Special Report: Road Tour 2007

Special Report: Road Tour 2007
Vol: 66 Issue: 31 Saturday, March 31, 2007

A couple of years ago, Gayle and I were making the drive north from North Carolina to our family home southern Ontario. As I’ve mentioned before, I do some of my most productive praying when I am behind the wheel and the white lines are zipping by.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it almost impossible to completely focus my thoughts on prayer. My mind is constantly in motion — it doesn’t take much to distract me. Except when I am driving.

We usually drive in silence; neither of us likes to have the radio on. It is too distracting. We don’t talk much, either. Sometimes, maybe. But usually, we reserve that time to be alone with ourselves and with God.

During one of those long unbroken stretches of road up the Shenendoah Valley, I broke the silence to tell Gayle that I was getting the strangest leading that the Lord wanted me to sell our house and go off on some as-yet undefined mission.

The only thing that sounded more nuts than what I was thinking was when she said she was getting the same leading. After some discussion and prayer, we agreed to ‘put out a fleece’, so to speak, and follow where it led us.

On Good Friday morning, 2006, I saw my nephew, a realtor, banging a ‘for sale’ sign into the front yard across the street. I invited him over, we talked a bit, and when he left, there was a ‘for sale’ sign in my front yard, too.

On Easter Sunday, my nephew asked apologetically if he could bring somebody to see the house? “Sorry about Easter Sunday, but it’s the only day they could make it” — that kind of thing.

They were the only ones to view the house. A week later, they made an offer. A month later, the deal closed.

We bought a used RV and by May, we were living in it in my son-in-law’s paddock on his farm, getting ready to set out for who-knows-where.

We covered a lot of territory in 2006. You can find a brief record in our first Road Tour Journal archives at the Omega Letter. We had no idea what we were doing, apart from following His leading.

The Lord led us to Illinois, to Missouri, out to California, back to Texas, teaching us along the way. Many obstacles were cleared. We learned much about what NOT to do. Along the way, God led us to people who actually knew what we SHOULD be doing, and many of them are now involved in the planning for this year.

Nicole Boedecker, this year’s tour coordinator, (God bless her) just sent me the updated schedule for Road Tour 2007. For details check the Road Tour Discussion Forum in the “Member’s Only” section of the website.

I’ll give you the overview here.

We begin in Houston Texas, May 3rd. Our gathering there will be hosted by OL members Georgia and Ken. The Road Tour will officially kick-off with an informal get-together of OL members, their friends and family at Georgia and Ken’s on the weekend of May 11-13.

Nicole has us in the Houston area until May 21. From May 22-29, we’ll be in the New Braunfels, Texas, area.

Ray Gano of Prophezine (www.prophezine.com) is hosting at his ranch. There will be another gathering of Omega Letter members, friends and family, together with members of Ray Gano’s Prophezine member forums over the Memorial Day weekend.

(We had a similar gathering at Ray’s last year and we had an absolute ball!)

Nicole tells me that Dr. David Regan and his wife (Lion and Lamb Ministries) are also planning to attend. She also wanted me to tell you that because it is Memorial Day, hotels are very expensive ($130.00/day) in New Braunfels, but Ray has plenty of room for anybody who wants to park a camper or pitch a tent on his ranch.

(Several did last year. As I said, we had a ball.)

From May 30-June 11, we’ll be in the Austin/San Antonio area. One of the people God led us to last year was Rabbi (Rev) Ric Worshill, President of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship.

Ric has arranged for me to participate at the SBMF Annual Meeting in San Antonio the week of June 7th. If the Lord cooperates, they are planning to use a friend’s RV and spend some time camping with us while we are there. Please pray all goes well for them in that regard.

Nic has us in the DFW Metroplex area June 12-21. From there, we head to Sublette, Kansas — June 22-26 to speak at churches there. From June 27-July 2, we’ll be in Wichita where I will be speaking at several Messianic Fellowship congregations.

From July 3-17 we’re in the Kansas City area, and from there, its on to the Omega Letter National Gathering in Hermann, Missouri. It is to be held at OL Members Larry and Lynda Saling’s Bed and Breakfast (Angel’s B&B).

Lynda has procured a number of discounted rooms at other B&B’s in the area, but Nicole emailed me to say that they won’t be able to hold the discounted rates for long. Contact Nicole at roadtour@omegaletter.com for the details about the accommodations, reservation information, etc.

