2012

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, ‘There is one far off event to which the creation moves’ and Tennyson’s reference was to Jesus’ return.  We stepped through 2012 in an unprecedented blur of peril that numbed humanity to man’s depravity, driving each of us further into isolation.  With Tennyson’s thought before you, contemplate Jesus’ words…

 

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, ‘There is one far off event to which the creation moves’ and Tennyson’s reference was to Jesus’ return.  We stepped through 2012 in an unprecedented blur of peril that numbed humanity to man’s depravity, driving each of us further into isolation.  With Tennyson’s thought before you, contemplate Jesus’ words…

 

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, ‘There is one far off event to which the creation moves’ and Tennyson’s reference was to Jesus’ return.  We stepped through 2012 in an unprecedented blur of peril that numbed humanity to man’s depravity, driving each of us further into isolation.  With Tennyson’s thought before you, contemplate Jesus’ words…

 

Matt 24:37-38

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, KJV

 

Does this environmental setting sound familiar?  The emphasis of verse thirty-eight is that society was ambivalent because of the press of life, to the spiritual crisis at their threshold.  I lived through the 1980’s, 1990’s and the dawning of a new century when date setters for Jesus’ return waxed eloquent on a regular basis, but now the populace is so preoccupied with personal trivialities, that national, international and/or spiritual matters are no longer on their radar screens.  Those on the other side of this ledger feel that history is cyclical, and what society is experiencing is no big deal.  Middle East tension is just another line item in the litany of newsworthy problems, and Israel is just another country, but in the Lord’s economy, there is Israel, her friends Scripture calls sheep nations and her enemies Scripture calls goat nations.  While sheep nations are a diminishing minority currently, in the final analysis, goat nations will not have anything to show for their anti-Semitism!  Regardless of personal preferences, Israel is the central focus of the Middle East for a reason.  Jerusalem is the most frequently mentioned real estate in Scripture.  In fact, the Psalmist exhorts you to pray for the peace of this Holy City (Psalm 122:6), but despite this charge, Jerusalem remains the most contested geography on the face of the planet, and I still believe that Israel is the key to understanding world developments.

 

Varied tragedies appeared as minor deterrents against the backdrop of disgusting political fanfare.  Republican hopefuls slung mud at one another, as biased commentators castigated each, rather than reporting the dismal performance of the forty-fourth President, or fellow liberal office-holders.  One-by-one, hopefuls crashed like the Hindenburg zeppelin.  It was disgusting to listen to character assassinations of conservative politicians, particularly when the accusations did not hold a candle to the corruption of existing Washington bureaucrats.  The liberal news media learned years ago that the cost to benefit ratio of this technique is very low, and there is no hope that this biased approach will be check-pointed, apart from divine intervention.  This nonsense evolved into presidential campaign rhetoric, and that, into candidate debates in preparation for the November election.

 

The Italian Carnival cruise liner Costa Concordia struck a submerged rock on January 13, 2012, when Captain Francesco Schettino ordered an unauthorized sail-by of the Italian, Tuscan island of Giglio.  While these are not uncommon, Captain Schettino was entertaining a female dinner guest when the ship ran aground and subsequently acted unprofessionally.  Discerning passengers knew something was dreadfully wrong when the liner’s movement stopped, lights flashed and the deck sloped, but the crew withheld meaningful damage reports from inquiring individuals to minimize panic.

The ship’s list worsened, as seawater pouring into the compromised hull, overwhelmed her bilge pumps and the Costa Concordia rolled to her starboard side within about two hours.  In the mean time, pandemonium engulfed all on board.  While approximately four thousand passengers and crew did abandon ship, thirty-two souls were either confirmed dead or never found.  News of this tragedy highlighted man’s self-centeredness, along with mounting irresponsibility of supposed authoritative individuals in the face of danger.  U. S. cruise bookings dropped fifteen percent, while European counterparts slump twenty percent, despite the worldwide pursuit of entertainment.  So far, Captain Francesco Schettino’s dinner-date cost Carnival close to a half billion dollars.

