Archive for August, 2022

Signs of the Times Update: August 29, 2022

August 29, 2022

 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

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 federal appeals court on Friday blocked President Biden’s Health and Human Services mandate that would have forced religious doctors and hospitals to perform transgender procedures — including on children. In a unanimous ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel said the lower court was right to issue a permanent injunction that protects a healthcare network of nearly 20,000 religious doctors and medical providers from performing abortions and transgender care.

A state mandate for insurance plans in California, including those sold to churches, that cover elective abortion has been canceled by a federal judge. The court said that such a mandate is unconstitutional, in a case brought by Foothill Church of Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch. Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers handled the case for the churches, and spokesman Jeremiah Galus explained, “The government can’t force a church or any other religious employer to violate their faith and conscience by participating in funding abortion.”

A Washington D.C. judge ruled Thursday that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser is unlawful, siding with a police union that challenged the rules as unfair and damaging to recruitment. Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross said Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, lacked statutory authority to impose the requirement. “It is undisputed that the mayor has a strong interest in combating the spread of COVID-19,” the order reads. “However, our system does not permit the mayor to act unlawfully even in the pursuit of desirable ends.”

During the August primary vote in Florida, 13 school boards flipped to conservative majorities. If there was one good thing about the pandemic, it really woke up parents and gave them insight into what was going on inside the classroom. Social media companies have locked out groups like Moms for Liberty because they have been successful in rallying parents. School board flips have been successful in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas.

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 where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

The Satanic Temple is hosting an event at a Pennsylvania high school next month after the local school board said Friday it had to approve the group’s request. The Northern York County School District said that it approved an application for “the Satanic Temple to use our facility as we were required to do so by Board policy No. 707.” In its statement, the school district said it doesn’t endorse the activities of any outside organizations that rent its facilities. This approval follows the school board initially voting down the Satanic Temple’s April request to host “After School Satan Club.” The Temple threatened a civil lawsuit against the board for its decision. “There is a lot of evil already in this world, so to allow it to come into our school and our community is not OK,” parent Laura Vangeli said.

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)

President Biden said it would be weeks before an application form is available for the announced student loan forgiveness, and it is not clear exactly how the process would work. There would have to be an income check since it is limited to people who earned less than $125,000 last year. Some loan servicing agencies say they are not prepared for the expect deluge of inquiries. The Education Department’s financial aid website crashed the same day. Other loan servicers’ websites crashed too. “I cannot emphasize enough how little information any of us have,” said Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance. “We don’t have any information other than what’s already been made public.”

  • We have another federal boondoggle in the making.

Congress approved nearly $400 million to retrain unemployed veterans during the pandemic. Fewer than 400 have landed jobs. The program — part of an unprecedented wave of economic relief since 2020 — fell victim to a host of familiar problems: hasty design and poor timing, inadequate promotion by an overwhelmed Department of Veterans Affairs and the usage of for-profit career-training schools with a history of misusing VA funds. The rush and carelessness in crafting the relief program created a wellspring for fraud and waste — a mess that hundreds of federal investigators are still trying to clean up.

The IRS official chosen to lead the new “centralized office” featuring the nearly 87,000 new employees funded in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act was involved in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups that opposed Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012. Nikole Flax served as the chief of staff for then acting IRS Commissioner Stephen Miller, who was fired amid a cover-up of the scandal. When Republican lawmakers sought communications related to the scandal in an investigation, Flax’s emails were among those the agency claimed were lost in a computer hard-drive crash. The IRS, the lawmakers charged, was attempting to “cover up the fact that it conveniently lost key documents in the investigation.”

A report in the Washington Times charges that FBI whistleblowers now have accused managers in multiple field offices of corruption, cover-ups and retaliation. “Current and former FBI leaders at the bureau’s offices in Miami, Salt Lake City, Buffalo, New York, and Newark, New Jersey, are facing whistleblower complaints,” the report said. Claims are that the supervisors coerced agents to sign false documents, fabricated terrorism claims to pump up their own performance stats, sexually harassed a female agent, engaged in sex with a subordinate in a government vehicle, and crashed the vehicle, and more. One female agent who charged that FBI Director Christopher Wray and others ignored her claims of sexual harassment, said the bureau actually works under a “mob-like mentality.”

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)

A New York Times report about the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid said it was instituted because of prior discoveries of 300 classified documents that the government had retrieved in total from former President Trump after he left office. The first was a batch of 150 recovered by the National Archives from Trump’s Florida estate early in the year, followed by a second set of 150 turned over by Trump aides in June. The number of sensitive documents in play after these first two retrievals “ignited intense concern at the Justice Department” and prompted the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago this month, during which another 11 boxes of classified material was retrieved.

  • Former President Donald Trump’s legal team reacted for the first time to the heavily redacted FBI affidavit released Friday, saying what was not redacted raises “more questions than answers.” The FBI justified its unprecedented raid of former President Donald Trump’s home based on agents’ previous recovery of 184 classified documents Mr. Trump had removed from the White House, according to the affidavit for the search. What’s not clear in the affidavit is what led the FBI to believe there were additional classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, notes CNN. At some point the DOJ began to suspect the Trump team was not being truthful and it appears that a witness came forward.
  • U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump in 2020, Saturday signaled she has a “preliminary intent” to agree to his request to appoint a special master to oversee the FBI’s review of evidence and materials seized on Aug. 8 at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.  However, The Justice Department announced in a court filing Monday that they already reviewed documents seized from former President Trump so there is no need for a special master to oversee the review.
  • Criminal statutes cited by the Justice Department in the search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate for mishandled documents are rarely prosecuted, but legal experts say investigators may still be building a criminal case rather than simply retrieving classified records. The Justice Department has identified “a limited set of materials” from its search of documents taken from Mar-a-Lago that potentially contain material covered by attorney-client privilege.

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

Twitter and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, pledged to target “misleading narratives” by suppressing election content they deem to be false, misleading, or dangerous. Censorship methods mentioned in the policies involved decreasing the reach of offending posts, the continued use of third-party fact-checkers, and updated content recommendation algorithms.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted Thursday that his Meta platforms suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the final weeks before the 2020 presidential election after a visit from the FBI, retroactively saying now “it sucks” the story wound up being verifiable. Zuckerberg noted Twitter fully blocked the Hunter Biden laptop story, while Facebook merely suppressed it from being spread widely. Outrage followed, with many Republicans charging the FBI with election interference.

  • The FBI responded that, “we routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.”

Twitter locked the popular “Libs of TikTok” account late Saturday, blocking its owner from sending tweets or even signing in, according to a report. Libs of TikTok has gained a massive following on Twitter for posts that often ridicule left-wing stances on transgenderism, education and other topics.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

The U.S. Coast Guard just booted several “unvaccinated” cadets out of their officer training academy despite several federal injunctions preventing the Department of Defense from carrying out President Biden’s unlawful vaccine orders, reports Liberty Counsel. These cadets were given just 24 hours to get off base and get out of the military, even though the Coast Guard is suffering from nearly unprecedented recruitment shortfalls.

Grace Christian School “fielded hundreds, probably thousands of phone calls last week, with some outrageous despicable comments: “People threatening to burn my house down, threatening to kill my family,” said Barry McKeen, school administrator and pastor of Grace Community Church of Valrico, Florida, which runs the school. The threats came in reaction to an article by NBC News, which published several paragraphs of a June 6 email in which McKeen reiterated to school parents the school’s commitment to biblical sexuality. “We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity,” read the email. “Therefore, one’s biological sex must be affirmed, and no attempts should be made to physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s biological gender — including, but not limited to, elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary gender fluid acts of conduct (Genesis 1:26-28).

Across Afghanistan, women have seen their lives altered in unthinkable ways in the year since the Taliban returned to rule the country following two decades of war. A report last month by the human rights group Amnesty International catalogued the hardships inflicted upon women and girls under the Islamic militant regime. “In less than a year, the Taliban have decimated the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan,” the report concluded. “They have violated women’s and girls’ rights to education, work and free movement; demolished the system of support for women and girls fleeing domestic violence; arbitrarily detained women and girls for infractions of the Taliban’s discriminatory rules; and contributed to a surge in the rates of child, early and forced marriage.”

Uganda, located in East Africa, is a largely Christian nation, reflecting the faith of more than 80% of its population. But reports of anti-Christian violence there are increasing exponentially. Unlike the horrific massacres in Nigerian villages and churches or the mass beheadings in Mozambique, Ugandan attacks tend to target individual converts from Islam to Christianity. They are carried out by radical Islamists, encouraged by local Muslim clerics or terror groups like al-Shabab and ISIS-affiliates.

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

A hand count of votes failed to alter the outcome of the Kansas pro-abortion vote, according to results reported Sunday. Nine Kansas counties recounted votes last week from a referendum about amending the state constitution to note it does not include a right to abortion. In an unexpected outcome, the initial referendum favored the current abortion law by a margin of about 165,000 votes or 18 percentage points. The recounts altered the outcome by fewer than 100 votes.

After a week of investigative phone calls, Operation Rescue has determined that 62 abortion clinics have recently stopped performing abortions. Among those 62 clinics no longer killing babies, 18 closed altogether. North Dakota’s abortion ban is currently blocked, and abortion is legal. However, the last remaining abortion clinic closed, making it abortion free.

Texas Judge James Wesley Hendrix ruled doctors are not required to perform an abortion as part of emergency care. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) mandates that hospitals in the Medicare program provide emergency services even if individuals cannot pay. In July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services interpreted that law to include abortion—meaning a doctor could not be prosecuted for performing an abortion if the mother’s health was at risk. Hendrix ruled that since the law did not mention abortion, it could not override Texas laws or the doctor’s duty to the child.

A In victory for White House, judge says Idaho doctors can’t be punished for abortions if pregnant patient’s health is at risk. The Justice Department lawsuit was the federal government’s first legal challenge of a restrictive abortion ban since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. The suit alleged that Idaho’s ban violates a federal requirement that hospitals receiving Medicare funding provide necessary medical care when a person’s health or life is at stake.

Even prior to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, chemical abortions had come to account for over half of abortions in the United States. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a piece highlighting the schemes of the online chemical abortion black market. For example, Plan C encourages women to travel to Mexico or the southern border to obtain pills. It also links to “online pharmacy” websites that feature off-brand abortion drugs for sale that have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. One site, abortionrx.com, claims that chemical abortion can be safely used up to 13 weeks into pregnancy. The FDA, on the other hand, has only approved the drugs through 10 weeks.

  • Another website that the WSJ cites is Medside24.com – a chemical abortion dealer based in Kazakhstan. The front page of the dealer’s website claims that abortion drugs are “painless” and “not accompanied by complications.” Further digging, however, reveals their disclaimers about the pain and complications that chemical abortion does, in fact, cause.

Tennessee, Texas, and Idaho enacted trigger laws set to go into place 30 days after the Supreme Court issued a judgment in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade. The laws will protect babies in every case except to save the life of the mother. They also make it a felony to perform an abortion but do not penalize the mother. In Idaho, a judge ruled that hospitals participating in Medicare will still have to provide abortions if the mother’s life or health is at risk in accordance with guidance from Congress.

North Dakota’s law was supposed to go into effect right after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, but it has been held up by injunctions as the state’s lone abortion facility fights back. The state used to protect babies after 22 weeks, but the new law would protect babies in every case except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. The exceptions would have to be proved in court to prevent a doctor who performed an abortion from being charged with a felony.

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)

Covid-19

New daily cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. are down 14% over the past two weeks, while hospitalizations are down 10% and deaths down 2%. It is still unknown how many cases went unreported due to home testing, but hospitalizations and deaths would include those home-testers who went to the hospital. Cases are falling in all but a few states. And some states, primarily in the West, have seen cases decline by 30 percent or more in the past two weeks. Tennessee is up 70% over the past two weeks, while Rhode Island is up 58%, Michigan up 20%, Alabama up 17%, Maine up 16%, South Dakota up 16%, and Louisiana up 8%.

  • The government will end its program of free COVID-19 at-home tests Friday because of insufficient congressional funding, a senior Biden administration official said Sunday. Both the White House and the website where people can get their tests blamed Congress for failing to provide additional funding for the program, which offered up to 16 free tests per household since the beginning of the year.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a televised interview Tuesday that the agency is “resetting” after admitting it made “dramatic” mistakes in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, the agency deployed a “faulty” COVID-19 test to the nation that may have set back efforts to prevent the rapid spread of the disease that the agency reported has killed more than 1 million people in the United States. Walensky also said that the agency released data too late for the federal government to make decisions on how best to battle the pandemic. She hopes changes will speed up the release of data, and for it to deliver “clear, concise messages about public health threats, in plain language that can be grasped without sifting through voluminous pages on a website,” the report said.

  • The NY Times reported that Walensky also wants to reform the CDC’s internal promotion system to focus on contributions to public health, rather than just rewarding employees based on academic achievements and published papers.

On August 11, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its COVID-19 guidelines, thereby vindicating every “misinformation spreader” out there, notes the Epoch Times The CDC is now advocating for taking personal responsibility and for everyone to decide for themselves “which prevention behaviors to use and when (at all times or at specific times), based on their own risk for severe illness and that of members of their household, their risk tolerance, and setting-specific factors.” The CDC is also giving up on discrimination based on COVID vaccination status, stating, its “COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur.” They also admit natural immunity exists and works. Testing is now reserved for those who “are symptomatic, or have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19,” isolation is only for those who are symptomatic and have tested positive, and contact tracing is now restricted to health care settings and select “high-risk congregate settings,”

According to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2022, among the top 18 symptoms of long COVID, 9 of them are neuropsychiatric ones, including memory problems, sleep problems, brain fog, anxiety, depression, smell or taste disorders, dizziness, and headaches. An article in the journal Science suggests that vaccination may also cause rare symptoms similar to those of long COVID. The SARS-CoV-2 virus can cross the ‘Blood-brain Barrier’ and attack the brain, according to an article published in The Lancet Neurology. Ongoing research suggests that terpenoids found in many trees and plants such as citrus peel and peppermint essential oils can help the brain’s autophagic response, and meditation has also shown promise in helping the brain to heal itself.

Monkeypox

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and reported by NBC News, 95 percent of monkeypox cases have so far occurred in the “gay community,” and evidence strongly suggests that behaviors distinctive to that community are primarily responsible for spreading the virus. The public health response to monkeypox, which many are now describing as a complete disaster, has been largely shaped by officials who are unwilling to offend gay rights activists. Despite more than 6,000 cases reported nationwide, major cities like New York and San Francisco have hesitated to make clear exactly how the disease spreads, or to urge those primarily at risk to stop spreading it, notes Breakpoint.

The U.S. leads the world in monkeypox cases. A total of over 15,400 cases of monkeypox have been verified in the United States as of this week, making the country responsible for roughly 36% of all cases globally. Spain ranks second in monkeypox infections. They have less than half of U.S. infections, over 6,100. The number of cases has risen to nearly 42,900 worldwide, and 12 fatalities have been documented. As of 8/24, there have been no confirmed fatalities in the United States.

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 plans to authorize boosters that target the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus strains this fall without complete data on how the shots performed in humans, saying it has enough alternate data to ensure safety. FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said the process is similar to the one that regulators use each year for the flu, in which shots must be modified to match circulating strains. He said regulators will rely on real-world evidence from existing COVID-19 shots delivered to millions of people, clinical trial data on shots that targeted different omicron subvariants and non-clinical data from the lab on the BA.4/5 shots that will be rolled out by September or October.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that unvaccinated students were banned from attending school in person this fall. The mayor added that students aged 12 and above are mandated to show proof of Covid vaccination within the first 20 days of the new school session. At a press conference, Bowser announced that the unvaccinated students would also not be allowed to learn virtually. According to the mayor, students who fail to comply with this mandate would be left without education as no alternatives would be provided for them. According to the Washington, D.C. database, over 40% of the black kids in this bracket are unvaccinated.

Vaccinated people are more likely than the unvaccinated in recent months to be a COVID-19 case, hospitalization, or death in 25 states, according to an Epoch Times investigation. In Kentucky in June, for example, 67 percent of the deaths were among the vaccinated, according to data obtained by The Epoch Times. That same month, the vaccinated made up 65 percent of COVID-19 cases, 64 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 66 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Wisconsin. The numbers are a drastic change from 2021.

  • Given that around 68% of the U.S. is vaccinated according to the latest data, what this really says is that vaccinated people are just as likely to be hospitalized and die as unvaccinated people – thus vaccination is  affording no benefit while increasing the risks of dying from something other than Covid like blood clots.

The biggest names in COVID vaccines are now embroiled in a legal fight. Moderna sued Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Friday, alleging patent infringement over the technology used to make the COVID shots, reports the Verge. Moderna accused its rivals of essentially stealing the mRNA technology it developed before the pandemic came into play, citing patents it filed between 2010 and 2016.

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)

At least four people were killed and two people were injured early Sunday morning after a man dressed in all black set fire to a building and then shot at people fleeing from the fire. Among the four killed was the suspect, Finner said. The victims, all men, range in age from 40-60. The incident occurred at a multiroom rental facility near 8020 Dunlap St., Finner said. The fire department arrived at the scene first to fight the fire, but had to retreat from the gunman upon arrival. After the police arrived, an officer, a 7-year veteran, engaged in gunfire with the suspect and killed him.

A man armed with a semiautomatic rifle and wearing tactical gear shot and killed two people and injured five, including two officers, Sunday night near Deer Valley Road and 27th Avenue in north Phoenix. Police received a call about shots being fired near businesses around 8:30 p.m., according to a Phoenix police news release. When officers arrived in the area, the armed man opened fire on several marked patrol vehicles. Four cars were “riddled with bullets.” Police evacuated nearby businesses and took people to a safe place. Surveillance video shows the man walking through a parking lot and falling to the ground; it appears he took his own life, police said. The gunman had a rifle, several rifle magazines, incendiary devices, gas mask and helmet nearby.

At least two people were killed after a gunman opened fire in a Safeway grocery store in Bend, Oregon, Sunday night. The shooter entered the parking lot of the Forum Shopping Center from a residential area behind the stores. The suspect opened fire in the parking lot with an AR-15 style rifle. Police said no one was injured in the parking lot. The gunman then walked into the store and shot and killed a person in the front of the store. The shooter continued walking through the store and shot and killed a second person. The suspect was still shooting when responding officers arrived at the scene. Police then found the suspect dead. Officers did not fire any shots.

 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)

A federal judge has ruled that a Texas law that bans people ages 18 to 20 from carrying handguns in public is unconstitutional, saying the restriction is inconsistent with the Second Amendment and U.S. history. The decision follows a transformational Supreme Court ruling in June which significantly expanded gun owners’ rights to carry firearms outside the home and raised the threshold that authorities must meet when defending gun restrictions. District Court Judge Mark Pittman stated that the Texas restriction on “law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds” is inconsistent with the Constitution because the Second Amendment itself does not state an age restriction, and minors were part of state militias that existed in the formative years of American history.

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)

Two men accused of plotting to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with a bomb were found guilty last Tuesday by a jury which convicted Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. of conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer. Both were also found guilty of attempting to procure a weapon of mass destruction. A jury in April failed to reach a unanimous verdict on Fox and Croft. Defense lawyers portrayed Fox and Croft as “big talkers,” a bumbling, foul-mouthed, marijuana-smoking pair exercising free speech and incapable of leading anything as extraordinary as an abduction of a public official. They claimed FBI agents and informants fed their outrage and pulled them into their web.

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

A California district attorney has found that more than 70% of criminal suspects released on $0 bail between 2020 and 2021 in his county committed new crimes. The California Judicial Council in April 2020 implemented the statewide Emergency Bail Schedule, or $0 bail, which supporters say makes the criminal justice system more fair for those who cannot afford to get released. “When over 70% of the people released under mandated $0 bail policies go on to commit additional crime(s), including violent offenses such as robbery and murder, there is simply no rational public safety-related basis to continue such a practice post-pandemic, especially in light of the increasing violent crime rates across California,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was sound asleep in her Floyd County home when the doorbell and knocks on her front door woke her up. There were flashlights and people outside her bedroom window. Quickly, she jumped out of bed, got dressed, and walked to the front door. By instinct, she reached for her gun, although something told her to put it down. The decision to not take her gun may have saved her life. At her front porch were five police officers with their guns ready. They told the confused congresswoman that they were responding to a report of a fatal shooting at her house—a man shot five times in a bathtub, with a woman and children still in the residence—indicating violence could escalate. “I think you got swatted,” the police told Greene after they realized what was happening. Swatting, the act of using prank calls to send tactical police to the victim’s home, is a federal crime and has previously led to serious consequences.

  • The incident, which occurred in the early hours of Aug. 24, would mark the first of two successive swatting attempts in 26 hours targeting Greene, who is a far-right polarizing figure on the national scene. “They wanted to send the police to my house, into a situation where they thought there was murder happening, in hopes the police would kill me or someone else in my home,” Greene said. She has become a target of liberal progressives for her far-right conservative views.

Human Trafficking: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)

Hundreds of people from Taiwan have been trafficked to Cambodia, Taiwan’s Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng said last Thursday. A few of them were trafficked for sex, he added. But looking at travel records, Taiwan’s police think thousands could’ve been victims. And not only Taiwanese. Foreign nationals from across Asia numbering thousands have been trafficked into Cambodia, Al Jazeera reported earlier this month. Online scam gangs lure job seekers with fake ads that promise well-paid overseas employment with good benefits. Dozens of Hong Kongers have also fallen victim, with some abducted from Thailand and taken to Myanmar in recent months.

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)

After years of seemingly unending growth, the tech sector and its massive valuations have finally come back down to earth, experts told USA TODAY last week. Even the biggest gainers like Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Netflix and Google have experienced painful quarters of retrenchments and share price drops, as the entire market has readjusted to a “new normal” post-pandemic. A spate of layoffs and disappointing second- and third-quarter results have caused investors to wonder if the tech bubble has burst for good.

Twitter has major security problems that pose a threat to its own users’ personal information, to company shareholders, to national security, and to democracy, according to an explosive whistleblower disclosure obtained exclusively by CNN and The Washington Post. The disclosure, sent last month to Congress and federal agencies, paints a picture of a chaotic and reckless environment at a mismanaged company that allows too many of its staff access to the platform’s central controls and most sensitive information without adequate oversight. It also alleges that some of the company’s senior-most executives have been trying to cover up Twitter’s serious vulnerabilities, and that one or more current employees may be working for a foreign intelligence service.

  • The whistleblower, who has agreed to be publicly identified, is Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who was previously the company’s head of security, reporting directly to the CEO. Zatko further alleges that Twitter’s leadership has misled its own board and government regulators about its security vulnerabilities, including some that could allegedly open the door to foreign spying or manipulation, hacking and disinformation campaigns. The whistleblower also alleges Twitter does not reliably delete users’ data after they cancel their accounts, in some cases because the company has lost track of the information, and that it has misled regulators about whether it deletes the data as it is required to do.

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)

Building on the record number of Americans who signed up for Obamacare health insurance this year, the Biden administration said Friday it will spend nearly $99 million to bolster outreach to consumers seeking coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services will spread the money among 59 “navigator” groups, which help consumers find coverage through state and federal health exchanges, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. More than 14.5 million Americans signed up for health insurance through state or federal exchanges during the most recent enrollment period that ended Jan. 15. The previous record of nearly 12.7 million came in 2016, the final year of President Barack Obama’s administration. Signups dipped below 12 million from 2018 through 2020 during the Trump administration.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

The U.S. is experiencing an alarming increase in vehicle deaths. Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, recently called it “a national crisis of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways.” And the toll is falling most heavily on lower-income Americans and Black Americans. More than 115 Americans have been dying on the roads on average every day this year. Not so long ago, the trend in car crashes was a good-news story. The death rate began to fall in the early 1970s. But the situation changed around 2015, with the death rate mostly rising over the next several years. As alarming as these trends were, the biggest increases have taken place more recently — since the pandemic. In the spring of 2020, as Covid was transforming daily life, vehicle crashes surged. By the start of this year, the death rate had jumped about 20 percent from prepandemic levels. The primary reason, experts say, is distracted driving.

  • Distracted driving is bad for you

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)

Research from Education Next, a nonpartisan research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows that nearly 2 million students have left public schools since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, which led to mandated school closures and an influx of online education. Between 2020 and 2022, public school enrollments declined from 81% to 76.5%, while charter school enrollment increased from 5% to 7.2% and private school enrollment increased from 8% to 9.7%. Homeschooling saw an uptick from 6 to 6.6%.

Legislation that would restrict gender identity and race discussions in public schools and colleges is facing headwinds as they multiply among the states. The free speech advocacy group PEN America reports that 36 states have introduced 137 “divisive concepts” bills this year — a 250% increase over the 54 bills lawmakers filed in 22 states last year. But only seven of the bills have become law: Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and two in Florida. That’s down from 12 last year. “The lowest of the low-hanging fruit was plucked last year in the states where the bills had the most support and faced the fewest procedural hurdles,” said Jeremy C. Young, PEN America’s director of free expression.

A Missouri school district has gained national attention and prompted protests among its high school students after announcing it was bringing back “corporal punishment,” including spanking and paddling. The move to expand paddling in a U.S. school district is unusual, but data shows the practice is still legal in over a dozen states. The latest federal data suggests tens-of-thousands of students were subjected to the physical punishment in public schools as recently as 2018.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Several thousand people marched through the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and other cities, on Monday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and action to better their lives for the better, as they deal with poverty, inflation and widespread violence.

Marriage/Family:  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

According to the Office for National Statistics, in England and Wales in 2021, more than half of all births (51.3%) were outside marriage or a civil partnership, for the first time in recorded history. In 2001, it was 40%. The Ruth Institute interviewed Douglas Kasten, a detective specializing in crimes against children. His ten-year experience confirms the science: children living with their married biological parents are safer from sexual and physical abuse than children in any other family structure. In addition, the fertility rate in the United Kingdom in 2021 was 1.61 children per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1.

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.

After Libs of TikTok exposed the Boston Children’s Hospital for performing gender transition surgeries on minors, the hospital rushed to contain the fallout, revising its website to remove the evidence. But Boston was just the tip of iceberg. According to research compiled by The Washington Stand, at least 13 hospitals – mostly children’s hospitals – in the United States perform gender transition surgeries on minors. Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., undertakes so-called gender-affirming genital surgery on girls under 16 years old, also according to Libs of TikTok.

Teacher Nick Cosme in Naperville, Illinois paints his nails like a woman does, so he now is “teaching 8-year-old boys in his Elmwood School how to do the same.” The report explained the publication’s sources documented how the 25-year-old Cosme suggested boys might want to be known as “she,” and he read his class a book about a boy who likes “fairies” and other things “not for boys. “The book, “My Shadow Is Pink,” is written to describe how a boy who likes to wear dresses inspires is father to wear a dress too. Parents had raised concerns with the Naperville 203 district, and officials said they reviewed the situation and applauded the lessons.

  • Teachers should stick to academics and not impose their own lifestyle choices on suggestable little children.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Lackluster funding, infinite work hours, staff shortages, limited resources, abusive phone calls and more: These problems are nothing new for America’s election officials. Despite it all, they have remained steadfast in the conviction that their job is what maintains American democracy. Failure is not an option. Now, however, their patience is being pushed to its limits by new hostility and threats – it’s pushing officials away and it doesn’t bode well for future elections. I dread 2024, I don’t know how people are gonna be in 2024,” said Tonya Wichman, director of Ohio’s Defiance County Board of Elections. “You can only take so many phone calls that tell you how bad you are at your job.” 