From Hermann, Missouri, we head to northern Illinois for the month of August to spend some time with our dear friends Ric and Gwenn Worshill and Frank and Connie Spaniak.

In September, we begin to drift east again, to Manchester, Ky. Sept 4-10, and Beckely, W. Virginia September 11-18, where I will finally get to spend a little time with OL Founding Member Joe Wynne.

At present, we are back where we started last year — in Mike’s paddock in our RV — for the remainder of this week. We’ll head back to North Carolina next week to close up our rent house and tie up loose ends there.

Then its off to South Carolina to spend a few days tying up any loose ends that may still be untied on my book manuscript before heading west to Houston.

I’ll be filing regular Road Tour Journal entries this year for members who sign up as Road Warriors –starting when we head out toward Houston. In addition, we’re going to add on-the-scene streaming video reports.

(Gayle got a DV video camera for Christmas and has been practicing all winter).

(For more information, including details of where I am speaking and when, be sure and check the Road Tour section of the website — or email Nicole at roadtour@omegaletter.com).

We are looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible in 2007 — not to mention renewing old friendships from last year.

See you soon. Either here, there — or in the air!

Marantha!

The Powers of Heaven

The Powers of Heaven
Vol: 66 Issue: 30 Friday, March 30, 2007

The Iranians have reportedly tested a new missile design based on the Soviet SS-4 that is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

Writing for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, Anthony Cordesman described the Shihab-4 as having the capability to deliver up to three nuclear warheads to targets within a radius of 1600 miles.

The report, entitled “Iran’s Developing Nuclear and Missile Program”, said the Shihab-4 is based on the Soviet-origin SS-4 missile and could have been successfully tested on Jan. 28, 2006.

“Intelligence reports that examined the flight trajectory state that the missile may fly as far as 4,000 kilometers, [2400 miles]” the report said.

The report also reviewed the Shihab-5 program and asserted that the missile might be tested as early as next year. Cordesman said Shihab-5 could have a range of between 1800 and 3100 miles. And Iran is already working on the Shihab-6, a three-stage solid-fuel missile with a range of up to 4,000 miles.

Iran has significantly beefed up its air defenses, using a newly acquired arsenal of Russian-made TOR M-1 air defense missiles to protect its nuclear facilities.

“If our bullying enemy wants to do something insane, it will surely be taken by surprise,” Iranian army commander Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi said on March 16.

Iran’s state radio said the unidentified mobile system could fire two missiles simultaneously toward air targets. “This new air defense system, which can shoot one or two missiles simultaneously, has been designed by army ground forces and tested successfully,” the radio said.

And this morning, Arieh Herzog, the head of Israel’s Missile Defense Agency announced that Israel’s new and improved Arrow missile system could intercept any missile system currently under development in the Middle East, including those of Iran.

“The Iranians are continually increasing the range of their missiles,” he said. “They are buying technology and in some cases even complete systems from North Korea and other countries.”

Herzog also said that while there might be missile systems in Iranian hands that the Arrow could not intercept, all of the ballistic missiles “currently operational” in the Islamic Republic could be destroyed by the Israeli defense system.

“Our Arrow operational system can without a doubt deal with all of the operational threats in the Middle East, particularly in Iran and Syria,” Herzog declared.

Assessment:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and the earth; blood and fire and pillars of smoke.” (Joel 2:30)

The prophet Joel was describing a vision of a great battle in the last days against a ‘great northern army’ that will come against Israel in the last days. The word translated “pillars” is the Hebrew word ‘timeroth’, which literally means ‘palm trees of smoke’.

For more than two millennia, scholars puzzled over what Joel meant by ‘timeroth’ — but since there was no Israel, either, it was either written off as unfulfilled prophecy or allegory. When the first mushroom cloud erupted over Hiroshima in August, 1945, that part of the puzzle came together.

Three years later, a new nation called “Israel” was accepted into membership and the second piece fell into place.

So, over the space of just three years, two mysteries are cleared up. Joel’s use of ‘timeroth’ to describe a weapon of war in the last days, and his reference to a nation called “Israel” being a party to the conflict.

In His outline of the sign of His coming, Jesus predicted:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

We’ve discussed how this all fits into the Great Global Warming Debate: Using the same equipment that can’t accurately predict next week’s weather and based on flawed data, its proponents claim catastrophic changes in the earth’s climate fifty years from now.

To prevent this coming global meltdown, we must ‘do something’ immediately, even though nobody knows what it is. (Al Gore suggests buying carbon offsets from his brokerage firm.)