 

An unfortunate confrontation in Sanford, Florida, on the evening of February 26, 2012, left one dead from a gunshot and drew national attention.  Because the shooter (George Zimmerman) and the deceased (Trayvon Martin) were different nationalities, the liberal news media used the incident to fan the flames of the racial war already raging in the United States.  Unique Florida laws granting some citizen discretion to carry and use firearms, introduced complications to the District Attorney (D/A) in whether, or how to press charges.  Under Florida law, a citizen “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself, or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”  According to news reports, evidence to charge George Zimmerman was circumstantial, at best, as the only eyewitness died in the incident.  Civil rights groups moved in, taking advantage of the situation for political gain, to the point of threatening civil unrest if Sanford authorities did not comply with their wishes.  This is anarchy!  This incident sparked rallies, demonstrations, Congressional forums and official resignations through a flood of misinformation, and a number of news commentators lost their jobs because of scandalous reporting.

 

You may remember that anarchy was the civil state in Israel at the time of the Judges, when every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6 and 22:25).  Never mind that in the Sanford incident, special-interest-groups’ desires were outside the scope of local law.  Of course, the liberal media chimed in and tried George Zimmerman by public opinion before he was ever arrested.  How interesting it is that everybody has an opinion about right and wrong, when the issue in question applies to someone else, and in particular, when talking heads discover opportunity to align with political correctness, but I cannot remember the last time I heard someone declare ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ quoting Scripture as the authoritative source when asked what they think.  The year progressed and concluded with spotty reporting about evidence germane to this case, but suffice it to say whether guilty or innocent, George Zimmerman’s life will never be the same again.

 

On July 20, 2012, James E. Homes entered a crowded movie theater during a late night showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, costumed as ‘the Joker’.  He appeared in an exit door armed with an assortment of loaded firearms, including an automatic rifle.  In a spray of bullets, this man killed twelve souls that night and wounded fifty-eight individuals before calmly waiting in the parking lot for authorities to take him into custody.  Detectives were baffled at what triggered such erratic behavior, and their curiosity intensified as they began to investigate.  The accused had booby-trapped his apartment with enough explosives to level the building, had an unsuspecting soul hit the tripwire.  Authorities initially questioned Homes’ sanity, but the precise plan investigators found, required clear thought to develop, negating any defense strategy to claim insanity.

 

Homes drama drew considerable publicity, which triggered several repeat performances in other cities.  These incidents negatively affected an already slumping movie industry, and still threaten to restrict American’s freedom even further, by pressing for entertainment facilities to hire guards and require patrons to be scanned or searched prior to entry.  Of course, this safety will come with additional cost and inconvenience.  One such repeat-performance unfolded within walking distance of our west coast apartment.

Patrons were waiting outside a multi-screen movie theater to get into a late evening showing of the new Bat Man movie, when a car full of ‘want-to-bee’s’, seeking admission to a local gang drove by and sprayed the crowd with automatic gunfire killing five and wounding many others, all to demonstrate supposed worth for gang membership.

 

News reports the world-over were bleak but in the second week of a deep and dark December, another recurrence of such uncivilized behavior hit the news the afternoon of December 11th.  A camouflage-attired man wearing a ski mask entered the  Clackamas Town Center shopping mall near Portland, Oregon, armed with a stolen semi-automatic rifle.  He announced to mall shoppers near a food court that he was the shooter and began firing.  Some witnesses estimate the intruder fired close to sixty rounds, but his gun seemed to jam, interrupting his plan.  Management had drilled mall personnel for such incidents and they reacted quickly.  The shooter was able to correct his firearm malfunction and started shooting again, killing two employees.  Local police were on the scene in less than two minutes.  Hearing the blaring sirens, the gunman turned the stolen gun on himself and the threat ended.  Witnesses said the gun jam probably saved many lives.  Authorities identified the gunman as a twenty-four year old troubled man named Jacob Tyler Roberts, but remained puzzled about his motive.  Roberts ‘friends and relatives claimed he quit his job and liquidated his goods planning to move to Hawaii, but got drunk and missed his flight the previous weekend.  His mother died when he was three and his father is unknown, which establishes a common thread.

