the United Nations to accept them as a member state in September. Gold said they want to use mass demonstrations in the West Bank to challenge Israel.
Turning World Opinion
"There's a strategy in the field to create an atmosphere of violence that leads TV networks to give it special coverage and forces public opinion, as well as Western governments to shift their position from one of questions about what the Palestinians are doing to strong support for what they're trying to accomplish," Gold explained.
Israeli Messianic leader Chuck Cohen said any such action would be dividing God's land to make an Islamic state in the territory promised to the Jewish people.
"The Palestinians never had it in the first place, and yet here we are facing this threat," Cohen said.
And they want to divide Jerusalem.
"God is saying, I'm testing your hearts with Jerusalem that I'm giving back to my people," he added.
If Israel defies the U.N., author Joel Rosenberg warned that the international community could team up to cut off Israel diplomatically and even economically.
"Think of what we did with Iraq for example. We built a coalition to cut her off economically and then eventually we sent a military to overthrow a regime," Rosenberg said.
Weapons of War
And what if Israel agrees to divide its land with the Palestinians?
"That will go badly for Israel as it did the last time they divided the land, giving Gaza away. They ended up getting 8,000 rockets and missiles, not peace," Rosenberg said.
"When they divided the land and gave back a sliver of the north to Lebanon, they ended up with 4,000 rockets and missiles as thank you presents from the Lebanese," he continued.
Cohen said Palestinians have other tools at their disposal.
"The latest thing they're trying is called lawfare - instead of warfare - lawfare. They trying to legally destroy us," he said.
Lawfare means exploiting courts in democratic countries to harass Israelis, accusing them of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It's part of a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, which ranges from accusing Israel of being an apartheid state to rewriting history that denies any Jewish connection to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount.
Threats All Around
Then there is the direct threat to the land and all its people.
"Iran hasn't gone away…anyone who reads the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency is aware that the amount of low-enriched uranium, which can later be converted to weapons' grade, is still growing," Gold said.
Rosenberg said there's no doubt Iran is pursuing nuclear arms.
"Iran clearly is working on nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad is even starting to speculate publicly over whether they should just come out and say they're going to build nuclear weapons," Rosenberg said.
And Iran's allies already threaten Israel. To the north, Hezbollah has some 50,000 rockets and missiles pointed its way.
Syria could move from cracking down on its own pro-democracy demonstrators to picking a fight with Israel.
To the south, Hamas rules Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood may soon rule Egypt, Israel's first Arab peace partner.
And don't forget Turkey, a one-time ally that's shifting allegiances.
"With all the threats Israel is a very strong country. It's a country which has economically been stable…It's a country where there's a huge amount of creativity," Gold said.
"And as much as it faces these difficult challenges, it will learn to live with them and solve them over time," he said.
Time for Ezekiel Prophecies?
Still Rosenberg said wars can happen suddenly.
"The place is a tinderbox, one spark and the whole thing can go up in flames so it's hard to say," he said.
"One thing we know prophetically is that Ezekiel 38 and 39, the war of Gog and Magog comes after a period of security for the Israeli people and prosperity. Now you'd have to say that right now Israel is experiencing both," he explained.
Rosenberg said Israelis are feeling more secure than at any time in their 63-year history.
"In fact they're feeling more secure as Jews here then any time in the last 2,000 years, maybe 2,500 years. But the greatest risk for Israel right now is that Israel is not focused on the Lord," he said.
That, Rosenberg said, is crucial so the Lord can help Israel deal with the challenging times ahead.
Story Taken from
The year 2011 began with a flood in Australia so vast it turned an area almost twice as large as Texas into a disaster zone.
The first half of 2011 saw thousands of lives lost to natural disasters and made it the most expensive on record in terms of property damage.
In January, earthquakes hit Argentina, Chile, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Tonga. In February, they hit Burma, the Pacific Islands and the big one, in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The quake struck at midday. Buildings were toppled. Scores were buried under rubble and 181 died. Survivors who crawled from collapsed office buildings were stunned.
One woman who appeared dazed, said of her office building, "It just came down. Like, right down."
The monster earthquake of 2011 in Japan was like something out of a science fiction movie. From 20 miles under the surface of the Pacific, the quake created a wall of water 130 feet high that traveled six miles inland, causing cars and boats to bob like toys.
It was a quake so powerful it moved the island of Honshu eight feet. More than 15,000 people died and nearly 5,000 are still missing.
Then in a terrible twist, after the quake knocked out power at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the tsunami washed out its backup generators, the last line of defense against overheating. It would be the world's first triple meltdown, spreading radiation over a wide area.
It was the worst disaster to afflict Japan since World War II.
U.S. Tornado Outbreak
The world was still in shock when the southern and eastern United States experienced the worst rash of tornadoes in recorded weather history. The 2011 "Super Outbreak" included four EF-5 tornadoes, and led to almost 350 deaths and more than $6 billion in insured losses.
Then just weeks later on a Sunday afternoon in May, a mile-wide multiple vortex EF-5 tornado plowed through Joplin, Mo., obliterating parts of the city, killing 159 people and causing an estimated $2 billion in insured losses.
The insurance industry was left reeling. Americans were in shock.
Vinson Synan, author of 19 books and the dean emeritus at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., says the unprecedented string of calamities is forcing many Americans to ask, 'Why?'
"It's a sobering thing, for even natural man to face up to natural disasters that don't make any sense at all. And to hit randomly in the world, and may hit you," Synan said. "And the question, in the back of their minds -- 'What does this mean?'"
"So I think it brings people to question the ultimate end of everything," he explained.
And unfortunately, the world's worst disasters could still be ahead, like a category five hurricane making a direct hit on a large American city.
Disaster Scenarios Studied
Experts have studied other disaster scenarios that many Americans do not know about.