The whole world is in an uproar, the UN is attempting to introduce a global energy tax, and preventing CO2 emissions is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

But warming skeptics point out that rises in CO2 emissions lag some 800 years behind historical global warming events. In other words, global warming causes increasing CO2 emissions, not the other way around.

So reducing CO2 emissions might, for all we know, actually harm the environment.

“We must do something — even if we don’t know what to do!” — the sea and waves roaring. . . distress of nations. . . with perplexity. (We’ve sure got that.)

Now, look at the last sentence of Luke 21:26; “for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” The word translated as “heaven” is the Greek word “ouranos” — from which we get our English word, “uranium.” The word translated “shaken” also means “agitated, stirred up”.

Taken literally, it means the “power that is in uranium is to be agitated” — as part of the same overall prophecy of the signs in the sun, moon and stars, sea and waves roaring, distress of nations with perplexity, etc.

There is a reason why the Lord gave us such a clear and concise outline of the signs of His soon return.

“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:31-32)

We have front-row seats.

“Bread and Circuses”

“Bread and Circuses”
Vol: 66 Issue: 29 Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Senate followed the lead of the Congress and narrowly passed legislation that would, if it survived a presidential veto, take control of the Iraq War out of the hands of the Commander-in-Chief and give it to the Congress.

The Senate’s bill orders some troops home right away, with the goal of ending combat missions by March 31, 2008.

The Senate’s bill identifies March 2008 as a goal – giving the president leeway to ignore the deadline. The House voted 218-212 to require all combat troops out as of Aug. 31, 2008.

The provision is attached to a $122 billion bill that would fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here is how that works. If the White House wants the money to keep fighting the war, then the president has to accept the withdrawal conditions attached to it. It is akin to the school yard principle; “it’s my ball, so we play according to my rules.”

Like the brat with the ball, if the President doesn’t let them set the rules for withdrawal by vetoing the bill, then the WHOLE bill dies, including the funding. Think of it! The United States military defeated on the battlefield — by the United States Congress! It is the equivalent to simply picking up the ball mid-game and taking it home.

Except that the ‘ball’ in this case is the expended sacrifices of American lives for a cause that, by a majority vote in both Houses, is unworthy of the cost. How many times has the Left thundered, “It’s not worth the cost!”?

What are they really saying? If the ’cause is not worth the cost’, then those who gave their lives FOR the ’cause’ died for nothing.

Is there another way of understanding that equation that perhaps I have missed? In the course of the past four years, some two million American soldiers have served tours in Iraq, some of them several times.

(One of them, S/Sgt Tom Kurek, USMC is staying at our rental in North Carolina while we are up in the Great White North and Tommy is coincidentally home on leave after completing his THIRD combat tour in Iraq. Semper fi, Marine!)

Sgt. Kurek has seen and done things he doesn’t talk about, even with old Marines like me or his dad, (a retired Marine captain). He’s seen the horrors of war up close and personal, suffered the loss of close friends, witnessed the inhumanity of battle — as well as the humanitarian efforts to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis.

A declaration that purports to ‘support the troops’ — while opposing the mission they endured so much to complete — is nothing short of a Congressional declaration that all the S/Sgt. Kurek suffered in his three tours, all the humanitarian reconstruction work accomplished along the way, all that his family endured while he was in harm’s way, all that anxiety, the separation . . . it was all for NOTHING!

It means leaving behind all the good works accomplished so far and turning the whole country of Iraq over to the tender mercies of the Islamic jihad. It means leaving our friends to the mercies of our enemies and breaking faith with every promise by every GI ever made to those Iraqis that helped in the fight against the terrorists.

The partisans in the House are prepared to sacrifice Sgt. Kurek’s service to the country as a casualty of their political war against George Bush. Now, multiply Sgt. Kurek — his friends and his family — times two million GI’s.

It may be a politically astute move for the Democrats, but it is morally bankrupting the country as a whole. Who wants to die for a morally bankrupt cause?

The Roman poet Juvenal coined a phrase in the latter part of the 1st century, “panem et circenses” (bread and circuses) to describe the ongoing decline of Roman democracy.

Roman politicians of his day kept their offices by bribing their constituents, at the expense of the public purse, until it eventually morally and financially bankrupted the mightiest empire the world had ever known.

With its politicians focused on pandering to their constituency and its treasury depleted, Rome’s mighty army crumbled, its borders shrank, and its democracy collapsed.