Four progressive North Carolina judges are seeking to void two state constitutional amendments about election reform passed by the electorate. The state’s voters in 2018 approved four of six proposed amendments that the Republican-led legislature placed on the November ballot. Each proposal had been approved by the required three-fifths majorities in the state House and Senate. The two amendments the judges wish to overturn were a measure mandating photo identification for voters, and another lowering North Carolina’s cap on income-tax rates. A total of 55% of the voters approved the photo ID amendment, and 57% approved the cap on income-tax rates. On Aug. 19, the four Democrats on the North Carolina Supreme Court outvoted their three GOP colleagues in a case that could end up nullifying millions of votes. Looks like the U.S. Supreme Court will have to settle this.

A tray containing mail-in ballots for the 2020 general election that were never delivered was discovered in early August — of 2022 — at a Baltimore postal facility. First, the good news: These were outgoing blank ballots, directed to voters who had requested them, rather than completed ballots/votes that never made it to their destination and thus were not counted. Additionally, the tray contained only 26 ballots. Nevertheless, the discovery highlights some of the pitfalls of mail-in voting. 

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

Roughly 150,000 Ukrainians have entered the U.S. since March, and many new arrivals are relying on their new communities to survive as they struggle to overcome the trauma of war. “Like all refugees, they’re starting from scratch,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service, based in Baltimore. “They’ve lost their homes, left loved ones behind, seen the images of civilians executed. All of that takes a tremendous mental toll.” President Biden vowed in late March that the U.S. would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, in addition to pledging $1 billion in humanitarian aid to those affected by the war. While that goal has now been surpassed, the number is still but a fraction of the estimated 6.3 million Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion.

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)

Another bus carrying approximately 50 illegal migrants arrived in New York City Saturday from Texas, with another bus expected later that morning. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent more than 1,500 migrants to the Big Apple in a bid to draw attention to the ongoing immigration crisis on the southern border. New York officials said this week that the city is using 14 hotels to provide housing to the new arrivals. “Texas is filling the gaps left in Biden’s absence at our border,” Abbott wrote on social media after the Saturday buses arrived. “We’ve made over 19,000 arrests, seized over 335.5M lethal fentanyl doses, & sent over 7,400 migrants on buses to DC and over 1,500 to NYC. While Biden ignores the crisis, Texas steps up.”

The Pentagon denied Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s second request to activate the National Guard over her concerns about illegal immigrants who’ve been coming to the district. After her first request was denied earlier this month, she sent another letter on Aug. 11 asking for the deployment of 150 National Guard soldiers to “help prevent a prolonged humanitarian crisis in our nation’s capital resulting from the daily arrival of migrants.” But that request was shot down by Department of Defense executive secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly who wrote back, “The DCNG has no specific experience in or training for this kind of mission or unique skills for providing facility management, feeding, sanitation or ground support.”

The suspension of the Remain in Mexico program did not trigger a sudden easing of the path into the U.S. If anything, migrant advocates say, it’s sowed confusion and compounded the challenges, with a border backlog that continues to put people at risk. Immigrant advocates applauded recently when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the suspension of the Remain in Mexico policy. The announcement followed a federal court order that ended the legal wrangling over President Biden’s efforts to cease the policy. But many are waiting to see how the Biden administration relieves the bottleneck of migrants at ports of entry along the border.

The number of migrants arriving from somewhere other than Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador has grown dramatically. So far this fiscal year, which began in October, the US Border Patrol has encountered more than 700,000 migrants from other countries. The number of migrants arriving from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua has increased significantly since January 2021.

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)

Natural gas prices in Europe are now more than 10 times their average for this time of year — sparking the destabilization of economies and undermining the euro, Bloomberg reported last Friday. Much of it is due to Russia curbing its shipments in retaliation against sanctions imposed for its war on Ukraine. The European Union had been depending on natural gas shipments from the U.S. and Norway to make up for Russia’s curtailment, but lower flows from Norway are anticipated into September as a result of maintenance, and a natural gas plant in the U.S. is offline after being damaged by an explosion earlier this year, and is not expected to restart until October.

Diesel and heating oil supplies in the Northeast are more than 50% below the recent average, raising concerns that an extreme weather event could cause supply disruptions, federal officials said. Fuel supplies are lower than normal across the country for a variety of reasons, including the war in Ukraine. But it’s the worst in the Northeast. Diesel fuel and heating oil, which comprise the distillate category, are 63% below the five-year average in New England and 58% below the same average from Maryland to New York.

Taxes:  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on Aug. 24 that it will waive penalties levied against American taxpayers who failed to file their 2019 and 2020 returns in a timely manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency will also issue over $1.2 billion in refunds or credits to taxpayers who received the fees. According to the IRS, roughly 1.6 million taxpayers, including individuals and businesses, will automatically receive the billions in refunds or credits by the end of September. Spread across 1.6 million taxpayers evenly, that would amount to an average refund of $750 per taxpayer.

The federal government’s electric vehicle (EV) transition is in full swing, and Democrats hyped the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as an accelerant to that evolution. But the revised tax credits for purchasing an EV severely lower which vehicles qualify because of an “assembled in North America” requirement, and, in 2023, that includes the battery. Before the IRA went into effect, there were approximately 72 EVs eligible for a tax credit, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation industry trade group. Now, just 16 model year 2022 personal vehicles qualify for the federal tax credit, and only three 2023 models are eligible, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

  • Another example of the ‘devil is in the details’ or of the ‘law of unintended consequences.” Perhaps this new requirement meant well, but it undermine the legislation’s goal of reducing emissions through expanded EV sales

Work: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Amtrak wants to hire 4,000 workers to fill new roles across the board for positions in areas like project management, finance, technology, electrical, customer service and onboarding services. The company said last week that Amtrak will be hosting career fairs and hiring events across the country to talk more about these positions. Service jobs start at $21 per hour. Mechanical workers and electricians have a starting pay at $34.07 per hour, along with hiring bonuses and relocation packages for those hired on for critical positions. 

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

Honda has struck a deal with Korean battery giant LG Energy Solution to build a $4.4 billion US factory to supply its electric vehicles. The partners haven’t announced where in the United States they’ll build the factory. They said in a joint news release Monday that they plan to begin construction in early 2023 to prepare for mass production by the end of 2025. Honda has produced cars such as the Accord sedan and the midsize CR-V at its factory in Marysville, Ohio, since 1982. Honda and LG Energy Solution said they picked the US because local production and a “timely supply of batteries” would best position them to succeed in the growing North American electric vehicle market. Honda does not currently offer an electric vehicle in the US, but plans to launch an SUV, the Prologue, in 2024. Honda expects to launch 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2030.

Debt: The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7) Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. (Proverbs 22:26) If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. (Exodus 22:25)

  • Note: The saying “neither a borrower nor a lender be” is good advice, however it is not a Bible verse but rather a Shakespeare quote.

President Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for certain borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, while extending the pause on federal student loan payments through the end of the year. Pandemic-era payment freezes were set to end on Aug. 31, but Biden on Wednesday also extended the payment pause “one final time through Dec. 31, 2022.” The nation’s federal student debt now tops $1.6 trillion after ballooning for years. More than 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with almost a third owing less than $10,000 and more than half owing less than $20,000, according to the latest federal data.

  • According to a Penn Wharton Budget Model, a one-time maximum debt forgiveness of $10,000 for borrowers who make less than $125,000 will cost around $300-$500 billion for taxpayers. However, the Biden administration announced Friday that they estimate the total cost to be $24 billion per year, but that would be offset by the administration’s deficit reduction. Yeah, right. That’s just smoke and mirrors, folks.
  • Many hardworking, play-by-the-rules Americans have diligently paid off their student loans as a matter of personal responsibility and are not pleased that others are being bailed out at taxpayer expense. In essence, the forgiveness shifts personal debts to become more government debt.
  • Republicans complained about adding to the already burdensome national debt, and some Democrats agreed, but also accused Biden of sidestepping Congress and saying the President lacked the authority to grant loan forgiveness.

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)

Controlling inflation will cause ‘some pain’ for households and businesses and a softer job market, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Thursday. In a forceful speech at a Federal Reserve meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He stated that central bank officials know inflation is still too high, but the Fed would keep raising interest rates until the economy is under control. Three more rate hikes are expected this year.

U.S. rents hit a record high in July for the 17th month in a row, putting ever more pressure on renters. The national median rent hit a new record high of $1,879 a month in July, up 12.3% from a year ago, according to Realtor.com. July marked the sixth-straight month of moderating increases, retreating from a 17% year-over-year rent increase in January. Still, rents rose by double-digit percentages in all size categories in July compared to a year ago, with monthly rents for studios up 14.3% to $1,555; one-bedrooms, up 12.2% to $1,745; and two-bedrooms, up 11.7% to $2,103.

Mortgage rates jumped higher this week as investors tried to make sense of data that gave mixed signals about the health of the US economy. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.55% in the week ending August 25, up from 5.13% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. That is significantly higher than this time last year when it was 2.87%. After starting the year at 3.22%, mortgage rates rose sharply during the first half of the year, hitting a high of 5.81% in mid-June. But since then, concerns about the economy and the Federal Reserve’s mission to combat inflation have made them more volatile.

At least 20 million households — or about 1 in 6 American homes — are behind on their power bills as soaring electricity prices spark what is said to be the worst-ever crisis in late utility payments, according to Bloomberg, citing data from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association. Electricity prices had increased significantly since 2020 after a decade of stagnation. The steep rise has resulted in billions of dollars in overdue power bills.  Utility shutoffs are on the rise across the U.S. as some lower-income households are thousands of dollars behind on their power bills. 

U.S. new vehicle prices hit a record high in August on the back of strong demand despite rising interest rates, an industry report showed last Wednesday. Average transaction prices were a record $46,259, an 11.5% increase from a year earlier, according to the report from auto industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. However, an inventory shortage continues to shackle new vehicle sales. Retail sales of new vehicles are expected to reach 980,400 units in August, a 2.6% decrease from a year earlier, the consultants added.

U.S. natural gas prices are way up, which means it may cost more to heat a home this winter. The U.S. benchmark for natural gas, settled last Tuesday at $9.19 per million British thermal unit for September deliveries – more than double its settling price a year prior. There are two primary reasons causing natural gas prices to spike. The first is the energy crisis in Europe, which has raised concerns about supply shortages this winter due to Russian shutting down gas supplies. The second is lower natural gas storage levels in the U.S. The summer’s above-average temperatures kept air conditioners on and elevated electricity demand, leaving less natural gas in storage for the winter.  

The euro has reached its lowest value in 20 years. The last time it fell below the U.S. dollar was July 15, 2002. The barrier is largely psychological, but the crossing signifies the struggles of the European economy. High energy prices and fuel shortages have led to 8.9 percent inflation, driving up everything from grocery to housing prices.

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

Israel on Thursday indicted a senior leader of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad movement whose arrest led to a brief conflict in Gaza earlier this month and whose detention is likely to fuel tensions. Anticipating retaliation to Al-Saadi’s arrest on August 1, Israel launched what it called pre-emptive strikes against his group in the Gaza Strip, where it is based, leading to three days of Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rockets. More recently, Jihad spokesman, Dawood Shehab, said Israel was fabricating charges based on “misleading and unfounded accusations”. Shehab said the group would ask Egypt and the United Nations to intervene, and issued a veiled threat that it could respond with violence if Al-Saadi was not released.

Israel and Turkey announced on Wednesday that both countries will work to restore diplomatic ties with each other for the first time in over a decade. “The resumption of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel. We will continue to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said of the diplomatic decision.

A seven-year-old Israeli girl was shot in the stomach on Saturday morning while playing in the front yard of her home in Kochav Ya’akov, a Jewish town in Samaria some 10 minutes north of Jerusalem. The girl’s mother, Yael Solam, said the child is expected to make a full recovery. The IDF said the shot came from a nearby Palestinian Authority-controlled Arab town. Speaking to Israel National News, a security official said he believed that terrorists had intentionally shot at the Israeli town and that the perpetrators had successfully fled the scene and evaded capture.

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)

The Pentagon says U.S. military airstrikes in eastern Syria this week were a message to Iran and Tehran-backed militias who have targeted American troops this month and several other times over the past year, most recently with a failed drone attack on the U.S. base. Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. airstrikes overnight on facilities used by militias backed by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard demonstrated that “the United States will not hesitate to defend itself against Iranian and Iran-backed aggression when it occurs.”

Palestinian thugs who beat and torture critics of PA President Mahmoud Abba’s regime are trained by the British army at taxpayer’s expense, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) has revealed. According to the JC report, Britain has been training and supporting Abbas’s security services since 2011 at a cost of more than £65 million (appr. $7 million). Palestinian human rights activists say Whitehall has chosen to overlook the systematic use of torture and widespread human rights abuse in the PA-administered areas of Judea and Samaria.

Iran has dropped another key demand related to nuclear inspections as negotiations continue over reviving the Iran nuclear deal, a senior administration official told CNN last Tuesday. It’s a development that could make a breakthrough more likely after Tehran dropped another key request last week. Iran had previously demanded that as a condition of re-entering the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the International Atomic Energy Agency had to close its investigation of undeclared nuclear material found at Iranian sites in 2019. Iran also officially dropped its longtime demand that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps be removed from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

  • Iran might be more agreeable because it already has produced enough weapon-grade uranium to make nuclear bombs.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has reportedly been frustrated with an inability to get President Joe Biden on the phone to discuss Israel’s objections to the rumored Iran nuclear deal. However, Israel’s intelligence chief David Barnea is headed to Washington this week to discuss Biden’s designs on a new nuclear deal with Iran. Barnea, who is opposed to Iran becoming a nuclear power, will meet with the Senate and House intelligence committees, according to The Jerusalem Post.

  • “We have made it clear to everyone: if a deal is signed, it does not obligate Israel. We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a briefing to foreign correspondents Wednesday, as the finalizing of new nuclear agreement with Iran appears imminent.

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)

Russia/Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin wants to ratchet up Russia’s armed forces by 137,000 troops as his invasion of Ukraine passes the six-month mark and has bogged down according to U.S. military leaders. The decree doesn’t indicate how the Russian armed forces will beef up the ranks, whether through conscription, increasing the number of volunteer troops or a combination of both. Pentagon officials said they believe as many as 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in late February.

The Biden administration last Wednesday unveiled a $2.8 billion long-term aid plan for the Ukraine military that the White House said would allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago ignited a conflict the entire world appears to be losing. Ukraine is on life support, Russian troops are taking massive casualties, and the rest of the world is saddled with severe food shortages, spiraling inflation, the risk of a nuclear disaster and other hardships fueled by a savage war that shows no sign of soon ending.

The Kremlin can claim modest gains on the ground, but at least three top generals have been replaced in the past month as the Russian military struggles to make meaningful progress toward President Vladimir Putin’s expansive ambitions. “His overall objective was to overrun the entire country, to engage in regime change in Kyiv, to snuff out Ukraine as an independent sovereign and independent nation,” Colin Kahl, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, said at a recent briefing. “None of that has happened.”

Air raid sirens wailed across most of Ukraine on Wednesday as Russian rockets pummeled areas of the battered nation on its Independence Day. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelinsky marked the 31st anniversary of his country’s independence from the Soviet Union with a fiery speech Wednesday pledging to drive the Russian occupiers out of his battered country. Surrender is not an option, said Zelenskyy, standing among burned out Russian tanks in downtown Kyiv. Russian rockets killed 22 people at a train station in Chaplyne, Ukraine, wounding 50 other citizens.

China/Taiwan

Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through international waters in the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first such operation since a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China which regards the island as its territory. The operation demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the U.S. military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows, the navy said. “Troops in the theater remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time,” it added in a statement.

A United States Coast Guard cutter conducting patrols on an international mission in the Pacific Ocean was denied entry to a port in the Solomon Islands raising concerns about China’s growing influence in the area. It was reported that a British vessel was also denied entry. China has been assertively trying to expand its presence and influence in the Pacific, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare alarmed neighboring countries, the U.S. and others after he signed a new security pact with China.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

On Friday, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled that a New Mexico man named Herman Leyvoune Wilson must be detained on federal charges for allegedly attempting to recruit fighters for the ISIS terror group, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Wilson allegedly sought to train ISIS operatives to carry out missions in both in the United States and abroad. “An indictment handed [down]Tuesday by a federal grand jury alleges that Herman Leyvoune Wilson provided material support and resources to the foreign terrorist organization,” stated the Journal.

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, has been charged under the country’s anti-terrorism act, the latest chapter in a tense struggle for power with Pakistan’s current government since his ouster. Sunday’s move came a day after Khan addressed a rally and criticized top police officials and a judge for the arrest of his chief of staff. Khan was charged with threatening those officials. Since Khan was ousted from power in April, he has held boisterous rallies castigating the government. The former cricket star has maintained his strong political base and gained momentum in local elections. By contrast, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who replaced Khan, has made little progress in addressing the dire economic crisis that sent consumer prices skyrocketing.

Islamist militants beheaded two Christian men during an attack on a minibus in northern Mozambique. The attack took place on July 30, near the village of Nova Zambézia in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado. The killings were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) of Mozambique, known locally as al-Shabaab. A statement by IS-Mozambique declared, “By the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate … killed two Christians, beheading them, and shooting them with weapons.” Islamists gained effective control of an area of Cabo Delgado in 2017. The province has since been termed “the Land of Fear” owing to brutal violence meted out against both Christians and moderate Muslims.

Famine:Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. (Ezekiel 14:13)

Today, up to 50 million people — including 21 million children — face starvation. Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen are experiencing catastrophic, near-famine conditions, reports World Vision. Experts anticipate that the war in Ukraine will exacerbate this ongoing crisis as conflict restricts global food supplies, drives up prices, and threatens already-vulnerable people and countries. A lack of food can lead to malnutrition and, for the approximately 811 million people who faced hunger these past two years, access to food was a large factor. In addition, one in four people globally in 2020 did not have access to clean water within their homes. Collecting water for household needs accounts for substantial time through the day — women and children walk 6 kilometers (or 3.7 miles) on average to reach water – often unclean water.

  • There are many organizations like World Vision and Barnabas Aid who are assisting people with food and water. Please consider contributing to them if you are able.

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)

The Environmental Protection Agency is designating some toxic industrial compounds used in cookware, carpets and firefighting foams as hazardous substances under the so-called Superfund law. The designation means that releases of long-lasting “forever” chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed a certain quantity would have to be reported to federal, state or tribal officials. The requirement would increase understanding of the extent and locations of the contamination and help communities avoid or reduce contact with the potentially dangerous chemicals, the EPA said. PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers but are still in limited use and remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time.

  • The compounds are part of a larger cluster of “forever chemicals” known as PFAS that have been used in consumer products and industry since the 1940s. PFAS is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are used in nonstick frying pans, water-repellent sports gear, stain-resistant rugs, cosmetics and countless other consumer products.

Even if the entire world stopped burning fossil fuels today, a new study finds the Greenland ice sheet would still lose enough ice to add nearly a foot to rising sea levels. Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise could be more than two feet within the century if the pace of warming continues, the authors reported. Many nations committed during the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change to hold the line on emissions to rein in rising global average temperatures, but it could be decades before the world reaches net zero emissions.

The pretty, cloudless blue skies over perfectly manicured lawns represent an ugly reality for California’s Las Virgenes Municipal Water District as it grapples with the historic megadrought ravaging California. Despite a lack of any measurable rain in months, the carpet of lush, green grass likely means homeowners are either not getting the message about the dire need for water conservation, or they are ignoring the warnings. But now, the water district has found a way to get customers’ attention. For repeat offenders, officials are trying something new: adding water restrictors to the pipes, which sharply reduce the home’s water supply.

•                  The area has a number of A-list celebrities, so it will be interesting to see how they respond.

As many as 1 in 6 U.S. tree species are in danger of extinction because of climate change and a surge in diseases. Amid an onslaught of invasive insects, an increase in deadly diseases and the all-encompassing peril of climate change, some 100 species native to the U.S. are in danger of being wiped out, according to a first-of-its-kind study published Tuesday.

Shark sightings off East Coast shores have continued to spike ahead of the Labor Day holiday. Off of Massachusetts Cape Cod beaches, there were eight confirmed sightings and four detections by buoys over the past two days, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app. Down the coast, two swimmers were bitten at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach on 8/22. Previous shark attacks this summer have forced officials to temporarily close beaches. There were 47 unprovoked bites from sharks were reported at beaches in the U.S. last year.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has issued a warning saying an offshore volcano is likely to erupt. Volcanic activity is visible in the surrounding waters for the first time in over 35 years.

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)

A wildfire burning in southwest Oregon has grown to 8,404 acres, according to a Sunday update by fire officials, nearly double the acreage the blaze had consumed a day prior. The fire, about a 50-mile drive northwest of Medford, has been burning since mid-August when it was caused by lightning. But it tripled its burned acreage between Friday and Saturday due to strong winds. The fire has already prompted evacuation orders for the communities of Rand and Galice in a rural area of Josephine County, though residents in other areas have been warned to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11) The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:26b)

The governor of Mississippi declared a state of emergency and the mayor urged residents of low-lying areas to “get out now” as the Pearl River was forecast to crest Monday after days of heavy rains saturated the region. The river was forecast to crest at 36 feet, 10 feet above what is considered a “major” flood stage. The culprit has been a slow-moving weather system that has soaked a swath of the South, forcing evacuations and washing away roads – last week parts of Texas were hit with up to 16 inches of rain that fell over a 24-hour stretch.

In Sudan, at least 36 people have been injured in flash floods during the rainy season that started in June and more than 18,200 homes have been destroyed and over 25,600 houses damaged. The United Nations estimates that over 146,200 people have been displaced by floods. Authorities have declared emergencies in a third of the country’s provinces.

Officials in Pakistan say deaths from widespread flooding have topped 1,000 since mid-June and the country’s climate minister called the deadly monsoon season “a serious climate catastrophe.”

For weeks now, a power crunch caused by a record heat wave and accompanying drought has wreaked havoc across Sichuan, a province home to 80 million people in southwestern China. The power cuts have dimmed skyscrapers, shut factories, darkened subways, plunged homes and offices into rolling blackouts, and forced air conditioning to be unplugged. The electricity cuts have also killed thousands of poultry and fish on farms.

  • The ongoing heat wave is the worst China has seen since records began more than 60 years ago. It has stretched over 70 days, sweeping through large swathes of the country and smashing temperature records at hundreds of weather stations.

Signs of the Times Update: August 22, 2022

August 22, 2022

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  (Romans 8:16-17)

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 federal judge has temporarily halted the discharge of hundreds of Marines who were denied religious exemptions from the military’s requirement that they receive the experimental COVID-19 vaccine shots, which have not prevented infection and the spread of the virus as promised. U.S. District Judge Steve Merryday, a George. H.W. Bush appointee, ruled Thursday that the Marines have failed to adhere to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Epoch Times reported. And significantly, he ruled a class action for any Marine affirmed by a chaplain as having a sincere religious objection who filed for an exemption on time and was denied.

U.S. companies are bringing jobs back to America at a record pace, according to estimates from the Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit that tracks the number of reshoring announcements and foreign direct investments in U.S. jobs, reported The Wall Street Journal. American companies are on pace to reshore nearly 350,000 jobs this year, the highest number on record since the Reshoring Initiative started tracking the data in 2010. The COVID-19 pandemic made painfully clear how dependent the U.S. was on global supply chains — a problem that pushed many executives to change their approach and manufacturing location.

Texas school districts have begun receiving donated posters and framed copies of the national motto, “In God We Trust,” that they will now be required to display in accordance with a new state law. The law says a public elementary or secondary school, or an institution of higher education “must” display a durable poster or framed copy of the motto in a “conspicuous place” in each building. State Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Republican co-author of the law, tweeted last week, “The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God.” The people and organizations behind the donations wasted no time in sending them out to schools.

Last Monday, a California appeals court ruled that a San Jose church does not have to pay the more than $200,000 in fines it accrued for violating COVID-19 restrictions. The ruling, which was issued by a three-judge panel in California’s 6th District Court of Appeal, reverses several lower court decisions against Calvary Chapel San Jose, which was fined for continuing to hold large, in-person gatherings in violation of state and local COVID-19 restrictions. Despite making exceptions for other public institutions, including schools, train stations, airports, medical facilities, stores and restaurants, the county placed restrictions on churches.

Conservative advocacy group CatholicVote launched a $1 million ad campaign on Wednesday criticizing President Joe Biden’s “notable silence” on attacks on dozens of churches following the Supreme Court’s ruling reversing Roe v. Wade. CatholicVote’s new advertisement that reminds us that President John F. Kennedy issued the following statement in response to an outbreak of cathedral burnings in the early 1960s: “To destroy churches, I think both cowardly as well as offensive.” “Churches are being burnt again because they protect unborn infants and mothers in need,“ the ad says. The ad comes after CatholicVote and many other activist organizations had requested Biden to speak out against the often violent protests that are taking place against churches and birth centers

Deputies arrested a Washington man who may have had plans to commit a mass shooting during a concert at the Gorge Amphitheater Friday night. People attending the “Bass Canyon Festival” reported a suspicious man in the parking lot to security officers. Witnesses say they saw the man, later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan R. Moody, inhale an unknown gas from a balloon, load two 9mm pistols from the trunk of his car and tuck both weapons inside his waistband. Moody then asked people what time the concert ended and where people would be exiting the venue. Security staff detained Moody outside the venue gates and disarmed him of the two loaded 9mm pistols.

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

As church membership declines, the number of Americans who give to religious causes has decreased. Between 2000 and 2004, 46% of households gave to religious causes, but that percentage fell to 29% in 2018, according to the Lilly School study. About three in 10 U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated, also known as religious “nones” – people who self-describe as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religious identity, according to the Pew Research Center.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

The United Nations recruited 110,000 “digital first responders” during the pandemic to battle “misinformation” on social media platforms and internet forums, according to the global body’s communications director. The U.N.’s Melissa Fleming made the disclosure in an October 2020 episode of a World Economic Forum podcast called “Seeking a Cure for the Infodemic.” But Fleming’s remarks resurfaced Thursday on Twitter. “So far, we’ve recruited 110,000 information volunteers, and we equip these information volunteers with the kind of knowledge about how misinformation spreads and ask them to serve as kind of ‘digital first-responders’ in those spaces where misinformation travels,” she said.

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)

The Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s home and the unprecedented criminal investigation into his possession of White House documents all began with David Ferriero, the now-retired national archivist who alerted the Justice Department after finding classified information in boxes he retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. Critics say Mr. Ferriero is a liberal partisan who changed the rules to help excuse Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was under scrutiny for mishandling classified documents on her private, unsecured email server.

  • Judge Bruce Reinhart on Monday admitted the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was “unprecedented” and formally rejected the Justice Department’s argument to keep the affidavit leading to the search under seal, citing the “intense public and historical interest.” Reinhart said he rejects “the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
  • Following the FBI raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, a 46-year-old Pennsylvania man allegedly posted violent threats against the bureau and has now been arrested. Adam Bies is accused of threatening to kill FBI agents, whom he compared to Nazi and KGB officers, in posts he made on far-right social media app Gab. Last week, authorities shot and killed an armed man who attacked the FBI Field Office in Cincinnati. An account believed to belong to the shooter, Ricky Shiffer, had posted on the social media site Truth Social that he was ready to join in a civil war if it broke out. On the day of the Mar-a-Lago search, he wrote, “People, this is it. … This is your call to arms from me.”