For example, geologists have warned that heavy rains on Mount Rainer in Washington State could cause a deadly 40-mile mudslide moving at 60 mph, filled with rocks and trees.
Some fear the collapse of the giant volcanic mountain Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands could send an 80-foot high tsunami slamming into the east coast of the United States at 600 mph.
And along the Mississippi, a catastrophic quake at the giant new Madrid fault would cause utter devastation to America's heartland, changing the course of the mighty Mississippi, and causing the ground to roll like the ocean, as it did in 1811 and 1812.
Many Americans might think they live in one of the safest periods in world history. But do they? Why have so many natural disasters struck the planet this year, and what does it mean?
"It brings people to question the ultimate end of everything. Even the natural man who doesn't even know God, is saying 'Something bad is happening,' 'It's getting worse and worse,'" Synan told CBN News.
Story Taken From
A man wearing a Santa hat sits on a roof. He's talking to his ex-girlfriend on a cell phone, trying with feigned cheer to wish her a Merry Christmas. He asks if she's with her new boyfriend. Yes, she replies, and she's with her whole family, opening presents. He says, "That's great, because I have a present for you," and he saws off his own head so it falls down the chimney into the fireplace.
This isn't a horror movie. It's a cartoon, filmed in stop-motion animation, like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It runs on the Cartoon Network, which is owned by Time Warner. And it's aimed at children.
This horrific little severed-head sketch was part of a show called "Robot Chicken," which has aired for years on this network. Nobody watches that, you say. Think again: "Robot Chicken" has turned up on a list of the Top 25 shows watched by children aged 12 to 17.
Some might say all this "fun" is clearly designed for young adults, not children. It's after dark, when the Cartoon Network turns -- from Jekyll to Hyde -- into the Adult Swim Channel. But that's not at midnight.
Since December, it's been moved into prime time at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central. Even before that, Nielsen reported in 2008 that the top U.S. networks for teenagers were Fox, Nickelodeon, Disney ... and Adult Swim.
Speaking of Christmas, that show also has a cartoon of a man tied up for a stoning, with Jesus saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." As men beginning dropping their rocks, Jesus then whacks the tied-up man in the head with a rock and yells "Blammo!" Mocking Jesus is an ongoing theme; In another skit called "Jesus and the Argonauts," when all his men leave, Jesus complains "Oh, Dad damn it!"
In a new survey of the top 20 animated cable shows, the Parents Television Council gave an A grade to Disney and Nickelodeon for its top cartoons. But the Cartoon Network and its "Adult Swim" bloc earned an F for excessive sex, violence, profanity, and drug use.
In watching just 123 programs in a four-week study period, the PTC documented one thousand four hundred and eighty-seven examples of offensive material ... on cartoons. On average, young viewers were exposed to this junk once every two minutes and 19 seconds.
Let's go through the numbers. There were 680 sexual references or depictions. Some were typically sleazy, and some went way beyond. In one episode of "American Dad," eponymous character Stan breaks in on a child molester named Randy, who's trying to seduce his son, Steve, along with other boys. Stan pulls a gun on him, but Randy stands his ground.
"Look, I'm a sex offender. I love offensive sex," he proclaims. "I offend people with the sex I have. That's who I am, and it's who I'll always be."
Stan finds that inspiring. "My God, boys! We can all take a page from Randy the Molester's book. He's comfortable with who he is! And I should be as well!"
These cartoons were loaded with 565 incidents of explicit language -- much of it bleeped out of necessity, even by today's bohemian standards. For example, in one "American Dad" show, the teen character Barry screams into the school public-address system that "You [bleeps] are going to do what I say or I will put my [bleeped G.D.] foot so far up your [bleeped A-word] you will rue the day that you crawled out of your mother's [bleep]."
In another "Dad" episode, Francine, the sitcom's mother character, hates George Clooney so much that when her husband calls Clooney a "future Senator from California," she explodes. "Oh, I will chop his [bleeped F-bomb] head in two." It's a violence-and-profanity two-fer.
There were 242 references to drug use. Here again was Adult Swim, replaying a "King of the Hill" show where a friend tricks young Bobby into making crystal meth for a science project at school. She later tricks him into making more drugs at home and sells the meth to a trucker. It's another uplifting plot line for children, don't you think?
If you think this isn't aiming "adult" material squarely at children, check out how this network often rates its sleazy programming: TV-PG, or acceptable for children under 14 with parental guidance "suggested."
Monday, August 29, 2011
Heaven is such a beautiful wonderful place. The last eighteen days on the mountain of God have been a very fruitful and life changing experience for me. Yet today God has given me a respite from the intensity of the intercession of that time. I am walking in the forest of the Lord and all around me this wilderness of God fills my heart with joy. It is hard to express how beautiful it is. Towering above me are trees as tall as redwoods yet the beauty and covering of their branches do not obscure the light and glory of the path we are walking on far below them.
I say we because I am not alone but find myself in the good company of my heavenly spiritual father Moses. We have grown very close in the past year and my life has been enriched beyond my capacity to say by his wisdom, generosity of spirit, and kind heart. Yet he is far more than just my mentor he is also my dear friend. He looked at me and smiled and motioned for me to follow him and I saw a small clearing just ahead with a bench upon which we sat down.
He said, “Son, I to enjoy the fellowship and time that we have spent together”.
I could not help but notice how special this place we are at is. The forest of the Lord surrounds us. Yet right in middle of it is this beautiful little clearing. I see to my left a small very well kept little vineyard. Directly in front of us is an arbor. The vines of the vineyard are forming a canopy over it. As I looked to my right I saw a lodge its appearance engendered feelings in my heart of serenity and peace.
As I sat here looking around Moses had been silently watching me.
His eyes showing the love and connection that we both felt for each other.
I can see the mountain of God rising above the trees of the forest and my heart is stirred by glory and rumbling that I see and hear coming from the top. My heart has almost instantly fallen in love with this little place. I sighed and have rarely felt so at home as I do here.