The cause of its decline and fall was so apparent to historians though the ages that no nation dared experiment with democracy for the next sixteen hundred years.

Assessment:

The Left is operating under the principle that the threat to America will vanish when George Bush is out of office and they are in control of the Executive branch. They are throwing all their energies into defeating the Republicans at the polls, even if it means forcing a US defeat on the battlefield to ‘expose’ the need for a change in government.

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that the moral bankrupts in control of both Houses were to win what the press is describing as a coming ‘battle between the Congress and the Bush administration’? Suppose that the administration had to withdraw the troops, either for lack of funding or a veto-proof Congressional mandate?

THEN what happens? If the Left has an answer to that question, they are keeping it a closely-guarded secret. The evidence suggests that not only do they NOT know what happens next, they really don’t care, provided they win their war against the Bush administration.

The war with Iraq didn’t start the war with al-Qaeda. Neither did George Bush. If Osama bin-Laden is to be believed, the war started when Bill Clinton withdrew US forces from Somalia in the face of the enemy.

That is when bin-Laden himself said he concluded America was a ‘paper tiger’ and declared jihad against the US.

And al-Qaeda fighters fleeing US forces in Afghanistan were already in Iraq when we got there, including abu Musab al Zarqawi.

The Iraq war isn’t the cause of the tensions between the US and Iran, so withdrawing from Iraq won’t help us there. (However, maintaining a US military presence on either side of Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan sure would.)

The case for staying on in Iraq is obvious. The terrorists won’t go home when we withdraw. They will follow us there. When they weren’t fighting us in Iraq, they were fighting us in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. They aren’t fighting us OVER Iraq. They are fighting us IN Iraq.

Which is the more defensible tactical situation? Trained professional US military forces, armed, equipped and prepared for battle, against armed and dedicated Islamic terrorists hiding amongst the Iraqi population?

Or ordinary American men, women and children, unarmed, unprepared for battle, against armed and dedicated Islamic terrorists hiding amongst the American population? Is this hard?

Should the Left succeed in forcing an early withdrawal from Iraq, it will leave it wide-open to Iranian infiltration, turning Iraq into another Lebanon.

If the Left is successful, it will find itself facing a nuclear Iran in control of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. But that evidently isn’t as important as defeating George Bush.

This is more than mere politics. It is politics without conscience. It is politics without honor. To the Left, any risk is acceptable, provided it brings Their Guy (or Girl, or whatever) to power in 2008.

No sacrifice (except their own) is too great, whether it be the personal sacrifices of our military forces, the sacrifice of America’s sworn promise to the Iraqis, or the future sacrifices a withdrawal in the face of the enemy would inevitably invite.

The Apostle Paul, specifically addressing the Church Age, described the ‘bread and circuses’ phase of the Western Christian democracies this way:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

It reads like the US Presidential Campaign Strategy Handbook for 2008.

“Perdicarus Alive or Raisuli Dead”

“Perdicarus Alive or Raisuli Dead”
Vol: 66 Issue: 28 Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Nobody is quite sure what Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has in mind for the fifteen British soldiers that Iran kidnapped on the high seas last week. It isn’t even clear why Iran made such a dangerous move.

One line of thinking is that Iran conducted the operation in order to distract the UN Security Council, which at the time, was preparing to vote on sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Another possibility is that Iran is feeling out the British response the way that Hezbollah did Israel last year at Tehran’s direction when Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers stationed on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon.

Then, as now, they claimed that they were the injured party. Last year, Hezbollah claimed the IDF soldiers were in their territory. Iran claims the British naval boarding party had strayed into Iranian waters.

One thing is certain. Iran intentionally created this crisis in the full expectation that its aggression would somehow be rewarded.

That is the way such international crises are settled nowadays. The usual result isn’t a pay-back, it is a pay-off.

When Iranian revolutionaries (led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) seized the US embassy in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter ordered an impotent rescue operation involving just two US helicopters.

Eight US Marines died in the desert and President Carter ordered future military options to be set aside.

It is worth mentioning that the original Iranian plan for taking the Embassy was to hold it for a few hours to make a statement and then withdraw before the American reaction got too violent.

The plan was concocted in September by Iranian dissident Ebrahim Asgharzadeh. “Our aim was to object against the American government by going to their embassy and occupying it for several hours,” Asgharzadeh later said.

“Announcing our objections from within the occupied compound would carry our message to the world in a much more firm and effective way.”

