Signs of the Times Update: June 20, 2022

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these, who brings out their host by number? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one is lacking…Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow weak nor weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weary; and to him with no vigor; He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:26,28-29)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

A group of ex-LGBT Christians rallied in the nation’s capital recently to share their testimonies of how they’ve found healing and freedom in Jesus Christ. Members of the Freedom March group have been touring the country for years, sharing the Good News with others, and offering hope to anyone else who might be seeking salvation from LGBT lifestyles. The Freedom March was started in 2018 by Jeffrey McCall, a former transgender. “Jesus died for them and loves them and wants to give them a new life,” McCall told CBN News

Eleven nations are banning Disney’s new movie Lightyear from being shown in their country’s theatres over LGBTQ+ grooming scenes. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that will ban the movie. Additionally, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Lebanon denied release certificates for the movie, which is a spinoff of the popular Toy Story franchise.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for lawmakers to severely limit or even ban abortion in the state, reversing a decision by the court just four years ago that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution. The court, now composed almost entirely of Republican appointees, concluded that a less conservative court wrongly decided that abortion is among the fundamental privacy rights guaranteed by the Iowa Constitution and federal law.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued subpoenas last week to seven school districts that allegedly employ student surveys—created by education companies Panorama and Project Wayfinder—that gather data about parents’ political beliefs and income levels, as well as racial identity, sexual behaviors, and mental health. “The contracts with these companies are public record, so they’re supposed to be approved during school board meetings, but the surveys are happening without parental consent and parental notification.”

Intercessors For America has shipped 2 million meals to Ukraine. Each 500,000 meals packed in Florida fills 3 shipping containers. They then are shipped to Romania and to be distributed to Ukrainians from there.

Like many large employers are doing post-pandemic, Yale University gave its clerical, food service and maintenance workers a choice: Get a routine health check or pay a $25 weekly fee. Workers alleged in a federal lawsuit that the university’s participate-or-pay employee wellness program violated two federal laws. In a preliminary settlement approved Tuesday by U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the university agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million to workers and attorneys and won’t assess the $25 weekly fee for four years, or until federal law or regulations change to allow such a program.

Satanic Deception: He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone wherethe beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Mat Stave of Liberty Counsel reports, “Surrounded by witches and warlocks openly performing their dark craft, our team has been on Capitol Hill praying over the High Court as it prepares to deliver its much-anticipated ruling on abortion. Despite decades of pro-life work around the country and at the U.S. Supreme Court, we’ve never witnessed such hostile and demonically inspired evil directed at the Justices and the judicial system…The pro-abortion crowd began cursing the Justices, the people praying and, yes, vehemently cursing God Himself.”

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Fewer Americans than ever believe in God, a new Gallup poll reported Friday morning. The new figure of 81% of Americans who say they believe in God is down 6 percentage points from 2017 and 11 points from a 2011 poll. But fewer than half of those who say they believe in God — 42% according to Gallup — say that God hears and responds to prayers. Some 28% of all Americans say God hears a person’s prayers but “cannot intervene,” and 11% say God neither hears nor answers prayer. The 2022 survey, conducted between May 2 and May 22, revealed that 17% of Americans said they don’t believe in God.

  • A 2021 Gallup survey showed a new love of just 47% of Americans are members of a church, the first time that number has fallen below 50%.

Data from the United States Census Bureau shows that nearly 18.5 million children grow up without their fathers, which has in return led to the United States owning the title of the world’s leader in fatherlessness. Approximately 80% of single-parent homes are led by single mothers; therefore, leading to nearly 25% of our youth growing up without a father in the home, said Rep. Burgess Owens, Rep. Byron Donalds and Jack Brewer on Fox News. This has not only destroyed God’s ordained family structure, but has devastated communities across the nation. For example, 85% of children and teens with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes, and over 70% of all adolescent patients in drug and alcohol treatment centers originate from homes without fathers. 

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

In a stunning electoral upset further presaging a massive red (Republican) tsunami coming in November, a pro-life Mexican-born candidate won a special election in south Texas, the first time the area has chosen a Republican over a Democrat in more than 150 years. Republican Mayra Flores defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez on Tuesday in Texas’ 34th congressional district, which had voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 13 points in 2020. The district’s population is 84% Hispanic.

A spate of resignations by high-profile aides to President Biden has left the remaining White House staff frustrated as they toil with a crumbling domestic agenda, sky-high inflation, the war in Ukraine and dimming prospects for Democrats in the November elections. The high turnover at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, critics say, is a sign that those surrounding Mr. Biden are increasingly worried about a Democratic bloodbath at the polls and the prospects of Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

A record 81 black candidates are running for Congress as Republicans this year, an increase of more than 50% over the 2020 election cycle, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Black convention speakers recounted Trump’s accomplishments for the black community, including the lowest unemployment rate ever, the prison and criminal sentence-reforming First Step Act, the “opportunity zones” that incentivize investment in poor areas, permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities, and promoting school choice.