Moses looking at me could tell by my expression how much I loved it. He said, “Son my heart is moved by how well you like this place. Father has many sides to him as you have well learned. He commissioned me to prepare this place some time ago. Michael like me he wants you to be near him and his glory always. You have seen my cottage under the mountain of God and this son is your place. We walk with the Lord in power and authority and our hearts are joined not only with each other but also in our desire to be with him in his glory. So when you are called to wait on him before his holy mountain Father wanted you to have a place of your own to do so”.
I jumped to my feet as tears swelled in my eyes. I could not believe how special the Lord and Moses are to have prepared this place for me. Moses stood and we embraced each other.
I said, “My heart is filled with such joy today that Father and you would have prepared such a beautiful place as this for me”.
With this we walked over to the arbor and it was everything I could have dreamed of. I have a perfect view of the mountain of God from here and there is both a bench to sit on as well as a place to kneel and seek the Lord from as well. As I looked at the canopy of vines that formed the roof of the arbor I was delighted to see that intertwined with the vines were branches upon which were growing the most beautiful, delicate, purple flowers whose scent was intoxicating to say the least.
Moses and I then left the arbor and walked over to the vineyard. It was small but well kept. I saw two angels who were busily at work both caring for the grapes as well as filling a basket with them. I could not help but notice that the basket they were filling was half full and there was one on the ground that was full. With a twinkle in his eyes Moses bent down and picked up the basket and motioned for me to follow him.
We began to walk towards the lodge. There was a small bridge that crossed over a beautiful creek, which we walked over. Moses still carrying the basket instead of walking to the door of the lodge went to the left and behind the lodge. My heart gasped, as behind the lodge was a beautiful garden of flowers that surrounded the perimeter of the forest as well as a small building that we walked over to and entered.
Inside were two more angels and a small winepress also to my delight my friend Enoch was there busily engaged in conversation with the angels. He had his back to us but upon our entrance he turned and smiled and walked over and embraced us.
He said “Michael we did so want to make this place a place of joy and comfort for you. Moses has overseen the entire construction of all you see here. He wanted everything to be perfect and I can see by your expression that he has succeeded. I turned and with tears forming in my eyes embraced Moses.
I said, “I do not know what I have done to deserve such favor from you but no son could have deeper feelings of love, devotion, and respect for you than what I feel for you”. His eyes filled with tears and we embraced each other again.
Enoch walked over and put his arms around us and said, “come let us go to the house for there is much preparation going on inside”.
We walked down the side of the Lodge and coming to the front door entered the Lodge.It filled my heart with joy it was all I could have dreamed of and more. Upon entering there is a beautiful front room with a fireplace and as in all fireplaces in heaven the fire is the fire of the Holy Spirit. It is not large but spacious. To the right was another door, which upon entering was a dinning room with a long table that could seat ten people. Angels were busily at work preparing food and the aroma was indeed wonderful.
I asked Moses what was going on and he said, “They are preparing for a banquet of dedication of this house and the guests that shall soon appear.Son for now let us see the rest of the lodge”.
We went back out into the front room and I saw another door to the left as we walked inside I saw that it was a small study with a desk and a small collection of books behind it.
Moses said “This is a place for reflection and here you shall be anointed to write that which our Lord shall give you for the time is short.
Michael upstairs there are three small rooms with cots and fireplaces in each one”. I am totally overwhelmed by this whole experience. We left the office and went back thru the house and back into the yard in front of it. My heart is warmed by my Lords love and favor.
Enoch said, “Son let this place fill your heart with the serenity and joy with which it was intended. Soon there shall be others arriving and we all shall join together in a time of fellowship and joy”.
My heart after the intensity of the past eighteen days is relaxed and at rest. I believe I shall be spending some time here over the next few days. Heaven is not just a place of intense ministry but also of rest and joy. My spirit is alive with love and joy as I look all around me at the evidence of the Lords favor in my life.
Story Taken From
China appears on track to forge a modern military by 2020, a rapid buildup that could be potentially destabilizing to the Asia-Pacific region, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
Fueled by its booming economy, China's military growth in the past decade has exceeded most U.S. forecasts. Its aircraft carrier program, cyber warfare capabilities and anti-satellite missiles have alarmed neighbors and Washington.
Some China watchers, including members of Congress, note with apprehension that rising Chinese defense spending coincides with Washington's plans for defense cuts.
"China clearly believes that it can capitalize on the global financial crisis," said Representative Howard McKeon, adding the U.S. military presence in the Pacific must not be sacrificed in an attempt to control U.S. spending.
The Defense Department's annual assessment to Congress on the Chinese military flagged all the major concerns about China's growing military might, including Beijing's widening edge over Taiwan. It also noted cyber attacks in 2010 -- including those on U.S. government computers -- that appear to have originated in China.
"We have some concerns (on cyber) about some of the things that we've seen. And we want to be able to work through that with China," said Michael Schiffer, a deputy assistant secretary of defense.
The report focused on 2010, a year when the Pentagon said China's military modernization program paid "visible dividends." It cited China's fielding of an operational anti-ship ballistic missile, continued work on its aircraft carrier program and the completion of a prototype of China's first stealth fighter jet, the J-20.
The J-20 program, the Pentagon report said, would not achieve "effective operational capability" prior to 2018.
"Despite continued gaps in some key areas, large quantities of antiquated hardware and a lack of operational experience, the PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) is steadily closing the technological gap with modern armed forces," the report said.
The military buildup could have a destabilizing effect on the region, Schiffer said, calling for greater openness by the People's Liberation Army and more bilateral military dialogue.
"The pace and scope of China's sustained military investments have allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilizing to regional military balances," Schiffer said.