No significant American military response came, and, an astonished Islamic world took note of how little it really took to bring America to its knees.

To the delighted surprise of the organizers, the hostage crisis dragged on for 444 days. Iran claimed victory and released the hostages at a time of its own choosing.

When the Marine barracks was bombed by Hezbollah in 1983 killing 241 Marines, President Ronald Reagan ordered a US withdrawal from the region. Hezbollah claimed victory for forcing the US out of Lebanon.

When US forces were overwhelmed by Somali fighters during the ‘Blackhawk Down’ incident, US President Bill Clinton ordered a US withdrawal from the region.

It was the humiliating US withdrawal from Somalia, its objectives unmet, that convinced Osama bin-Laden that the US was a ‘paper tiger’.

Even when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and brought down the full weight of a global military alliance on his head, it took more than a dozen more years before the US took anything resembling decisive military action.

And America’s conduct of the post-Saddam Iraq insurgency war, while brutal by US liberal standards, has been so weak and ineffective that it has only enhanced Osama’s assessment of the American paper tiger in the eyes of the Islamic world.

Assessment:

In 1970, the various displaced Palestinian terrorist groups, led by Yasser Arafat’s al Fatah Party, decided that Jordan’s monarchy might be an easier country to take over than Israel, which had just emerged victorious from the 1967 War.

It set up a state-within-a-state in Jordan, (the way it has in Israel since Oslo.) Uniformed PLO militants openly carried weapons, set up checkpoints and attempted to collect what they called “taxes”. (The way Hamas now operates in Gaza).

But instead of continuing in what were clearly fruitless negotiations, King Hussein launched a ten day war against the PLO in which an estimated five thousand Palestinian fighters were killed. The rest were expelled to Lebanon. The incident is remembered by the Palestinians as “Black September.”

The PLO leaves Jordan alone now.

In Syria in 1982, the “Muslim Brotherhood” (a forerunner of al-Qaeda) set up its own state-within-a-state headquartered in Hama, a city of 350,000 people. From there, the Brotherhood challenged the Ba’athist regime of Hafez al Assad.

al Assad responded by turning loose the Syrian army on Hama. The Syrian response was coordinated by his brother, Rafaat al-Assad, who leveled Hama, later boasting that he killed 38,000 rebels in the process.

After the Hama uprising, the Islamist insurrection was broken, and the Brotherhood has since operated in exile.

When a Muslim warlord named Amed er Raisuli kidnapped a US citizen named John Perdicaris in Morrocco in 1904, it prompted what history called “The Perdicaris Affair.”

Perdicaris, as it turned out, wasn’t really an American citizen, but he CLAIMED he was.

The mere possibility that an American MIGHT be held hostage by a foreign power was enough for President Teddy Roosevelt.

He ordered the Navy to steam toward Morocco as Secretary of State John Hay sent the Sultan of Morocco a telegram consisting of just four words: “Perdicaris alive — or Raisuli dead.”

Perdicaris was released alive and American citizens thereafter were safe on the streets of Morocco.

Last week, Iran kidnapped fifteen British sailors on the high seas under conditions that constitute an act of war against both Great Britain and, by extension, the United States.

Instead, the US is treating it as if it were a British diplomatic problem.

Tehran wasn’t expecting a tersely-worded telegram. It was expecting to be rewarded for its act of piracy. And it took less than a week for Iran to get it.

This week, a bill that would authorize what the Islamic world, including Iran, can only view as a US surrender plan, passed both Houses of Congress.

Ahmadinejad was no doubt pleased to learn that the bill also expressly forbids any US military action against Iran without prior Congressional approval.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said of the bill that the Democrats wanted to send a message to President Bush that the time has come to find a new way forward in this intractable war.

al Jazeera’s headline this morning reads: “US Senate Passes a Bill Calling for Withdrawal From Iraq by March.”

President Bush got the message, loud and clear. So did al-Jazeera. So did al-Qaeda and Tehran. And so, incidentally, did Jerusalem.

When push comes to shove with Iran, Israel is on its own.

Medical Report:

Our God is indeed a prayer-answering God! Thanks to your prayer support, yesterday’s appointment with my family doctor went smoothly and all systems are go. No more appointments for six months.

(It reminds me of the Henny Youngmann joke: “My doctor gave me six months to live. I told him I couldn’t pay him in six months. So he gave me ANOTHER six months.”)