As soon as next week, Florida pension fund managers could be barred from considering the social impact of their financial decisions as Gov. Ron DeSantis opens a new front in his anti-“woke” crusade, this time focused on Wall Street and corporate CEOs. In new draft rules posted Monday on the website of the agency that oversees Florida’s pension fund, state investment managers can weigh only the risk or return of an investment when directing the state’s $200 billion in assets. The directive is DeSantis’ initial salvo against what he has called “ideological corporate power,” and it follows efforts by other GOP state leaders that are targeting companies that venture into the political arena.

Dr. Anthony Fauci announced Monday that he will step down from his post as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as the President Biden’s chief medical adviser in December to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, stressing that he is “not retiring.”

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Moms for Liberty’s national profile is rising fast since the group launched 18 months ago. It now boasts more than 200 chapters with 100,000 members in 40 states. Born of frustrations over mask and vaccine mandates, the group has tapped concerns about “parental rights” and “indoctrination” of kids to gain influence while inspiring armies of moms nationwide to take up its crusade. “It’s about putting parents back in the driver’s seat of public education,” said Descovich, a former Brevard County school board member. “What we saw was parents being ignored and their concerns not being taken seriously. We thought, let’s start something to help parents organize and use the tools we’ve learned from serving on school boards.”

  • While Moms for Liberty has promoted itself as nonpartisan, its inaugural “Joyful Warriors Summit,” held last month in Tampa featured prominent Republican speakers including DeSantis, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and former U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

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

Pro-life leader Lila Rose is slamming TikTok for banning advertisements from her pro-life organization Live Action while continuing to permit ads from groups that support legalized abortion, including Planned Parenthood. Rose’s personal TikTok account – which she uses to defend the unborn – also has been banned. Live Action called it “yet another attempt to silence pro-life speech,” with “Big Tech” siding with the “abortion industry.” The organization said it is the only pro-life group with a large following on the platform. Its account has more than 500,000 followers and 17 million likes.

On Wednesday, the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense Fund (CHD) were shut down, the Gateway Pundit reported. CHD has filed a lawsuit against the parent company Meta that charges Facebook has colluded with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to censor COVID “misinformation.” With nearly a half-million followers for the two pages combined, Kennedy’s organization has been a leading critic of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. CHD noted that the deplatforming came after the CDC “quietly walked back many of their previous COVID-19 policies that CHD has criticized since the beginning of the pandemic.”

A Texas school district is pulling all 42 books from library shelves and classrooms that were challenged by parents, lawmakers and other community members in the last year — including the Bible. The day before students started back at the Keller Independent School District, which serves students in the Fort Worth suburbs, Jennifer Price, the executive director of curriculum and instruction, told principals and librarians to remove 41 books while they undergo a review. Some of the books included, in addition to the Bible, are a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe, the Tribune reported. Kobabe’s book tops the American Library Association’s list for most banned books in 2021.

The former chaplain of Austin’s fire department says the liberal city dismissed him from his position over a blog that said it is unfair for men to compete against women in sports events – basing its views in the Bible. Now, he’s suing the department.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

An 80-year-old woman in Port Townsend, Washington, has been permanently banned from the local YMCA for objecting to a man in a woman’s swimsuit in the ladies shower and changing rooms. “This is an outrage,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. “An 80-year-old woman who has used the pool for decades gets banned from the facility while the male employee who calls himself Clementine is allowed to be in the women’s locker room with little girls.”

Two Jewish students at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz say they were booted from a support group for sexual assault victims and harassed by members of the group due to their Jewish identity, according to a complaint filed with the Education Department. One of the victims, student Cassandra Blotner, says members of the support group threatened to spit on her in public for proudly being Jewish, while others called her a “dumb bitch” who supports “mass genocide” due to her support for Israel. The complaint alleges the university was “fully aware of the situation,” yet did nothing to protect the students from the anti-Semitic hate campaign.

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

Following the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, pro-life groups are focused on creating laws that grant fetuses the same legal rights and protections as any person. “So-called fetal personhood laws would make abortion murder, ruling out all or most of the exceptions for abortion allowed in states that already ban it,” The New York Times reported Sunday. Pro-life groups hope that going that route will establish a federal ban on abortion through legislation or another Supreme Court decision.

Idaho state laws banning abortion have begun to take effect. The heartbeat law began to be enforced on August 19, 2022, and the trigger law banning abortion in nearly every case, will take effect August 25, 2022, barring interference by the federal government. The Idaho Supreme Court released its opinion Friday, denying a request from Planned Parenthood to block the state laws from taking effect as multiple lawsuits move forward.

North Carolina can enforce its 20-week abortion ban, a federal judge ruled last Wednesday. An injunction against the law had been in place since 2019, but Judge William Osteen, a federal district court judge, removed it due to the Dobbs v. Jackson June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which returned the issue of abortion to the states. Osteen is the same judge who had placed the original injunction on the law’s enforcement.

A Michigan judge has blocked county prosecutors from enforcing a pre-Roe abortion ban that would have allowed providers to be charged with a felony.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is expanding travel and abortion coverage for its US employees effective immediately. The company’s healthcare plans will now cover abortion under certain circumstances: when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability, according to an internal memo sent Friday by Donna Morris, Walmart’s Chief People Officer.

Vandals painted pro-abortion messages early Thursday at a pro-life pregnancy center in Massachusetts. The vandals splattered red paint across the white exterior of Bethlehem House Inc. Pregnancy Care Center in Easthampton, 99 miles west of Boston.

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)

Covid-19:

New daily Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are down 19% over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations are down 7% and deaths are also down 7%. But about half of U.S. states are still seeing increasing or flat hospitalization numbers, meaning they may not yet have turned the corner. Case numbers are definitely lower because of home testing, but how much lower is completely unknown.

Leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that the agency fell short in its response to the coronavirus pandemic after an internal review called for its employees to be more nimble and better trained. “For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement. Walensky vowed to revamp the agency, with an emphasis on accountability, releasing research faster and issuing easier-to-understand guidance to the public.

Two drugs touted as potential COVID-19 treatments, ivermectin and fluvoxamine, don’t do a thing to improve patients’ oxygen levels and keep them out of the hospital or the morgue, a new clinical trial has shown. Neither of the two repurposed drugs proved effective against COVID among overweight or obese patients who received them within seven days of symptom onset, according to results published Aug. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine. A third drug, metformin, did not meet the primary objective of improving oxygen levels, but it did slightly lower the odds that a patient would develop severe COVID, said lead researcher Dr. Carolyn Bramante, an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Monkeypox:

A CDC analysis shows that 94% of monkeypox cases were among men who had recent sexual or close intimate contact with another man. Further, 54% of cases were among Black Americans and Latinos. As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread worldwide, cases across the U.S. are climbing. The U.S. had reported 14,115 confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases as of Friday, per the CDC. Highly populated states are leading the numbers, with 2,744 confirmed cases in New York and 2,668 confirmed cases in California. Confirmed cases of monkeypox have reached more than 41,300 worldwide, according to Friday numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak, first spotted in Europe in late April, has reached 94 countries – the vast majority in nations that hadn’t previously had significant caseloads of the rare, viral infection.

Polio:

Polio, a deadly disease that used to paralyze tens of thousands of children every year, is spreading in London, New York and Jerusalem for the first time in decades, spurring catch-up vaccination campaigns. Affecting mainly children under five, it is often asymptomatic but can also cause symptoms including fever and vomiting. Around one in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, and among those patients, up to 10% die. There is no cure, but since a vaccine was found in the 1950s, polio is entirely preventable. Afghanistan and Pakistan are now the only countries where the highly infectious disease, spread mainly through contact with fecal matter, remains endemic. But this year, imported cases were also found in Malawi and Mozambique, the first in those countries since the 1990s.

  • There are two main forms of poliovirus. Alongside the wild-type outlined above, there are also rare cases of what is known as vaccine-derived polio. It is this second form detected in wastewater in the British capital, London, and in New York in the United States, with one case of paralysis reported in New York state. While vaccine-derived polio is almost unheard of in the above locations, it is a known – albeit rare – threat in other countries, causing outbreaks every year, including 415 cases in Nigeria in 2021.
  • Health experts don’t think there will be a countrywide outbreak akin to COVID-19 or monkeypox, as over 90% of the country’s young children are vaccinated against polio. However, pockets of unvaccinated people across the country may be at risk.

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)

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech have submitted their new COVID-19 booster – that targets the omicron subvariant BA.5 – to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization, the companies announced Monday.

Pfizer knew that people were dying in their study but hid this from the public, reports Liberty Counsel. “A recent release of documents details that people died after the shots during a study dating back to 2020. But Pfizer classified each one as “withdrawn” … not dead. Blood clotting and heart issues are one of the leading causes of death associated with these shots. This was known and covered up by Pfizer back in 2020! And Pfizer even went to court in an attempt to cover up these facts for 75 years. Thankfully, the court ordered the documents released. More than 35,000 people are dead, and more than 1.3 million people have been injured from the shots. And these startling numbers represent a fraction of the actual deaths and injuries.”

An analysis of internal Pfizer documents found 44% of the pregnant women who participated in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials suffered miscarriages. The documents obtained by court order after the FDA tried to keep them hidden, showed that of the 50 pregnant women who took part, 22 lost their babies.

As of 8/22/22, President Biden’s Department of Defense has received at least 3,733 Marine Corps religious accommodation requests from the abortion-linked, mandated COVID mRNA shots. Yet the Marine Corps granted only 11 accommodations, and only to Marines who were already scheduled for retirement and prompt separation.

Dr. Robert Malone, a leading critic of the COVID-19 vaccines and an inventor of the mRNA technology platform on which they are based, filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post on Friday for accusing him of spreading “dangerous lies” and “leading his followers on a journey to illness, suffering and possible death.” After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from his lawyer, Malone said, the Post “put out another attack article in which they repeated the same defamatory statements.” “So that appears to show malice,” he said. Post staff writer Timothy Bella labeled as “misinformation” Malone’s statement that the vaccines “are not working,” citing studies in the CDC’s sponsored journal as a counterpoint. WND, seeking comment from Bella, received an automatic reply from his email account explaining he is on parental leave until mid-December.

  • Now that the CDC has admitted its mistakes, Malone has a good chance of winning this lawsuit, since the vaccines did not perform as well as they were heavily advertised to work.

Last Monday, British drug regulators became the first to authorize a combination, or “bivalent,” COVID-19 vaccine—one that combats both the initial coronavirus strain and the omicron BA.1 variant. The vaccine, which is an update to the Moderna shot, will be offered to individuals over the age of 50 in the fall. Side effects to the updated vaccine have been deemed “mild and self-resolving,” according to the British drug regulators.

Monkeypox:

Demand for the monkeypox vaccine has been rising as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 11,000 people in the U.S. have been infected by the virus this year. But the New York Times says vaccine distribution has been terribly botched. “The U.S. seemed ready for the monkeypox outbreak. It had vaccines and treatments that are effective, and experts had studied the virus for decades. Yet the U.S. response has fallen short. The country cannot use millions of vaccine doses it owns because they were not bottled for distribution. The available vaccines and medications remain out of reach for a vast majority of Americans — a result of poor communication by federal officials and of other bureaucratic barriers. Monkeypox is not very deadly, so this is not a Covid-level catastrophe. But the flawed response suggests that, nearly three years after Covid first appeared, the U.S. is still unprepared for the next deadly pandemic.”

  • The only people who need the vaccine are male homosexuals and bisexuals.

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)

Shocking new video shows a senior citizen fatally beaten in broad daylight in Seattle by a suspect who had been released from jail just days before for allegedly threatening to kill a police officer. Aaron Justin Fulk, 48, remains held at King County Jail on $2.5 million bond as of Monday. Fulk, who has prior assault convictions in Idaho, was released from Pierce County Jail – located just about an hour’s drive south of Seattle – just eight days before the deadly unprovoked attack. 

Five people were hurt when nearly 100 shots were fired near a playground in Philadelphia Tuesday night. Five people between the ages of 17 and 25 suffered gunshot wounds. Three people are in custody and multiple weapons were located on the scene, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw tweeted. The shooting reportedly started when two shooters in a white SUV fired multiple rounds and sped off from the scene.

A 6-year-old girl was injured after being shot in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood on Saturday. She is at least the eighth child younger than 16 to be shot in the city last week. Just days before, four teenagers were shot while standing on the front porch of a house in Chicago.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

An 88-year-old South Carolina woman was killed by an alligator Monday in the country’s fourth confirmed fatal gator attack this year. The woman was found after an alligator was spotted “guarding what was believed to be a person” near the edge of a pond in a gated 55-and-over community in Hilton Head.

Last year in the U.S., rip currents – invisible to the untrained eye – claimed a record number of lives (but the National Weather Service has only tracked it since 2010). At least 98 people died, 24 more than in 2020. Together with waves and high surf, surf-zone fatalities last year were the third-leading cause of weather-related deaths, behind heat and flooding. 

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)

Firearms became the leading cause of death among children and teenagers in the United States in 2020, according to new research using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from the University of Michigan noted that an alarming number of the deaths, 10,186 (22.5%), were of people ages 1 to 19. For more than 60 years, motor vehicle accidents had been the leading cause of deaths of young people, but since 2001, the number of those deaths has dramatically decreased. There were about 3,900 deaths in 2020. Meanwhile, firearm-related deaths have been on the rise since 2013; there was a 29.5% increase from 2019 to 2020.

A report was published by Everytown For Gun Safety, a nonpartisan group advocating against gun violence, shows that during the last school year, between Aug. 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022, there were 193 incidents of gunfire in schools, more than doubling the total of the previous year of only 62.The recent low was in 2014-15 with just 30 incidents. The authors of the report found that most shootings are perpetrated by a student or former student at a school. Because of this, most shootings can be prevented just by keeping guns out of the hands of students, the authors said – easier said than done.

Over the past decade, USA TODAY, along with Northeastern University and The Associated Press, has been tracking all mass killings in the United States. It includes every mass killing since 2006 from all weapons in which four or more people, excluding the offender, were killed within a 24-hour time frame. The number of mass killings in 2022 is about average compared with previous years despite recent shootings that captured public attention. The number of victims is somewhat higher than average but still below previous highs.

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)

A court has ordered two disgraced judges – convicted and jailed for taking kickbacks for sending kids to a certain private jail – to pay some $200 million to their victims. CBS said the order for compensation comes from U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner and went against Mark Ciavarella and Mark Conahan. In what became known as a “kids-for-cash” scandal, they “shut down a county-run juvenile detention center and accepted $2.8 million in illegal payments from the building and co-owner of two for-profit lockups,” the network reported. Conner awarded $106 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages to nearly 300 plaintiffs from the ex-judges.

One of the ISIS “Beatles,” so described because the Muslim terrorists spoke with British accents, has been sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for his role in the deaths of several Americans. The Department of Justice said in a statement that El Shafee Elsheikh was sentenced after being convicted on charges relating to the deaths of James Foley, Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig as well as several British and Japanese citizens. Federal authorities identified Elsheikh as “the highest-ranking fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” to have faced a jury trial in the United States.

Military: Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. (Psalm 144:1-2)

The U.S. government left behind more than $7 billion in military equipment when it pulled out of Afghanistan during a chaotic and deadly withdrawal last year, an inspector general confirmed Tuesday. A Defense Department inspector general report explained that the majority of the $7 billion left behind in equipment in the country consisted of tactical ground vehicles such as Humvees and mine-resistant MRAPS. In addition to the ground vehicles, the U.S. military lost $923.3 million worth of military aircraft and $294.6 million in aircraft munitions.

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

As part of the “defund the police” movement, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on 7/31/20 that the city would take $120 million from law enforcement budgets to fund initiatives for Black Americans in the Golden City. San Francisco was among cities across the country that saw some crimes increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Homicides increased by 20% that year compared to 2019, and by 17% in 2021 compared to 2020. While crimes such as rape and robbery decreased in 2020, burglaries increased by 47% in 2020 when compared to the three previous years, data compiled by SFGate shows. Breed then reversed course on defunding and announced an emergency request to the city Board of Supervisors for more money to bolster the police department and address crime.  The San Francisco police union president said Breed’s announcement in December was evidence that the defund the police movement had been a “mistake.” 

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Chicago carjackings are on pace to rise again in 2022 after already dramatic increases in 2020 and 2021, trending towards a number that would be six times higher than just eight years ago. Chicago is on pace for 1,960 carjackings in 2022, according to data compiled by Wirepoints, blowing through the 1,848 record set just last year. The number would represent an over sixfold increase from 2014, when the city recorded 303 carjackings. Fifty-seven percent of the carjackings are perpetrated by juveniles.

Chicago police have arrested the fewest number of suspects in at least 20 years amid a crime wave that has continued raging in the city since 2020 due to lack of support and funding from Mayor Lightfoot and her administration. Homicides skyrocketed in the city in 2020, following a drop in violence for the three previous years. The Windy City recorded nearly 770 homicides in 2020, up 50% compared to 2019. Last year, the city broke a 25-year record when it surpassed 800 homicides. There were 2,151 shootings in the city in 2019, which increased to over 3,200 in 2020 and 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021. 

  • The decline in arrests comes after sweeping changes were made to how the Chicago P.D. patrols the streets, including restricting their vehicle pursuit policy, ending foot pursuits if a suspect runs from an officer or if someone commits a minor offense.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

Crypto hackers have already stolen $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency during the first seven months of 2022, a 37% increase from the same time period last year, whereas July 2021 saw just under $1.2 billion stolen. The first week of August had several hacks already, like a $190 million hack of Nomad, a cross-chain bridge, and a hack of $5 million from several Solana wallets. So far this year, much of the value stolen has been linked to hackers from North Korea-affiliated groups, which have stolen around $1 billion of crypto from DeFi.

  • The push toward digital currency and cryptocurrency is not safe.

Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones, iPads and Macs that could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices, the AP reports. Apple released two security reports about the issue on Wednesday, although they didn’t receive wide attention outside of tech publications.

Racism/Discrimination: 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)

A Maryland couple has sued a local real estate appraiser and an online mortgage loan provider, alleging that the housing appraisal they received was unfairly low due to their race, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, after a second “whitewashed” appraisal returned a result $278,000 higher. Nathan Connolly and Shani Mott are Black professors at Johns Hopkins University. Connolly and Mott later re-applied with another lender, and “whitewashed” their home, according to the lawsuit. This included removing photos of their Black family from the home, and having a White colleague present the property to the appraiser. The suit claims this valuation came back at $750,000, more than a quarter of a million dollars higher than 20/20 Valuations’ appraisal of $472,000.

Nurses of color say they are looking forward to action following an official apology from the nation’s largest nursing association for its history of racist practices that disenfranchised nurses of color. In a recent statement, the American Nurses Association apologized to nurses of color, saying in the coming months it will launch a multiphase project of “accountability, healing, and reconciliation.” The “racial reckoning” statement is a “starting point for an overdue journey toward the future. “ANA intends to take full accountability for its actions,” the association wrote, promising “historic action.”

A new teachers’ contract has been adopted in Minneapolis that builds “racism” into the process, allowing the district to fire, during cutbacks, white teachers with more seniority and retain minorities with lower seniority. Alpha News confirmed the contract specifies that minority teachers “may be exempted from district-wide layoff(s) outside seniority order.” The Minneapolis teachers union defended the controversial policy regarding race-based layoffs after fierce backlash, arguing that the criticism is being ginned up by the “right wing.”

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)

After almost three years of contending with vaccine hesitancy, politics and a global pandemic, the nation’s public health workers are frayed and leaving their posts. More than 1 in 4 health department leaders quit their jobs during the pandemic, some after harassment and death threats. The nation’s vaccinators say they are struggling. “Overwhelmed is an understatement,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers. Hannan said her members have not received any funding to carry out a vaccination campaign against monkeypox.

As a growing number of companies announce layoffs amid corporate concerns about a potential recession, the conundrum of American workers being largely dependent on their jobs for health benefits is once again in the spotlight. Half of the U.S. population had workplace-based coverage in 2020, the most recent year available, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In the first quarter of this year, just 8% of Americans did not have health insurance, a record low, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Even so, some are calling for Medicare to be made available to everyone. Our mash-up of health care programs and payers makes the U.S. relatively unique among high-income western nations, many of which mandate coverage for all of their citizens. 

  • The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by the House last Friday and signed into law Tuesday by President Biden includes provisions that will enable Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies another three years.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

A study, published in The Lancet on Thursday, examined cancer cases from 2019 and found that 44% of cancer deaths were caused by preventable risk factors. The three leading risk factors were smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol and having a high Body Mass Index (i.e. overweight).

The FDA will now allow over-the-counter hearing aids for millions of Americans, a long-sought after goal of consumers. President Biden in a statement Tuesday said that as early as mid-October, Americans could purchase more affordable hearing aids at pharmacies and stores. Consumers would not need a prescription.

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)

The Center Square reported that 96% of school districts (534 out of 554) in Illinois have opted out of the state’s proposed standards for sex education in public schools included in a bill authored, passed, and signed into law by Democrats, despite the fact that Illinois is considered one of the “big three” most liberal states in the nation.

Marriage/Family:  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

A research brief from the Institute for Family Studies suggests that students who live with their married biological parents perform better in school. The brief, which utilized data from the 1996 and 2019 National Household Education Surveys, were completed by parents whose children were enrolled in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. The research showed that, “Students from non-intact families continue to have nearly triple the risk of suspension and double the risk of grade repetition as students from intact, biological families.”

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 governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, has joined the push to censor Americans’ free speech, unleashing an executive order banning “conversion therapy. “While that term has been used by opponents derogatorily, in actuality it is talk therapy delivered by professionals to those who have unwanted same-sex attractions. The Washington Examiner said the Democrat has directed state agencies to discourage such therapy for anyone. He also ordered that state funds are not to be used for such therapy.

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.

The American College of Pediatrics has been accused of blocking debate on hormone drugs and puberty blockers as some member doctors have pushed back against a drug-first approach for children with gender dysphoria. In a document titled “In Support of a Rigorous Systematic Review of Evidence and Policy 4 Update for Management of Pediatric Gender Dysphoria” (Resolution 27), multiple AAP members voiced concerns about using hormones and surgeries as the first line of treatment for gender dysphoria instead of counseling or therapy, citing evidence for psychotherapy as a treatment option, including a systemic review conducted by the Finnish Health Authority.

A Democrat-appointed federal judge opened the door to allowing more males to be housed in women’s prisons Tuesday by ruling that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers people with gender dysphoria. “The relevant question then becomes, ‘Is access to opposite-sex spaces a reasonable accommodation for GD?’ There are many reasons to argue against that, because usually an accommodation can’t harm or violate the rights of others and still be considered reasonable,” said Candice Jackson, attorney and former assistant U.S. secretary of education for civil rights. “The more justifiable accommodation for GD would be private/separate accommodation.”

Transgender girls in Utah will be given the opportunity to participate in girls’ sports as the school year begins, after a judge on Friday reversed a ban pending legal challenges from parents. Instead of an outright ban, transgender girls will now be sent before a commission that will determine on a case-by-case basis if they can participate. Utah’s Republican lawmakers created the commission in a law passed earlier this year as a fallback plan to be implemented in case of an injunction against the law. Under the law, the panel will be allowed to ask for and assess the child’s height and weight in making decisions about whether a transgender girl would have an unfair advantage.

An elite all-girls school in Nashville has paused implementation of a policy allowing applications from anyone who identifies as female after backlash from the community. Last week, in an email to parents, Harpeth Hall School announced a new “Gender Diversity Philosophy,” explaining a new admissions policy that would allow “any student who identifies as a girl” to apply to the school. “Based on the response from our school and community, the Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees is choosing to pause the adoption of the philosophy in order to engage a wider audience in continued discussion,” the school announced Friday.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Floridians will cast their primary ballots Tuesday under a new voting law. Florida is part of a group of states that have adopted new election restrictions fueled by claims of election fraud in the 2020 election, which saw unprecedented levels of voting by mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Voting rights advocates say the new rules make it harder to request and turn in absentee ballots and register voters as well as making it easier to challenge votes once cast. But supporters say the new rules are needed to combat voter fraud. The primary will not only serve as a preview of presidential elections in 2024, but it will also test ideas about who should be able to vote, and how easily, in what has become one of the most electorally important states in the country.

Some 5,000 Texans who used a P.O. box as a voter registration address will likely be able to cast a ballot in the state’s midterm elections after a federal judge blocked a 2021 state election law. Senate Bill 1111 attempted to tighten residency guidelines for Texas voters, but was struck down this month by U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel, an appointee under former president George W. Bush. Yeakel found in a summary judgement that the state used vague language in the election law and parts of it failed constitutional scrutiny. The bill required people registering to vote with a P.O. box to show proof of address such as a driver’s license or utility bill.

The U.S. Supreme Court has tentatively blocked a Georgia election integrity law on the grounds that it is purportedly ‘racially discriminatory.’ The SCOTUS justices’ order, however, left open the possibility that a lower court could restore it ahead of the November vote. The justices’ unsigned order came in response to an emergency request filed earlier this week by a group of Black voters in Georgia. “The request came as part of their challenge to the state’s ‘at-large’ method for selecting members to Georgia’s Public Service Commission, which oversees the price of electricity and other utilities. Under this approach, candidates for the Public Service Commission must reside in one of the five districts they are running to represent, yet voters from across Georgia may cast ballots for all five seats, a method that can make it more difficult for racial minorities to elect candidates of their choosing,” the Hill reported.

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

In the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the evacuation flights that took people to safety in what administration officials described as “the largest airlift in history” were a ray of hope for many. Translators, Afghan veterans, humanitarian workers, journalists, women’s rights activists and others who were allied with US military efforts in Afghanistan were among those onboard. But a year later, advocates say some Afghans who were brought to the United States are still struggling to find their footing. Housing is a major area of concern, as rents in the US have skyrocketed and a growing number of Afghans can’t find affordable places to live or find themselves living in substandard conditions.

  • Joseph Azam, who chairs the board of the Afghan-American Foundation, calls it a crisis. “People were brought here with the understanding that they’d be able to have a home here and live a life…and that’s not happened. Instead, they’ve been added to this juggernaut of trying to get affordable housing in the US, which is a big problem,” he says. “Really, they are being set up to fail.”

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)

Nearly 5 million illegal immigrants have crossed U.S. borders in the 18 months since President Joe Biden took office, according to a new report. A total of 4.9 million illegal aliens, including some 900,000 “gotaways” who evaded apprehension and have since disappeared into American communities, have entered the country by the end of July, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said. “Roughly the equivalent of the entire population of Ireland has illegally entered the United States in the 18 months President Biden has been in office, with many being released into American communities,” FAIR President Dan Stein said.

A new report released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows that Border Patrol agents apprehended ten people on a U.S. terror watch list in the month of July. The report, detailing CBP enforcement statistics for Fiscal Year 2022, highlighted a number of details of CBP’s work, including more than 1.8 million total Border Patrol encounters. Those encounters included the apprehension of a total of 66 people who are on the Terrorist Screening Dataset. The 66 terror-list people caught at the border in Fiscal Year 2022 is more than twice the numbers from the previous five years combined. The sharp rise in apprehensions of terror suspects coincides with a significant rise in overall border encounters. Fiscal Year 2022 has already seen 1,822,160 encounters through July, with two months left in the year. This is more than 2021’s total of 1,662,167, which itself was more than four times 2020’s 405,036.

  • The real issue is how many terror-list immigrants crossed the border without being apprehended.