The Pentagon said despite its progress at becoming a more potent regional military power, Beijing was not expected to be able to project and sustain large forces in high-intensity combat operations far from China before 2020.
That is something the United States, still the predominant military power in the Pacific, has been able to do throughout the world for decades.
One of the best ways for a military to project power is with aircraft carriers and China launched its first carrier -- a refitted former Soviet craft -- for a maiden run earlier this month. Schiffer said he believed Beijing was working toward building its own domestically produced aircraft carriers and sources told Reuters China was building two carriers.
Still, the report said any domestically produced Chinese aircraft carrier would not be operational until at least 2015, if construction were to start this year.
"Whether or not this (China's carrier program) proves to be a net plus for the region or for the globe or proves to be something that has destabilizing effects and raises blood pressure in various regional capitals I think remains to be seen," Schiffer said.
One of the biggest irritants in Sino-U.S. ties is Taiwan. The PLA suspended military ties with the United States for most of 2010 over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and warned that a renewed flurry of engagement could again be jeopardized by new arms sales to an island China sees as a renegade province.
Schiffer said the U.S. government has not yet made a decision on any new arms sales to Taiwan, comments echoed at the State Department.
A Reuters report this month said the U.S. sale of 66 new Lockheed Martin F-16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan appeared unlikely.
Story Taken from
Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.
Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.
The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.
In Britain, for example, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.
The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.
In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets), for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced." And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.
In the Bury Park area of Luton, Muslims have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighborhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers have been accused of "hate crimes" for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: "How dare you come to a Muslim area."
In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.
Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with high Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets.
The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and which have been denounced as an "occupation without tanks or soldiers," have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.
In the Belgian capital of Brussels (which is 20% Muslim), several immigrant neighborhoods have become "no-go" zones for police officers, who frequently are pelted with rocks by Muslim youth. In the Kuregem district of Brussels, which often resembles an urban war zone, police are forced to patrol the area with two police cars: one car to carry out the patrols and another car to prevent the first car from being attacked. In the Molenbeek district of Brussels, police have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat a sandwich in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
In Germany, Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut, in an August 1 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, revealed that Muslim immigrants are imposing "no-go" zones in cities across Germany at an alarming rate.
The interviewer asked Witthaut: "Are there urban areas – for example in the Ruhr – districts and housing blocks that are "no-go areas," meaning that they can no longer be secured by the police?" Witthaut replied: "Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left 'to themselves.' Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture."
In Italy, Muslims have been commandeering the Piazza Venezia in Rome for public prayers. In Bologna, Muslims repeatedly have threatened to bomb the San Petronio cathedral because it contains a 600-year-old fresco inspired by Dante's Inferno which depicts Mohammed being tormented in hell.
In the Netherlands, a Dutch court ordered the government to release to the public a politically incorrect list of 40 "no-go" zones in Holland. The top five Muslim problem neighborhoods are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Kolenkit area in Amsterdam is the number one Muslim "problem district" in the country. The next three districts are in Rotterdam – Pendrecht, het Oude Noorden and Bloemhof. The Ondiep district in Utrecht is in the fifth position, followed by Rivierenwijk (Deventer), Spangen (Rotterdam), Oude Westen (Rotterdam), Heechterp/ Schieringen (Leeuwarden) and Noord-Oost (Maastricht).
In Sweden, which has some of the most liberal immigration laws in Europe, large swaths of the southern city of Malmö – which is more than 25% Muslim – are "no-go" zones for non-Muslims. Fire and emergency workers, for example, refuse to enter Malmö's mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escorts. The male unemployment rate in Rosengaard is estimated to be above 80%. When fire fighters attempted to put out a fire at Malmö's main mosque, they were attacked by stone throwers.
In the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Muslim youth have been hurling petrol bombs at police cars. In the city's Angered district, where more than 15 police cars have been destroyed, teenagers have also been pointing green lasers at the eyes of police officers, some of whom have been temporarily blinded.
In Gothenburg's Backa district, youth have been throwing stones at patrolling officers. Gothenburg police have also been struggling to deal with the problem of Muslim teenagers burning cars and attacking emergency services in several areas of the city.
According to the Malmö-based Imam Adly Abu Hajar: "Sweden is the best Islamic state."
Story Taken From
Israel-Egyptian frontier units went on peak alert Wednesday night, following specific intelligence that Palestinian Jihad Islami was preparing to launch another cross-border terrorist attack on Israel from Sinai.
Earlier Wednesday, Gen. Benny Gantz, Chief of Staff of Israel's Defense Forces announced the IDF was no longer treating the Egyptian frontier as a border of peace in view of new perils. The new situation was exemplified by the terrorist attacks Palestinian gunmen launched from Egyptian Sinai on Aug. 8 killing eight Israeli civilians and injuring forty.
The IDF is forced to elevate the army's Edom Division's mission, said the general, from border defense to a more proactive offensive role, the warding off of cross-border attacks for which it will receive infusions of extra combat manpower, intelligence systems and weapons.
This is a radical change in military outlook. For three decades since concluding a peace treaty with Egypt, Israel regarded their common 200-kilometer border as safe and non-belligerent.
In recent months, the IDF has been obliged to start thinking in new terms.
debkafile's military sources report that the Edom Division's officers will be provided with surveillance equipment for detecting threats taking shape inside Sinai and armored units for combating them.
The Edom Division is currently composed of two brigades, the 76th Military Engineering Battalion, two intelligence companies – for gathering field intelligence and electronic surveillance, the mixed male and female 33rd Infantry Brigade and the Special Forces Reserve unit.
Our sources report that this set p will be given "iron and intelligence teeth." Tank units, armored infantry, airborne radar and early warning electronic capabilities will be strung the length of the Egyptian border.
The Aug. 18 attack on the Eilat highway revealed that Palestinian terrorists were playing hide and seek between the Gaza Strip and Egyptian Sinai, adding to volatility on both sides of the Egyptian border and putting a heavy strain on Israeli-Egyptian relations. Iran was pulling strings to aggravate the tension.