 

Later that same week on December 14th a twenty-two year old man, one Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, then proceeded to kill twenty children ages six and seven, as well as six adult school administrative staff, before turning the gun on himself.  His weapon of choice was an AR-15 automatic assault rifle.  While evidence now reveals he was disturbed, he had no police record.  Investigators revealed that Adam Lanza had first killed his own mother, Nancy before heading to the school.  Nancy Lanza knew her son had issues and had been working with him.  A theory suggests that Nancy Lanza realized her efforts were futile, and inquired into having her son committed for psychiatric examination.  Adam may have discovered her plan and bolted.  His Intelligence Quotient I/Q was very high, but he lacked social skills and preferred to be alone.  His parents were divorced and there seemed to be some estrangement from his Dad, Peter.  Adam apparently suspected an investigation would follow his demented conduct, and damaged the hard drive of his computer to hamper research.  How tragic that it took Nancy’s brother nearly a week to claim the bodies of his sister and nephew.

 

Politicians took to the air waves with cries for more gun-control legislation, which is curious because the gun Roberts used in the Portland mall incident was stolen, and until December 14th, neither Adam Lanza, or his mother had committed any crimes and he had only raised limited suspicion because of in introverted personality.  Talking heads spouted countless theories how to stop such crimes and what may have led up to it, without dealing with the origin of the problem: national idolatry that took root in the late 1940’s with incrementing affects in the years since.  How ironic that no one has mention sin or repentance on a national level!

 

May I direct your attention to the Lord’s Plan for the home: one man and one woman married and living in harmony, procreating as the Lord opens the womb?  This is not to suggest birth control is sin, but parenting is a weighty matter both husband and wife must agree to move forward in!  According to Ephesians 5, the two are to live in mutual submission to one another, with the wife yielding to the husband because he occupies the office of prophet, priest and king.  His divinely charged responsibilities are to represent the Lord to his wife and children in the role of prophet, meaning he must be an aggressive student of Scripture in order to teach and demonstrate the practical aspects of spiritual precepts and principles.  The husband’s duty as a priest is to represent his wife and children before the Lord in intercessory prayer, requiring he be an aggressive student of his wife and children, seeking to understand their character strengths and weaknesses, patiently molding them to know, understand and conform to the Lord’s Will for the home.  As king, the husband provides spiritual leadership to his wife and children, understanding that he will one day give an account to the Lord for his family’s spiritual development.  This is the Lord’s standard for the home, regardless of personal religious preference or ambivalence.  In Roberts’ and Lanza’s cases, the prophet, priest and king was dysfunctional and conspicuous by their absence and the young men charted their own course in accordance with Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 3:23.

 

No one sins in a vacuum, and in these cases, innocent individuals paid the supreme price for these men’s failure to lead spiritually.  I am certain the reader can identify husbands who attempted to lead spiritually and failed by virtue of a rebellious child, but parent / child relationships are very complex and failures therein, difficult to diagnose.

 

On Christmas Eve, reports hit the news that two firefighters were dead and two more critically wounded, when they responded to a car and house fire in Webster, New York, near Lake Ontario.  A lone gunman, identified, as William Spangler is believed to have set his own house and car ablaze to lure fireman to the scene.  Four first-responders arrived to the pre-dawn blaze, who were immediately shot by Spangler from a position of cover.  Two died on the scene and the other two were transferred to a local hospital in critical condition.  The fire spread to six other homes in the midst of exchanged shots.  News reports withheld specifics about William Spangler’s personal involvements that may point to motive, but this is yet another incident in a series of senseless killings that escalate both fear and ambivalence in the American populace.  William Spangler spent time in a penitentiary for killing his mother a number of years ago, and investigators at William Spangler’s fire-damaged home found the charred remains of his sister.

 

It is appearing that no one, regardless of age, gender, nationality or profession is exempt from unconscionable acts of cruelty (Jeremiah 17:9).  What we see unfolding is the affects of idolatry.  Those who place any importance on Scripture are a growing minority, and the void is filling with increasing acts of violence.  Liberal politicians pose increased legislation to address the problem with legislative, educative or psychological means, but that will only fan the flames.