The news clears away any remaining potential obstacles to this year’s Road Tour as planned.

Praise the Lord!

Stupid Vs. Evil

Stupid Vs. Evil
Vol: 66 Issue: 27 Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stupid Vs. Evil

Sean Penn made headlines again for being stupid. As did Rosie O’Donnell. So did Bill Maher and Charlie Sheen. Their every word was in all the papers.

Sean Penn gave a raving speech to the Usual Suspects at an anti-war rally in Oakland, during which, he ranted;

We cower as you point your fingers telling us to support our troops. You and the smarmy pundits in your pocket – those who bathe in the moisture of your soiled and blood-soaked underwear – can take that noise and shove it.

(How’s that again? Those who bathe in the moisture of . . . ummm, run that by me again? Better yet, don’t. Let’s move on while I try and erase that mental image before it settles in.)

Rosie O’Donnell proclaimed the Iranian kidnapping of fifteen British soldiers on the high seas a US plot aimed at providing a pretext for war. In one of her rants on The View she babbled:

But interesting with the British sailors, there were 15 British sailors and Marines who apparently went into Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians. And I have one thing to say: Gulf of Tonkin, Google it. Okay.

Charlie Sheen went on the Alex Jones radio program to advance his theory that 9/11 was a government conspiracy;

“There was a feeling, it just didn’t look any commercial jetliner I’ve flown on any time in my life and then when the buildings came down later on that day I said to my brother ‘call me insane, but did it sorta look like those buildings came down in a controlled demolition’?”

Bill Maher called President Bush and Vice President Cheney (among other things) traitors . (Most of the other things he said lose their context with the dirty words filtered out.)

Said Maher on his HBO program: “New Rule – Traitors don’t get to question my patriotism. What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it’s literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandals right onto my IPod. That way, I can catch up on this week’s giant [deleted] up on my drive into work. (See what I mean about the context?)

As I said, these idiots (and I do NOT use the term loosely) were all over the newspapers and on all the cable news programs for their comments. Their comments were replayed endlessly, while various smarmy pundits in moist underwear discussed whether or not;

a) the celebrities were just ‘exercising their right to free speech’ while characterizing somebody else’s right to disagree with them as an effort to ‘stifle dissent’.

Or, b) there were some merits to the various claims that might give them credibility.

Very few noted that the comments themselves were stupid. Lest I be accused of being unChristian in my assessment, the dictionary defines stupid thusly: lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity. So, let’s review:

America staged the kidnapping of British soldiers and blamed it on Iran so it could start a war.

The Bush administration staged 9/11.

The administration is guilty of treason.

Smarmy pundits bathe in moist, blood-soaked underwear.

No, ‘stupid’ is the right word.

Assessment:

What made barely a blip on the media radar was the report this week that terrorists in Iraq used two young children as cover to disguise a car bomb which they later parked, ran away from and detonated with the two children inside!

It was a Reuters news flash, was dutifully (and briefly) picked up by the mainstream media, but the details sort of blended in to the white background noise of war reporting.

If anybody picked up anything, it was the high points: another terrorist attack in Baghdad, one of dozens, no American soldiers killed.

Let me repeat it for emphasis: While the mainstream media focused its lens on celebrity stupidity, two terrorists blew up two little kids they put in the back seat of a car as a disguise to get a bomb past a US checkpoint.

Of course, it worked. US soldiers would never suspect that anybody would be so inhuman as to use children as bombs.

The car bomb got past the checkpoint and made it to its destination. The terrorists parked the car, got out and walked to a safe distance, leaving the children inside the car while they escaped. Then they blew the car, (and the children) to smithereens.

They didn’t have to blow up the kids. They managed to detonate it without blowing themselves up. They could have just as easily taken the kids with them when they left the car.

I suppose its one thing to plant a car bomb where it can indiscriminately kill whoever is nearby when it goes off; men, women or children.

But these two terrorists spent time with these two kids, presumably gaining their trust so that they wouldn’t give them away at the checkpoint. They got to know these two little kids. Then they killed them without a second thought.

That is somehow, evil compounded upon evil to the degree that is incomprehensible to my mind.

Stupid is a lot easier to deal with intellectually than pure evil is. We can laugh at stupid. We can even play along with stupid. But we know that stupidity is unintended. Stupid can cause much evil, but it is not the same as evil. And evil is scary.