The expanded frontier force is designed to keep the situation under better control by addressing the new issues:
1. The row over the killing of three Egyptian police officers in Sinai while Israeli was grappling with some 15 Palestinian gunmen has not subsided. The military rulers in Cairo were not appeased by Israel's apology. The initial IDF probe released its first finding Wednesday, confirming that the IDF had suspected Egyptian security personnel might be hurt in the heat of the firefight with the terrorists and tried as hard as possible to prevent this happening.
However, street protesters in Egypt continue to demand that Israel be punished and no one rules out the possibility of Egyptian soldiers or police taking matters in their own hands and staging freelance reprisals against Israel.
2. The new Israeli deployment carries a message to Cairo.
The military junta's demand to revise the military clauses of the peace treaty so as to permit the stationing of Egyptian forces up to the Israeli border of formerly demilitarized Sinai will be matched by extra military strength on the Israeli side too. Cairo's reaction to the dying moments of the peace border between them is awaited in Jerusalem.
3. The Palestinian terrorist organizations of the Gaza Strip were encouraged by the success of their first raid from Sinai and eagerly prepared for more.
Early Wednesday morning, the IDF assassinated Islamic Jihad figure Ismail Zadi Ismail Asmar, who organized the smuggling of Iranian Grad missiles into Gaza via Sinai.
Asmar also provided the funding for the 15 or so terrorists who shot up the Eilat highway in southern Israel.
As of now, no Israeli spokesman has confirmed the debkafile report on the day of the attack that Iran, via Hizballah, was behind it, although Jihad Islami is notoriously Iran's Palestinian surrogate and Tehran used Sinai smugglers to transfer the necessary funds for the planning and execution of the attack.
Officially, Israel still pins the blame on the Popular Resistance Committees.
Wednesday night, Jihad Islami fired 7 Grad missiles at Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ofakim and the Eshkol District, following which an Israeli air raid targeted and killing the head of the Grad team.
4. Cairo was reported Wednesday to be mapping the smuggling tunnels linking Sinai to the Gaza Strip in readiness for an operation to demolish them.
debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that Cairo decided to go ahead with this plan after Hamas rejected its ultimatum to hand over all the Al Qaida operatives and former Egyptian jailbirds, mostly Muslim extremists, who broke out of prison in February at the start of the uprising against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian military warned Hamas that its refusal to hand them over carried a price: The destruction of the Gaza smuggling tunnel network.
IDF strategists fully expect Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups to hit back for this operation at Israel. They will heat up the Egyptian-Israeli border from Sinai and the Al Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad cells already planted there will carry out more cross-border raids in southern Israel and Eilat.
Lt. Gen. Gantz announcement of the revised status of the Israeli-Egyptian border and the beefing up of the Edom Divisions was intended to have a deterrent effect.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I am being made aware of a fundamental change that is occurring in me. The last fourteen months on this son’s journey has had a profound affect on me. So many revelations and moves of his Spirit that have changed the outlook of my faith and life have occurred. None however have affected me as much as what I am seeing and connected to in the Spirit at the present time. Here on the mountain of God things are getting very clear.
The kingdom both collectively and individually are being birthed in the body of Christ. By kingdom I mean the power and authority of the Father and his eternal purposes are being unveiled and revealed in this hour. The world as we know it is being shaken to its very core. I am still on the mountain of God. The time has come for one and all to choose what kingdom we are going to be part of.
The glory cloud of Father’s anointing has for the past three days been hovering above our heads both mine and the thousands of saints with whom I have been interceding these past two weeks. So much has happened and so little of it do I feel able to share. Some things in fact many things of what I have experienced in this son’s journey I have been unable to share. This is at present one of those times. The lord of hosts, the Father of glory and I and all these others are connected to him in a very intense and personal way.
I can only say that I know I am being changed from the inside out. I feel one of the things happening to me is the gift of faith which the Lord put in me in seed form some time ago is being stirred, reinforced, and developed. I have always known Father has had a purpose for my life and now I am beginning to see and feel internally his divine hand at work. To him be the glory.
Story taken from
Last year, an international crisis exploded when Israel stopped a flotilla of ships from breaking its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The incident left Israel feeling more isolated, but some Jews saw the pages of scripture coming alive through the crisis.
When Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-owned flagship, Mavi Mamara, leading the flotilla, things quickly turned deadly. Pro-Palestinian activists attacked the soldiers, who then defended themselves. Nine activists died in the melee.
Israel acted to keep weapons out of Hamas-controlled Gaza, but that didn't stop an international rush to judgment.
The U.N. Security Council condemned Israel and called for an investigation.
Sweden, Ireland and other nations planned boycotts against the Jewish state.
The incident also revealed Turkey as a major player in the Middle East, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shifting his allegiance from Israel to Iran, Syria and their axis of power.
"Turkey was a friend of Israel for much of the last six decades," author Joel Rosenberg told CBN News.
"It's a democracy, it's a moderate Muslim country, it's a NATO ally and a friend of the United States, a tourist destination spot for tens of thousands of Israelis, and yet all of that is changing right now," Rosenberg said.
This change represents a major realignment in the Middle East.
Turkey - once a close ally of Israel and the West - is now openly courting the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ultimately Russia's Vladmir Putin.
Gog and Magog Soon?
So what does this shift of power and increasing isolation of Israel mean? Some in Israel and around the world believe it reflects biblical prophecy.
"Given the fact that Ezekiel 36 and 37 have largely come true - the rebirth of Israel, Jews pouring into the Holy Land after centuries in exile, rebuilding the ancient ruins, isn't it remotely possible that Ezekiel 38 and 39 - the war of Gog and Magog - couldn't that come true in our lifetime also?" Rosenberg reasoned.