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

According to a new report, Christians who find it difficult to freely express their beliefs in society due to secular intolerance are practicing “various forms of self-censorship.” The report, titled “Perceptions on Self-Censorship: Confirming and Understanding the ‘Chilling Effect,’” was put together by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America and the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The study features case studies from France, Germany, Colombia and Mexico. “Secular intolerance has a chilling effect on Christians, which directly affects their capacity to express their faith freely in society and is leading to various forms of self-censorship,” the study said. “Some people do indeed fear being subjected to legal proceedings or being criminally sanctioned on charges of discrimination, while others fear being subjected to disciplinary proceedings in their work or places.”

  • “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The violent Jane’s Revenge pro-abortion group posted a second statement Tuesday trying to incite vandalism and destruction of pro-life centers. In its earlier statement, Jane’s Revenge gave a 30-day ultimatum that said pro-life centers had to close their doors or else face attacks. Now, they said the 30 days are up, and pro-lifers should expect violence. Jane’s Revenge has claimed responsibility for 16 acts of vandalism and violence so far, including throwing firebombs into an empty pregnancy center in Buffalo, N.Y., last week.

  • The FBI is investigating recent attacks on pregnancy centers ahead of a Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade as potential acts of domestic violent extremism, the bureau said Friday. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, said Thursday that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland should resign over the Biden administration Justice Department’s inaction on more than 50 attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks purportedly carried out by Jane’s Revenge.

Pro-abortion disruption is being unleashed in churches, malls, sports stadiums and public areas by the radical RiseUp4AbortionRights group, with the latest target a Church in Detroit, Michigan. Their activists disrupted the Ala Moana Shopping Center and Food Court in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 14, and conducted a “die in” at Bellevue Square Mall in Washington on June 10. They also unrolled a large banner at Progressive Field in Cleveland which read “Overturn Roe? Hell no!” during the Cleveland Guardians baseball game. Activists disrupted Sunday Mass at the St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe on June 12, disrupted a WNBA game on June 8, aid unfurled a large banner during the LA Dodgers’ game on June 5, among other incidents.

After a 30-year decline, abortions in the United States rose by nearly 8% from 2017 to 2020, according to new data from abortion rights group Guttmacher Institute. In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the U.S., up from 862,320 abortions in 2017, according to the survey released Wednesday. Abortion rates had been falling steadily since a peak in 1981. Experts have said access to better birth control was one of the main reasons for the previous decline. The study also found that in 2020, 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in abortion, an increase in the abortion ratio – the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies – of 12% since 2017.

  • Meanwhile, in 2020, birth rates fell by 4%, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. over the past two weeks has plateaued at about 100,000 new cases per day. However, hospitalizations are up 5% and deaths are up 18% because they lag new cases and still reflect the earlier omicron surge. Cases are declining in roughly half the states, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. In the past two weeks, parts of New England have seen cases fall by 30% or more. In the South and West, however, cases and hospitalizations are increasing substantially. Daily new infections have nearly doubled this month in Arkansas and Kentucky, and in Wyoming, they are four times higher than they were two weeks ago.

  • Fatality data has been volatile in recent weeks because of delays in reporting after Memorial Day. Still, reports of new deaths remain low. Fewer than 350 deaths are being reported each day, down from more than 2,600 a day at the height of the Omicron surge.

The National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, tested positive for COVID-19. Fauci, who has directed the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, took a rapid antigen test, the government agency said. “He is fully vaccinated and has been boosted twice. He is currently experiencing mild symptoms,” said the NIH statement, noting Fauci will “isolate and continue to work from his home.” The NIH added that Fauci has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other senior government officials.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines against COVID-19 for young children on Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) followed up Saturday by recommending the shot, which could be shipped out in the United States by Monday or Tuesday. Pfizer’s shot is for children younger than 5 and uses three shots of one-tenth of the adult dose. Moderna’s is for children younger than 6 and uses two shots of a quarter of the adult dose. Both can be given to children as young as 6 months old. Moderna plans to study its shots for children as young as 3 months.

A White House official on Monday, June 20 made a false claim about COVID-19 vaccines while encouraging parents to get their young children vaccinated. Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said that “there have not been any serious side effects of these vaccines,” which is not true.  Well-documented cases of severe allergic reactions, blood clotting, heart inflammation, and paralysis are among the serious side effects linked to the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States.