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)

A strike by dockworkers at the U.K.’s most important port is threatening to deal a blow to supply chains already reeling from pandemic disruptions. About 2,000 employees at the port, the country’s largest for containerized imports and exports, are set to strike for eight days, raising fears that the disruption could deal yet another large blow to an economy facing inflation woes and a possible recession. The port handles about a third of the country’s total container volume and is the most important hub for the country’s trade with Asia, and had made progress towards reversing dwell time issues that were brought on by the pandemic over the last two years.

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)

A permanent injunction has been issued by a judge in Louisiana against President Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal land in 13 states. The Hill reported Judge Terry Doughty of the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, a Donald Trump appointee, ordered the permanent injunction in a Thursday ruling. Thirteen states had sued over the moratorium issued in January 2021. His order does not apply to any states not involved in the lawsuit. Doughty ruled the moratorium is in violation of the Mineral Leasing Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). “Both statutes require government defendants’ agencies to sell oil and gas leases,” he said in the order.

President Biden reinstated the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history, essentially steamrolling the need for environmental review, by signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law on Tuesday. While the Inflation Reduction Act includes several green energy provisions opposed by the fossil fuel industry, the bill also orders the Department of the Interior (DOI) to take a series of steps to boost fossil fuel production on federal lands and waters. The legislation specifically requires the DOI to reinstate Lease Sale 257, a massive offshore oil and gas sale spanning 80.8 million acres across the Gulf of Mexico, within 30 days of enactment.

  • While liberals and the media touting the climate measures in the Inflation Reduction Act that reduce dependence on fossil fuels, tucked away deep inside is a policy to boost fossil fuel production, a contradiction in acknowledgment that reducing inflation requires keeping energy costs under control during the transition.

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)

Charities depend on donors’ generosity to fulfill their missions. But in the past years, the number of Americans who donate to charity has dropped. For the first time in nearly two decades, only half of U.S. households donated to charity in 2018, according to a 2021 study by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Still, total charitable donations are reaching record highs, but the giving is being done by a smaller percentage of the population. Young Americans are less likely to give than older generations in part because the Great Recession made it hard for them to establish a habit of donating.

Work: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

In May of 2020, over 60% of U.S workers did so remotely. Now, that has shrunk to 30%, still much higher than before the pandemic, and continuing to have major impacts in real estate and demographics, where many workers are abandoning the urban centers for a better lifestyle now that they don’t have to commute to work.

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

A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that about half of small-business owners said in July they still can’t fill open jobs, a near-record high in the survey’s roughly five-decade history. “Hiring has never been harder for small-business owners,” said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the NFIB. Some small businesses have closed due to the inability to hire workers.

Companies across the country are planning to scale back their headcounts after a year of frenzied hiring. That’s according to a new survey published on Thursday by consultant PwC, which last month polled more than 700 U.S. executives and board members from various industries. About half of respondents said they are preparing to reduce headcount — or already have — while 52% have implemented hiring freezes. On top of that, roughly 46% of companies are either dropping or reducing signing bonuses, which became commonplace over the past year as businesses tried to lure in new workers amid an increasingly tight labor market. Another 44% are rescinding offers entirely, the survey showed.

Ford is cutting 3,000 white collar jobs as it prepares to shift from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. Two thousand of the jobs are salaried positions and another 1,000 are contractors. Ford aims to generate half of its global sales from fully electric vehicles by 2030.

Target reported profit plunged 90% in the second quarter, falling far short of expectations, as inflation-weary customers pulled back on spending on nonessential items. Retailers, including Target, have been forced to cut prices on general merchandise, such as clothing, electronics and home goods, because of excess inventory of goods. Consumers had to shift more of their spending to higher priced food and gasoline.

Restaurants in deep-blue (liberal) cities that faced both excessive COVID-19 restrictions plus violent protests in 2020 are starved for diners, according to Open Table. In contrast, establishments in red (conservative) states of Florida, Texas and Arizona are busier than ever and enjoying a massive surge in restaurant business this year. The number of daily diners in the city of Minneapolis was down an average of 54.3% in July. The state of Florida, meanwhile, has four of the top six surging cities in America, with the average number of people dining out in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Tampa up nearly 30% from July 2019 to July 2022.

More Republican-led states are refusing to do business with financial institutions that embrace a “woke” agenda on issues such as climate change, guns and other social issues. It is part of a growing pushback among conservative elected officials against banks and investment managers that base business decisions and investment choices not on maximizing profits but on progressive views about environmental, social and governance issues or what’s known as ESG principles. ESG stretches far beyond the environment to include fraught social issues like racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, gun control and LGBTQ issues. It also involves corporate governance issues

  • West Virginia was the first state to give some of the world’s biggest banks the boot, barring five major Wall Street firms — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and BlackRock, one of the globe’s largest asset managers — from doing business with the state. Citing the firms’ anti-coal policies or plans to divest from fossil fuels, the state will pull out tens of millions of dollars.

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)

Men have recouped all 10.1 million of their lost jobs during the pandemic and topped their February 2020 level by 132,000 in July, Labor Department figures show. Yet women, who lost 11.9 million positions during the crisis, are still 100,000 short of their pre-COVID mark. That’s not a huge gap. But a separate survey of households – that determines the 3.5% unemployment rate — shows women even further behind. According to that poll, men are just 24,000 jobs below their pre-pandemic peak while women are 552,000 jobs short. “The industries that got hit hardest in the pandemic tend to employ more women,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

In July, U.S. retail sales were flat compared to the previous month, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday. That marks a slowdown from June, when retail sales rose by a revised 0.8% over the month. Spending at gas stations fell by 1.8% month over month, reflecting the recent drop in gas prices, while spending at grocery stores rose 0.2% for the month.

Home sales declined for the sixth month in a row in July as higher mortgage rates and prices push prospective buyers out of the market. Meanwhile, sales of existing homes – which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – were down 20.2% from a year ago and down 5.9% from June.

There’s a strong consensus among U.S. homebuilders that we are in a “housing recession.” In August, U.S. homebuilder sentiment is seeing the market for single-family homes dip into negative territory a month after one of the most significant single-month drops in its 37-year history says the latest report from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. The index fell 6 points to 49 this month, the eighth straight month of low sentiment.

Mortgage rates ticked lower last week, falling back toward the 5% mark following economic reports that indicated inflation might have finally peaked. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.13% in the week ending August 18, down from 5.22% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. Despite the latest drop, rates are still significantly higher than this time last year, when the 30-year was 2.86%.

Since hitting a record of $5.02 a gallon on June 14, the national average price for regular gas is down $1.10, or 22%, to $3.92 as of Friday, 8/19, according to AAA. That average has now fallen for 67 consecutive days. Since the typical US household uses about 90 gallons of gas a month, the $1.10 drop in prices equals a savings of $98.82.

The overall average cost to own and operate a new car in 2022 is $10,728 on an annual basis, or $894 per month, marking a considerable increase from 2021 when owning a new car cost $9,666 annually, or $805.50 per month, according to AAA. That marks a nearly 11 percent increase from last year.

Multiple states will soon be sending out stimulus checks and other financial relief, a decision that some believe will make the 40-year-high inflation even worse, reports the Epoch Times. In California, individuals will get up to $1,050 between October 2022 and January 2023 as inflation relief checks based on their tax filing status and income. In Georgia, taxpayers can get anywhere from $250 to $500 in August, according to a refund law signed into law in March. In Florida, around 59,000 families will receive a one-time payment of $450. Maine will hand out $850 per single tax filer and $1,700 per couple. In Massachusetts, the local government plans to refund 7 percent of the 2021 taxes paid by citizens. Virginia residents can claim anywhere between $250 and $500 as tax rebates. Oregon has approved $600 in one-time assistance checks to low-income residents. In South Carolina, taxpayers can get up to $800 in income tax rebates. In Delaware, each adult was scheduled to receive $300 as a one-time payment under the Delaware Relief Rebate Program. New Mexico has announced $500 to married couples, while single filers and married people filing separately can receive up to $250.

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

Suspected Palestinian terrorists fired on a crowded Israeli bus in Judea and Samaria on Saturday night, according to the IDF, but there were no casualties. Shortly beforehand, three Arab women in possession of a submachine gun and a suicide note were arrested at a checkpoint.

The FIFA World Cup, which is set to take place in Qatar from Nov. 21 through Dec. 18, has a website that offers the public help in purchasing hospitality packages, but Israelis looking for their country were originally given the sole option of “Palestinian Territories, Occupied” rather than “Israel.” After multiple news reports drew attention to the omission, the option of “Palestinian Territories” was removed and replaced with “Palestine.” Israel is still not listed on the website.

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)

Two rockets were fired at a U.S. base in northeastern Syria that was the site of an attack from Iranian-backed forces earlier this year. “Multiple rounds of indirect fire landed in the vicinity of Green Village in northeastern Syria shortly after 9 p.m. Aug. 15, 2022, in the latest attempted attack on Coalition forces and our partners,” an Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson said. The attack caused no injuries or damage to the base and surrounding areas, but noted that it did endanger the local civil population and infrastructure. Some rockets malfunctioned, with forces finding two rockets in four rocket tubes about three miles from the base.

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)

Russia/Ukraine:

The New York Times reports that the most recent phase of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has gone better for Ukraine than many observers expected after Russia’s progress earlier this year. “The Ukrainians are doing well,” Helene Cooper, a Washington correspondent said. “The Russians are measuring progress in feet, not even miles, at this point.” As Anton Troianovski, The Times’s Moscow bureau chief, puts it: “The Russians appeared to have lost some of the momentum they had earlier in the summer. If you look closely, you see the Ukrainians gaining a bit of momentum, even though not that much is changing on the map.”

Massive explosions and fires ripped through Crimea on Tuesday in sabotage by Ukraine, forcing evacuation of 3,000 residents as the Ukraine war appears to be spreading to the peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed “sabotage” for explosions at a military warehouse near Dzhankoya. Power lines, a power plant, a railway track and a number of residential buildings were damaged, the ministry said in a statement obtained by the Russian news outlet Kommersant. No serious injuries were reported. “We are in a state of emergency,” said Sergey Aksenov, the Russian leader of the Crimean administration.

Russia’s ministry of defense has said it is considering shutting down the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern Ukraine, triggering a warning from Ukraine’s state nuclear agency that doing so would risk disaster. Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company, said the prospect of shutting down the plant would bring “the scenario of a radiation disaster closer.” On Saturday, both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled support for international inspectors to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after both nations claimed the other attacked it, striking fears of an impending nuclear disaster. 

Russian authorities said Sunday they had opened a murder investigation after the daughter of influential, ultra-nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin was killed by a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow while driving her father’s car. The Russian Investigative Committee said it believed someone planned and ordered the car explosion that killed Darya Dugina, based on evidence already collected from the blast. Dugina’s father is a Russian author and ideologue, credited with being the architect or “spiritual guide” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s federal security service said Monday that Ukraine’s spy agency is responsible for the attack.

Russian billionaires have seen their superyachts seized around the world since the Ukraine invasion began. Now, for the first time, one is being sold at auction. On Tuesday, the government of Gibraltar will sell the 240-foot Axioma, owned by steel magnate and Vladimir Putin’s crony Dmitry Pumpyansky. The ship was seized after docking in Gibraltar in March, and banking giant JPMorgan Chase just won a court order clearing the way for the sale. Pumpyansky has a $20 million loan with the bank for the ship, but JPMorgan cannot legally accept payments because of sanctions imposed upon him in the wake of the war.

China/Taiwan:

China on Tuesday added sanctions including visa bans to Taiwanese politicians as it applies pressure to the self-governing island and the U.S. after two congressional visits to Taiwan. Chinese Defense Ministry announced last Monday new military exercises around Taiwan as a “deterrent against collusion” between the U.S. and Taiwan, but didn’t say when they would occur. China just finished a round of military drills last week in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. 

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The 24-year-old man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie had been in direct contact with members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on social media, European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials told VICE World News. Hadi Matar has been charged with attempted murder after Rushdie, 75, was repeatedly stabbed on stage ahead of a speaking event in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday. On Sunday, Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie said that his father was in a critical condition and had sustained “life changing” injuries, but had been taken off a ventilator and had been able to speak.

A bombing Thursday at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers killed at least 21 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 33 others. Eyewitnesses say it was caused by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the Taliban’s takeover last August as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country. Last week, the extremists claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious center in Kabul.

Somali terrorist group al-Shabab, which is aligned with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for storming the Hayat Hotel in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu Friday night. The Islamist insurgents blasted their way into the hotel with two car bombs before opening gunfire. The siege continued into Saturday morning as the militants holed themselves up in the hotel’s uppermost floor. It took Somali forces more than 30 hours to contain the fighters. A total of 21 people were killed and 117 injured, 15 critically. The attack is the first major terror incident in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took over in May.

A U.S. drone strike in Somalia on Sunday killed 13 members of the terrorist group al-Shabab, the military reported. U.S. Africa Command acknowledged the strike, noting that an initial assessment of the situation found that no civilians had been injured or killed. “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists that were actively attacking Somali National Army forces in a remote location near Teedaan, Somalia,” U.S. African Command Public Affairs said.

The last French troops left Mali for neighboring Niger, drawing to a formal close a near-decade-long mission in the sprawling West African nation of 21 million people. Their presence in Mali had begun in 2013 as part of an ambitious Paris-led effort to fight back an Islamist militant threat that was spreading across the vast region between desert and savanna known as the Sahel. But the mission ended incomplete despite billions of euros spent and thousands of Malian lives lost (as well as 59 French soldiers), leaving in its wake no shortage of geopolitical rancor and a worryingly deteriorating security situation. Militants from factions linked to both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have entrenched themselves on a widening battlefield across the African continent. The French departure from Mali had been telegraphed months in advance amid a rupture in relations between the government of French President Emmanuel Macron and a Malian junta that seized power in August 2020 and carried out “a coup within a coup” — as Macron himself put it — against civilian officials nine months later.”

The Biden administration on Monday ruled out releasing $3.5 billion in funds held in the United States back to Afghanistan’s central bank anytime soon, citing the discovery that Al Qaeda’s leader had taken refuge in the heart of Kabul apparently with the protection of the Taliban government.

Famine:Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. (Ezekiel 14:13)

All over the globe, agricultural production is going to be below expectations in 2022, agricultural experts say. As a result, those who live in wealthy countries will pay much more for food in 2023, while many of those that live in poor countries will either deeply suffer or die.  In fact, children are already dropping dead from starvation in large numbers in some parts of Africa. In the U.S., the megadrought in the West, while easing somewhat recently, food production is down considerably leading to shortages in inflation in 20203.

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)

The Bureau of Reclamation gave states and tribes an Aug. 15 deadline to find ways to conserve 2 to 4 million more acre-feet of water to stabilize the drought-stricken river and its two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The deadline passed with no agreement in place. Now, Arizona will have to do with 21% less water than in previous years. Nevada lost 8% of its delivery and Mexico’s allocation was reduced by 7%. The only lower basin state to be spared cuts is California, which holds senior rights to the river. 

Grass is the single largest irrigated “crop” in America, surpassing corn and wheat, study from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found. It noted by the early 2000s, turfgrass, mostly in front lawns, spanned about 63,000 square miles, an area larger than the state of Georgia. Keeping front lawn grass alive requires up to 75% of just one household’s water consumption, according to the study, which is a luxury California is quickly becoming unable to afford as the megadrought pushes reservoirs to historic lows. The largest district in the state, the Metropolitan Water District serving 19 million people in Southern California, is paying water customers $2 per square foot of grass pulled out.

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)

Rain in the western U.S. is helping ease the megadrought in some states but not in others. Overall, the percent of the West in severe to exceptional drought declined from 73% three months ago to 50% as of last Thursday’s Drought Monitor. However, California increased from 95% to 97.5% as the rains largely passed it by. Nevada remained about the same at 99.5% while Utah remained at 99%. Other states showed major improvement. Colorado declined from 64% to 24%, while New Mexico declined from 97% to 62% and Arizona declined from 67% to 34%. In the Northwest, Oregon declined from 64% to 52% while Washington declined from 25% to 0% and Idaho declined from 50% to 16% and Montana declined from 61% to 16% with Wyoming declining from 47% to 21%.

A painful lack of rain and relentless heat waves are drying up rivers in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Many are shrinking in length and breadth. Patches of riverbed poking out above the water are a common sight. Some rivers are so desiccated, they have become virtually impassable. The Yangtze River in Asia is drying up at its banks and its bed is emerging in some areas. But it’s the Yangtze’s tributaries that are already intensely parched. The Rhine starts in the Swiss Alps, flows through Germany and the Netherlands and then flows all the way out to the North Sea. It’s a crucial channel for European shipping, but right now, it’s a nightmare to navigate. The Danube is Western Europe’s longest river and a crucial shipping channel that passes through 10 countries. In Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, workers are dredging the Danube just to ensure vessels can still navigate it.

Authorities at Zion National Park are searching for a person who went missing after flash flooding Friday. Iconic sections of the park have been closed, including The Narrows — an imposing gorge carved by the Virgin River that has rock walls a thousand feet tall. Zion National Park is located about 20 miles north of the Utah-Arizona border and is known for its narrow canyons and massive sandstone cliffs.

Major flash flooding in the Dallas metro area Monday morning is leading to water rescues on numerous flooded roads, airport travel delays and warnings of “dangerous, life threatening” flooding. Nearly 10 inches of rain fell in eastern Dallas overnight. Flooding swamped part of Interstate 30 and forced water rescues. The heavy rain is slowly is slogging southward and eastward from north Texas into central and east Texas, Louisiana, southern Arkansas and Mississippi early this week.

Signs of the Times Update: August 15, 2022

August 15, 2022

 “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

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)

More than 100 million people worldwide have received the Gospel through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s internet evangelism ministry known as “Search for Jesus,” according to new data from the organization. The Search for Jesus ministry, launched in 2012 as a way to reach people with the Gospel online, marked its 10th anniversary this month with new data: 100 million people have visited the ministry’s PeaceWithGod.net websites, and more than 3 million have indicated a decision for Christ and received follow-up. Internet users receive a gospel presentation and are matched with one of 1,400 trained volunteers who answer questions and chat with users online, live. PeaceWithGod.net websites are offered in seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, American Sign Language and Russian.

Private religious schools won’t be required to comply with the Biden administration’s gender mandate to qualify for student-lunch funding under a newly released exemption. The Agriculture Department issued a fact sheet Friday stating that all religious schools will be automatically exempted from its May 5 guidance linking the National School Lunch Program to the administration’s gender-identity requirements on hiring, restrooms, sports and dress codes. The clarification came after the Alliance Defending Freedom sued the Biden administration last month on behalf of the Grant Park Christian Academy in Tampa, Florida, alleging that the USDA guidance required the school to “violate its religious beliefs or stop providing lunches to children.”

  • However, non-religious charter schools will still suffer the loss of lunch money if they don’t comply with the LGBTQ+ directives.

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

Idol worship is not only in the form of carved images; modern-day idols can be benign-looking desires. U.S. Protestant pastors have identified at least eight such idols that are negatively influencing church members, according to a new study by Lifeway Research. On the top of the list of those idols is “comfort,” which about 67% of pastors said is significantly influencing congregations. The next on the list is “control or security,” which 56% of pastors believe is an idol. The others include “money” at 55%; “approval,” 51%s; “success,” 49%; “social influence,” 46%; “political power,” 39%; and “sex or romantic love,” 32%. The study found that younger pastors are more likely than older pastors to identify several of these modern-day idols in their churches, particularly political power, money and control or security..

The August edition of the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible: USA 2022” report shows that 40% of Generation Z adults ages 18 and over attend church “primarily online.” Churchgoers 77 and up slightly trailed the younger demographic at 36%. The report suggests that around two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennials who have made a meaningful commitment to Jesus do not attend church in person or online at least monthly. While 54% of all adults up to age 57 said they have “made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today,” less than one-third of those in the three youngest generations who have made that commitment are “practicing” Christians. Practicing Christians were defined as those who identify as Protestants or Catholics, consider their faith very important to them and attend religious services at least once a month. In contrast, non-practicing Christians identify as Christians but fall short in at least one of those categories.

  • Per the survey’s definitions of “practicing” versus “non-practicing” Christians, nearly half of all American adults (46%) fall into the non-practicing category.

A Texas megachurch has voted to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church due to the mainline Protestant denomination’s ongoing support of homosexuality. Over 200 more churches in the Lone Star State are also considering disaffiliation for the same reason. The Woodlands Methodist Church, a congregation with approximately 14,200 members located in Woodlands, Texas Over 96% of those who voted supported disaffiliation. Although theological liberals within the denomination have failed to change the official rules, many of them in positions of leadership have refused to enforce the existing rules highlighted in the UMC Book of Discipline, causing much frustration among theological conservatives. Across the United States, many congregations have left or are considering disaffiliating from the UMC. Many have joined the Global Methodist Church, a newly created conservative Methodist denomination.

The U.S. Justice Department announced that it is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention over alleged mishandling of sexual abuse. The Southern Baptist Convention, the second-largest faith group in the country, said the investigation involves “multiple” arms of the denomination and is related to years of alleged mishandling of sexual abuse cases. The organization said it will “fully and completely” cooperate.

Throughout Church history, church attendance and overall religiosity have been higher among women than among men, reports Breakpoint. That seems to be changing, especially for younger generations. According to new data, the long-existent church gender gap, which shows up in both religious affiliation and church attendance, has now flipped. However, the headline is not that more men are connecting with the Church. The story is that more women are disconnecting from the Church. A number of factors have contributed to this demographic shift, not least of which are recent scandals of sexual impropriety and abusive leadership among prominent pastors and Christian leaders. “Among white respondents,” a recent Christianity Today article summarized, “women are 9 percentage points more likely to say that they have no religious affiliation compared to white men,” but “there’s no real difference in the share of male and female nones among Black, Asian, and other racial groups.” 

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)

The school board in Fargo, North Dakota, has voted to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before their biweekly meetings, ruling that the Pledge does not align with the district’s diversity code, reports Breakpoint. The board’s vice chairman explained that the problem is two words: “Under God,” which were added to the Pledge in 1954 by a joint resolution of Congress and have withstood numerous legal challenges over the years. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, upon signing the bill, stated: “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.” How many of our leaders today believe that “spiritual weapons” are “our country’s most powerful resource?” Breakpoint asks. The Fargo school board certainly does not.

  • In fact, the board’s president recommended that members replace the Pledge of Allegiance with a “shared statement of purpose” which she thought was more appropriate for their work. In other words, rather than being “one nation under God,” they will be “one nation under us,” the religion of secular humanism.

The pandemic spawned a tsunami of scams — likely the largest fraud in world history. Government employees stand out as particularly egregious cases. U.S. Postal Service workers stole stimulus checks and unemployment benefit cards straight out of the mail, city workers billed for pandemic-related services they never delivered, and Social Security and unemployment agency employees used their access to Americans’ identities to write and in some cases approve bogus benefit applications. “It’s a travesty that government employees took advantage of the gaps and weak spots to game the system for personal gain,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of OpenTheBooks.com, a spending watchdog.

It was the height of the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan one year ago, and first lady Jill Biden’s office went outside the normal channels and begged veterans groups to help find a way to evacuate people having trouble navigating the process. So did Vice President Kamala Harris’ office, top Defense Department officials and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, according to a report released Sunday by House Republicans that details the depths of the Biden administration’s failures during the last days of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. The fact that President Biden’s own circle had to go outside his process to get help underscores just how badly the administration planned and executed the U.S. retreat, concludes the report, released by Rep. Michael T. McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “There was a complete lack and failure to plan,” Mr. McCaul told CBS’s “Face the Nation” as he revealed the report. “There were so many mistakes.”

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)

The U.S. House of Representatives passes the climate, healthcare and tax bill that the Senate passed earlier this month, sending it now to President Biden to sign into law the centerpiece of his economic agenda. The Inflation Reduction Act passed with only Democratic votes, as Republicans remained unanimously opposed. The move caps more than a year of false starts and intense debate and negotiations among Democrats to advance a slimmed-down version of Biden’s sweeping plans. The bill would reinstate a long-expired tax on oil companies to help cover the cost of cleaning up some of the nation’s most toxic sites.

A federal judge released documents Friday showing the FBI’s search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate cited a potential violation of the Espionage Act. The warrant said the FBI was also investigating the former president for removal or destruction of records and obstructing an investigation. The property receipt, which is a record of what FBI agents took, shows Trump possessed 11 sets of classified documents—some marked top secret. The court records did not detail what was in the documents. The Justice Department requested that U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the same judge who signed the warrant, unseal it and the property receipt Thursday.

  • Trump said that the records found in his Florida home were declassified and that he would have turned them over without a warrant. Presidents have the power to declassify documents when in office. It is unclear when or if the documents were declassified. Trump said Sunday that privileged material was taken during the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago property and demanded it back.
  • Trump said Monday he has offered the Biden Justice Department to “do whatever I can to help the country” to lower the anger among his supporters over the FBI raid of his Florida home. “If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that,” Mr. Trump told Fox News Digital. “I will do whatever I can to help the country.”
  • The Department of Justice is opposing a request from former President Donald Trump’s attorneys seeking an independent special master to review records that were seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate, even though that process would allow it to appear more impartial following the raid, one of the former president’s attorneys, Alina Habba, said on Newsmax Monday.
  • The FBI is warning of calls for civil war and a dirty bomb threat against its D.C. headquarters following its raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. In a leaked bulletin, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said they have seen an increase in “violent threats” against law enforcement, government officials and judges in the week since the agents executed the search warrant at Mr. Trump’s residence.

President Biden on Tuesday signed Congress’ $280 billion technology spending bill aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing and spurring scientific research, lauding it as a “once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.” Bided said, “America invented the semiconductor,” during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. “And this law brings it back home.” The House gave final passage to the bill, which includes a $52 billion payout to semiconductor manufacturers, in a 243-187 vote last month, one day after the Senate passed the measure 64-33 in a key legislative win for the administration.

  • Proponents of the bill, which includes more than $50 billion in the next five years for chip manufacturing and a 25% tax credit through 2026 for new chip production, say it will reduce America’s dependence on China and resolve a major supply chain issue that has contributed to high inflation.

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Grant Park Christian Academy of Tampa, Fla., will retain access to a federal lunch program for low-income students despite initial concerns that it would be barred in the wake of new LGBT discrimination policies enacted by the Biden administration. The school sued government officials last month to secure its access to the National School Lunch Program, which provided lunches to more than 50 low-income students enrolled at its school. Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Grant Park, announced the approval of the school’s application to continue receiving funds on Monday, with ADF Legal Counsel Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo saying it “shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit to get the government to respect religious freedom.”

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Famed author Salman Rushdie is recovering at a hospital after he was repeatedly stabbed on stage Friday in front of a New York audience in an attack that left him with severe injuries, his family said. The family of the 75-year-old author – who has for decades lived under Islamist threats because of his writings – said he was in critical condition Sunday after the attack, which ended with the assailant held down by staff and guests and Rushdie airlifted to a hospital. Rushdie was taken off a ventilator over the weekend but was still being treated for injuries including three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh.

  • Iran, which once offered a $3 million reward to anyone who killed Rushdie, denied involvement in the attack. However, Iran’s state-backed media is warning that former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are the next likely targets for an attack following the stabbing of Rushdie.

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)

Covid-19:

New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are down 17% over the past two weeks, while hospitalizations are down 3%. However, deaths are up 12% perhaps reflecting that there are many cases that go unreported due to home testing. Cases have fallen by 20 percent or more this month in more than a dozen states. In California, daily case counts were nearly twice as high a month ago as they are today.