 

In late July of 2012, the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) fined Penn State an unprecedented $60 million, and all of coach Joe Paterno’s victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.  In addition to the fine, the NCAA banned all Penn State’s football program from the postseason for four years and vacated all of the Nittany Lions’ victories dating to 1998, which is when allegations of Sandusky’s abuse first surfaced. Perhaps the most damaging aspect of this judgment will come in the form of scholarship reductions.  Penn State will lose 40 football scholarships over four years, and will only be allowed a maximum of 65 scholarship players for four seasons, beginning with the 2015 season.  Not having any interest in football, this news did not affect me personally, except a mental note of how much of an idol sports has become in these United States.  The evidence shows that the obvious concern is for the affect of the ruling on football and those interested in it, rather than the lives scarred by perverted adults and politicians who protected the perversion for the sanctity of the game.

 

By the end of the summer, political chatter dominated the newscasts as Republican hopefuls diminished to one.  As one born in these United States, this foolishness has been frustrating.  With the possible exception of Ronald Regan, national politics has been void of statesmen for the last hundred years.  Our country is in trouble spiritually, morally, ethically and financially, while liberal commentators major on minors and minor on majors.  This resembles an attempt to contain ten pounds of air pressure in a fish net with a defective hand pump!  Through an unprecedented series of closed-door meetings, the forty-fourth President legalized a socialized health care system there is no money to fund, which appeals to illegal aliens, whose vote his party and the liberal news media is seeking to gain for him.  Opposing factions challenged the Constitutionality in the Supreme Court, but our highest court upheld it, classified the cost as a tax, turned over the administration thereof to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which hired thousands of additional agents to administer the beast.  His or her published solution is to inject every Social Security Number holder with a chip to ease administration.  Implementation of this technique will move America to the threshold of Revelation 13.

 

Cost to the standard American patient will increase, while the service will teeter.  The number of potential patients escalated, while the number of available doctors is declining.  Older doctors are retiring, while doctors continuing to practice are refusing new patients sixty and older.  This is a giant step toward socialized medicine, which is dysfunctional in Canada and Great Britain.  While the entire nation is affected by this downgrade, it is the baby-boomers who thumbed our nose at the sanctity of marriage, pressed for abortion and got it and generally rebelled against all forms of authority.  It should not take much analysis to realize the baby-boomers’ rebellion was not productive any more than the forty-fourth President’s track record, and now it is the baby-boomers who are paying the brunt of the financial and medical national debacle.  If you study Romans 1 beginning at verse 18, you will see an uncanny similarity about a downgrade described in the remainder of the chapter, including three divine turn-over’s and the societal downgrade America is now experiencing!

 

The United States has no successes to boast of from O’Bama’s policies, with national debt skyrocketing higher in a minute than most middle-class Americans earn in a lifetime.  America is not that far behind Greece and Spain, which are bankrupt because of an entitlement mentality.  European recipients are violently demonstrating to continue the entitlement, but respective countries have no money to continue funding the ‘nanny-state’ mentality, and closer to home, several California cities have already declared bankruptcy primarily because retired city-service personnel earn more in retirement than they did as full-time employees, plus their medical insurance cost is fully-funded by the city.

 

This is not a bad deal if you are on the receiving end, but the facts are that the number of entitlement recipients is swelling to overtake growing numbers of those paying taxes, and those paying taxes are allowing indifference to keep them from even casting a vote.  The real tragedy is naiveté of the tax-paying public who bought into the Democratic negative rhetoric against Republican candidates and re-elected a President and a Congress, which has a demonstrated track record of failure!  The democratic form of government works until the people learn how to vote themselves a raise, and then the system implodes!

 

Unemployment is still unacceptably high, and tax rates soaring.  The forty-fourth President’s foreign policy is in the ditch, as he apologizes everywhere he goes for American capitalism, while he ignores Israel and supports the Muslim Brotherhood.  With these actions to his credit, he did nothing but castigate his Republican rival because of his business accomplishments, and the real tragedy is that the American voting public bought it!

 

The conservative news channel I listen to aired an analytical segment about why the support for the forty-fourth President was so high.  While this is not a quote, the plot unfolded as follows.  Many Americans across the age spectrum move around with a headset connected to an electronic device, whereby they listen constantly to music, financial updates, sports or whatever else for entertainment.  This approach to life stifles critical and creative thought and lulls the naïve into programmed lines of thought.  These formats for the most part have only news sound-bytes dominated by the liberal media, which is nothing but a campaign extension for liberal political hopefuls.