One day after the nation learned Dr. Fauci had tested positive for COVID-19, the government’s quadrupled-boosted pandemic adviser was confronted in a Senate hearing by his nemesis, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Pressed on the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted Thursday there were no studies to support the claim that booster shots would reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in children.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Five major U.S. cities are currently on pace to break their homicide totals from last year, continuing a violent trend that started in 2020. Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta have all seen homicide numbers outpace their mark from 2021 halfway through this year, with Milwaukee seeing the largest spike of the group. Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta have all seen homicide numbers outpace their mark from 2021 halfway through this year, with Milwaukee seeing the largest spike of the group. The numbers continue a trend that has plagued the country since 2020, when homicides in the U.S. increased nearly 30% compared to 2019.

Violent crimes have surged in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with a combined record 135 homicides last year. While violent crimes in the suburbs of the Twin Cities have not reached the same levels, data compiled by the Star Tribune examining 50 of the largest suburbs over the last five years finds that homicides have begun to increase in some suburbs, and residents are getting nervous. A combined 51 homicides were recorded in 2021 across suburban areas. Nearly all suburbs saw increases in property crimes, such as car and catalytic converter thefts.

  • The rising crime rates in Minnesota follow the ‘defund the police’ movement there after the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent violent protests.

A single gunman opened fire inside a suburban Alabama church Thursday evening, killing two people and wounding a third at a small group meeting before being taken into custody, authorities said. The attack occurred at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills. The 71-year-old gunman was an occasional attendee of the congregation who is believed to have acted alone. The two fatalities are 84-year-old man and a 75-year-old woman. An event attendee subdued the suspect until law enforcement arrived and arrested him.

A man with an “edged weapon” attacked passengers inside a San Francisco International Airport terminal Friday, leaving three with cuts and scrapes before he was arrested, authorities said. The man drove to the airport, went into the International Terminal, “walked around the departure terminal and pulled out an edged weapon” before attacking three men at about 6 p.m. The travelers were in the pre-security area when they were attacked.

An early Father’s Day barbecue in San Antonio, Texas, turned deadly Saturday night when a drive-by shooting took place as guests were gathered in the front yard of a home. Two men, ages 45 and 46, were killed; five others, ages 19 to 44, were injured.

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22,ESV)

Starting July 1, the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds will be banned in Washington state. Importing, manufacturing and distributing them will be outlawed, too. The only magazines allowed for sale and importing will be those with a maximum capacity of 10 cartridges under a measure pushed through by Democrats and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year. Washington residents can continue buying larger magazines until the law takes effect. Any owned as of July 1 are unaffected by the law.

After some optimistic signs for Democrats hoping to reach a bipartisan Senate agreement on a gun control package, progress in the negotiations stalled. Lawmakers failed to reach a final agreement on the legislative text on Thursday. On Thursday, when some lawmakers hoped they could reach a final text on the package, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that negotiations had fallen through and would need more time.

  • The Epoch Times reports that 97.8% of mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones,” because the perpetrators know legally armed citizens won’t be there to stop them.

Justice (or lack thereof): Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

Simone Gold, M.D., J.D., founder of the advocacy group America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLD), was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in prison for being present during the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Gold, a former emergency room doctor, was charged with one misdemeanor count of “entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.” Gold’s attorney, Kira Anne West, stated that her client pleaded guilty to standing “with a crowd outside the East Rotunda door, where she eventually entered shortly after about 2:27 p.m. along with her co-defendant John Strand. She remained inside the Capitol for a little over half an hour. Around 2:55 p.m., she gave a speech at Statuary Hall stating her opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and government-imposed lockdowns,” MedPage reported.

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Automakers reported nearly 400 crashes of vehicles with partially automated driver-assist systems, including 273 involving Teslas, according to statistics released by U.S. safety regulators on Wednesday. Tesla’s crashes happened while vehicles were using Autopilot, “Full Self-Driving,” Traffic Aware Cruise Control, or other driver-assist systems that have some control over speed and steering. The company has about 830,000 vehicles with the systems on the road. The next closest of a dozen automakers that reported crashes was Honda, with 90, but Honda says it has about 6 million vehicles on U.S. roads with such systems. Subaru was next with 10, and all other automakers reported five or fewer.

Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

New documents exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital reveal that the U.S. Army is teaching West Point cadets critical race theory (CRT), including addressing “whiteness.” Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the documents from government watchdog group Judicial Watch, which had to sue the military twice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get the information. “Our military is under attack – from within,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in the press release. “These documents show racist, anti-American CRT propaganda is being used to try to radicalize our rising generation of Army leadership at West Point.”