The CDC said Thursday that people no longer need to stay 6 feet away from others or quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with someone who tests positive for the virus. The changes come after the CDC estimates that 95 percent of Americans 16 or older have developed some immunity to COVID-19, either through vaccination or through infection, according to a survey of blood donations. The agency still says that those who test positive for the virus should self-isolate for five days. Children will no longer need to quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus in the classroom. Instead, they will be asked to wear well-fitting masks after an exposure while continuing with in-person instruction.

If you were exposed to COVID-19, take three home tests instead of two to make sure you’re not infected, according to new U.S. recommendations released Thursday. Previously, the Food and Drug Administration had advised taking two rapid antigen tests over two or three days to rule out infection. But the agency says new studies suggest that protocol can miss too many infections, and could result in people spreading the coronavirus to others, especially if they don’t develop symptoms.  The new guidance applies to people without symptoms who think they may have been exposed. People with symptoms can continue using two tests spaced 48 hours apart.

Pfizer’s CEO has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Aug. 15. Albert Bourla, 60, reported experiencing mild symptoms. The CEO is isolating and has begun taking a course of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill.  “We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery. I am incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of my Pfizer colleagues who worked to make vaccines and treatments available for me and people around the world,” Bourla said.

Polio:

The polio virus was discovered in wastewater samples in New York City, showing the once-eradicated and potentially paralyzing disease is circulating farther than places in Rockland and Orange counties where it already had been found, state and New York City health officials announced on Friday. As of Aug. 4, the state Department of Health had said the polio virus had turned up in 11 sewage samples taken in Orange and Rockland counties in June and July. Rockland County officials announced on July 21 that a young adult had been diagnosed with polio. The person was no longer contagious, officials said, but had suffered paralysis as a result of the illness. The polio patient had never been vaccinated against the virus, officials said.

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)

Data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that relatively few children between the ages of six months to four years old have received one or more doses of the experimental coronavirus vaccine since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration obtained its emergency use authorization for Moderna’s and Pfizer’s jabs on June 18, The Epoch Times reported. According to the CDC, about 862,100 children under five years old have gotten the experimental injection. That’s just 4.1% of children from 6 months to 4 years old.

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)

An unidentified man reportedly set his car on fire by driving into a U.S. Capitol barricade early Sunday morning. He then exited his vehicle and began firing a weapon indiscriminately before shooting himself, police say. “At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons,” Capitol police said in a statement.

A man accused of ramming a car through an event in eastern Pennsylvania that killed one, injured 17 also allegedly beat a woman to death. The vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar for a fundraiser for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier this month, authorities said. The suspect took off, but was taken into custody after authorities received a call about an assault in nearby Nescopeck. Responding troopers found a woman dead.

Hundreds of Mexican troops arrived in the city of Tijuana on Saturday after more than a dozen vehicles were hijacked and burned by gangs as part of escalated violence in the area. Approximately 350 National Guard troops were flown in to support the thousands of federal troops already in the state of Baja California, Reforma reported. There were no reported injuries in the Tijuana hijackings that tangled up traffic throughout the city and temporarily blocked access to the busiest U.S. border crossing. U.S. government employees were instructed Friday evening to shelter in place and avoid traveling to the city after reports of increased violence.

Flags flew half-mast in Montenegro on Saturday as the country declared three days of mourning following a shooting rampage that killed 11 people on Friday, including the gunman.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A fire ripped through a packed church during morning services in Egypt’s capital on Sunday, killing at least 41 worshippers and injuring 14. The church quickly filled with thick black smoke, and witnesses said several trapped congregants jumped from upper floors to escape. The cause of the blaze in the Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighborhood of Imbaba was not immediately known. An initial investigation pointed to an electrical short-circuit. Some wonder whether it was a deliberate Islamist attack.

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)

A federal jury has found that a Democratic super political action committee (PAC) defamed Roy Moore, a former Republican sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate, in a television ad during his failed 2017 U.S. Senate bid in Alabama. The Senate Majority PAC made a false statement about Moore that was defamatory, the verdict, returned on Aug. 12, states. The PAC also published the statement despite knowing it was false or acting “with reckless regard” as to whether the statement was false, the jury said. Jurors also found that the Senate Majority PAC invaded Moore’s privacy. They awarded Moore $8.2 million. “I feel this is vindication and I give thanks to Almighty God and the jurors in this case for a great victory over our corrupt political system,” Moore said in a statement. The PACs lawyers said they would appeal.

Military: Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. (Psalm 144:1-2)

The U.S. Army is expected to fall nearly 40,000 troops short of its recruiting goals over the next two years, on track to be the Army’s worst recruiting results in almost 50 years. The Army plans to circumvent the problem by offering $1 billion for its recruiting program and placing more emphasis on the use of its reserve units. The Epoch Times reached out to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command for comment, and Maj. Charles Spears of the Combined Arms Center, who said “only 23 percent of American youth are qualified to serve without a waiver, [noting that] obesity, addiction, medical, and behavioral health are the top disqualifiers for service.” What’s more, he said, “Wokeism combined with bad policies are destroying the military and if we don’t course correct soon, it could cause irreparable harm, in my opinion.”

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

“Defund the police” supporter Rep. Ilhan Omar’s city is experiencing a sharp increase in most crimes, data shows. The spike comes just one year after she backed a failed campaign to dismantle and replace the Minneapolis Police Department. Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, which encompasses the city of Minneapolis. So far this year, citywide crimes have spiked in nine of 14 categories over the same time period last year, according to a Fox News Digital review of crime statistics.

Healthcare:  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)

The Inflation Reduction Act is getting the most attention because of its measures dealing with climate, but it also has important new policies affecting healthcare. The bill sets out to reduce Americans’ medical costs in two main ways. First, it uses federal subsidies to reduce the cost of both health insurance and prescription drugs. Second, the bill gives Medicare officials the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which will likely reduce the price that the companies charge for those drugs. The bill’s benefits will flow overwhelmingly to poor, working-class and middle-class families. Its costs will be borne by increases in corporate taxes.

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)

Florida Governor DeSantis has signed an order that will allow veterans to become instructors as the state faces massive teacher shortages. Some educators are concerned that this will undermine standard qualifications.

Schools in a rural North Carolina county will now stock an AR-15 assault rifle as officials beef up security measures in the wake of May’s deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Madison County Schools and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office came to the decision together and will provide a safe for each school to stow the semi-automatic rifle, extra magazines and breaching tools to break through an attacker’s barricade, according to the Asheville Citizen Times. Superintendent Will Hoffman also noted in a Monday statement that the school system will fund school resource officers for each of the district’s schools — which include three elementary schools, a middle school and two high schools.

Family:  Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12) But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1Timothy 5:8)

Particularly “in the LGBTQ+ community, it’s not uncommon to find a substitute family, colloquially known as a chosen family, Dani Blum recently wrote in an article in The New York Times. According to Blum, a “chosen family” refers to the “intense, intimate relationships … people form apart from their biological relatives; it is the kinship you create outside of a traditional family structure.” Chosen families are becoming more frequent in an age quick to write off foundational relationships as “toxic.” “Relationships were designed by God to be a gift of His common grace. Certain relationships, like the intimacy between a husband and wife or the bond between parents and children are distinct in purpose and unique in function, irreplaceable in their roles as building blocks of society,” notes Breakpoint.

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.

LifeSiteNews is running a series of articles with the stories of former transgenders who regret having done so. Walter Heyer who runs a website called sexchangeregret.com and he used to live as a woman. He has commented that transitioning caused him “emotional, psychological, and eventually… sexual child abuse.” Commenting on an effort by President Joe Biden and others to make puberty blockers and transgender surgeries more widely available, Heyer stated: “Now we have the government … actually promoting institutionalized child abuse. It’s destroying children, it’s destroying families, and it’s actually destroying much of society today.”

  • ‘Scott’ Newgent, a woman who went through transgender surgeries to appear as a man, has frequently warned about the harms she faced after ‘transitioning’ “I have suffered tremendously, including seven surgeries, a pulmonary embolism, an induced stress heart attack, sepsis, a 17-month recurring infection, 16 rounds of antibiotics, three weeks of daily IV antibiotics, arm reconstructive surgery, lung, heart and bladder damage, insomnia, hallucinations, PTSD, $1 million in medical expenses, and loss of home, car, career and marriage,” Newgent said.
  • Helena Kerschner began ‘transitioning’ soon after turning 18, taking testosterone injections at Planned Parenthood. She no longer is gender-confused and has warned that online communities and social pressure influenced her decision. “The gender ideology is very prominent there [on Tumblr],” she said. There are a lot of “social incentives” to change pronouns and embrace gender ideology to stay in those online groups. “There are people in these communities who will say, if you don’t like your body, that’s a sign of gender dysphoria, if you don’t fit in with other girls, that’s a sign of gender dysphoria, if you don’t like the way your voice sounds in a recording, that’s a sign of gender dysphoria.” 

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has reportedly finalized rules that prevent health care providers from billing the state’s Medicaid program for gender-changing medical treatments. Politico reported on Thursday that the agency added new language to Medicaid program rules stating that it would not cover services for the treatment of gender dysphoria, including sex reassignment surgery, puberty blockers or hormone therapies.

LGBTQ+ Agenda: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness. (Isaiah 5:20)

State universities are indoctrinating future teachers in controversial transgender, racial, and political theories – and instructing them to teach these principles to children beginning in preschool, a new report has found. “There’s a huge amount of liberal indoctrination going on,” the report’s author, Will Flanders, told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm on Monday. “We found it across every public university in the state that has an education program.” The 44-page report found that many of these courses begin by defining biblical morality as beyond the pale – i.e. outside the limits of acceptable behavior or judgment. Once the university changes students’ personal morality, it instructs them to begin introducing radical gender theory to children as young as three. At UW-Whitewater, students read a chapter titled “Just Another Gay Day in the Campus Three-Year-Old Room,” which tells students to include LGBTQ “lessons with a three-year-old day care center.”

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has been elected as the country’s next President, the electoral commission announced Monday. Ruto won with 50.49% of the vote, narrowly defeating veteran opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who was contesting his fifth election. He will become Kenya’s fifth President since independence, winning the seat on his first attempt. Ruto’s party, the Kenya First coalition, has won a majority of seats in Kenya’s senate, the second highest in the National Assembly. During a speech Monday, Ruto said: “It was God that brought us here … my team and I will make sure that the sacrifices made by many Kenyans is not in vain … we will not let them down. I am confident that this country will come together, and we can move forward as one democratic nation.”

  • Earlier Monday, his rival Odinga’s coalition rejected the election results before they had even been announced by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The national tallying center briefly descended into chaos shortly after Odinga’s coalition rejected the results, with fighting breaking out and chairs being thrown in the building. The country’s electoral commission was split, as four officials disowned the commission’s chairman Wafula Chebukati’s results, officials said at an earlier press conference. The IEBC’s vice chair Juliana Cherera was among those disputing the results but provided no evidence of irregularities.

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)

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday, requesting for the second time that 150 D.C. National Guard members be deployed to the nation’s capital to assist with the arrival of migrants. Thousands of migrants, some of whom have been bused from Texas, have arrived in Washington, D.C., in recent months. Buses carrying migrants from Texas to New York at the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has set off a firestorm of condemnation from Democratic leaders. Gov. Abbott says the Northeast Democrats should call on President Biden to secure the border and remedy the immigration crisis.

There are two sides to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the policy that allows immigrants who were brought here as children to stay and work. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies, which promotes stricter controls on immigration, says “It incentivizes sending kids illegally here with smugglers, puts them in danger and undermines our legal immigration system.” But ten years after DACA became law, many beneficiaries live in fear. One woman fears being returned to the Middle East after living most of her life in Florida. A North Carolina man moved to Mexico rather than live under the constant threat of deportation. Another woman needs a lifesaving kidney transplant but cannot qualify for one without a green card. If DACA is eventually revoked, special consideration is needed for those who’ve already Benn in the U.S. for years.

Population Growth: After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying… “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:1,5)

The Congressional Budget Office’s latest report, “The Demographic Outlook: 2022 to 2052,” suggests that net immigration will likely account for all of the United States’ population growth in the next two decades despite an expected uptick in fertility rates. The report, which predicts that the U.S. population will rise from 335 million today to 369 million in 2052, forecasts that U.S. population growth will be entirely driven by net immigration by 2043 due to the number of deaths in the country exceeding the number of births beginning at that time. The senior population (65+) is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the working-age population between 25-54, which could impact the U.S.’s ability to maintain its social safety net for older Americans, Medicare and Social Security, with the number of working-age Americans decreasing while the number of seniors seeking to obtain such benefits rises.

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

Numerous flights are still being delayed and canceled on Friday, marking more than a week of heightened disruptions, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. As of 10 a.m. ET on Friday, more than 1,000 flights in, out of and across the U.S. have been delayed, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight delay and cancellation statistics in real-time. Another 100-plus flights were canceled.

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)

A ship carrying Ukrainian grain, one of several to leave the Black Sea ports, arrived at its destination in Turkey on Monday. Twelve ships—ten outbound and two heading to Ukraine—have been authorized to pass through the Black Sea under the agreement, which was mediated by Turkey and the United Nations. About 322,000 tons of corn and other crops have left Ukrainian ports. Ships leaving Ukraine are checked by officials from Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Four of the ships that have left Ukraine already are due to dock in Istanbul on Monday evening for those inspections.

Treasure: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

A new U.S. Census Bureau report on affluence and the wealth gap highlights what richer Americans have in common. Attending college is increasingly expensive, but people with higher educational achievements do tend to earn more. They also tend to have higher net worths. Married couples had a median net worth of $269,000 in 2019 compared to $50,160 for single men and $36,600 for single women. “Households that can afford to purchase a home are also more likely to have the resources to invest in other wealth-generating assets,” the Census Bureau said. 

Homelessness: Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:19-20)

Hotel owners in Los Angeles are becoming increasingly worried as residents are expected to vote on a proposal that would mandate housing the homeless in vacant rooms across the city. President of the Northeast Los Angeles Hotel Owners Association Ray Patel said, “It’ll hurt us badly. The value of the hotels will go down and tourism and corporate travel will be affected in the city of Los Angeles.”

Taxes:  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

Americans who earn less than $75,000 per year are slated to receive 60% of the additional tax audits expected under Democrats’ new spending package, according to an analysis released by House Republicans. The analysis, which is a conservative estimate based upon recent audit rates and tax filing data, shows that individuals with an annual income of $75,000 or less would be subject to 710,863 additional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits while those making more than $1 million would receive 52,295 more audits under the bill. The legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, would roughly double the IRS’ budget to increase enforcement and, therefore, federal tax revenue. 

An automotive group representing carmakers including Ford, General Motors and Toyota said most electric vehicles will be ineligible for a tax credit proposed under the new Inflation Reduction Act. The group says the reason many vehicles would automatically lose eligibility are requirements in the Clean Vehicle Credit that include sourcing critical materials for the battery from North America or a U.S. free trade partner. The value of the credit also will depend on which components of the vehicle’s battery were built in North America. John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation said 70% of the electric vehicles available to buy in the U.S. would become immediately ineligible once the bill passes, and none of the vehicles would qualify for the full credit. Bozzella called the requirements in the credit unattainable and punitive to consumers.

Work: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Millions of Americans are burned out after logging excessive hours or duties during COVID-19. Now, many are resolving to meet their job requirements but not go beyond. No toiling late into the night. No calls on weekends. And no pushing themselves to the brink even during regular business hours. Their determination to stick to their job descriptions has been made possible by widespread labor shortages that have given workers unprecedented leverage over employers. “Employees are saying, ‘I’m not going to define myself by traditional markers of career progression and success,’” says Mark Royal, senior client partner for Korn Ferry, a recruiting and human resource consulting firm. “I’m going to put a box around work.” Some have labeled this “quiet quitting.”

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 number of workers in the U.S. has continued to shrink as businesses struggle to find employees for their openings. According to Labor Department data, the number of workers in the U.S. has fallen 400,000 since March and about 600,000 smaller than it was in early 2020, right before widespread COVID-19 restrictions plunged the economy into a recession. The labor shortage has raised fears that the economy will not achieve the “soft landing” many hoped for as restrictions have been lifted, with some economists saying the imbalance between labor supply and demand represents the largest threat to the U.S. economy.

U.S. consumer sentiment climbed more than expected in August as gas prices dropped nationwide, but Americans’ confidence in the economy remains near a record low. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose to 55.1 in August – up from the July reading of 51.5 and above economists’ forecasts. That is still more than a 21% drop from just one year ago, when the gauge was at 70.3.

Many of the global prices for food, fuel and fertilizer that spiked when Russia invaded Ukraine have returned to their pre-war levels, defying the most dire forecasts even as policymakers warn of the continued risk of famine and financial crisis in the developing world.

The average American is shelling out an extra $717 a month because of the hottest inflation in decades, according to a new analysis from the Joint Economic Committee Republicans. The financial squeeze stems from the rising cost of a number of everyday goods, including cars, rent, food and health care. While the rapid pace of price increases eased slightly in July, the consumer price index still climbed 8.5% from the previous year – hovering near a painful, four-decade high, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday.

  • Falling gas prices are helping to curb the recent surge of inflation. Inflation in July was still up 13.1 percent from a year ago, the fastest annual pace since 1979. In July, breakfast cereal prices rose 16.4% from a year ago. Chicken cots increased by 17.6% and eggs shot up 38% from a year ago.

Months after gas prices reached all-time highs, drivers are feeling relief at the pump with the national average under $4 per gallon for the first time in five months. The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. was $3.99 on 8/11, according to AAA. Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said three things have factored into falling prices: first, the cost of oil; second, less demand for gas; and third, a “band aid” from the Biden Administration releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. The biggest factor, however, was crude oil prices, which have dropped over 20 cents/barrel since July 4th.

Online prices declined by 1% year-over-year in July, snapping a string of nearly two years of persistent inflation, according to a report released Tuesday by Adobe. The shift is even more pronounced on a month-over-month basis where online prices dropped by 2% in July, Adobe said. Walmart, Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) have all recently warned of an inventory glut that is eating into profits and prompting price cuts.

Despite rising mortgage rates that dampened sales, home prices continued to climb higher in the second quarter of 2022, with many more cities seeing double-digit price gains than in the first part of the year. The median single-family existing home price in the second quarter was $413,500 – the first time this quarterly price has ever risen above $400,000. Home prices for the quarter were up 14.2% from a year ago, slightly slower than the 15.4% year-over-year price increase experienced in the first quarter.

In the latest sign of turbulence in the US economy, New York-area manufacturing suffered a large and unexpected setback in August, according to a survey released on Monday. The New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State Manufacturing Survey plunged by 42 points in August to -31.3. That marks the second-largest monthly decline on record for this closely watched gauge of economic activity. The biggest drop was recorded in April 2020, when the economy was ravaged by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

International Economy:

Nearly one-third of UK households, about 10.5 million, will be in fuel poverty for the first three months of next year, according to estimates from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) published on Tuesday — meaning that their income after paying for energy will fall below the poverty line. The UK government defines poverty as household income of less than 60% of the UK median, which stood at £31,000 ($37,500) in 2021, according to official statistics. The predictions are based on new estimates from research firm Cornwall Insight, also published Tuesday, which show that the average household energy bill is expected to hit £3,582 ($4,335) a year from October, and £4,266 ($5,163) from January — equating to about £355 ($430) a month.

Argentina’s central bank raised the benchmark interest rate for the 28-day term to 69.5% from 60%, a rate the bank set just two weeks ago when it hiked the rate by 800 basis points and the government shuffled its cabinet to install a new economy “superminister.” New inflation data on Thursday underscored the urgency driving economic policy: Prices rose 7.4% in July, above expectations and pushing annual inflation to a 20-year high of 71%.

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

At least eight people, including five Americans, were wounded in a shooting attack targeting a bus near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning. Around 1:30 am local time Sunday, police said that a “terrorist armed with weapons shot at a bus and vehicles in a parking lot near the Old City of Jerusalem.” At least two of the Americans injured were tourists.

Nineteen people suspected of terror offenses were captured by Israeli troops, with one suspect killed, during widespread arrests in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority-controlled enclaves in the Judea and Samaria region. The anti-terror sweeps, which occurred overnight Sunday, came on the heels of a terror attack in Jerusalem targeting unarmed Jewish civilians, which saw seven people wounded.

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)

Multiple drones strapped with explosive devices attacked an American-run compound in Syria on Monday. The U.S. military says American and allied forces at the compound suffered no injuries or damage. No group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack which hit the al-Tanf base in south-central Syria. U.S. forces are deployed to the area to assist Syrian opposition forces. The military says troops stationed at the base shot down one of the drones before it could enter the base. Another one flew inside a building and detonated but caused no injuries. The al-Tanf base has been the subject of similar attacks before with drones striking the base in October 2021 as well.

Israel launched a missile attack on western and central Syria Sunday night, killing three soldiers and wounding three others, the Syrian military said in a statement. The Syrian army said the IDF targeted several positions in the coastal province of Tartus and suburbs of the capital Damascus. The military said the missiles were fired by warplanes flying over neighboring Lebanon, adding that they caused material damage as well. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said the Israeli strike targeted a Syrian army air defense base in the area of Abu Afsa. It added that Iran-backed fighters are usually in the base.

The head of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group warned Israel on Monday that more rocket launches will occur if the Jewish State does not release prisoners affiliated with PIJ within the next week. “If the enemy does not carry out its obligations according to the [ceasefire] agreement, we will not hesitate for a moment to resume the fighting, and then Allah can do with us as He wills.”

The Palestinian death toll from last weekend’s fighting between Israel and Gaza militants rose to 48 Thursday after an 11-year-old girl and a man died from wounds they suffered during the worst cross-border violence in over a year. Meanwhile, two wounded Gaza children, ages 8 and 14, were fighting for their lives in a Jerusalem hospital. In all, more than 300 Palestinians were wounded over the weekend when Israel struck Islamic Jihad targets across Gaza and the militant group fired hundreds of rockets at Israel. The death of 11-year-old Layan al-Shaer at Mukassed Hospital in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem brought to 17 the number of children killed in the fighting.

In preparation for the September gathering of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Palestinian leadership is conducting extensive lobbying to achieve full UN recognition for the “State of Palestine.” Such recognition would necessitate a positive recommendation of all five of the permanent members of the UN Security Council that would be followed by the approval of two-thirds of the UNGA. To further this goal, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian representatives have been in contact and raised the subject with world leaders and UN officials.

The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon issued a warning to Israel about attempting to tap offshore gas reserves in disputed waters between the two countries, further complicating U.S. attempts to mediate the dispute. “The hand that reaches for any of this wealth will be severed,” Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, said during televised remarks in Beirut Tuesday. The warning comes as the U.S. has intensified efforts to resolve the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon, two countries that have been in an official state of war for over 70 years. Tensions between the two countries have flared over the summer, with Israel reporting that it had shot down three drones launched by Hezbollah that were reportedly bound for the Karish gas fields.

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)

Russia is ready to supply military equipment to allied countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa and Moscow is open to training foreign fighters, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the “Army-2022” opening ceremony on Monday. “Russia sincerely cherishes historically strong, friendly, truly trusting ties with the countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. We are ready to offer our allies the most modern types of weapons, from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery to combat aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles,” Putin said during opening remarks.

Russia/Ukraine:

Concerns that a nuclear catastrophe could take place at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant were on the rise Sunday after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged to target Russian soldiers using Europe’s largest nuclear facility as cover to shell nearby cities. The two nations have blamed each other for rocket attacks near the Russian-occupied plant. Ukraine says Russia is shelling nearby regions from the plant and storing weapons there – and that Russia’s latest attack last week damaged radiation-monitoring equipment at the plant’s fire station.

The Russian military took over key administration buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Enerhodar on Monday, Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov posted to telegram. Thirty-three workers refused to cooperate with the Russian military and will not go to work tomorrow, he said. “The occupiers continue to seize objects and enterprises in Enerhodar, establish their own rules, and pressure workers,” Orlov wrote. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the largest nuclear power facility in Europe, is located in the town of Enerhodar. Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief warned that the fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant “could lead to very serious consequences.”

The Ukrainian government says its demining forces have detected and defused more than 180,000 explosive devices since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February. Yevhenii Yenin, the first deputy interior minister, said on Ukrainian television Monday that “one-fifth of the territory of Ukraine was contaminated with shells, mines and aerial bombs that did not explode. In the Kyiv region, 1,000 explosive objects are still being defused every day,” he said.

China/Taiwan:

A second delegation of U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a two-day trip during which they will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, the second high-level group to visit while there are military tensions between the self-ruled island and China. Beijing, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has conducted military drills around the island to express its anger over U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in early August. The de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four House lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region. Markey chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee.

Taiwan’s foreign minister last Tuesday warned China is using its aggressive military drills around the island as part of a broader plan for what it fears is an impending invasion. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters, “It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyber-attacks, disinformation, and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan. After the drills conclude, China may try to routinize its action in an attempt to wreck the long-term status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

An Iranian national plotted to assassinate at least two former Trump administration officials, the Department of Justice said, in what it described as a likely retaliation for the 2020 killing of a prominent Iranian general. A criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday said Shahram Poursafi, 45 years old, of Tehran, tried to kill one of former President Donald Trump’s national-security advisers, John Bolton, by offering to pay an individual in the U.S. $300,000. Agents affiliated with Mr. Poursafi conducted surveillance on Mr. Bolton. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also notified that he was an intended target.

“The threat from the Islamic State extremist group is growing by the day in Africa and the continent could be “the future of the caliphate,” an African security expert warned the U.N. Security Council last Tuesday. Martin Ewi said the Islamic State “has expanded its influence beyond measure” in Africa, with at least 20 countries directly experiencing the extremist group’s activity and more than 20 others “being used for logistics and to mobilize funds and other resources.” “They are now regional hubs, which have become corridors of instability in Africa,” said Ewi, who coordinates a transnational organized crime project at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa’s capital Pretoria and was previously in charge of the African Union Commission’s counter-terrorism program. He said the Lake Chad Basin — which borders Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon — is the extremist group’s biggest area of operation, and areas in the Sahel are now “ungovernable” while Somalia remains the IS “hotspot” in the Horn of Africa.

  • A recent attempt to take over or destabilize Uganda failed, but Ewi said an IS affiliate, the Allied Democratic Forces, “remains a serious threat.” In addition, he said, the Islamic State Central Africa has made some regions of Congo and Mozambique “human slaughterhouses.”

A top leader of the Pakistani Taliban militia was reported killed Sunday in southeastern Afghanistan, potentially dealing a serious blow to peace talks being negotiated between the extremist group and Pakistani officials with assistance from senior Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. An aide to the Pakistani militia leader, known as Omar Khalid Khorasani, said in a tweet Monday morning that he died in a bomb blast in southeastern Afghanistan. The reported death of Khorasani followed months of talks that began shortly after Afghan Taliban forces took power in Kabul one year ago. Numerous delegations have met in Afghanistan since then to help end the years-long conflict between Pakistani forces and hard-line Pakistani militants.

In Haiti, ammunition rounds bounced off an armored vehicle, as police carried a limp civilian to the sidewalk – another victim of the brutal, daily shootings that plague the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area. Here, inside the gang-held territory of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti’s SWAT team has driven into a gunfight that has already torn up a civilian bus. In the preceding 72 hours, police killed a leader of the 400 Mawozo gang and rescued six hostages from them, they say. But the gang – one of dozens terrorizing the capital – have not been dislodged from these streets. In the area of Cité Soleil, ten days of violence in July left more than 470 people dead, injured or missing, according to the UN, after the G9 gang tried to expand its reach in the area, taking territory from rival gangs.