 

Since Barack O’Bama had no accomplishments to boast of, his entire strategy was, and continues to be, to castigate the opposition.  Listeners to this forma invest precious little time to audit what they hear, but conversely grant unrestricted credibility to the sound-bite approach to authentic news.  This same story aired several interviews of people supposedly connected to the world via earphone, who support Barack O’Bama because he can ride a skateboard or sing or do other things they classify as ‘cool’.

 

They expressed no concern over the debt our country is accruing, the growing number of abortions in support of women’s rights, the fact that real unemployment is north of eleven percent, the fact that in the face of swelling profits, American companies refuse to hire anyone over forty regardless of gender, experience, or skill despite the fact that our government continues to raise retirement age, the fact that college graduates cannot find jobs in their field of training, or that the President’s foreign policy has brought shame on our country.  Since these issues are of no immediate concern to the respondents, the same group could not imagine why they should be to anyone else either!  This is naiveté gone viral.  In the years of my life, we have seen knowledge soar while wisdom is antiquated, which is what Daniel mentions in the last chapter of the book that bares his name.  Lest you challenge this, try buying anything from a local merchant in the midst of a power outage!

 

The November 6th Presidential election was a turning point in America’s destiny.  Barack O’Bama had no record to run on, so his approach that he advertised in his 2008 campaign was to castigate his opposition.  He did so by galvanizing minorities against conservative men, who he presented as their enemies.  He drew women into his support and advocated wealth redistribution.  I could go on-and-on, but the bottom line is that Barack O’Bama galvanized entitlement-interested minorities against the working class at the polls to outnumber us.  Unfortunately, the United States is not that far behind Greece, Spain and other European entitlement-based cultures, which are bankrupt, but refuse to accept it.  Nobody can fix stupidity, but here we are!

 

The spiritual side of this dilemma is that while men and women are equal before the Lord, the Lord holds men responsible for the spiritual direction of the family, which is now in the ditch.  It is the baby-boomer men who never matured, who remained content to watch their favorite sport, engage in rampant affairs, invest large sums of money in adult toys like classic cars and World War II aircraft, who are the current targets of national castigation.  It is as if the Democrats painted a target on the chests of these men, of whom I am one, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.  For the most part, we still do not understand our accountability before the Lord.  What a tragedy!

 

While the U. S. presidential campaign unfolded with disgusting frivolity, the Middle-East caldron continued to bubble from diversified, but increasing heat.  The Iranian nuclear development program has continued to draw world attention for the past decade, maintaining their right to develop enriched uranium for peaceful purposes in the face of documented sources who contend the sole purpose for enriched uranium is for nuclear warheads.  It does not take much analysis to understand the drive of radical Islam to obtain nuclear weapons.  I hasten to remind the reader that the Koran classifies non-Muslims as infidels and states that infidels are worthy of death.  The politically correct position claims that Islam is a peaceful religion, and death to infidels is only the battle cry of radical Islam, but since the radical element camouflages itself in civilian settings, it is hard to identify the radicals until after they kill or inflict injury. This would press the astute to examine the history of Islam.

 

Muslims live peacefully in countries of abode until their number grows past fifty percent, when they turn violent.  They acquire authoritative positions where they claimed the country for Allah, and institute Shareeah Law.  Native citizens become infidels and targets of persecution.  School teachers are killed or otherwise replaced with Muslim counterparts, who systematically pressure non-Muslims to convert and indoctrinate students of both genders to hate Americans and Jews, while instilling in them the desire to suicide bomb for Allah.  The liberal media has indoctrinated naïve Americans that it is politically incorrect to profile anyone, which allows the enemy to mingle among us without restraint.