Health Care:  Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored? (Jeremiah 8:22)

Private equity investors, with their focus on buying cheap and reaping quick returns, are moving voraciously into the U.S. health care system; investments increased twentyfold from 2000 to 2018, and have only accelerated since. Financially distressed rural hospitals are targets, putting vulnerable communities at the mercy of firms whose objective is profit, rather than patient health. A recent report found that 441, more than 20%, were at risk of closing or losing services.

Drugs: And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Greek: pharmakeia, i.e. pharmacy, drugs].

In November 2020, 58% of Portland voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs such as heroin, meth, cocaine and fentanyl. The new law made possession of those substances no more than a Class E violation, the equivalent of a traffic ticket punishable by a maximum $100 fine. But the fine is dismissed when someone who is fined calls a help hotline, Lines for Life, and completes a health assessment. Now, the streets of downtown Portland, Oregon, resemble an open-air drug market. Heroin, meth and fentanyl use is rampant and often visible on city streets. Portland police officers drive by homeless addicts buying and using hard drugs. 

  • Drug overdose deaths in Portland hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41% increase from 2020. And very few people are getting into treatment, according to the Lund Report.
  • Synthetic opioids, primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl, have become the primary cause of overdose deaths in the U.S., especially among teens, who increasingly are buying them through social media contacts. Deaths linked to fentanyl among adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 have skyrocketed, representing 77% of all adolescent deaths among teens last year.

Nearly half a million counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl were seized after a two-year investigation by the DEA and other agencies. In addition, about 112 pounds of methamphetamine, 22 pounds of cocaine, 10 pounds of powder fentanyl, 9 pounds of heroin, and about $230,000 in assets. Twenty-six suspects, 17 of which have been arrested, are facing various charges, including international drug smuggling, drug trafficking, and conspiracy. 

Supermarkets in the Czech Republic got a little more than they bargained for in their banana shipments last week: $83 million worth of cocaine. Police were alerted after grocery workers started discovering blocks of pressed cocaine in with the fruit; ultimately, 1,851 pounds were found.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Former Vanderbilt University professor Dr. Carol Swain argued on Friday that wokeness in America’s universities is turning them classrooms into “indoctrination centers.” “That is chilling in the sense that the universities have been destroyed. The university is over. The university is not a marketplace for ideas. It is an indoctrination center,” Swain told “Fox & Friends.” “And the persons, the teachers who have come out of the university system. They have come out woke. And if they have a degree in teaching education, their mission is to indoctrinate your children.”

Homosexuality:  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26-27)

The “Queering the Bible” project, a ministry tied to the Presbyterian Church (USA), has launched a sixteen-part study which looks at the gospel of Mark as a way of “learning about how we experience God as queer folk, and how we experience Scripture as queer people. They are also producing new TV shows such as Queerly Beloved” and “Quirky, Queer and Wonderful.”

  • It is hard to understand how they ignore Scripture that states clearly God created us in his image as male and female (Genesis 1:27) and defines marriage as the covenant of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6).

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

Even as an increasing share of Americans report familiarity with and tolerance for transgender people, most oppose allowing transgender female athletes to compete against other women at the professional, college and high school level, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll. The poll finds 55 percent of Americans opposed to allowing transgender women and girls to compete with other women and girls in high school sports and 58 percent opposed to it for college and professional sports. About 3 in 10 Americans said transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete at each of those levels.

FINA, swimming’s international governing body, faced backlash over the new “gender inclusion policy” that was approved Sunday setting the standard for transgender athletes’ participation in the sport. The “gender inclusion policy” will only permit swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events. LGBTQ+ rights groups and other swimmers said the policy would hurt transgender athletes.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is facing criticism after she suggested there should be “a drag queen for every school.” Nessel is the first openly gay person voted into statewide office in Michigan. “Drag queens make everything better,” she tweeted. “Drag queens are fun. A drag queen for every school.”

Five members of the Proud Boys group are the subjects of a “hate crime” investigation in California for shutting down a drag-queen reading event for children at a local library. The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the men “began to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs at the event organizer. “The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office responded Saturday to a report of a disturbance at the San Lorenzo Library where a “Drag Queen Story Hour” was taking place in front of children, parents and other community members.

Refugees: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2)

Nearly 37 million children were displaced in 2021, the highest number of kids from their homes since World War II, according to UNICEF. Some 22.8 million of those children were displaced within their countries due to conflict and violence, and 13.7 million of the children are refugees and seeking asylum, the statement reads. The figures don’t include children displaced by climate or environmental disasters, or kids displaced by the war in Ukraine, according to UNICEF. In March, UNICEF said that 4.3 million children were displaced due to the war – more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population.