Especially to a secular worldview that makes no allowance for the existence of either pure good or pure evil. That is why Rosie, Charlie, Bill and Sean got all the headlines while the incomprehensible evil of the enemy was buried as quickly as possible.

The media elite is incapable of comprehending true evil. To them, America is the true evil, and therefore, the evil of its enemies is somehow minimized to a comprehensible level.

To avert their eyes, they dismiss it by arguing, They’re no worse than we are and focus their attention on the efforts of the stupid to ‘expose’ evil — where they know it really doesn’t exist — (and therefore isn’t as scary.)

It is a case of ‘whistling past the graveyard’. It is as nearly impossible for the secular mind to grasp the concept of pure evil as it is to grasp the notion of pure good. Because if pure evil exists, then so does pure Good. And that forces an intellectual choice that they don’t want to deal with.

It is much easier to look around evil at stupid than it is to gaze directly at pure evil and see it for what it is.

And a lot less frightening.

Note to the members:

I received a good report from my specialist yesterday. All systems appear normal. Thank you all for your prayers. Today, all the rest of my various aging systems will get the once-over by my family doctor.

Please pray that he finds everything in good working order and gives me the final go-ahead for this year’s Road Tour. I’ll let you know how it went.

Beginnings of Sorrows

Beginnings of Sorrows
Vol: 66 Issue: 26 Monday, March 26, 2007

I’ve always been a keen student of history, as far back as I can remember. Even before I understood the logic of the question, “how can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been?”, the history of man has fascinated me.

I would learn some new historical fact that would explain the reason for some contemporary situation and, bingo! The lights would come on and it would all make sense.

I was always fascinated with the way all the tiny details had to fit together exactly, and what a difference a single change could make to the Big Picture as it exists today.

What if Gavrilo Princip had not shot Franz and Sophie Ferdinand to death on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo?

(Who? I’m glad you asked.)

Gavrilo Princip was a member of a Serbian nationalist terrorist squad. Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

His assassination precipitated the Austria declaration of war that triggered the First World War.

What if Princip was captured or killed before he could do the deed that ultimately killed more than thirty-eight million people? That single event forever changed the course of history, brought down empires, and freed the Holy Land from centuries of Islamic rule.

So, what if Gavrilo Princip missed? What if his weapon misfired? Jerusalem would have remained a minor city in minor province of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. The modern map of the Middle East would not exist. Germany would have no need of a Jew-hating rabble rouser demanding vengeance for its defeat in a war that didn’t take place.

A single act by a single person on a single day that essentially created modern history. Who could have predicted such a thing? Yet had this one thing not happened, the world as we know it would not exist.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples to outline the signs of His Second Coming in the last days. In His reply, He said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

Jesus outlined the signs that would signal His return chronologically.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (v.7-8)

As we go on, it is important to keep our historical perspective. Jesus was speaking from the perspective of His audience, the Jews of Israel.

The history of the 20th century is one of constant war, both hot wars and the Cold War (the ULTIMATE ‘rumor” of war), but it was those wars that gave us our present world situation. It was the First World War that liberated the Holy Land from Islamic control.

“Then shall they deliver you [the Jews] up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. [Christ-killers].” (24:9)

It was the Holocaust of WWII that ultimately resulted in the restoration of Israel in 1948. And it was Israel’s declaration of statehood that has driven the course of modern history since.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (v.10)

The Arab-Israeli conflict shaped the lines of the Cold War, dominated the United Nations agenda for a half-century, provided the backdrop for the Persian Gulf War, and sparked the current Islamic terror war against the West.

The outline that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives 2000 years ago is a perfect fit for the outline of world history as this current generation has experienced it.

We grew up amidst the wars and rumors of wars, watched world events literally shape our history before our eyes, from Yasser Arafat’s invention of aircraft hijacking as a terrorist weapon of the Middle East in 1968 to the attacks on the US homeland in 2001.

Now, to return to the question: What if Gavrilo Princip had not shot Franz and Sophie Ferdinand to death on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo?

Assessment:

For 1900 years, the prophecies of the signs of the Second Coming just sat there, unfulfilled and largely ignored by students of Scripture. Although the great Reformers like Calvin and Luther wrote commentaries on the entire Bible, neither attempted to expound on either Daniel or Revelation.

Neither made any sense at the time and were written off as “symbolic” or “allegorical”.

When the Prophet Daniel, who didn’t understand the visions himself, asked the revealing angel what they meant, he was told,

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

The Olivet Discourse was similarly written off as ‘allegory’ by centuries of Bible scholarship, until after Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand.