 

The 2012 anniversary of the September 11, 2001 New York Trade Center attack approached with very little fanfare, howsoever Muslim extremists attacked the United States embassy in Cairo, Egypt and then six hours later stormed the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where in both instances, attackers tore down and burned the American flag, replaced it with a black al-Qaida flag, and set fire to American property.  In the case of the Benghazi Consulate, rioters killed four Americans, including U. S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

 

Early U. S. reports indicated both incidents were Muslim recoil to a video produced in Los Angeles, California insulting the Muslim Prophet Mohamed, had incited the mobs in both Cairo and Benghazi, but this stood in contrast to the President of Libya who stated that it was a terrorist attack from the outset.  For more than a week, U. S. talking heads including United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, White House Spokesman Jay Carney, Secretary to the State, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack O’Bama all substantiated the video as the cause, in the face of reports out of Libya that claimed that both the Cairo and Benghazi mobs were armed with heavy weaponry including Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG’s).  It just did not pass the straight-faced-test that both mobs just happened to be armed with these classes of weapons.  Rioting mobs throw rocks and bottles, not RPG’s.

 

Muslim talking heads called for the United States to execute the film-producer, who was arrested, but our president affirmed that the First Amendment allowed the producer the discretion he took to make the film, but attempted to disconnect the United States from any official endorsement.  From that point forward, the official Washington talking-heads blamed the hostile film for inciting mob violence and that the incident was not an act of terrorism, but the unresolved question was do all Muslim mobs carry RPG’s wherever they go?

 

Time passed, the White House story evolved to a terrorist attack that was under investigation, but the FBI did not arrive in Benghazi for a month, and meanwhile, a CNN reporter was able to just pick up Chris Stevens personal log, and reported that he requested help from the United States claiming the Compound was in danger.  To shorten a lengthy and complicated story, it appears the White House was trying to cover up any evidence that al-Qaida was still a dangerous force to be dealt with.  Congress continually requested Hillary Clinton testify, but avoided confrontation and wound up in South America “on assignment”.  The real icing on this hit the air waves in late December when the White House reported Hillary bumped her head and was suffering from a concussion, but four of her subordinates came under conviction and resigned.  Wow!  The year closed with no resolution, and no evidence of any efforts to that end.

 

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel delivered a searing speech to the United Nations in early October concerning the global danger when Iran actually develops a nuclear bomb.  In his estimation, Iran would be crossing a critical line in the near future.  When questioned about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s concern, military strategists felt Iran crossed this dangerous line in 2006, and the world has been living on borrowed time while politicians contemplate their collective navels, while negotiating with Iranian leadership, which have proven to be pathological liars.  There were several scenarios suggesting Israel was preparing to strike Iran, but nothing materialized.

 

There is little doubt among politically-astute Christians that Israel both has the weaponry and intelligence to halt Iran’s nuclear development, but most also believe such a move would ignite a serious counterstrike from Muslim Brotherhood-run neighbor countries, which now completely surround Israel.  In the past, America has supported Israel, but the current U. S. political sentiment favors Israel’s enemies.

 

Civil war has been raging in Syria for an extended period.  Such as is commonplace in other Muslim-based countries; radicals embed themselves in civilian areas in order to blame their opposition for killing civilians.  In the course of 2012, more than fifty thousand have died, and half are believed to be innocent men, women and children, but the conflict escalated when Syrians launched a missile attack across their northern border at a target in Turkey.  Turkey quickly launched a counter-attack, that generated concern the Syrian civil war may become a regional conflict.  The Turks forced a supposed Syrian passenger jet to land when it flew over Turkish air space, but when searched, the plane was loaded with missile parts and implements of war, but no passengers.  By year’s end, news sources reported that Syria was moving components of chemical warfare around for unknown purposes.  The world concern is that these weapons will fall into the hands of Muslim extremists, and some suggest that this has already taken place.

 

The Syrian civil war, also referred to as the Syrian uprising, is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba’ath Party government and those seeking to oust it, since March15, 2011.  It involves nationwide demonstrations as part of the wider protest movement known as the Arab Spring.  Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the end of nearly five decades of dictatorial-style governmental rule.

 

President al-Assad deployed the Syrian Army to  squash the  conflict with orders to fire on demonstrating civilians believed to be harboring activists, however this approach catalyzed the conflict into an armed rebellion in which no one is considered to be a non-combatant.  Although outside countries supply the rebel forces with armament, they remain disorganized with no central command.  United Nation members representatives are divided about outside intervention to stop the violence.