The influx of Ukrainian refugees into the European Union could gradually ease labor shortages in the Eurozone as some of those fleeing the war are likely to settle permanently, the European Central Bank said on Monday. Around seven million people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine so far since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, and more are leaving each day, with many hoping to find durable employment opportunities in the 27-nation EU.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

In reverse migration, thousands of Californians are moving to Mexico to escape rising living costs amid rampant inflation. CNBC reported Saturday that Californians are adding Mexico to the list of destinations — including Texas, Washington and Arizona — where they can live more cheaply while maintaining high salaries by working remotely or commuting. More than 360,000 Californians left in 2021, the news outlet reported. As of 2020, 800,000 U.S. citizens are living in Mexico. Only one-quarter of California households could afford the median asking price for a home in the state — about $797,470 — during the fourth quarter of 2021.

The Biden administration is planning to bus migrants from overwhelmed border towns to other areas around the country, some only hours away from the border. An internal DHS document obtained by NBC News indicates plans to bus migrants to Los Angeles; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Houston; Dallas; and other cities. Busing migrants from border towns to other communities “will relieve some of the pressure off of the border communities, but then it’s going to create a problem in other communities,” said Robert Beau Nettleton, a county commissioner in Val Verde County, Texas.

Border Patrol agents nabbed 15 illegal immigrants in May whose names are flagged in Homeland Security’s terrorism screening database, according to data released by Homeland Security this week that showed the free-for-all at the southern border continues unabated. All told, 50 people on the terrorism watchlist have been apprehended by agents as they sneaked in through the southern border this fiscal year. Overall encounters with illegal immigrants in May set new records with 239,416 people nabbed — 222,646 of them caught by Border Patrol agents as they sneaked across, and the rest by officers at ports of entry.

  • CBP doesn’t report its estimate for how many migrants are evading capture, but agents say it’s more than 1,000 a day.

Travel: The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)

Travel issues piled up for fliers over the weekend as flight delays and cancellations topped 10,000 – and travel could still be snarled on Monday. On Sunday alone, more than 5,800 U.S. flights were delayed and 918 were canceled, according to FlightAware. It was a tumultuous weekend for holiday travel blamed on staffing shortages, packed planes and the ripple effects from previous bad weather. Experts say to expect travel woes to continue throughout the rest of the year.

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Russian hostilities in Ukraine are preventing grain from leaving the “breadbasket of the world” and making food more expensive across the globe, threatening to worsen shortages, hunger and political instability in developing countries. Together, Russia and Ukraine export nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley and more than 70% of its sunflower oil and are big suppliers of corn. Russia is the top global fertilizer producer. Weeks of negotiations on safe corridors to get grain out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have made little progress, with urgency rising as the summer harvest season arrives.

  • UN World Food Programme director David Beasley described “frightening” food shortages worldwide due to Russia’s war in Ukraine while speaking in Ethiopia’s capital Thursday.

Many Americans seeking to buy a newly constructed home are now playing the waiting game as supply chain slowdowns and a lack of labor are adding more months before buyers can move in. It now takes about eight months or longer to build a new home, compared to about four to six months before the COVID-19 pandemic, said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. “There’s a lack of lumber, appliances, cabinetry, electrical transformer equipment, land to build on, and workers,” Dietz said.

After severe storms barreled through the Midwest this week, Abbott Nutrition halted production of EleCare infant formula at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan due to flooding, the company announced on Wednesday. Production and distribution of new product would likely be delayed for several weeks – but there is currently enough supply to meet demand until production begins again, Abbott said.

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

Are electric vehicles (EVs) the answer to ending air pollution and climate change? Engineer and energy expert Ronald Stein points out that a typical EV battery weighs 1,000 pounds, contains 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells. “It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining,” he writes. “For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.”

President Joe Biden told oil producers by letter on Wednesday to immediately cut costs for Americans as gas prices exceeded $5 a gallon in some parts of the country. The letter to the heads of top oil and gas companies said Russia’s war against Ukraine is only partly responsible for the “sharp rise in gasoline prices” and asked them to work with his administration to increase the supply of gasoline to Americans. “I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office,” Biden wrote. “But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.” Biden also threatened to employ emergency powers to enforce cooperation.

  • Biden now urging more oil refining contradicts his longstanding goal of reducing the usage of fossil fuels.
  • Exxon Mobil responded to President Joe Biden’s letter saying, “the federal government “can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.” The Biden administration has canceled potential lease sales and pipeline development.

