Signs of the Times Update: 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)

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