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)

The climate bill’s provisions are mostly a collection of subsidies for energy that does not emit any carbon, like solar, wind and nuclear power. Without those subsidies, polluting fossil fuels are often still cheaper. The subsidies try to give cleaner energy an edge. “I don’t mean this as an exaggeration: This really changes everything,” said Jesse Jenkins, a climate policy expert at Princeton University. “It is effectively going to shift the financial case away from dirty energy toward clean energy for everyone.” For consumers, the subsidies will reduce the prices of electric vehicles, solar panels, heat pumps and other energy-efficient home improvements. You can claim the subsidies through tax filings; as a separate rebate if you don’t file taxes; or, in some cases, immediately when you make a purchase.

Grasslands and savannas have come to be viewed merely as “run-down forests,” areas that surely could be improved by planting trees upon them. That view is not only ecologically wrong—true grasslands are distinct ecosystems—it overlooks their natural value, say ecologists. Grasslands are gigantic reservoirs of carbon. Scientists estimate that, worldwide, they contain about a third of all the carbon stored on land, mostly in their soils. Old-growth grasslands take just as long as old-growth forests to attain that status, around 150 years. Tree forests do so “more impressively” with their giant trees, but the grasslands evolve into complex systems in their own right, above and below ground. One recent analysis based on global climate models estimated that, in the long run, grasslands and savannas may save more carbon than forests lose through fire.

It’s now unsafe to drink rainwater around the world because of the growing presence of “forever chemicals,” a new study indicates.  In the study, published Aug. 2 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers point to the dangers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. PFAS are a family of human-made chemicals used in countless products today, from food packaging to waterproof clothing. They can spread in the atmosphere and are now found in every corner of our Earth – including rainwater, snow and even human blood. PFAS are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they can last “thousands of years,” Clean Water Action notes. A host of possible serious health consequences has been associated with PFAS, including cancer, infertility and pregnancy complications, immune system problems and increased cholesterol, according to researchers at Stockholm University and ETH Zurich. According to the EPA, most uses of PFOA and PFOS were “voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers,” but some products still use them.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

After a series of earthquakes, a volcano about 30 miles outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, erupted on August 12. Fagradalsfjall Volcano, which erupted for months last year, is once again spewing magma.

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)

A wildfire in France burned an area equivalent to 12,000 football fields in one night during an epic heatwave.

A large wildfire in a rural area of Hawaii’s Big Island has burned more than 15 square miles, as of 8/12. It is not threatening any homes, but high winds and extremely dry conditions are making it difficult for crews to contain the blaze.

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)

High tide flooding events fueled by sea level rise along the nation’s coastlines continue to become more common and will increase even more in the coming years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest annual high tide flooding outlook. Scientists say sea level rise is fueled by ocean warming and higher atmospheric temperatures that cause ocean water to expand and glaciers and ice sheets to melt. In the next 12 months, some areas around New York City are expected to have between 10 and 15 days of high tide flooding. That compares to about nine days over the last year. Coastlines along the northern Gulf of Mexico could see between five and 20 days, while one part of Washington State could see up to 16 days. Record high tide flooding isn’t predicted overall for the rest of this year since the Earth is in a position farthest away from the moon. King Tides, high tides that happen a couple of times a year during a full moon, can bring flooding.

The robust monsoon rains in recent weeks have reduced drought levels in the Southwest – as well as the Intermountain West – to those not seen in many months. Most locales in Arizona, New Mexico, the California deserts, southern Nevada, and a few other scattered areas have measured at least 200 percent of normal (rainfall) over the past 2 months. Strong winds and heavy monsoonal rains in Arizona required local fire officials to conduct several rescues in Scottsdale, both on the ground and by air, of people trapped in cars by floods or downed power line.

Flash floods swept the iconic Las Vegas strip for the second time in weeks last Friday, causing water to seep into casinos and flood parking garages. Videos on social media captured a bus wading through an intersection that floodwaters turned into lagoon and a car battling against strong currents of downhill flooding near the strip. After the floodwaters receded, Clark County Fire Department reported that two lifeless bodies were found in the city’s flood channels. All the occupants of numerous stalled vehicles were evacuated safely. 

Record rainfall in South Korea that began last week killed at least nine people, destroyed buildings, and spurred recovery efforts. Up to 17 inches of rain fell in the hardest-hit Dongjak district in the capital city of Seoul. Korea’s meteorological agency said some areas received the heaviest rain in 80 years. Nearly 50 cities faced landslide warnings this week as many roads remained closed. Government workers and military troops joined in cleaning up debris in several neighborhoods. The downpour also extended to North Korea, which issued heavy rain warnings in the southern and western regions.

Europe is in its fourth heat wave of the summer sparking extreme heat and drought conditions. Wildfires are burning across southern France as historic rivers in the UK and Germany are running uncommonly low hampering the movement of ships and barges of food and commodities. Europe’s ongoing drought could signal the death of river cruising as rivers get too shallow.

There have historically been heat waves in the past. For example, in 627, the heat was so great in France and Germany, says the London Standard, that all springs dried up; water became so scarce that many people died of thirst. In 879, work in the field had to be given up; agricultural laborers persisting in their work were struck down in a few minutes, so powerful was the sun. In 993, the sun’s rays were so fierce that vegetation burned up as under the action of fire. So this current period of ‘global warming’ may just be another heat wave. But combined with other end-time prophesies (e.g. Israel formed ‘in a day’ in 1948, pestilence (Covid), increasing floods, winds, wildfires, and ‘evil called good’ in the LGBTQ+ movement), we must ‘keep watch’ and ‘be ready.’

  • Watch therefore, for youknow neither the day nor the hourin which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 25:13) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44)

Signs of the Times Update: August 8, 2022

August 8, 2022

 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:8-12)

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)

After five years of litigation and a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Christian flag finally flew on the Boston City Hall Plaza public forum flagpole Wednesday as an enthusiastic crowd cheered to celebrate the first day free of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. In 2017, Shurtleff and Camp Constitution filed a permit application with the City of Boston to celebrate Constitution Day in September. Boston had a longstanding practice and policy to open a flagpole for private speakers to temporarily raise a flag during their events. In the city’s own words, Boston created a “public forum” open to “all applicants.” But after 12 years, 284 applications, no denials and virtually no review, Boston censored Camp Constitution’s application because of one word in the application – Christian.

The Georgia Department of Revenue has announced residents can now claim unborn children as dependents on their tax returns amounting to a $3,000 benefit. It’s all due to the “Living Infant and Fairness Equality (LIFE) Act” which has now taken effect in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. “The Department will recognize any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat…as eligible for the Georgia individual income tax dependent exemption,” the guidance read.

Three Nigerian Christian women kidnapped as teenagers by Boko Haram Islamist terrorists from a school in Chibok eight years ago have been found. They and their three children were recovered with their children by the Nigerian Army during operations against Boko Haram in Borno State. Boko Haram abducted 276 girls, mostly Christian, from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014. Around 165 girls have subsequently escaped, been rescued or released.

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)

Two GOP senators have urged the Department of Defense (DoD) to immediately investigate whistleblower allegations that hundreds of Afghan evacuees who appeared on official watchlists were not properly vetted before they were released into the United States. According to the DoD whistleblower, the Biden administration failed to properly vet 324 Afghan evacuees who appeared on the DoD’s Biometrically Enabled Watchlist (BEWL), which includes known suspected terrorists, said U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Thursday.

Our nation’s power grid is fragile. Much more so than most Americans know, or that the government is disclosing, reports Intercessors for America (IFA). Recently IFA hosted experts on the threats and vulnerabilities of the grid on a Pray With America’s Leaders webcast. What they shared was astounding. The threats against the grid are many: hackers, solar flares, sabotage, and an EMP.

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)

Last-minute changes to a package of economic spending bills won over key votes Sunday, like that of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. The Senate passed Democrats’ omnibus spending, prescription drug, and climate bill along party lines. The budget reconciliation process allowed the bill to avoid a GOP filibuster, and Vice President Kamala Harris broke the 50-50 tie. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he wants the House to vote on it when Congress reconvenes next week.

  • Contradicting claims from Senate Democrats, a report from the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that the measures in the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) would have a marginal to negative impact on inflation.
  • Republicans say this bill includes $740 billion in funding to hire 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, which they say will target Americans. However, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans. As we have been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.”

Senators delivered overwhelming bipartisan approval to NATO membership for Finland and Sweden Wednesday, calling expansion of the Western defensive bloc a “slam-dunk” for U.S. national security and a day of reckoning for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine. Wednesday’s 95-1 vote — for the candidacy of two Western European nations that, until Russia’s war against Ukraine, had long avoided military alliances — took a crucial step toward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 73-year-old pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe. Formal approval from all member nations — currently, 30 — is required.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

For the fourth time in nine months, a Muslim man has been found shot to death in Albuquerque. The man killed Friday night was in his mid-20s and from South Asia. Police, who discovered his body after receiving a report of a shooting, declined to say whether the killing was done in a way similar to the other slayings, which have shaken the Muslim community in New Mexico and drawn condemnation from President Biden. “There is reason to believe this death is related to those shootings,” Police Chief Harold Medina said in a news conference Saturday.

Back in May, 20 Nigerian Christians were brutally martyred by the Islamic militant group ISIS. In June, 40 more Christians died in Owo, Nigeria, in a terrorist attack against a church. Though it is not clear who is responsible for that attack, what is clear is that Christians continue to be severely persecuted in this West African nation. The persecution, which has been ongoing for years, is part of a long history of conflict with Islam. In 1953, Christians made up only 21.4% of the population in Nigeria. Today, about half of the country’s population, about 96 million people, are Christians. To put that number in perspective, Germany, the largest country in Europe, has a total population of less than 84 million.

Muslim extremists on July 29 came to the home of an evangelist who had held open-air events in eastern Uganda and killed him, Christian Headlines reports. Sozi Odongo was killed in a knife attack at his home in Omorio cell, Agule Town Council, Pallisa District, while his wife and four children hid in a room. Odongo was 45. The previous week, sources said, Odongo had received threatening text messages, including one from Nasuru Ongom, a Muslim sheikh (teacher) in Palissa town, that read, “Please stop preaching to our people using the holy Koran, or else you risk your life.”

The prosecution of four Christian converts from Islam under an apostasy law abolished two years ago seems to confirm concerns about a return to Islamism by the government in Sudan. The four young men were charged with apostasy from Islam under Article 126 of the Sudanese Penal Code, and could now face the death penalty in line with sharia (Islamic law). Sudan’s apostasy law was abolished in July 2020 by the reforming government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The government formalized separation of religion and state two months later. Now it seems that the reforms that had improved the lives of Christians – and especially Muslim-background believers – are being rolled back and these four Christian converts face the death penalty.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Protests continue at justices’ homes, in violation of state and federal law! On Wednesdays, Justices Kavanaugh and Roberts were targeted; Thursday, Justice Barrett; Friday, Justice Thomas; and Saturday, Justice Alito. Organizers call the scheduled events ‘resistance marches’ and also organize pop-up events at random times, which they call “surprise home demo” (most recently at Justice Gorsuch’s house). These random events circumvent the authorities–they advertise that they have 10 minutes before cops will show up. Some of these justices have young children at home. Can you imagine how distressing this is for them?

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

Just as the surge of terrorism and hate crimes against pregnancy resource centers (PRC) and churches appeared to be slowing down in recent weeks, two more churches were targeted in Lawrence, Kans. over the weekend. With this ongoing violence and with the rhetoric surrounding PRCs continuing to heat up on Capitol Hill, pregnancy center staff are increasingly finding themselves having to divert valuable resources away from helping vulnerable women in need in order to bolster security measures for their buildings.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that laid the groundwork for Medicaid to enable women to travel to another state for an abortion. This is his second pro-abortion executive order since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The first created the so-called Reproductive Rights Task Force on July 12. Wednesday’s order also encourages healthcare providers to provide data to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kansans voted last Tuesday against an amendment to the state constitution that would have allowed lawmakers to protect unborn babies either completely or partially. The referendum failed by about 20 percentage points. The state Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that abortion is a “fundamental” right. The amendment would have said the constitution does not protect the right to abortion, giving lawmakers the ability to pass more pro-life laws.

  • This was a real shocker in a state which Trump carried by 15% in 2020.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 into law last week, banning most abortions in the state. It is the first state to do so since the United States overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. The new law provides exceptions for cases of rape, incest, lethal fetal deformity, and serious health emergency for the mother.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday against Idaho’s law that protects babies in every case except to save the life of the mother or in the case of rape or incest. The new law, which is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 25, makes performing an abortion without proof that it was one of these cases punishable by two to five years in prison. This is the first major action by the DOJ challenging a state law protecting babies since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The DOJ said the Idaho law conflicts with the federal 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act that requires medical facilities that accept Medicare to stabilize and treat any patient. That treatment includes providing abortions, the department argues.

Three pro-life activists, including a Catholic priest, were sentenced to three months in jail yesterday following a rescue effort at an abortion facility during which they counseled women to choose life for their preborn children. The three men were given the maximum sentence by White Plains City Court Judge John Collin for the misdemeanor charge of third-degree criminal trespass. The men spoke to the women inside the abortion mill, offering each a red rose, which had a Miraculous Medal and a note attached that read, “You were made to love and be loved … Your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.”

Suicide/Assisted Suicide: No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV)

The European Court of Human Rights rejected an urgent legal application from the parents of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee Wednesday to delay the removal of their son’s life support. In a letter sent to Battersbee’s parents, ECHR stated it would not interfere with the decision of previous judges who agreed with the hospital’s assessment that removal of care was in Archie’s “best interests.” The boy’s mother, Hollie Dance, said the news was another “heart-breaking development” in her son’s case and questioned why he couldn’t be given a chance if doctors in other countries are willing to treat him. The parents have now submitted an application to a United Kingdom high court seeking to move their 12-year-old son to a hospice so he can receive palliative oxygen. However, the boy died shortly after life-support ended.

  • Once again, the culture of death wants to take life and death decisions out of the parents’ hands.

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)

Covid-19: The number of new cases of Covid-19 per day in the U.S. over the past two weeks has dropped by 8% down to 117,564/day. These are reported cases, not including those who test positive at home and don’t report it. Hospitalizations remained flat at 42,275 with deaths climbing 11% to 494/day.

One in eight people who get coronavirus develop at least one symptom of long COVID one of the most comprehensive studies on the condition to date suggested on Thursday. A new study published in The Lancet journal asked more than 76,400 adults in the Netherlands to fill out an online questionnaire on 23 common long COVID symptoms. Between March 2020 and August 2021, each participant filled out the questionnaire 24 times. About 12.7 percent of those who had COVID — around one in eight — suffered from long-term symptoms, the study said. It found that common long COVID symptoms include chest pain, breathing difficulties, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell, and general fatigue.

Monkeypox: The Biden administration declared a public health emergency for monkeypox on Aug. 4 in a bid to unlock funding and more powers to deal with the virus, which officials say is primarily spreading among homosexual males. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the declaration, saying in an Aug. 4 conference call with reporters that the move will allow for quicker distribution of the monkeypox vaccine. In the United States, there are “1.6 to 1.7 million” people who are at the “highest risk” of contracting monkeypox, according to the CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. She reiterated that homosexual men, namely those who are HIV-positive, appear to have the highest likelihood of getting monkeypox. So far, 95% of the cases are gay men.

  • If we follow God’s laws, we don’t have to worry about Monkeypox, AIDS and STDs.

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)

A trove of documents released last week by America First Legal obtained from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with Big Tech companies to censor what the agency deemed “misinformation” about COVID vaccines. The documents show emails between the CDC and officials from Twitter, Facebook and Google in which the CDC flagged what it deemed as “misinformation”. The emails also show that the CDC coordinated with the companies for the suppression of any dissent from the mainstream COVID narrative and had regular meetings about “misinformation” related to the vaccines. The CDC also helped to develop language used to control the narrative around the vaccines.

A recent study available in the prestigious Lancet peer-reviewed journal reveals COVID-19 vaccine booster shots may be harmful to the immune system and cause significant adverse reactions. The study also shows that eight months after a two-dose regimen, the injected have lower immune function than the unvaccinated. Dr. Kenji Yamamoto, a cardiovascular surgeon who has authored or co-authored thousands of papers available on NIH’s PubMed website, highlighted not only the well-known waning effectiveness of the experimental coronavirus gene-based injections, but that the shots may actually cause harm to their recipients’ immune systems as well.

A researcher who queried the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) discovered a 10,661.4% increase in cancer reports as a result of experimental COVID-19 gene-base vaccines as compared with all FDA-approved vaccines over the last 30 years. Brian Shilhavy, who is the editor of Health Impact News, also made note of the significant number of the cancer cases in the database that were of young people, from age 12 up through many young adults in their 20s. Last October, a Swedish lab study found that the spike protein associated with the COVID-19 illness, and its experimental vaccines, enters the nucleus of cells and significantly interferes with DNA damage-repair functions, compromising a person’s adaptive immunity and perhaps encouraging the formation of cancer cells.

  • In March 2021, board-certified pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole reported that he was seeing a massive “uptick” in various autoimmune diseases and cancers in patients who have been COVID-vaccinated.

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)

Crime, murder and mass shootings have dominated headlines this year. Just over the weekend, a shooting in Cincinnati wounded nine people, and another in Detroit killed one and wounded four. Overall, however, nationwide shootings are down 4% this year compared to the same time last year. In big cities, murders are down 3%. If the decrease in murders continues for the rest of 2022, it will be the first year since 2018 in which they fell in the U.S.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A thunderstorm passed over a Cuban crude oil storage facility and lightning caused fires and explosions, killing at least one firefighter and injuring more than 100 people. Crews from three countries worked to battle the blaze. A second tank collapsed and another explosion rocked Cuba overnight Sunday as the Matzanas oil farm fire worsened.

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)

The father and son who are serving life in prison for Ahmaud Arbery’s murder were again sentenced to life in prison Monday on federal hate crime charges. Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, will serve his federal sentence of life plus 10 years. His father, Gregory, will serve life in state prison plus seven years. They both will serve the federal sentences concurrently with the state time. The family of Arbery, a young Black man shot in 2020 while on a neighborhood jog, had asked that the men be sent to state, rather than federal, prison. Legal experts say the outcome of the second trial marked a historic moment in Georgia in acknowledging racist motivations.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit due to neglect of duty. The Governor has the authority to suspend a state officer under Article IV, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Florida. The Governor has appointed Susan Lopez to serve as State Attorney for the period of suspension. She has most recently been serving as a Judge on the Hillsborough County Court. “State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. Warren had said he would not prosecute abortions despite it being state law.

  • This is the first time a liberal State Attorney (or Attorney General) has been removed from office because of allowing criminals back onto the streets with no bail. There’s been far too much of this in the U.S.

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Four officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death have been charged with federal crimes two years after the fatal shooting occurred in Louisville. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that four current or former Louisville police officers have been charged. The charges include falsifying information on the search warrant that led to the raid in which Taylor was killed and attempting to cover up the false information after the fact. Garland said the alleged wrongdoing “resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death …. Breonna Taylor should still be alive.”

Over 1,000 New York City police officers have filed to leave the department in 2022, raising doubts about the city’s ability to maintain a substantive police force and maintain safety and security. Many officers are joining in the exodus and leaving before receiving their full pensions. Former NYPD detective Jason Caputo says the city is “steering away” from encouraging officers to apprehend criminals, adding that city and NYPD leaders are “putting victims and police in jeopardy.”

Racism/Discrimination: 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)

More than half a century after the Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1968, not only is the homeownership gap between white and Black Americans wider than it was in 1960 , the homeownership rate of Black Americans is expected to be lower (40%) in 2040 than it was in 2020 (41%), according to a study by the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C., based research organization focused on upward mobility and equity. Issues including financial education and awareness can still limit homeownership for lower-income households (a disproportionate share of whom are Black and Hispanic) or trap them into exploitative transactions.

A racist text message sent by a police officer has prompted officials in Vincent, a small Alabama town to disband their police department and fire the police chief and assistant chief. There was only one other officer in the department. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office condemned the two officers’ actions and said Friday that it stands with the city “in providing emergency law enforcement related service to the citizens (of Vincent) at this time.”

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

A daily hamburger might raise the risk of developing heart disease, but not necessarily for the reasons people often think, new research suggests. The study of nearly 4,000 older Americans found what many have before: People who ate a lot of red meat had a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke. But there was no evidence that the link was due to a traditional culprit: elevated blood levels of “bad” cholesterol. Instead, researchers traced the risk, in part, to particular substances produced by the gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that reside in the digestive tract. When those bacteria digest red meat, they produce a chemical called TMAO, which can spur inflammation and blood clotting.

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)

In the past two years, a mass exodus of over 1.2 million students has left the public-school system as parents seek alternative education routes, such as public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling, especially in large cities. New York City is experiencing “massive hemorrhaging of students,” according to Mayor Eric Adams. Having lost upward of 64,000 enrollments since the start of the pandemic, the city is forecasting the loss of an additional 30,000 students this upcoming fall semester. Michigan is 56,000 students shy of its pre-pandemic public school enrollment numbers. Orange County, Denver, Kansas City and Chicago, are just a few of the many more cities around the country realizing nose-diving numbers.

Marriage/Family:  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

The abusive “child bride” situations in the U.S. will be unleashed if the U.S. Senate passes the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act.” “HR 8404 will do SO MUCH MORE than just codify the Supreme Court ruling on marriage, notes Mat Staver, CEO of Liberty Counsel. Our team has been shocked by what we have learned. We were unaware of the large number of tragic child bride cases. I am sure many members of Congress are also unaware, and that’s why we must educate them about the impact of HR 8404. What is happening now with little girls being abused in child bride ‘marriages,’ if this bill passes, also will happen to little boys who will be ‘married’ off to homosexual pedophiles. Suddenly, it would be legal for a 50-year-old man to ‘marry’ a 15-year-old boy in Mississippi. A 14-year-old boy in North Carolina. Or a boy of any age in California!”

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)

Members of a community, described as “politically conservative,” voted to gut the library’s funding because the library promoted an “LGBTQ-themed” graphic novel. Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, Michigan, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage (mill rate, or property tax) that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage. Without a millage, the library is likely to run out of money sometime late next year, said Larry Walton, library board president. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this,” Walton said.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

An election official from an Arizona county has resigned after allegations of voter irregularities and a ballot shortage on primary elections day. The Pinal County government confirmed that “David Frisk is no longer in the position of Elections Director and is no longer employed by Pinal County” in a statement on Thursday–two days after Arizona’s primary election day—after a shortage of ballots on primary election day and thousands of early ballots were sent to the wrong voters leading up to the primaries. Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer was asked if the volume of ballots were sufficient to impact any results of the race. Volkmer said it is a “difficult question,” noting that only 10 votes separated winners and losers in some municipal races.

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)

For weeks now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been dispatching buses loaded with illegal aliens to Washington, D.C., because it is government officials in that location who could take action to prevent the crisis that Joe Biden’s policies have created at the southern border. Now he’s started sending them to New York City, too, as that city’s mayor, Eric Adams, had boasted about the “sanctuary city’s” services and housing programs. So the mayors of those two cities are now crying out for help. Washington’s mayor, regularly “championed accepting migrants entering the country illegally as a human rights issue,” but she now wants the D.C. National Guard activated on a continuing basis to help with the “humanitarian crisis” of illegals in town.

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

Airline delays and cancellations continued Monday after a weekend full of weather-related issues. As of noon Monday, more than 2,000 flights in, out of and across the U.S. have been delayed, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. Another 500 flights were canceled. Although airlines are still batting staffing issues, delays and cancellations were particularly heavy all weekend due to extensive thunderstorm activity and weather ground stops.

British flight attendant Kris Major serves as chair of the European Transport Workers Federation’s Joint Aircrew Committee, representing European flight attendants and pilots. He says flight crew are struggling. “It’s completely unsustainable as a job.” As global travelers return to the skies in droves after a pandemic-enforced pause, airlines and airports across the world are grappling to match supply with demand. The result is flights canceled left right and center, luggage mislaid, and travelers losing confidence in the aviation industry as a whole.

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

In June, Toyota issued a warning to owners of its BZ4X electric SUV that they should stop driving the vehicle and have it transported to a dealership because of a severe problem: the wheels could fall off while driving even after just a short time on the road. Toyota did not know why this was happening, but the automaker said it would investigate and have the problem corrected once engineers understood why the wheels were coming loose. Now, over a month later, Toyota has not yet identified the issue and is offering to simply buy back the SUVs from customers who no longer want to wait for the problem to be resolved.

Science: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so the are without excuse… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:20,25)

The Earth is spinning ever so slightly faster. A report at Phys.org confirmed that scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in England recorded the shortest day ever on June 29 – nearly 1.5 milliseconds shorter than usual. While that’s barely noticeable, they are concerned about the cause. Speculation includes melting or freezing glaciers, winds triggering shifts in the Earth’s weight, earthquakes pulling the Earth’s mass toward its center, or the molten core actually shifting.

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)

U.S. employers added a booming 528,000 jobs in July as the labor market now has recovered all 22 million jobs lost in the pandemic and continued to defy soaring inflation, rising interest rates and a slowing economy. The unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching a 50-year low reached just before the pandemic began in early 2020. July’s payroll increases were broad-based. Leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants and bars, the sector hit hardest by COVID-19, led the job gains with 96,000. Professional and business services added 89,000 jobs; health care, 70,000; construction, 32,000; manufacturing, 30,000; and retail, 22,000 jobs. Federal, state and local governments added 57,000 jobs.

  • However, 384,000 of the jobs are part-time, according to WND.com.

Last week, initial jobless claims – a gauge of layoffs – rose to the highest level since November based on a four-week moving average. Tech giants such as Oracle, Amazon, Netflix and Robinhood have all announced significant job cuts recently. Also, hiring has been expected to downshift now that the U.S. has recouped all 22 million jobs lost in the health crisis.

  • More jobs added, but more jobless claims. It appears the economy is quite a confused state right now. If we are indeed in the early stages of the end-times, the economy will tank. If not, business as usual.

U.S. household debt increased to a record $16.15 trillion in the second quarter, driven mostly by a $207 billion jump in mortgage balances, with credit card and auto loan debt also rising as consumers lifted their borrowing to deal with soaring inflation. The New York Fed said credit card balances were up 13 percent in the second quarter of 2022, compared with 12 months earlier, the biggest increase in more than 20 years.

Gas prices have been trending downward for more than 50 consecutive days, giving drivers some much-needed financial relief at the pump. Prices at the pump might be lower now – the average cost of a gallon of gas is down almost a dollar since the June peak – but the longer-term outlook for oil suggests low inventories that will keep prices elevated. “Russia-Ukraine is a factor but… we had tight supplies coming into this,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. The unwillingness – or inability, according to some oil analysts – of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to significantly increase production is limiting how much additional oil is coming onto global markets.

International Economy:

In Lebanon there are long queues to buy bread, and cooking oil is virtually unobtainable. Fuel is so costly that some dare not eat food items which require lengthy cooking. People have died because they could no longer afford the medication they depended on.

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)

The IDF has successfully eliminated the Islamic Jihad’s senior commanders in the Gaza Strip, a major achievement of Operation Breaking Dawn, because the terror organization had continued its attacks on Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem area. However, a 5-year-old Palestinian girl was also killed in two initial air strikes on Friday, which injured 44, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The attacks followed several days of days of threats from militants in Gaza after Israel arrested an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank earlier in the week. Over 1000 rockets were fired at Israeli cities in the south and then towards Holon, Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam in the center of the country. About 95% of the rockets fired at Israeli population centers were destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome defense. One projectile struck a family home in Sderot, whose inhabitants had secured themselves in a shelter and were uninjured. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live within 50 miles of Gaza were ordered to remain in their homes within close proximity to bomb shelters. The IDF called up 25,000 reserves to assist in the military effort.