Poverty: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16) Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” (Matthew 26:11)

Millions of people struggled to pay their rent during the pandemic. But that hardship fell disproportionately on renters of color, those living with children and people renting in the South, according to an exclusive new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The number of renters that fell behind on rent peaked at 15 million in January 2021, the report showed. Since then, federal aid programs – including billions of dollars in rent relief and an eviction moratorium – plus a recovering economy, have reduced that number. But there remained 10.4 million renters who said they are not caught up on rent as of March. At the January 2021 peak, 33% of Black renters were behind on rent, compared with 25% of Latino renters and 12% of White renters. By March 2022, the overall share of renters in trouble had dropped, but it still remained higher for Black and Latino renters than White renters.

  • A national eviction moratorium was put in place from September 2020 to August 2021, which helped prevent 1.55 million eviction filings, according to estimates from the Eviction Lab. Also, $46.55 billion of rental assistance was made available to struggling renters and their landlords. But that money is expected to be exhausted by the end of this year.

Business: Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. (Proverbs 16:8)

Revlon, the 90-year-old cosmetics giant, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its crippling debt and mounting celebrity competition. Revlon in recent years lost shelf space and sales to startups backed by celebrities, such as Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. It has also been hit by supply issues, made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. Resulting product shortages were another major factor in tipping Revlon into bankruptcy, and analysts have said they were unlikely to be resolved in the near-term.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday in an aggressive move to tackle red-hot inflation that is plaguing the economy. It’s the largest rate hike since 1994, and will affect millions of American businesses and households, pushing up the cost of borrowing for homes, cars and other loans in order to force a slowdown in the economy. The Fed’s actions will increase the rate that banks charge each other for overnight borrowing to 1.5%-1.75%, the highest since before the pandemic hit the United States.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said last Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan rose to 5.78% from 5.23%, the latest in a series of rapid increases and the biggest one-week jump since 1987. The rate is well above the 2.93% recorded just one year ago and marks the steepest level since November 2008. 

With demand for homes outstripping supply, the inventory of homes for sale had been consistently declining year-over-year during the pandemic housing boom. But in May the inventory started moving in a different direction, according to Realtor.com’s data, and the most recent week saw active listings up 13% from last year.

American workers have seen their wages climb faster than at any time since the mid-1980s. But inflation has risen so fast that workers have actually been handed a pay cut instead. Wages are up 5% on average, while the latest report for May showed an inflation rate of 8.6%, so net worker income is effectively down 3.6%.

The monthly report on retail sales showed a 0.3% drop in May compared with April, the first decline in spending since December. With higher prices, it was expected that spending would have come in higher, not lower, indicated an even sharper downturn in number of purchases. Consumer spending is responsible for about 70% of the nation’s economic activity, and the retail industry overall has more jobs than any other business sector.

Anticipating home sales cooling nationwide and more increases in interest rates, two major real estate firms laid off hundreds of workers Tuesday. Property technology companies Redfin and Compass announced the layoffs that total more than 900 staffers in separate announcements. “mortgage rates increased faster than at any point in history. We could be facing years, not months, of fewer home sale,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.

  • Another indication the hot housing market is cooling off? New residential construction and the number of permits issued for building homes both fell in May. The number of housing starts fell for the second month in a row in May, dropping 14.4% from April.

On Thursday, President Biden claimed, in an interview with the Associated Press, that the inflation rate “in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher” that in the U.S. However, the latest figures on inflation show Germany at 7.9%, France at 5.2%, Japan at 2.5%, India at 7.04%, Canada and Italy at 6.8%, and Saudi Arabia at 2.2%. Meanwhile, data released last week showed that U.S. inflation rose in May to a four-decade high of 8.6%.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – along with his key coalition ally Foreign Minister Yair Lapid – has agreed to submit a bill to dissolve parliament. This would trigger a general election later in the year. A short statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the move came “after attempts to stabilize the coalition had been exhausted.” A bill would be submitted to parliament at some point next week, the statement added. If it is passed, Lapid will be set to take over from Bennett as Prime Minister, in line with the original coalition agreement struck last year. Among other things, that would mean Lapid would be Israel’s leader for the planned visit of U.S. President Biden next month.

A group of Israeli tourists were whisked to safety in Istanbul, Turkey, by Israeli security, narrowly avoiding the clutches of an Iranian hit or kidnap squad, Channel 13 reported on Monday. According to the report, the tourists received a telephone warning from an Israeli security official telling them to stay at the market they were in and not to return to their hotel, where an Iranian cell was waiting for their return. The report said a bullet-proof vehicle took the tourists to the airport, directly onto a flight back to Israel, with their luggage remaining behind in the hotel due to the urgency of the situation.