Following last year's flotilla incident, the Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement saying the aftermath seemed to "place us at the beginning of the Gog and Magog process, where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption."
Gog and Magog is a biblical reference in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel when a coalition of nations attack the land of Israel. No one knows whether or not this will happen soon, but many believe war in the Middle East is looming.
"As you watch the trajectory of events geopolitically here in the epicenter, the events are living up more and more in favor of Ezekiel 38 and 39 coming true, possibly sooner than most of us realize," Rosenberg said.
Hezbollah in Lebanon now has more than 50,000 rockets for a future conflict with Israel. Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to arm itself and Iran's nuclear and missile programs stand poised to fulfill the mullahs' dream of destroying the Jewish state.
Story taken from
Researchers from several prominent U.S. universities will participate tomorrow in a Baltimore conference reportedly aiming to normalize pedophilia. According to the sponsoring organization’s website, the event will examine ways in which “minor-attracted persons” can be involved in a revision of the American Psychological Association (APA) classification of pedophilia.
B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile activists and mental health professionals, is behind the conference, which will include panelists from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois.
B4U-ACT science director Howard Kline has criticized the definition of pedophilia by the American Psychological Association, describing its treatment of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading.”
“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” Kline said in a press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.”
“The Diagnostic and Statistical of Mental Disorders (DSM) should meet a higher standard than that,” he added. “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.”
On their website B4U-ACT classifies pedophilia as simply another sexual orientation and decries the “stigma” attached to pedophilia, observing: “No one chooses to be emotionally and sexually attracted to children or adolescents. The cause is unknown; in fact, the development of attraction to adults is not understood.” The group says that it does not advocate treatment to change feelings of attraction to children or adolescents.
In their press release B4U-ACT announced a letter the group has sent to the APA criticizing its classification of the mental illness.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews (LSN), Liberty University Visiting Professor of Law Judith Reisman, an expert on sexual ethics and pornography, criticized the Baltimore conference, saying, “This has been on the agenda for decades.”
“I first met up with what I had come to call ‘The Academic Pedophile Lobby’ in 1977 at The British Psychological Society Conference on Love and Attraction, Swansea, Wales,” she said. “I delivered a research paper on child pornography in Playboy 1954-1977.”
“Other conference academicians, some hired by pornographers, presented ‘scientific’ papers advocating the legalization of child pornography, prostitution and an end to age of consent,” she said. “They promoted their ‘scientific’ claims for early childhood sexuality to lawmakers and fellow academicians via both legitimate and pornographic media.”
“The DSM is typical of this degeneracy since they already had lightened the diagnosis of pedophilia as to make it almost meaningless, requiring that the pedophile be ‘bothered’ by his and her abuse of children and so on,” Reisman said. “We now have women and children sexually violating children as well as men. This will continue to spiral down into, well, we’d have to say the abyss of hell, unless we retrieve our laws, our mass media and our schools.”
As previously reported by LSN, similar lobbying, then by homosexual activists, led to the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973 in the DSM. As a result of the DSM declassification, debate regarding homosexuality and the many documented harms associated with the homosexual lifestyle has been all but shut down in academic psychological circles.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Story taken from
The role of Iran and Hizballah in manipulating the ongoing Palestinian war on Israel from Gaza is manifest, debkafile's military sources report. They planned, orchestrated and funded the coordinated attacks on the Eilat Highway Thursday - in which gunmen shot dead eight Israelis and injured 40 - and its sequel: volleys of 90 missiles launched day and night from Gaza against a million Israeli civilians since then.
Yossi Shoshan, 38, from Ofakim, was killed by one of the dozen Grad missiles hitting Beersheba and his home town Saturday night. More than a dozen people were injured, at least one critically.
The prime mover in the missile blitz is Tehran's Palestinian arm, the Jihad Islami, which is responsible for 90 percent of the launches. Hamas is left on the sidelines, cut off for the first time from top levels of authority in Tehran and Damascus.
The IDF is held back from substantive action to snuff out the Iran-backed offensive by the indecision at the policy-making level of the Israeli government, which is still feeling its way toward determining the dimensions and potential thrust of the military crisis landing on Israel out of the blue.
Under Egyptian, Israeli and US noses, Tehran managed to transfer to its Palestinian arm in Gaza, the Jihad Islami, more than 10,000 missiles well in advance of the violence launched three days ago. Most of them are heavy Grads bringing Beersheba, capital of the Negev and Israel's 7th largest town (pop. 200,000), within their 30-kilometer range for a sustained, massive missile offensive.
Tehran has now launched the hardware smuggled into the Gaza Strip ready for a Middle East war offensive for five objectives:
1. To leave Syrian President Bashar Assad free to continue brutalizing his population and ignoring President Barack Obama's demand backed by Europe that he step down.
2. To manufacture a direct military threat on the Jewish state, whose destruction is a fundamental of the Islamic Republic of Iran's ideology.
3. To thwart the Egyptian military junta's operation last week for regaining control of the lawless Sinai Peninsula and destroying the vast weapons smuggling network serving Iran in its capacity as the leading international sponsor of terror.
4. To render the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his bid for UN recognition of an independent state on Sept. 20 irrelevant. His isolation was brought home to him last Thursday by the coordinated Palestinian terrorist attacks near Eilat last Thursday.
5. To plant ticking bombs around Israel for potential detonation and explosion into a full-blown regional war.
debkafile's Washington sources disclose that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined this peril to Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshall Muhammad Tantawi, Saturday night, Aug. 20, to dissuade him from recalling the Egyptian ambassador to Israel over the deaths of three or five Egyptian police in the melee over the Palestinian terror attack near the Sinai border.
This danger was on the table of Israel's inner cabinet of eight ministers when they met early Sunday to decide on IDF action for terminating the Palestinian missile war.