  • A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis. The flare-up was the worst fighting between Israel and Gaza militant groups since Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day war last year, and adds to the destruction and misery that have plagued Gaza for years.

Israeli forces made nearly two dozen arrests overnight in Gaza as the death toll in the West Bank rose to 32 on Sunday. All those arrested were allegedly members of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which has lost two of its senior commanders to Israeli strikes in recent days. The Palestinian Ministry has also alleged that Israeli airstrikes have killed 32 people, including six children. The IDF argues the children were killed by rocket attacks from Gaza militants that fell short of their targets in Israel, however.

The Turkish government has stepped up its lethal drone attacks against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria ahead of a threatened full-scale invasion. On Sunday, a Turkish drone attack was reported to have killed 4 people in a town on the Syria-Turkey border. The latest attack drew criticism from the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), a U.S. allied force that helped defeat ISIS. The force is predominantly made up of Kurds. Last week in a joint statement after a four-hour meeting between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, the two strongmen “reaffirmed their determination to act in coordination and solidarity in the fight against all terrorists organizations” in Syria.

  • This is now the second ‘proxy’ war between the U.S. and Russia, with the U.S. supplying weapons and guidance to the Syrian Kurds and to Ukraine.

The Biden administration has approved on Tuesday massive arms sales in two separate deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The weapons that were approved for the sales are meant for defensive purposes, as the two Gulf nations have faced recurring rocket attacks against their territories from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The approved sales can provide Saudi Arabia with weaponry worth about $3.05 billion and the UAE with weaponry worth about $2.245 billion.

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)

Russia/Ukraine:

The Biden administration will send another $1 billion in ammunition, weapons and vehicles to Ukraine, the Pentagon announced Monday. The latest military aid package includes ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, that Ukraine has used to destroy Russian ammunition depots and command posts dozens of miles behind the front line in eastern Ukraine. Defense officials have credited the weapon and stiff Ukrainian resolve with slowing the Russian advance there. The package also includes conventional artillery ammunition, armored ambulances and anti-tank weapons.

The Russian-appointed leader of Ukraine’s occupied Zaporozhye region on Monday signed an order to hold a referendum on “reunification” with Russia that could take place as soon as next month. Russian combat losses include 42,340 killed or wounded troops, 1,811 tanks and 4,070 armored vehicles destroyed the Ukraine military estimated. Neither combatant releases its own losses.

“Suicidal” shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant must be halted and international inspectors must be granted access to ensure its safe operation, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday. Moscow and Kyiv blamed each other for a series of rocket attacks at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station that the International Atomic Energy Agency said has created “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster.” Ukraine’s state nuclear power company, said that the plant was still operational, and no radioactive discharges had been detected. Two of the six reactors are still operating.

China/Taiwan:

Amid heightened tensions following the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, the communist Chinese regime on Thursday fired ballistic missiles over Taiwan’s northeast and southwest coasts. At least five missiles landed in Japanese territory to the north and east of Taiwan, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense. It’s the first time a Chinese missile has struck inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, which affords exclusive rights to fishing and other enterprises.

  • A furious China has announced that it will cut all communications with the U.S. on numerous international issues including climate change, military issues and anti-drug trafficking systems as a direct consequence of Pelosi’s “reckless” one-day visit to Taiwan this week.
  • Taiwan officials said Chinese aircraft and warships rehearsed an attack on the island on Saturday, another part of Beijing’s retaliation for Pelosi’s visit. China’s military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan – a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises.

Nuclear Warfare:

The United Nations chief warned the world Monday that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave the dire warning at the opening of the long-delayed high-level meeting to review the landmark 50-year-old treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and eventually achieving a nuclear-free world.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The al-Shabab extremist group has exploited Ethiopia’s internal turmoil to cross the border from neighboring Somalia in unprecedented attacks in recent weeks that a top U.S. military commander has warned could continue. The deadly incursions into Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and long seen as an anchor of security in the Horn of Africa, are the latest sign of how deeply the recent war in the northern Tigray region and other ethnic fighting have made the country more vulnerable. Ethiopia has long resisted such cross-border attacks by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, in part by deploying troops inside Somalia, where the extremist group controls large rural parts of the country’s southern and central regions. But the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and its security forces have struggled with unrest at home especially since the Tigray conflict began in late 2020. Experts say al-Shabab, also emboldened by instability under Somalia’s previous administration, is seizing the chance to expand its footprint and claim the killing of scores of Ethiopian security forces.

The Biden administration is touting the CIA operation that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri as a monumental strike against the global terror network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001. But there’s a downside, too. The drone strike also is putting into stark relief the mounting evidence that after 20 years of America’s military presence — and then sudden departure — Afghanistan has once again become an active staging ground for Islamic terror groups looking to attack the West. The operation spent at least six months monitoring movements by al-Zawahri and his family. The strike came just weeks before the one-year anniversary of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from the country.

  • The Biden administration is making the case that the operation shows Americans at home and allies abroad that the United States hasn’t lost focus — or the ability to strike terrorists in the region — and validates its decision to end two decades of fighting in Afghanistan with its withdrawal. The Taliban claimed they were not aware that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was residing in the capital of Kabul, which is extremely unlikely.
  • In the aftermath of the drone strike that killed al-Zawahiri, a report from Foreign Desk News says that Biden has paid, over the last year, about $1 billion to the Taliban. “Now,” the report said, “humanitarian aid to the Afghan people is lining the pockets of the Taliban at the expense of innocent Afghans and American taxpayers alike.”

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)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will conduct “flyovers” of the Permian Basin region in Texas and New Mexico to “survey oil and gas operations to identify large emitters of methane” amid the Biden administration’s climate policy initiative. “The flyovers are vital to identifying which facilities are responsible for the bulk of these emissions and therefore where reductions are most urgently needed,” said Earthea Nance, an EPA official, in an Aug. 1 news release.  The flyovers, which will use infrared cameras, will be conducted until Aug. 15, the agency said.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines last Wednesday morning damaging buildings and causing landslides. At least four people are dead with dozens more injured.

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)

The amount of area in the U.S. that has experienced wildfires through 8/8/22 has grown to 5,847,353 acres, up from 3,540,703 acres in 2021 over the same time period, and way up from 2,288,770 acres in 2020. The actual number of fires is not up much, but the acres per fire has increased from 90 acres per fire in 2021 to 145 acres so far this year.

  • The number of fires in Alaska has decline from 56 a couple of weeks ago to 27 as of 8/8/22

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)

Precipitation in the U.S. West continues to lessen the severity of the longstanding megadrought. The percent of the West in severe to exceptional drought has decline over the past three months from 73% to 55%, according to the weekly Drought Monitor. However, the relief differs widely on a state by state basis. California has actually gotten worse, with 97.5% now in severe to exceptional drought, up from 95.2% three months ago. Utah has also worsened slightly, up from 99.4% to 99.6%. Nevada is down just a tad from 100% to 99.5% and Arizona declined a little from 62% to 60%.  However, New Mexico improved from 96% to 71%, while Colorado improved from 48% to 30%.

  • In the Northwest, Oregon improved from 69% to 54%, while Washington did even better and is now down to 0% from 24%, although 30.5% still have moderate drought. Idaho improved a lot from 57% to 17% while Montana also had a big drop from 66% to 15%, with 39% still in moderate drought. Wyoming declined from 56% to 25%.

Some of the world’s richest men are funding a massive treasure hunt, complete with helicopters and transmitters, on the west coast of Greenland. Greenland’s ice is melting down at an unprecedented rate, which – in a twist of irony – is creating an opportunity for investors and mining companies who are searching for a trove of critical minerals capable of powering the green energy transition. A band of billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, among others, is betting that below the surface of the hills and valleys on Greenland’s Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula there are enough critical minerals to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.

Two people are dead following lightning strikes near White House Thursday night, police say. Two others remain in critical condition. The lightning strike occurred in Lafayette Square.

Death Valley is known for heat and virtually no rain. However, record rainfall Friday trigged flash floods at Death Valley National Park that swept away cars, closed all roads and stranded hundreds of visitors and workers. There were no immediate reports of injuries but roughly 60 vehicles were buried in mud and debris and about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were stuck inside the park. The park near the California-Nevada state line received 1.46 inches of rain at the Furnace Creek area. That’s about 75% of what the area typically gets in a year and more than has ever been recorded for the entire month of August.

Climate change isn’t a partisan issue in many countries. In general, both right-leaning and left-leaning parties favor policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even if they fight over the specifics of those policies. This consensus allowed the European Union to cut emissions sharply over the past few decades, as the threat of global warming became clearer. In the United States, however, climate is a partisan issue. Nearly all elected Democrats favor actions that slow climate change. Almost no Republicans support such policies.

Signs of the Times Update: August 1, 2022

August 1, 2022

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)

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 month has passed since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Washington state football coach who knelt at midfield to pray and was joined by student-athletes. The court wrote, in a 6-3 decision, that Bremerton High School assistant coach Joseph Kennedy’s prayers were protected by the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech and religious exercise, and that the district was wrong to discipline him for what the majority saw as a private act. In response, families, teachers and activists are preparing to push prayer back into public schools nationwide. In at least three states, Illinois, Alabama and Oregon, school officials have said they are reviewing their policies on employee prayer.

  • “Our nation has lost its way in having lost a belief of a higher power,” said Christi Fraga, a Miami-Dade school board member who in May successfully proposed establishing an annual day of prayer in her district. “So in my community, there has been a cry for help — a cry to allow prayer in our schools.” Fraga added of the court’s ruling: “I hope it brings back our country to its foundation.”

After two weeks in solitary confinement for conducting a Pink Rose Rescue earlier this month, Lauren Handy and Joan Andrews Bell were released from custody in Alexandria. When asked why she continues the pro-life work that has repeatedly landed her in prison, Joan replied, “because babies keep dying. And I hope, please God, that soon they’ll stop dying. That’s the only reason.” She has been arrested over 200 times in defense of the unborn. Lauren Handy has been arrested 30 times for her mission of saving unborn babies. However, time in jail does not dissuade her from pursuing the mission. “Rescue is the past, present and future of our movement,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Air Force officials were ordered on July 27 not to discipline airmen who are seeking religious exemptions to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. U.S. District Judge Matthew McFarland, a Trump appointee, entered a preliminary injunction against the military branch. McFarland two weeks earlier issued a temporary restraining order. He asked the military to make its case as to why he shouldn’t enter a preliminary injunction, a longer-lasting measure.

A $10 million settlement has been announced by Liberty Counsel, which brought a class-action lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem on behalf of workers who were forced during the pandemic to take the experimental COVID-19 shots. Officials with the legal team said NorthShore will pay $10,337,500 “to compensate these health care employees who were victims of religious discrimination, and who were punished for their religious beliefs against taking an injection associated with aborted fetal cells.” The class action case was on behalf of more than 500 current and former NorthShore workers.

A state judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the Department of Corrections broke the law when it decided to give lawyers and bureaucrats and even reporters and dog trainers access to inmates during COVID, but refused to provide any procedure for clergy to visit. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty cited the summary judgment from Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue that found state officials violated the law and Wisconsin Constitution with their restrictions. The organization had acted on behalf of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in bringing the case over clergy access to prisoners.

Twenty-two state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for threatening to withhold funds for the National School Lunch Program from schools that do not comply with the Biden administration’s LGBT ideology. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced on May 5 its intention to interpret “the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972” to include “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The state of Florida has instructed public schools to ignore a Biden administration Title IX executive action that would force schools to open girls’ showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and dormitories to members of the opposite sex, and to let males compete in women’s sports. As the state’s officials noted, since the federal government admits guidances do not – and cannot – carry legal weight, the latest transgender document “should not be treated as governing law.”

A court of appeals in Alberta, Canada, recently ruled that the arrest, jailing, and fining of a Christian pastor for resisting a Chinese coronavirus inspection of his church by police officers in April 2021 were illegal. Alberta authorities punished Pawlowski, along with his brother and another local community leader, with an injunction, censorship, and fines. A Calgary judge convicted the Pawlowski brothers of contempt of court in June 2021. The Pawlowski brothers later appealed this contempt of court charge and won their appeal on July 22. The Alberta court of appeals ruled that all of the punishments endured by the Pawlowskis over the past year were illegal and that they should be reimbursed for the fines they were forced to pay.

A study published in the Review of Religious Research has found that engaging with digital religion – such as chat groups with pastors, online sermons and religious content on social media – has made millennials’ faith experience richer. The research, which was based on data from the 2019 Millennial Trends Survey, also suggested that some non-churchgoers have found religion in digital spaces. “They are the first truly digital natives in North America, in that they were raised since childhood with the digital world at their fingertips,” the study’s author, University of Waterloo sociology professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, said of the findings. The research also found significant differences between Canadian and U.S. millennials. While around 29% of Canadian millennials in the study reported consuming religious or spiritual digital content at least once a month, 41% of U.S. millennials reported the same.

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)

The Biden administration’s radical push to redefine “sex” has reached a new low: Taking lunch away from poor kids. The administration is reinterpreting Title IX to redefine “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, is poised to block schools—including religious schools—from school lunch funding if they don’t comply with this radical redefinition, which includes a rule that school children can choose what school facilities (e.g. bathrooms, showers and locker rooms) to use based upon their perceived gender.

Right now, adult men in California are allowed to marry a “child bride” of any age, reports Liberty Counsel. And frequently these men are many decades older than the little girls. Some of these “marriages” are forced. Now, Congress wants to foist this child abuse on all other states. The so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” has already passed the House as HR 8404. If it passes the Senate (S 4556), every “state, territory, and possession of the United States” will be forced to accept and endorse the marriages of “minor attracted persons,” (the new euphemism for pedophiles) to children.

“The avalanche” of nearly $200 billion in COVID-19 funding intended to help kids during the apex of the novel coronavirus’ pandemic was used, in part, to fuel the agenda of the “union political machine,” according to a Tuesday report. “This massive flood of funding has left public schools awash in cash, while students and taxpayers are left to deal with the…  disaster unleashed by the union-prescribed COVID policies,” The Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy think tank, said. In the span of a single year, Congress allocated $190 billion of federal funding into K-12 education. However, about half of the $190 billion in federal funds were classified by state education agencies as “other,” according to an October 2021 report from ProPublica. Such reporting provided “no insight into how the funds were allocated.”

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)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced early Sunday morning that she plans to visit at least four Asian countries during her trip to the region, but a stop in Taiwan was notably left out, after China made threats against Taiwan if she went there.. Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region that includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release.

  • Pelosi will visit Taiwan, despite threats from China, CNN reported Monday morning. China and the United States both deployed military forces to the region around Taiwan following Chinese threats of a military attack in response to Pelosi’s proposed visit to Taiwan.

Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, and yet they had been unable to agree on a package of climate policies to accelerate the use of clean energy and reduce emissions. Senator Joe Manchin had been blocking any deal, and the Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote. However, on Thursday, Manchin appeared to change his mind. He announced that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit.

  • An independent analysis of President Biden’s proposed Inflation Reduction Act finds it won’t reduce inflation at all. The Penn-Wharton Budget Model found that the proposal, which includes $433 billion in new spending on climate and other items, “would very slightly increase inflation until 2024 and decrease inflation thereafter.”

CNN poll results Tuesday showed that 75% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said they don’t want Biden as the party’s nominee in the next presidential election. An op-ed by the liberal Washington Post maintained that President Biden should not seek a second term, and then the Post published a list of the “top-nine Democratic Presidential hopefuls. The author of the Post’s list, Aaron Blake, ranked the candidates from one to ten, with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg first, followed by Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

  • For Christian conservatives, this is a pretty scary list.

White nationalism. For many on the left and among their allies in the press, the emergence of a new generation of pro-Jesus, anti-woke Republicans is cause for alarm. The movement is “potentially violent” and “insidious,” said CNN producer John Blake. “A threat to our democracy,” wrote MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah. The media has rushed to equate it with racism and violence. And gleeful Democrats can’t wait to use it as a club to bash GOP candidates with in the fall. But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says it’s a rebranding that Republicans should embrace. For conservatives such as Mrs. Greene, the outspoken first-term congresswoman from Georgia, being a Christian nationalist is nothing for which to apologize.

  • While a Christian government would be welcome, it should not just be for white people.

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

Twitter on July 28 imposed a blockade on all content from The Epoch Times without explanation, raising further concerns about freedom of speech on the platform and drawing fire from three U.S. senators. “The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe,” the warning stated, citing Twitter’s URL policy. The platform has not responded to multiple requests from The Epoch Times for clarification. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who serves on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,  decried the move as an act of censorship.

  • On Saturday, Twitter halted its censorship of content from The Epoch Times following a flood of public criticism.

Moms For Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich said on Friday that Twitter is “against truth” after their account was shut down for criticizing a California gender-transition bill. The offending tweet called gender dysphoria a “mental disorder” and she also claimed that it is being normalized by “predators” across the U.S. “We haven’t heard anything. We’ve appealed the tweet. We’ve decided that Twitter hates truth because gender dysphoria is a mental health issue that’s plaguing our children across the country right now. It’s something that needs to be discussed and addressed, and certainly it needs to be discussed in the town square of Twitter. But Twitter is against truth,” she said.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A Yeshiva University student who was viciously attacked on a New York subway train and required medical treatment said Jews no longer feel safe in the city. This man was violently attacked yesterday on the NYC subway because he was Jewish just hours after @AmericansAA released its report showing that NYC District Attorneys are derelict in their duty to prosecute violent criminals. “There must be consequences for violence, or it will get worse!” said the recovering student.

A Christian in eastern Uganda died from head injuries sustained in an attack by Muslim extremists the previous week, sources said. Robert Bwenje had accompanied Assistant Pastor Ambrose Mugisha of Elim Pentecostal Church in Nyamiringa village, Kapeke Sub-County, Kiboga District, to an open-air debate about Christianity and Islam in Sirimula village, Kyankwanzi District. Following the debate, eight Muslims including two women put their faith in Christ, said Pastor Mugisha, 25. “This angered the Muslims, but they could not attack us because we had tight security from the police,” he said. As the assistant pastor and Bwenje returned, Muslims from Sirimula village ambushed them while they were crossing a swamp, he said.

Two Christian brothers have been sentenced to death in Pakistan for their faith. Amoon and Qaisar Ayub were falsely accused of “blasphemy”—framed for supposedly posting disparaging comments against the Prophet Muhammad online. The insidious abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to persecute Christians is rampant in Pakistan. There was no evidence that either brother did anything they were accused of. Yet their conviction and execution sentence have been upheld in court. The American Center for Law & Justice is mobilizing its international affiliate—the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ)—and its partner in Pakistan to appeal directly to Pakistan’s Supreme Court to have this miscarriage of justice overturned.

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

A new “fact check” report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute pushes back on a mainstream narrative about pro-life states and finds that the 23 states with the strongest pro-life laws allow for abortions to save the mother’s life. “Abortion advocates are spreading the dangerous lie that life-saving care is not or may not be permitted in these states, leading to provider confusion and poor outcomes for women,” the report says. “A plain reading of any of these statutes easily refutes the false and dangerous misinformation being spread by pro-abortion activists,” coauthor Mary E. Harnedsaid.

Kansas primary voters on Tuesday, August 2, will be the first in the country to decide statewide on the right to abortion since the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade, putting abortion access at risk in one of the few midwestern states that allows the procedure. A state constitutional amendment on the primary ballot asks voters whether they want to preserve the right to an abortion in Kansas, a right protected in a 2019 state supreme court ruling. The vote is not just a crucial test for Kansans, but a possible bellwether across the country as Americans look to decide the future of abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50-year precedent of Roe v.Wade this year.

Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis after it passed a measure funding out of state abortions. On July 15, Democrat Mayor Tishaura Jones signed Board Bill 61 (BB61), allotting $1.5 million federal dollars to establish a “Reproductive Equity Fund” to fund out-of-state abortions, according to a statement from Schmitt’s office. In response, on July 21, Schmitt filed his lawsuit against the bill. “My Office today filed suit to put a stop to Mayor Jones and the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s blatantly illegal move to spend Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars on out-of-state abortions,”

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)

President Biden tested positive for coronavirus again this weekend and was diagnosed with a “rebound” case, his physician said. The president is feeling well and will continue to work from the Executive Residence at the White House while he continues his isolation, the White House said. Rebound cases – where a person tests positive after recovering from symptoms and testing negative – can occur, especially among people who take the antiviral drug paxlovid, which the president took shortly after he first tested positive.

Over the past two weeks, new Covid-19 cases per day in the U.S. are down 5%, while hospitalizations are up 7% and deaths up 2%. If the downward trend in cases continues, lagging hospitalizations and deaths will also begin to show declines. New cases, though, are substantially undercounted due to at-home testing that doesn’t get reported. Cases are increasing modestly in about half the states and are decreasing modestly in the other half.

Patients with a Vitamin D deficiency have as much as a 50% higher probability of death from COVID-19, according to a study by researchers in Israel and Russia. The study, published in the Israel Medical Association Journal, analyzed published clinical trials showing patients with low vitamin D levels are more prone to infection from COVID-19, and severe illness and death from the disease, the Jerusalem Post reported. The boost to the immune system from Vitamin D can be found in supplements as well as foods such as egg yolks, fatty salmon, sardines, herring, canned tuna, beef liver, fortified milk, cereals, yogurt and orange juice.

The Beverly Hills, California, City Council voted unanimously not to enforce a Los Angeles County mask mandate should one be adopted. The vote came as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has publicly weighed the possibility of adopting an indoor mask mandate in the county, which has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The mandate was reportedly set to go into effect Friday, but Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters cases in the country may be leveling off and “we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on universal indoor masking.”

San Francisco on Thursday declared a local monkeypox emergency effective Aug. 1, while the state of New York declared an imminent threat to public health, retroactive to June 1. San Francisco now has more than 30% of the 799 total cases in California. New York has recorded 1,247 cases. Neither San Francisco nor New York are implementing behavior restrictions, despite the WHO advising men who have sex with men to temporarily reduce their number of sexual partners in declaring a global emergency. With 4,907 confirmed cases nationwide as of this writing, the Biden administration is considering whether to declare a national emergency.

  • Government is far too anxious to declare emergencies which give it more power and control. Monkeypox is not a threat to the overall population because there is no ‘community spread.’

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)

According to one recent investigation, 42 percent of women with regular menstrual cycles said they bled more heavily than usual after vaccination, reports LifeSiteNews. Other recent research has found the Pfizer COVID shot impairs semen concentration and motile count in men for about three months. Miscarriages, fetal deaths, and stillbirths have also risen after the rollout of the COVID shots. In November 2021, Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), delivered 13 stillborn babies in a 24-hour period, and all of the mothers had received the COVID vaccine. Many countries are now reporting sudden declines in live birth rates, including Germany, the U.K., Taiwan, Hungary, and Sweden. In the five countries with the highest COVID vaccination uptake, fertility has dropped by an average of 15.2 percent, whereas the five countries with the lowest COVID vaccine uptake have seen an average decline of just 4.66 percent.

Researchers examined municipal data on vaccinations and deaths in the Netherlands. They found a “vaccination-correlated mortality rate” of about 5%, meaning that 5% of deaths of deaths overall reflected vaccination rates. The lead researcher, Andre Redert, said the result is “alarming and calls for more research on the effect of current Covid vaccines on all-cause mortality.” He explains in the paper, which has not been peer reviewed, that the pattern does not prove the vaccinations caused the excess deaths. But the study does show a correlation that has been observed since the summer of 2021 in countries with a high rate of vaccination. Highly vaccinated countries, Berenson wrote, generally posted non-COVID death increases of 5% to 10%.

A national survey by Zogby Strategies has found 17% of adults who received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine say they were diagnosed with a new condition within weeks to several months after getting the shot. The figure was 15% for those who had received at least one shot. Among those who were medically diagnosed with a new condition, the top conditions were blood clots (21%), heart attack (19%), liver damage (18%), leg or lung clots (17%), and stroke (15%).

The Biden administration said Friday it secured 66 million doses of a reformulated COVID-19 shot from Moderna ahead of a fall booster campaign that will further place America on a path toward managing the virus like the seasonal flu. The purchase adds to the 105 million doses the U.S. government secured from Pfizer of its “bivalent” booster that targets both the original strain of the virus and the BA.5 variant that is ripping through the country. The variant has been able to evade certain immune defenses in people who were infected previously or received the vaccine. Government officials this year opted to reformulate the shots in the hope of producing a better antibody response.

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)

The shooting that left two dead and five injured at a Los Angeles park Sunday, 7/24, took place at a weekly softball game that had for years worked to peacefully and safely bring together members of different Los Angeles-area gangs. The league was organized about five years ago by a local nonprofit organization. Sunday’s game—which took place weeks after the founder of the league died in a car accident—was between two Compton teams. “It broke my heart,” said Skip Townsend, a gang interventionist who often attends the games.

The accused female shooter at Dallas Love Field Airport has a lengthy criminal record and had previously told police that she was “God’s prophet” and was married to R&B singer-songwriter Chris Brown.  But in many of those incidents, judges deemed her incompetent to stand trial, she was referred to either or both inpatient or outpatient mental health services, and the cases were dismissed. Before she allegedly changed clothes in the airport bathroom, pulled out a gun near a ticketing counter and opened fire into the ceiling at about 11 a.m. Monday, court records show Odufuwa had allegedly pulled a gun on a hotel front desk clerk in April 2021 at a time when she was homeless. The woman provided the address of rapper Chris Brown’s mansion to police after the incident, but Dallas County Judge Kristin Wade dismissed the false report case even though Odufuwa “did not successfully complete the program” when deemed incompetent to stand trial, according to county court records.

  • Another failure by our so-called justice system that provides more protections to the accused than to the public that has to endure the threat of violence anywhere at any time.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Protests have erupted in Buenos Aires over the past 90 days and continue to build inside the capital as residents battle with their center-left government over sizeable amendments to social programs midst a 43% unemployment rate. Cuts to subsidies in the energy sector based on household income already began in June. Other subsidies, including the country’s notorious welfare program, are also on the chopping block, triggering thousands of angry residents to take to the streets. State-sponsored aid for civilians has soared in the past 20 years, leaving 22 million Argentinians dependent on some form of government assistance.

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)

House legislation to ban semiautomatic assault rifles for the first time in many years squeaked by on Friday through a vote mostly delineated by party lines. Advocates say the measure is a reasonable response to recent horrific mass shootings. But it is expected to make little to no headway in Senate. Many reports say that it’s doomed to fail. The legislation was approved by a 217 to 213 vote in a Dem-majority House. Five Democrats broke with party lines to oppose it. Just two Republicans, one representing the Buffalo, N.Y., district where a mass shooting left 10 dead in May, voted in favor.

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)

The first Jan. 6 Capitol defendant convicted at trial received the stiffest sentence yet: more than 7 years in prison for leading a mob while armed. The judge declined to apply a terrorism sentencing penalty that prosecutors had requested for Guy Reffitt. He was the recruiter for the Three Percenters wand as found guilty of five felonies, including obstruction of Congress, interfering with police, carrying a firearm to a riot and threatening his teenage son who turned him in to the FBI.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Walgreens and Rite Aid have said that the problem of organized retail crime – rings of criminals that steal products from stores and then often resell them on online marketplaces – is causing them to lock more products up and close some stores. Locking up their shelves is a last resort for stores, but it has never been more widely practiced. It’s also become a growing irritation for shoppers and a source of frustration for some employees who must walk around the store with keys at the ready.