A cyber-attack that targeted civilian companies which provide public announcement services to the cities of Jerusalem and Eilat set off alarms in areas in the two cities, falsely alerting the residents of a pending rocket attack. Sirens went off in several neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Eilat on Sunday evening, sending residents to seek shelter ahead of incoming rockets. In the video, Shakir alleges, “If you look at the recent escalation that took place in May of 2021, it started over discriminatory efforts to force Palestinians out of their homes in occupied East Jerusalem as part of this larger policy.” In April 2019, an Israeli court upheld a deportation order against Shakir, giving him two weeks to leave the country. Israel’s interior minister ordered Shakir’s deportation in May 2018, calling him a “boycott activist.”

Ben & Jerry’s is requiring all new employees to watch four videos about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all of which appear to be biased against the Jewish state, the Jewish Insider reported. Featured in one of the videos is anti-Israel activist Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director. Shakir advocates for a one-state solution to the conflict – meaning an end to the Jewish state.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Ahead of a planned visit from U.S. President Joe Biden in July, the White House is reportedly pressuring Israel to make a series of concessions to the Palestinians. The concessions reportedly pertain to construction plans for the Jewish town of Ma’ale Adumim, a thriving community a few miles east of Jerusalem. The U.S., represented by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, wants Israel to cancel a hearing four days after Biden’s trip on construction of over 3,400 new homes for Israelis in Ma’ale Adumim. Israeli officials reportedly rejected the demand to cancel the hearing, noting that the new homes are desperately needed due to a housing crunch in the Jewish state.

The Israeli ambassador to Russia was summoned by Foreign Ministry officials in Moscow for a dressing down over an airstrike last week that caused major damage to Syria’s main international airport. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had a stern conversation with Israeli Ambassador Alexander Ben Zvi, in which he said that Russia was not pleased with the strike on Damascus International Airport. The airstrike is believed to have been triggered by Iran using the airport in order to smuggle weapons to its proxies in the region, including Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah.

  • Russia and Iran (Persia) are allies in the end-time war against Israel (Ezekiel 38-39)

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the end of “the era of the unipolar world” in a combative speech that lambasted Western countries at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities – only interests. They have declared those interests sacred. Now it’s one-way traffic, which makes the world unstable,” Putin told the audience. “They live in the past on their own under their own delusions … They think that … they have won and then everything else is a colony, a back yard. And the people living there are second-class citizens,” he said.

  • The much-hyped speech was delayed by more than 90 minutes because of a “massive” cyberattack. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Ukrainian IT Army, a hacker collective, named the St. Petersburg Forum as a target earlier this week on its Telegram channel.

Cracks are widening across Europe over how to handle the Russia-Ukraine endgame, according to new data released Wednesday, as a growing number of Europeans are coming out against the continuation of a hard-line anti-Russia stance that’s defined Western policy since the start of the war nearly four months ago. Former NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Europe has hit a “fork in the road” with respect to the war in Ukraine. He acknowledged that rifts have emerged as the fighting drags on, casualties mount, and food and fuel prices skyrocket around the world. Other former NATO officials warned some European leaders — presumably those in Italy and Hungary, the most vocal proponents of an immediate cease-fire — against pushing Ukraine “into a bad peace” and offering any concessions to the aggressor, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

More than 900 kids have been killed or injured since Russia began its war against Ukraine in March, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said on Telegram Saturday. Some 323 children were killed and 583 injured, with most casualties occurring in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions. The prosecutor general’s office cautioned that those numbers aren’t final and are likely lower than the actual figure, as death and injury counts where there is active fighting cannot be taken. 

Russia used long-range missiles to destroy a depot in the western city of Lviv that held ammunition for NATO-supplied weapons. Ukrainian and Western officials said the Donbas region will be a deciding factor in the war and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said they need more weapons to keep Russia from taking it. President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. will send $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine in the single largest weapons package since the war began.

  • NATO members are meeting Wednesday and Thursday to discuss bids by Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland to join the group. 

The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and Romania arrived in Kyiv last Thursday in a show of collective European support for the Ukrainian people, marking the highest profile visit to Ukraine’s capital since Russia invaded its neighbor. The French president’s office said that President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Premier Mario Draghi, representing the three largest economies in Europe, traveled to Kyiv together on a special overnight train provided by the Ukrainian authorities

Bureaucratic red tape is significantly slowing the ability of the United States to get weapons to Ukraine, despite the urgent need. Politico reported Tuesday that defense industry executives, lobbyists, and technology experts at the Pentagon are frustrated that the system set up to acquire weapons, and ship them to the war-torn country, is taking too long, creating a “huge lag time” between the time the money is approved and when the gear arrives. “Industry can move very quickly when given a clear signal,” Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning, a former secretary of the Army, told Politico. “It’s usually the government that’s the slow side of the partnership.”