However, just as Cairo discovered that its operation for eradicating al Qaeda and other Islamist radical groups' grip on Sinai would give Iran the pretext for aggression, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the IDF high command found themselves at a loss to determine whom to attack.
Up until now, Israel declared the Hamas rulers of Gaza accountable for all attacks originating in the enclave.
That formula is no longer valid. The Eilat Highway attacks were planned and executed behind Hamas's back and so was the missile offensive - until Saturday night, when Hamas decided to try and step in. Both Hamas and Cairo are in fact out of the picture.
Israel's leaders are stuck for solutions because no one in Washington, Jerusalem or Cairo can be sure of the outcome of any military steps they might take. They can't be sure whether they will douse the violence or just play into the hands of Hizballah and Tehran who may have more shockers in their quivers ready to loose.
Only three facts stand out from the fog of uncertainty:
First, the security crisis besetting Israel has the dangerous potential for dragging the Middle East into a regional war.
Second, America and Israel are paying in full the price of their quiescence in the face of Iranian, Hizballah and extremist Palestinian belligerence and active preparations for war, including the stockpiling of thousands of increasingly sophisticated weaponry on Israel's borders.
Third, the first step an Israeli soldier or tank takes into the Gaza Strip to silence Jihad Islami's missile fire is more likely than not to precipitate a second Iranian-orchestrated assault on another of Israel's borders.
Sunday morning, no one in any of the capitals concerned was ready to risk guesstimating how far Tehran was ready to go in its current offensive and what orders Hizballah and its Palestinian puppets had received.
The scene: the war games suite of the mightiest military power in the world.
The guests were assembled in the Warfare Analysis Laboratory, surrounded by uniformed officers from the highest levels of the Pentagon and a dizzying array of screens normally used to simulate nuclear world war.
The gentlemen were called to order and the games began.
"If you imagine the war room in Dr. Strangelove, you're not far off," says participant James Rickards.
Yet this was no traditional battle game, but rather the Pentagon's first economic war game, and the authorities are loath to talk about it.
Economic war? It sounds preposterous. Except it gets less so with every dollar of debt run up by the US.
Behind the scenes, the military are worried about the market. For who owns much of this debt? China, the US's most powerful rival and threat. And that makes America vulnerable to a new kind of bloodless but ruthless war.
Rickards is not a soldier but a banker. He was joined in the war game by dozens of his Wall Street colleagues, flown in from Manhattan to this bunker at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland for the two-day event in 2009, when the Pentagon started to get really alarmed.
The group was split into five teams: America, Russia, China, Pacific Rim, and a "grey team", representing shady outfits such as terrorist organisations. They were sent into "bunker rooms" and told to use financial or economic tools - currency, debt, stocks, gold - to bring their enemies to their knees. Everything was conducted via computer, and they could be as devious and ruthless as they liked. The bankers liked.
"These people would normally never come together. But there is nothing more fun than to take a Wall Street guy and tell him to be a bad guy," says Mr Rickards, a former senior executive who was involved in planning and executing the war game.
When the game was halted, the result left the military men quiet and sobered. Why did the bankers scare the soldiers? The answer lies in the way the world is now interconnected as never before.
Over the past few years, China has been buying up US government debt and is now its biggest holder. If China were to dump this debt, it would totally screw with the economy. China could, hypothetically, win any number of foreign policy objectives by making it impossible for you to pay your mortgage.
Paul Bracken is a professor and expert in private equity at the Yale School of Management who serves on government advisory committees at the US Department of Defence. He was one of the key players behind the 2009 economic war game, and the smaller versions that have been played out since.
"The atmosphere that day was one of surprise at the magnitude of the threat," he says.
"The Pentagon people were used to dealing in terms of military battles: how many ships, how many missiles. This opened up whole new strategies."
Of course, economic warfare is not new. God's plagues on the Egyptian pharaoh's crops, as reported in the Book of Exodus, were an early skirmish. Winston Churchill created a Ministry of Economic Warfare, to run as a "new instrument of war" against Hitler. Embargoes and sanctions have been targeted at dozens of countries, from South Africa to the former Soviet Union.
But this is different. The markets are now global, the holdings in each other's finances deep, and the technical ability to manipulate them instantaneous. In the 1970s the West feared that its enemies had their fingers on a nuclear button. The modern equivalent may be China's ability to press the button on US Treasury bills.
China is, Professor Bracken says, "the huge threat", but Russia, with its oil and gas, has shown no compunction in waging economic war on its neighbours, and could do so on a larger scale.
Another possibility is that major oil-producing countries could destabilise America by switching to euros instead of dollars as the currency in which oil is priced - so-called "petro-dollar warfare". Or a terrorist organisation might trigger a financial crash via some kind of shady hedge fund or computer attack.
What the economic war game showed Professor Bracken was that military and economic decision-making has to be more unified. Banks and bonds are now weapons, just as much as bombs. "That makes the military nervous, as they had always been in charge of operations. That's why they know they need to understand this," Professor Bracken says.
Mr Rickards says that, "If you're going to confront the US military, you would spend billions.But if you can do so just as effectively in financial space, and it would cost less, why not?"
Perhaps Britain felt a taste of this last year, with some stockmarket shocks that wiped millions off three British companies. BT lost pound stg. 969 million ($1.5 billion) on one afternoon in August, Next lost pound stg. 275m. Security services had to probe the possibility that it was not technical faults, as initially supposed, but a concerted attack by a nation state.
John Bassett, a fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, says the British government is just waking up to the new order.
"If those were deliberate attacks on the London stockmarket, it was highly unlikely to be a criminal gang, much more likely an economic rival," he says. "This is a ruthless competition for global economic supremacy, and the West isn't winning."
At the end of that Pentagon session, the 80-odd players returned from their bunkers and assessed the damage.