Science: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so the are without excuse… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:20,25)

The first authorization of NASA funding to pass Congress in more than five years will include an extension to the Moon to Mars Program, Space News reported on Friday. Tucked within the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act was the much smaller NASA Authorization Act of 2022, permitting an extension of several of the agency’s programs without revealing specific dollar amounts. “This act shows continued bipartisan support of NASA’s many missions, including our Moon to Mars approach, as well extension of U.S. participation in the International Space Station to 2030,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson wrote in a statement.

Russia announced Tuesday that it will withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024, and plans to construct its own. The announcement was made by Moscow’s new space chief, Yuri Borisov. It was one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Russia and the United States. The announcement does not appear to alter a deal cut this month between NASA and Roscosmos for astronauts to continue riding Russian rockets and for Russian cosmonauts to catch lifts to the International Space Station with SpaceX beginning this fall.

  • China is also currently working toward building their own space stations as well. Sigh. War in space will soon no longer be Star Wars fiction.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

A Twitter data breach has allowed a hacker to get access to the personal information of 5.4 million users, the social media company has confirmed. The data, including phone numbers and email addresses, has been offered for sale on a hacking forum for $30,000, Restore Privacy said. Twitter has since patched the vulnerability, which was reported in January. The outlet added that the bug was specific to Twitter’s Android client and occurred with the social media platform’s authorization process. There currently is no way for Twitter users to find out if they were affected by the data breach.

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)

Congress passed a $280 billion package to bolster the domestic chipmaking industry. The bill will increase the production of essential computer chips in the U.S. to prevent future supply chain issues midst increase competition from China. Right now, 90% of our chip come from Taiwan.

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)

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, the philanthropic part of the American Board of Internal Medicine, which certifies physicians and funds the development of their curriculum, has, according to an association of medical professionals known as Do No Harm, “gone woke.” John Sailer wrote: “ABIM’s push for [diversity, equity, and inclusion] has found its way into the most basic function of the organization, which is the certification of internal medicine practitioners. Internists must pass ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification Exam every 10 years. As of April 2021, ‘health equity’ questions are now included on all exams.”

Many health-care professionals across the nation have been punished for their views on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Now, a Houston physician has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the hospital that suspended her privileges. Dr. Mary Bowden charges that Houston Methodist Hospital published defamatory statements about her to news media and social media platforms. “The way they came after me was unprofessional, unprecedented against the spirit of bylaws of their bylaws,” said Bowden, who resigned from the hospital last November after her privileges were suspended.

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)

It appears that perverts are infesting our schools. At least 181 K-12 educators, including four principals, were arrested on child sex-related crimes in the U.S. in the first six months of 2022, ranging from child pornography to raping students. An analysis conducted by Fox News Digital looked at local news stories week by week featuring arrests of principals, teachers, substitute teachers and teachers’ aides on child sex-related crimes in school districts across the country. Arrests that weren’t publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher.

With inflation at a four-decade high of 9.1%, a Morning Consult poll found in May and June that the share of consumers expecting to shell out more than $500 on school-related purchases rose to 25% from 7% last year.

Marriage/Family:  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

Oxford sociologist J.D. Unwin in 1939, published a landmark book summarizing his research, reports Breakpoint. Sex and Culture was a look at 80 tribes and six historical civilizations over the course of five millennia, through the lens of a single question: Does a culture’s ideas of sexual liberation predict its success or collapse? “Just as societies have advanced [and] then faded away into a state of general decrepitude, so in each of them has marriage first previously changed from a temporary affair based on mutual consent to a lifelong association of one man with one woman, and then turned back to a loose union or to polygamy. ” Unwin concluded that the whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a group becoming civilized unless it has been absolutely monogamous, nor is there any example of a group retaining its culture after it has adopted less rigorous customs.

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)

A federal court upheld a decision that struck down laws that ban counseling minors to reduce or overcome unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors or gender confusion in Florida. On July 20, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal from Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton to review the laws, which were struck down in 2020 after they were found to violate the First Amendment right to free speech, as reported by Liberty Counsel. “This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice and be free of political censorship from government ideologues,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. 

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.

An elementary school principal issued an apology Friday after promoting a book about a transgender child to students as young as five years old. Stacy DeCorsey, principal of Excelsior Elementary School in Excelsior, Minnesota, suggested kindergarten through second grade students read “Jack (Not Jackie),” a story about a young girl who realizes she prefers to act like a boy, according to a YouTube video. DeCorsey then issued an apology on Facebook for suggesting the book after it “struck a nerve in the community,” and since deleted the original video.

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)

More than 500,000 immigrant “got aways” may have been be released into the United States since the beginning of fiscal 2022, the New York Post reported last Monday. A senior Department of Homeland Security officials told Fox News that an average of 55,000 migrants evaded capture from border agents per month. According to Customs and Border Protection data, the total number of southwest land border encounters for fiscal 2022 as of May was 1,536,899, with 239,416 encounters that month alone. In all of fiscal 2021, the total number of encounters was 1,734,686.

  • Despite these glaring numbers, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has maintained that the border is secure. Many people today are under the very kind of delusions prophesied in 2Thessalonians 2:9-11 – people on the extreme left as well as the extreme right.

Now that they are being affected by the hordes of illegal immigrants, two Democratic cities are crying out for relief. Democrat mayors Eric Adams of New York City and Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C., are pleading for assistance with illegal migrants now that it is now affecting them, despite once looking past Biden’s border policies. They are now blaming Arizona and Texas for sending illegal immigrants to their cities. However, Republicans argue that the Democrat-run cities are dealing with the side effects of their own party’s immigration policies. Describing his city has being “overburdened,” Adams called out Texas and Arizona leaders by calling them “cowards.” “In some instances, families are arriving on buses sent by the Texas and Arizona governments, while in other cases, it appears that individuals are being sent by the federal government,” Adams said.

Officials found more than $2 million in methamphetamine hidden in a vehicle at the Rio Grande City Port of Entry in Texas, US Customs and Border Protection say. CBP officers from the Rio Grande City International Bridge discovered it Sunday in a 2012 Dodge that arrived from Mexico. The $2.1 million in alleged liquid meth, totaling 110 pounds, was found by officers using imaging systems and a dog team. The driver – an unidentified 41-year-old US citizen – was turned over to agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

  • More than 5,000 pounds of meth was seized earlier this month after authorities in San Diego County tracked and intercepted a truck that crossed the border from Mexico. Four men were charged in what federal prosecutors described as one of the largest meth busts in San Diego County.

“Not another foot. “Those were the words Joe Biden used as a mantra throughout his 2020 presidential campaign regarding the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. But on Thursday, the Biden administration approved a plan to complete a section of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona.  The plan includes filling four major gaps in the wall.

As illegal immigrant children surge across the southern border, the Biden administration says it’s making sure it places pregnant teens in states where they can still get abortions in the wake of this summer’s Supreme Court ruling. Even though bed space for the kids is at a premium, the administration revealed in court documents that it is reserving some to make sure pregnant juveniles have a landing spot in a licensed facility in abortion-friendly states — even if it means other kids end up in unlicensed facilities.

President Biden’s administration has confirmed a plan that would give identification cards to illegal immigrants. The pilot program from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is aimed at modernizing “documentation provided to some noncitizens.” “Currently, noncitizens receive paper documents from the federal government about their immigration status. Paper documents pose a security risk, are easily lost, and degrade rapidly in real-world use, creating inefficiencies for the government and noncitizens. Moving to a secure card will save the agency millions, free up resources, and ensure information is quickly accessible to DHS officials while reducing the agency’s FOIA backlog,” an ICE spokesperson said.

Nearly a thousand illegal immigrants who were released by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have been allowed to use copies of their arrest warrants as proof of identification to board aircraft, Town Hall reports. Senator Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) tweeted “The head of TSA admits the Biden Administration has let nearly 1000 illegal aliens use arrest warrants as ID to get on planes this year.”

Food Supplies: 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)

U.S. cattle producers are sending higher numbers of breeding stock to the sale barn, and some are liquidating their herds entirely, signaling a trend that analysts say will likely push already-elevated beef prices even higher in the not-too-distant future. The latest cattle report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the market has contracted to levels not seen in years, with total inventory dropping 2% to 98.8 million head since July 2021. But it’s not just the reduction in cattle overall that is of concern. There is a notable boost in calf-producing females getting sold for processing in addition to steers, which are typically favored for consumption.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested that his nation’s grain harvest this year could be half of its typical amount due to its ongoing war with Russia. Mr. Zelenskyy tweeted Sunday morning that the harvest “is under the threat to be twice less.” The Russian invasion has taken a lot of farmland and farmers out of play.

A ship carrying nearly 30,000 tons of corn set sail on Monday and received widespread press in the process. That’s because it’s the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to leave the country under a deal with Russia brokered by the UN and Turkey and designed to ease the global food crisis.

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)

The European Union announced Tuesday that it will reduce its gas consumption by 15 percent between August and March to store enough for winter in case Russia cuts off its supply. In 2021, the EU got about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency. The EU member countries plan to voluntarily share and ration gas, but if their goals are not met, the member states will discuss mandatory regulations.

The White House announced Tuesday that the Department of Energy will be issuing a notice to sell 20 million more barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the Biden administration’s effort to bring gas prices down. This makes the fifth such sale that President Biden has authorized. The White House continued to blame “disruptions posed by Russia’s invasion” for the high prices while claiming that the Biden administration’s actions are making a tremendous difference. A State Department official is drawing criticism after tweeting that he prefers high gas prices because it means less driving and less carbon emissions to fight climate change.

  • While gas prices are down significantly since a recent national average price of more than $5 per gallon in June, the average as of Tuesday was still $4.327, compared to $3.156 from one year ago, and approximately $2.39 when Biden first took office in January 2021.

The Biden administration is unveiling new proposed rules for replacing the roughly 260 million barrels of oil that it plans to sell from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to blunt high gasoline prices. The administration does not expect to begin restocking the SPR, typically reserved for emergencies and national security purposes, for more than a year. The Department of Energy wants to immediately begin making deals with oil companies to buy barrels at fixed prices but hold off on the purchases until after the next fiscal year, or Sept. 30, 2023. Entering price agreements at a time when oil remains relatively high — around $100 per barrel — could mean taxpayers end up spending more than they otherwise would have if prices continue to drop. Senior administration officials argued that this approach would “encourage greater near-term investment in supply but will not raise demand for barrels now or in the near future.”

  • Current regulations allow the administration to enter into contracts for future delivery but require that the price reflect market prices when the oil is delivered.

Taxes:  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

The vast majority of Americans will pay more in taxes as a result of Democrats’ inflation bill despite President Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making under $400,000 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act — unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and endorsed by Biden — would increase tax revenue by $16.7 billion from Americans earning less than $200,000 a year, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) published Friday. Nearly every tax bracket would pay more in taxes with those making below $10,000 per year seeing the largest uptick, the analysis showed. In his 2020 campaign, Biden repeatedly pledged that Americans earning less than $400,000 per year would not experience any tax increase during his presidency.

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

While gasoline prices soared to record highs, conditions for Big Oil companies haven’t looked this good in years. Exxon made nearly $17.9 billion in profit between April and June, almost four times what it earned during the same period in 2021. Apple, for comparison, reported a profit of $19.4 billion last quarter. Chevron booked a profit of $11.6 billion, while Shell earned $11.5 billion, both up substantially from the prior year.

One-hundred-seventy companies reported second-quarter results including Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta Platforms, Apple, and Amazon. Results were mixed, with many companies warning about inflation and slowing growth in the future. Still, markets managed to end the week and month higher.

It’s been a worrisome few weeks for Google, as profits dipped for the second quarter in a row and hiring was temporarily paused. Now, CEO Sundar Pichai has put out an alert to employees, seeking ideas to boost efficiency and up productivity and warning of an economy that doesn’t look to be improving anytime soon.

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 its key short-term rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for a second straight month Wednesday in a bid to corral soaring inflation, matching the largest increase since 1994. It puts the federal funds rate – which is what banks charge one another for overnight loans – at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, close to the Fed’s 2.5% long-run, or neutral rate. That’s the rate intended to neither stimulate nor curtail economic growth. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank must “move expeditiously” to that neutral level and then likely beyond it to cool the economy and bring inflation under control.

The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.9% annualized rate in the second quarter, fueling fears that America is entering a recession. The new figures, released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, come at a tumultuous time for the economy. Inflation has been high, and the unemployment rate has remained low. The economy shrank in the first three months of the year, and many economists believe a second quarter of contraction means a recession is inevitable.

  • A slowdown in inventory accumulation contributed to a large chunk of the economic contraction between April and June, removing two percentage points from economic output.

U.S. home prices fell 0.7% during the four-week period ending July 10 after reaching a record high in June. Plus, housing supply finally picked up in July for the first time since August 2019. While a dip in home prices and an uptick in housing inventory are both very positive developments, the reality is that many buyers are likely to remain priced out of the market for quite some time because of the historic rise in home prices.

Americans grew even more pessimistic about the U.S. economy over the past month, according to the latest survey on consumer attitudes, intentions and expectations from The Conference Board. The consumer confidence index for July slipped to 95.7 from June’s revised reading of 98.4, which was adjusted downward by 0.3 points. It’s the lowest index reading since February 2021, when levels were 95.2. However, the July number remains considerably above the deeply pessimistic readings during the Great Recession in 2008, when the index fell as low as 25.3. Anything below 100 indicates a pessimistic view of economic conditions.

The personal consumption expenditures price index – the Federal Reserve’s go-to barometer – rose 6.8% in June. That’s the biggest 12-month increase since January 1982. Economist Rachel Greszler, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says inflation has made the average worker $3,400 poorer this month than in January 2021.

Inflation is a global phenomenon right now, and the U.S. has actually fared better than other countries in recent months. In June, consumer prices in the U.S. increased 9.1 percent over the previous year; they increased 9.6 percent across the European Union. The U.S. spent more to prevent economic catastrophe during the pandemic than most of the world did. That led to a stronger recovery, but also to greater inflation initially that was more than the EU. But in Europe, supply has played a bigger role. The five-month-old war in Ukraine was a more direct shock to Europe than it was to the rest of the world, because it pushed the continent to try to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas. That prompted Europe’s recent jump in inflation.

  • So now, the U.S. is trying to cool down the economy by raising interest rates, but that’s not the answer in the EU which is more dependent on what happens with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In March, the FAO Food Price Index from the United Nations jumped to its highest level since it was created in 1990, feeding fears that a global food crisis was rapidly taking shape. Yet in the months to follow, wheat prices — along with the price of other agricultural products — dropped. Wheat is down 45% since March, and 25% since the beginning of May. The FAO Food Price Index has declined for three consecutive months. Is the threat of famine, protests and distress from higher food prices behind us? Not quite, according to Tracey Allen, agricultural commodities strategist at JPMorgan Chase. She thinks wheat prices could jump another 20% and 30% just to reflect actual supply and demand conditions in the market.

ExxonMobil and Chevron both reported record massive profits thanks to record gasoline prices during the quarter. Exxon’s profit, excluding special items, came to $17.6 billion in the second quarter, nearly double what it made in its very profitable first quarter as oil and gas prices started to soar in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Second-quarter profit was up 273% from the same period a year ago. Chevron earned $11.4 billion excluding special items, up 74% from the first quarter and 247% from a year ago.

If you’ve noticed that products you’ve recently purchased are coming in boxes, cartons and other packaging that appear smaller, lighter in weight and decorated with less flashy colors, it’s because they actually are, CNN reports. Just as inflation hitting a 40-year high is forcing households to pay more for everyday purchases, companies that make those products are having to spend much more on production and packaging for items such as lipstick, breakfast cereals, cookies and toys. Industry experts say tweaking packaging is one way that businesses are trying to control costs.

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

Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Sunday aired drone footage of Israeli ships in a disputed gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, highlighting the tension at the center of U.S.-mediated maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel. The footage was aired as the U.S. energy envoy, Amos Hochstein, was landing in Beirut to mediate ongoing talks between Lebanon and Israel over their sea borders. Lebanon claims the Karish gas field is disputed territory under ongoing maritime border negotiations, whereas Israel says it lies within its internationally recognized economic waters.

Israeli forces conducted raids on 39 homes of suspected members of Hamas in Judea and Samaria overnight Sunday/Monday. The lack of Palestinian Authority security forces has allowed the Hamas terror organization to flourish in Nablus and Jenin.

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)

The Palestinian Authority is rewarding terrorist murderer Oma Al-Abed with a salary increase for slaughtering Yosef Salomon (70) and his two adult children, Chaya (46) and Elad (36), by stabbing them to death while they were eating dinner in their home in Halamish, a town in the Binyamin region. Having now completed five years in prison, the PA will raise the salary of the murderer from 2,000 shekels (appr. $643) per month to 4,000 shekels ($1,286) per month, which will go to his family.

A dispute between Iraq and Turkey over a recent deadly attack in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region escalated at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Iraq’s foreign minister demanded the withdrawal of all Turkish troops from his country, while Turkey’s deputy ambassador said his government will keep pursuing fighters it considers terrorists who take refuge in Iraq. The Iraqi government sought the meeting after the July 20 artillery attack that killed nine Iraqi tourists and injured 33 other people. Its foreign minister, Fuad Hussein, said the government has “proofs” that Turkish armed forces were responsible. Turkey has denied it was behind the attack and blamed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and the West. It has for decades waged an insurgency against the government in Ankara and maintains hideouts in Iraq’s mountainous north.

Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr took over the country’s parliament building in the capital Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone to protest against a rival bloc’s nomination for prime minister on July 30, 2022. – The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and socioeconomic crisis despite elevated global energy prices. Sadr’s bloc emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction but was still far short of a majority. Nine months of deadlock persists over the establishment of a new government.

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 signed a new naval doctrine that targets the U.S. as Russia’s top global adversary. “The strategic policy of the USA to dominate the world’s oceans” threatens Russia, Putin said. Putin went on to claim that a number of warships will soon be equipped with hypersonic weapons. Hypersonic weapons fly in the upper atmosphere and reach incredible speeds of up to Mach 5, or more than 3,800 miles per hour, and they can avoid radar detection at low altitudes. The U.S. has none ready to go.

  • China also successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile last year in a shock to U.S. watchdogs. The Chinese fired the missile in August, and it circled the globe before striking at its target, missing by roughly 24 miles. The test shocked U.S. leaders realizing how far behind we are with this technology, with our latest test maintaining hypersonic speed for only 300 miles.

Russia’s goal now is to unseat Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to a speech given Sunday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at an Arab League summit in Cairo. Russia hopes to “liberate” Ukrainian citizens from “this absolutely unacceptable regime,” he said. The remarks are a stark contrast to what Russian officials said earlier in the war: that they wouldn’t try to topple Zelenskyy’s government.

Russian forces on Thursday launched massive missile strikes on Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, areas that haven’t been targeted in weeks. Russian forces in Donetsk have continued to utilize artillery shelling on towns and villages as a part of what Ukrainian regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko called “scorched-earth tactics.” A Russian missile strike on Sunday killed and injured civilians in the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, including one of the wealthiest couples in Ukraine.

Russia launched a barrage of missiles at Ukraine’s capital Kviv from neighboring Belarus early Friday At least 20 missiles were fired from Belarus, Moscow’s key ally in its 5-month-old invasion of Ukraine, striking an apartment block in the Chernihiv region and buildings outside the country’s capital.

Across Russia, volunteer battalions are being formed to deploy to the war in Ukraine, joining the so-called “special military operation” declared by President Vladimir Putin in February. From Murmansk in the Arctic Circle to Perm in the Urals and Primorsky Krai in the Russian Far East, the call has gone out, appealing to both the patriotism and the wallets of Russians. In all, analysts assess that more than 30,000 volunteers might be mobilized to supplement Russian ranks depleted by five months of combat.

Ukraine has recently used its new long-range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges across the Dnipro River – bridges Russia relies upon to supply the areas under its control, the assessment said. “Russia’s 49th Army is stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River and now looks highly vulnerable,” the Thursday assessment said. Thursday. Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the crucial city of Kherson also appeared to be gathering momentum. Ukrainian forces in the east, bolstered by U.S.- and Western-supplied weaponry, were poised to launch the first major counterattack of the war, aiming to reclaim land taken by Russian forces and their separatist allies around the strategic city of Kherson.

A drone attack at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet wounded six people and shut down a festival marking Navy Day in the Crimean Peninsula city of Sevastopol, the mayor said Sunday. Sevastopol is about 100 miles south of the Ukrainian mainland and has been under Russian control since 2014. Russian forces also control much of the mainland coast area along the Black Sea. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to take Crimea back from Russia, along with the eastern cities seized since the war began in February.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he’s ready to use his nuclear weapons in potential military conflicts with the United States and South Korea, state media said Thursday, as he unleashed fiery rhetoric against rivals he says are pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war. Kim’s speech to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War were apparently meant to boost internal unity in the impoverished country suffering pandemic-related economic difficulties

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The leader of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group said this week that Hezbollah’s missiles can reach all of Israel, including land and sea areas. The threat comes as Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group, voiced his opposition to Israel extracting natural gas from the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel says the gas field is within internationally recognized waters. Lebanon says the seas there are disputed.

Nigeria’s northern region is at the center of insurgent attacks and mass kidnappings blamed on armed criminal gangs. But Nigerian clergy are reporting targeted kidnappings this year that extend beyond the regular pattern of attacks in the North. Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper tracked 32 clergy kidnappings between January and July this year across 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Eighteen of them were Catholic priests. A priest who survived a kidnapping said his abductors explained that clergy are “soft targets.” A Methodist prelate kidnapped in May in southeast Abia state and later released after church members paid a ransom identified his abductors as Fulani herders. Samuel Kanu-Uche said the gang leader explained he joined the kidnapping business to provide for his family after losing his parents.

Since the Taliban returned to power almost a year ago, it has barred about 850,000 girls from school to maintain the tradition that girls stay at home until they are married. Only a fraction of those girls attend secret schools or cobble together their education by other means, such as religious schools and tutoring centers.

Famine:Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. (Ezekiel 14:13)

Acute food insecurity will afflict over 50 million people across Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda this year, reported the Intergovernmental Authority on Development last week. “Conflict, climate extremes, economic shocks, rising costs and now the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on food and energy prices are pushing millions towards starvation,” said Michael Dunford, the World Food Program’s regional director for Eastern Africa.

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)

The result of the so-called planned obsolescence of digital devices, combined with a limited number of options to repair older devices over the years, is a tsunami of electronic waste, also known as e-waste. People now expect to get a new computer every three or four years, a new phone every two years,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based e-waste watchdog group. “It’s a mountain that just keeps growing.” The most recent United Nation’s data indicates the world generated a staggering 53.6 metric tons of e-waste in 2019, and only 17.4% of that was recycled. The burden and harm of e-waste often fall upon developing countries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an “undetermined amount of used electronics is shipped from the United States and other developed countries to developing countries that lack the capacity to reject imports or to handle these materials appropriately.”

The elected officials responsible for defending the Amazon Rainforest are often the ones accused of destroying it, a Washington Post investigation found. In Brazil, there’s little political cost to razing the rainforest. The Post has identified nearly 1,200 elected officials who have been cited for environmental wrongdoing. Their electoral successes have undermined efforts to safeguard a natural resource that scientists say is necessary to avert catastrophic climate impacts. The trees absorb CO2, a greenhouse gas.

The American Prairie, a conservation project in Montana, has quietly scooped up more than 450,000 acres of land with the help of its billionaire donors. The little-known project aims to create the largest “fully functioning ecosystem” in the continental U.S. by stitching together about 3.2 million acres of private and public lands. “We’re not asking the federal government to create anything, we’re not asking the federal government for any money,” said Pete Geddes, vice president and chief external relations officer. “Instead, we’re engaged in private philanthropy and voluntary exchange by buying ranches from people who would like to sell that to us.”

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines Wednesday morning damaging buildings and causing landslides. At least four people are dead with dozens more injured.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

The Sakurajima volcano erupted Sunday night on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, prompting evacuations. The country’s meteorological agency raised the alert level to the highest possible for just the second time in history.

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)

A grass fire apparently sparked by a mower swept about 300 yards across a tinder-dry open field to a suburban Dallas subdivision Monday, burning through wooden fences and torching as many as 20 homes, officials said. The blaze in Balch Springs was the latest in drought-stricken North Texas, which has been vulnerable to explosive wildfires for the past three weeks. The mower was being used in the open field to trim the brush when its blade struck some debris and generated a spark that ignited the blaze,

  • Meanwhile, firefighting crews held the Chalk Mountain Fire in North Texas in check at 10 1/2 square miles on 7/26, since last week. It destroyed 16 homes and damaged five others so far.

The McKinney Fire is growing rapidly in northern California. This fire in Klamath National Forest is currently the largest of the year so far. Fire personnel found two bodies inside a burned vehicle parked in a residential driveway west of the Klamath River community Sunday morning. Numerous residences and infrastructure are threatened. Evacuations, road and trail closures are in effect. As of Monday morning, 8/1, the fire has consumed 52,498 acres (86 sq. miles) and is 0% contained. No structures have yet been destroyed or damaged.

With the sheer number and size of wildfires over the past few years, it’s impossible for land managers to catch up with efforts to restore lost habitat. Reforestation efforts need to start within a year of a burn, but agencies are falling behind. Conservative estimates for reforesting are anywhere from $600 to $800 per acre. Residents and recreation enthusiasts impacted by fires often call agencies asking when their view will shift from brown hillsides back to green forests. “It’s not going to happen in their lifetime. It’s not going to happen in their kids’ lifetime,” says Annabelle Monti, a silviculturist with the U.S. 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)

People were evacuated from their homes and rescued from their vehicles in floodwaters across the St. Louis metro area last Tuesday after storms dumped a historic amount of rainfall on the area in just a few hours. More rain fell in St. Louis over a six-hour period than usually falls in a typical July and August combined. The highest rain total reported so far is 12.35 inches near St. Peters, northwest of the city. Dardenne Creek in St. Peters rose 21.4 feet in 7.5 hours. Typically, water levels in the creek are only 1 to 2 feet. The creek is near one section of I-70 that’s closed due to flooding.

Deadly and destructive flooding was ongoing Thursday in Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia as up to 9 inches of rain fell over the area in a short period of time. The life-threatening situation is very similar to the widespread flood disaster in St. Louis earlier this week only it’s happening over mountainous terrain that makes it even easier to flood the communities that line the valleys below. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. At least thirty people died, including six children. Hundreds of people remained unaccounted for. More deaths are expected. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said this is some of the worst flooding in the state’s history. The National Guard estimates about 400 people have been rescued by helicopter.

Rescue crews in Virginia and West Virginia also worked to reach people in places where flooding had blocked up roadways. Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in six West Virginia counties, and Gov. Glenn Youngkin did the same, freeing up more resources to fight floods in Virginia. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said rainfall of 1 to 2 inches per hour is possible Monday in some of the same areas swallowed by flash floods last week.

Flash flooding has impacted the iconic Las Vegas Strip as well as several of its casinos. Videos posted to social media show standing water along Las Vegas Boulevard. Video posted on social media showed several casinos dealing with flooding and leaking ceilings. Strong storms have been moving through the Las Vegas area. A flash flood warning and severe thunderstorm warning were issued for the Las Vegas Valley early Friday morning.