Two U.S. military veteran are missing in Ukraine and feared captured by Russians, their families say. Alexander J. Drueke and Andy Tai Huynh, both of Alabama, went missing near Kharkiv, according to loved ones. Neither has been heard from since June 8.

Taiwan has spent more than seven decades under the threat of an invasion: China sees the island as a breakaway part of its territory. In the months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Taiwanese citizens have come to view a Chinese incursion as a more serious possibility than ever.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Older Black adults are three times more likely to die of air pollution than older white adults, according to a new study. The findings are part of a data analysis released this month by Industrial Economics, a consulting group commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund. Researchers analyzed Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. census data, health and mortality statistics of Medicare recipients, as well as findings from peer-reviewed studies on older adults’ exposure to air pollutants, to determine who is most at risk and by how much. They found rates among people of color disproportionate to their share of the U.S. elder population, 65 and older because they tend to live nearer to industrial pollution.

A private company that uses satellites to spot sources of methane emissions around the globe said Wednesday that it detected one of the largest artificial releases of the potent greenhouse gas ever seen, coming from a coal mine in Russia earlier this year.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Firefighters are working to contain and extinguish a large wildfire that has burned thousands of acres of a state forest in New Jersey. The Mullica River Fire broke out Sunday afternoon in Wharton State Forest in Washington Township. The fire exploded in size in one day, according to officials. As of Sunday night the fire had consumed 2,100 acres, but by Monday afternoon that grew to 7,200 acres and is only 45% contained. Several roads have been closed while firefighting efforts continue.

As of 6/17, 30,449 wildfires have burned 2,990,255 acres in the U.S. This is significantly higher than the average over the last ten years at this same time of 23,535 fires and 1,168,762 acres. Six wildland fires remain burning in Arizona, having already consumed 65,777 acres while four wildfires in New México have charred 672,417 acres. The two largest fires in New Mexico history were both accidently started by the Forest Service.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

In the middle of a prolonged, water shortage-inducing megadrought in the U.S. West, one area, Yellowstone, was overwhelmed by drenching rainfall and rapid snowmelt that – instead of replenishing the ground over a matter of weeks or months – created a torrent of flash flooding that ripped out roads and bridges and caused severe damage to one of the country’s most cherished national parks. In the meantime, drought conditions persisted in the Southwest, where water is desperately needed to replenish the country’s largest reservoirs, and provide relief to regions tormented by record-setting wildfires.

A sprawling heat dome has wandered around the West this summer sending temperatures skyrocketing. A heat dome occurs when the atmosphere traps hot air like a lid or cap. This heat dome is the result of a strong change in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the preceding winter, according to the National Ocean Service. The warm air coming from the west part of the Pacific Ocean gets trapped in the jet stream as it approaches land. When that hot air arrives over land, the atmosphere traps it. Winds can move the heat dome around, so it is also referred to as a heat wave.

  • The heat dome has slowly moved eastward. More than 25 million people in over a dozen states are under heat alerts Saturday. From the northern Plains to the Southeast, temperatures will be in the upper 90s, with heat index levels well into the triple digits. The heat wave comes on the heels of another record-breaking heat wave over the last week, which impacted many of the same regions about to be affected by the second wave. From Lincoln, Nebraska, to Fargo, North Dakota, temperatures reached triple digits over the weekend. The Northern Plains were 20 to 25 degrees above normal. The “heat dome is expected to push eastward Monday. Temperatures will be in the 90s from the Great Lakes south to the Gulf Coast early in the week
  • More than 320,000 customers were without power in at least a dozen states from Wisconsin through Georgia early Saturday. Temperatures near or above 100 degrees across much of Kansas, particularly in the western part of the state, resulted in extreme stress levels for livestock, and thousands of cattle died.

Central Chile’s Peñuelas Lake has nearly vanished after a winter of below-average snowfall and 13 years of ongoing drought. It’s the main water supply for cities and towns in the area.

At least 18 are dead in northeastern India and Bangladesh after the monsoon brought heavy rain and flooding to the region earlier this week. Nine people were killed due to flooding and another nine from lightning strikes. Millions of homes are underwater. Some parts of the region saw rainfall totals in excess of 2 feet last week. “The volume of rainfall has been unprecedented,” Sanjay O’Neil, an official at the meteorological station in Gauhati, the capital of India’s Assam state.

A sprawling 3,400-year-old city emerged in Iraq after a reservoir’s water level swiftly dropped due to extreme drought. The archaeological site, Kemune, is believed to be the Bronze Age city Zakhiku, a major hub of the Mittani Empire that reigned from 1550 to 1350 BC.

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