Then the pieces began to fall into place, one by one, detail by detail, from the ‘beginning of sorrows’ through the Holocaust, to the restoration of Israel, to the 9/11 attacks, right up to the impending Persian/Islamic war just over the horizon.

For Jesus Christ to get it right, Gavrilo Princip had to shoot Ferdinand. The first World War precipitated the rise of a discontented Prussian corporal to Fuehrer of the Third Reich and architect of the Holocaust. The Holocaust precipitated the sudden influx of Jews to Jerusalem and its environs.

All these were the beginnings of sorrows. But they HAD to happen EXACTLY in order for the Words of Jesus, spoken some 1900 years before, to find their fulfillment in this generation.

Bible prophecy is the Signature of its Author. Only God can predict the future.

Logic dictates that in every generation of history from AD 33 to this present day, there has been a Gavrilo Princip, some unknown actor whose actions shaped the events of the next generation.

And EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had to do EXACTLY as they did for Jesus to get it right on the Mount of Olives 2000 years ago.

Had Gavrilo Princip not killed Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June, 1914, there would be no Israel to be threatened by its Islamic neighbor states in 2007.

Having outlined events as they would happen, 1900 years in advance, Jesus paused to remind His audience, “Behold, I have told you before.” (Matthew 24:25)

Bible prophecy is undeniable evidence that the God we worship is no ‘cunningly devised fable’ to this generation, anymore than it was to Peter when he wrote:

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2nd Peter 1:16)

We have that same assurance, because, (now think about this!) Bible prophecy provides us with that same EYEWITNESS to His majesty! Nobody else but God could know in advance about all the Gavrilo Princips scattered throughout history.

We are eyewitnesses to history, and that history confirms His Word to the tiniest detail.

The same God Who outlined history in advance also assured us:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

He IS coming soon! And He’s provided us with all the evidence necessary to prove it.

We need to get the word out.

Member’s Sit-Rep: Vagabonds ’07

Member’s Sit-Rep: Vagabonds ’07
Vol: 66 Issue: 24 Saturday, March 24, 2007

We woke up this morning to the sound of air brakes being released in what seemed to be our bedroom. It took a second to realize we spent the night in a Walmart parking lot.

We don’t usually overnight park at Walmart, but most RV camps don’t open this early this far north, so it was either Walmart or drive all night.

Walmart has made it a more or less corporate policy to permit RV’s to park overnight in their parking lots. The parking lots are well-lit and regularly patrolled. And the store is open 24 hours. But it’s noisy.

(I almost fell out of bed when the truck parked beside me released his air brakes.)

Sigh. On the road again.

We don’t officially become vagabonds until mid-April when the lease runs out on our seasonal rental.

We’ve spent the winter fixing and preparing and adapting this ol’ bus for the upcoming Road Tour.

Now it’s time for my doctor to give me his annual ‘State of My Liver’ speech and discuss plans for his next ‘State of My Colon’ address.

(Sigh. Getting old isn’t for sissies)

It took six months to get this appointment, [thanks to Canada’s socialized medicine] and I’ve no way of predicting what kind of followup exams may be necessary, so we don’t know how long we’ll be in the Great White North.

And there is still some junk I wasn’t able to force myself to get rid of when we sold our house last year that needs to be dealt with. That could take a bit of time.

So we packed up the bus for an extended trip, and in the process, realized we had effectively moved out of our little beach cottage. It looks pretty much the way we found it.

The Road Tour doesn’t officially kick off until May 6th in Houston, but to all intents and purposes, we are already homeless itinerant vagabonds.

I am typing this with Gayle’s laptop sitting on my knees as Gayle bounces us along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

(Have you ever noticed that the WORST roads in the US interstate system are the TOLL roads?)

We expect to get to Mike and Kari’s sometime this afternoon, where we’ll set up camp in their driveway for the duration of this trip. I am really looking forward to the visit (if not the reason for it).

I realized how much I am looking forward to the Road Tour this year, as well. Nicole has done a magnificent job of organizing dates to places, proving that I learned my lesson from last year.

(When you don’t know what you are doing, ask Someone Who does. I asked, and He sent me Nic. )

Between Nic’s organizational skills and Renea handling mail and administration, things are coming together nicely. Now the only thing left to do is to see what condition my condition is in.

Our God is a prayer-answering God. Please pray with me for a good report.

Next stop, the Great White North.