China won, without so much as reaching for a gun. And the soldiers looked at each other and wondered if it was still only a game.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Story taken from
Max Hastings, in an article for Mail Online, writes: “Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalized youngsters.” He goes on to observe that a lack of moral training has resulted in children that “are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong. They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others. Their behavior on the streets resembled that of the polar bear which attacked a Norwegian tourist camp last week. They were doing what came naturally and, unlike the bear, no one even shot them for it.”
Mr. Hastings is speaking in biblical terms. 2 Peter 2:10-14 says people who despise authority “blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!”
Accordingly, church leaders in England are reported to have roundly condemned the rioting, but is anyone listening? Not many. Only 15 percent of people in the UK attend church at least once per month.
That’s down about 35 percent since 1980, and this downward trend which began in the UK in the 1950s is expected to continue.
Max Hastings is correct that this lack of morality is a result of lack of training, but he never identifies who or what should be doing the training. He laments that schools aren’t capable of completing this great task because they lack the support of parents or the government to force students to do anything. Unfortunately, he never takes the final step of identifying that institution that is best suited to instill moral values in the population: the church.
As I often point out, the church’s role as the moral compass of society was recognized in the USA from the very beginning. George Washington said in his Farewell Address that only a moral people can govern themselves and our religious institutions are charged with teaching that morality. Unlike the UK, our churches are still in a position to do that. A 2010 Gallup poll shows about 43 percent of Americans attend church weekly, and 54% do so monthly (if I am reading the statistics correctly). More importantly, most pastors are willing to preach about controversial moral issues such as abortion and homosexual behavior. A 2008 a survey indicates only 23 percent don’t preach on the issue of homosexual behavior, 18 percent won’t preach on abortion, and 17 percent avoid the same-sex marriage issue. That means 77 percent of pastors do address homosexual behavior, 82 percent will preach on abortion, and 83 percent teach about the biblical view of marriage. Interestingly, the topic the highest percentage of pastors say they will not address is politics (38 percent). As the debate regarding abortion and homosexual behavior becomes more political, one wonders if these pastors will stop teaching about these important issues.
ADF’s Pulpit Initiative is designed to encourage pastors to speak up on all moral issues – even if they are political. People in the pew need to know whether their political leaders have the proper biblical perspective on topics like homosexual behavior and abortion. but many pastors fear their tax exempt status may be jeopardized if they speak out on moral issues that happen to be political because of the Johnson Amendment. For example, this law prohibits churches from criticizing a presidential candidate because he supports same-sex marriage. To learn more about the Pulpit Initiative and participate in ADF’s plan to challenge the Johnson Amendment in court, visit PulpitFreedom.org.
It certainly is encouraging that the majority of Americans still attend church where most pastors are still willing to teach biblical morality. We must be diligent to protect this right and fulfill this responsibility. ADF is committed to doing its part of legally defending pastors when they do speak out on political issues. The alternative is unacceptable. A silent church leads to the amoral anarchy that’s plaguing the UK today.
The Christian church has faced no shortage of challenges in its 2,000-year history. But now it’s facing a challenge that is shaking its foundations: homosexuality.
To many onlookers, this seems strange or even tragic. Why can’t Christians just join the revolution?
And make no mistake, it is a moral revolution. As philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University demonstrated in his recent book, “The Honor Code,” moral revolutions generally happen over a long period of time. But this is hardly the case with the shift we’ve witnessed on the question of homosexuality.
In less than a single generation, homosexuality has gone from something almost universally understood to be sinful, to something now declared to be the moral equivalent of heterosexuality-and deserving of both legal protection and public encouragement. Theo Hobson, a British theologian, has argued that this is not just the waning of a taboo. Instead, it is a moral inversion that has left those holding the old morality now accused of nothing less than “moral deficiency.”
The liberal churches and denominations have an easy way out of this predicament. They simply accommodate themselves to the new moral reality. By now the pattern is clear: These churches debate the issue, with conservatives arguing to retain the older morality and liberals arguing that the church must adapt to the new one. Eventually, the liberals win and the conservatives lose. Next, the denomination ordains openly gay candidates or decides to bless same-sex unions.
This is a route that evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Bible cannot take. Since we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word, we cannot accommodate ourselves to this new morality. We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful, as is all human sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. We believe that God has revealed a pattern for human sexuality that not only points the way to holiness, but to true happiness.
Thus we cannot accept the seductive arguments that the liberal churches so readily adopt. The fact that same-sex marriage is a now a legal reality in several states means that we must further stipulate that we are bound by scripture to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman-and nothing else.
We do so knowing that most Americans once shared the same moral assumptions, but that a new world is coming fast. We do not have to read the polls and surveys; all we need to do is to talk to our neighbors or listen to the cultural chatter.
In this most awkward cultural predicament, evangelicals must be excruciatingly clear that we do not speak about the sinfulness of homosexuality as if we have no sin. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because we have come to know ourselves as sinners and of our need for a savior that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins.
This is not a concern that is easily expressed in sound bites. But it is what we truly believe.
It is now abundantly clear that evangelicals have failed in so many ways to meet this challenge. We have often spoken about homosexuality in ways that are crude and simplistic. We have failed to take account of how tenaciously sexuality comes to define us as human beings. We have failed to see the challenge of homosexuality as a Gospel issue. We are the ones, after all, who are supposed to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin, starting with our own.
We have demonstrated our own form of homophobia-not in the way that activists have used that word, but in the sense that we have been afraid to face this issue where it is most difficult . . . face to face.
My hope is that evangelicals are ready now to take on this challenge in a new and more faithful way. We really have no choice, for we are talking about our own brothers and sisters, our own friends and neighbors, or maybe the young person in the next pew.
There is no escaping the fact that we are living in the midst of a moral revolution. And yet, it is not the world around us that is being tested, so much as the believing church. We are about to find out just how much we believe the Gospel we so eagerly preach.