 

No sooner did Barack O’Bama achieve reelection, but renewed his class warfare, insisting that the nation’s debt crisis can be solved by forcing ‘the rich’ to pay their ‘fair share’, with no reduction in spending.  This led to a partisan battle, which if not resolved will plunge the United States over a fiscal cliff.  There was a stalemate as Congress excused themselves for Christmas vacation and O’Bama packed for Hawaii.  While no one seems to know exactly what plunging over a fiscal cliff really means, if agreement between the ‘Washington-Insiders’ fails, everyone’s taxes will escalate with no reduction in national spending whatsoever.  President O’Bama publicized his return from a shortened Christmas vacation, to supposedly inject sanity into the Washington gridlock, but the real icing on this cake hit the air waves December 29th when he signed an Executive Order authorizing a Congressional pay raise.  This was a shameful act in light of the current Congressional performance, or lack thereof!  The real disappointing news came the afternoon of December 31st when news reports indicated some agreement between the President and Congress would raise taxes, but have no restraint on Washington spending.  Our elected representatives are just irresponsible.

 

Non-biblical prophecy enthusiasts have been tracking time through the lens of the Mayan calendar, which suggests the world would end on the 2012 Winter Equinox, December 21st.  Reporters queried random public passers-by, about their thought about the world ending, and got plans for involvement in exotic parties flowing with booze and drugs to numb the senses of attendees in case the Mayans were right, but December 22nd dawned pretty much as standard.

 

Personal Report

 

I experienced what seems like a never-ending series of medical issues that required four surgeries and a bout with a staff infection, plus the need for another surgery that will take place early this month.  For certain and for sure, I would not have signed-up for this class, but then the Lord did not ask for my opinion before He enrolled me in the course.  Without exception, each medical encounter, whether in the hospital, lab work, or doctor’s office appointments have been open doors of witness to people who seem blinded to truth.  The second verse to this song is that the situation became a central discussion topic of many other conversations, as well.

 

One of the most difficult matters to deal with in life on the ‘Left Coast’ is the overwhelming hedonism that prevails.  There is an ongoing debate over growing numbers of people moving in public, naked.  The curious point of this is that it is cold and damp here, and why people have any desire to shed clothing in this climate is puzzling.  A friend living in another state called to inquire how we are doing?  I was waxing eloquent with a negative spin, when he stopped me with the following question…

 

‘Ken, do you know what your problem is?’

 

‘No, tell me!’

 

‘You have not submitted your relocation to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!’

 

Wow!  While his comment may seem harsh at first blush, the convicting power of the Holy Spirit fell heavy on me, and I realized he was right.  The problem is how to be content on the path the Lord placed me without allowing my flesh any conformity to the hedonism of the environment.  Of course, the Scriptural directive about this issue comes from the Apostle Paul, who wrote…

 

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. KJV

 

Permit me to clarify that I am not enticed by the environmental hedonism, but surprised at my own reaction to in-your-face-depravity I was warned not to even comment about, lest I be arrested on a hate crime.  I stepped over the threshold several times by asking those displaying their amoral convictions, if they knew what Scriptures says about their conduct, and then quoting an appropriate passage.  Charles Spurgeon contended that Scripture is like a lion.  All you have to do is open the door and let it out, and so it is!  Of course, ‘letting the cat out of the cage’ catalyzes anger, but before they went too far in setting me straight, I told them I was just a reporter asking questions, that if they were offended, to take their complaint to the Lord, Who would be glad to listen, and reminded them He could be the first One they encountered when they step through death’s door.  I was also careful to point out that they are only one heartbeat removed from that cataclysmic event!  This would be a good thing for you to intercede for me in.

 

Being two thousand miles removed from what I consider home has brought me to do much thinking and praying about the Lord’s Plan that we often disregard.  The Scriptural fact is that every Christian is a spiritual sojourner, just passing through, and we often times forget that.  In review of some of the lessons I have personally taught, I found a comment I used, but am confident I did not coin, that ‘the Lord expects you/me to blossom where he plants you/me!  Sometimes it is difficult to apply personally the principles I expected others to abide in!  Thank you for your intercession for us in these days.

Kenneth M. Axelson

Advertisements