Archive for September, 2022

Signs of the Times Update: September 29, 2022

September 29, 2022

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

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 ruled Wednesday that federal school mask and vaccine mandates cannot be enforced because “liberty interests of individuals … outweigh any interest generated by the mandatory administration of vaccines.”

New York City police officers scored a big win in their fight against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that cost some their jobs, with a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruling on 9/23 that the mandate—as it applies to members of the Police Benevolent Association—is “invalid” and fired cops must be given back their jobs.

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)

Every two years, Ligonier Ministries works with LifeWay Research to evaluate the theological temperature of the American church, reports Breakpoint. For context, the survey defines “evangelical” as a Christian believer who meets four criteria: that the Bible is the highest authority for what someone believes, that it is important for non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their savior, that Jesus’ death on the cross is the only sacrifice that removes the penalty of humanity’s sin, and that only those who trust in Him alone receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

  • Nearly half of evangelicals agreed that God “learns and adapts” to different circumstances, in stark contrast to the biblical doctrine of unchanging nature, or immutability; 65 percent of evangelicals agreed that everyone is “born innocent in the eyes of God,” denying the doctrine of original sin, and with it, the very reason that people need salvation in the first place.
  • Some 56 percent of evangelicals agreed with the idea that “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam,” in contrast to Jesus’ words in Matthew that without Him, “no one knows the Father.”
  • The most stunning result had to do with the topic of Jesus Christ’s divinity. When asked whether they agreed that “Jesus was a great teacher …but not God,” 43 percent of American evangelicals answered yes. That number is up 13 percent from just two years ago.

Outside a drag bingo event hosted by a pro-LGBT church in Texas, a microcosm of America’s culture war played out with liberals and conservatives screaming at each other across a boulevard on Saturday. About 300 Texas conservatives lined an entire block to protest the First Christian Church in Katy, which sponsored a sold-out family drag bingo event to raise money to benefit its “Transparent Closet.”

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 so-called “Equality Act” is back in another form, but this version is even worse. This “bill” is now called the “Transgender Bill of Rights” and has grown to include nearly 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. The H.Res. 1209 would seek to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “This resolution goes far beyond destroying religious freedom. It will harm parents and children, employers, landlords and every person in America by forcing them to celebrate and even prefer LGBTQ behaviors and abortion,” reports Liberty Counsel.

A new report details how China is recruiting scientists from the top government-sponsored research laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to bring their knowledge and experience to help China build missiles and drones for their war machine – knowledge and experience paid for by American tax dollars.

Hundreds of Homeland Security employees were paid unemployment benefits during the pandemic despite staying on the job, the department’s inspector general revealed Thursday. The Homeland Security inspector general identified nearly 2,400 claims from department employees and found about 600 of them were clearly eligible. Roughly 900 others were deemed “potentially” ineligible, and the remaining 900 or so were definitely ineligible

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)

Several House Democrats on Wednesday slammed Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over her claim that supporting “Israel’s apartheid government” is incompatible with “progressive values.”

Former President Donald Trump maintained that a president can declassify documents just by even “thinking about it.”

A federal appeals court sided with the Justice Dept. in the Mar-a-Lago investigation, allowing them to use the roughly 100 classified documents seized from former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence and club, enabling the criminal investigation to move forward without restrictions.

The U.S. judge in charge of disputes over records seized from former President Donald Trump’s home on Sept. 22 blocked the special master she appointed from viewing records with classified markings taken from Mar-a-Lago.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced the GOP’s “Commitment to America” package on Friday as a unified basis for Republican election campaigns. The agenda includes a slate of general policy recommendations in four broad categories: “An Economy That’s Strong;” “A Nation That’s Safe;” “A Future That’s Built on Freedom;” and “A Government That’s Accountable.”

CNN called President Biden out for making false claims about gas prices and the unemployment rate during a speech at a Democratic National Committee event last week. The president said prices at the pump are down “$1.30 a gallon,” and claimed the average price is “less than $2.99” in 41 states and Washington, D.C.

  • It’s rare for liberal CNN to fact-check Biden. New CEO might be reducing bias.

International:

The Brothers of Italy party won the most votes in the parliamentary election with about 26 percent. Party leader Giorgia Meloni will likely become the country’s first female prime minister when the three-party conservative coalition forms the government in a few weeks. Brothers of Italy has drawn criticism for its neo-fascist roots, but Meloni said during the campaign that “the Italian right has handed fascism over to history for decades now.” Meloni started the Brothers of Italy party in 2012. Her campaign slogan was “God, fatherland, and family,” and she campaigned for traditional family values and an anti-immigration platform.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

According to the Washington Times, the U.S. Postal Service has been caught tracking the communications of 2nd Amendment advocates. The report said the USPS “monitored protesters across the country, snooping on Americans focused on issues involving guns and President Biden’s election.”

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 latest victim of an armed FBI raid is Mark Houck, founder, and president of “The King’s Men,” a group that promotes healing for victims of pornography addiction and promotes Christian virtues among men in the United States and Europe. He’s also a pro-life activist and on Wednesdays, he sidewalk counsels people in front of a Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia. According to Mark Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, 25-30 agents surrounded their house, pounded on the door, yelling with guns drawn at 7:05 a.m. on Friday. He was charged with pushing two people to the ground and causing injuries. He denies it. Even a criminal with a long track record would not have incurred such a massive show of force.

  • President Biden has weaponized the FBI. Messages of support from thirty former FBI agents defended suspended whistleblower Steve Friend, who alleges political bias at the agency over its handling of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach probe.

After a series of comics on corporate wokeness, Dilbert creator Scott Adams was informed by newspaper owner Lee Enterprises that his comic was being pulled by 77 newspapers. Apparently, it’s okay to make fun of Christians, God, and church, but not the Left’s woke religion.

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

Planned Parenthood has changed the information on its website about fetal heartbeats in the face of a public debate between the pro-life and pro-choice communities on the issue. According to internet archives using the popular Wayback Machine, the PP website formerly said that a “very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop” during weeks 5-6 of pregnancy. The Wayback Machine screenshot was taken on July 25. Several states, including Georgia, have passed laws prohibiting abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

  • But the website was changed recently and now claims that during weeks five and six of pregnancy, “a part of the embryo starts to show cardiac activity. It sounds like a heartbeat on an ultrasound, but it’s not a fully-formed heart – it’s the earliest stage of the heart developing.”

An Indiana judge on Thursday blocked the state’s abortion ban from being enforced, putting the new law on hold as abortion clinic operators argue that it violates the state constitution.

An Arizona Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a 1901 ban on nearly all abortions in that state can be enforced, a decision that is likely to see an appeal.

Nobody has been charged by the DOJ for the nearly 100 attacks, including firebombs and vandalism, on pro-life pregnancy centers.

An 84-year-old volunteer canvasser in Michigan was shot following an argument while distributing pro-life pamphlets door-to-door in her community about a state abortion ballot proposal. As the volunteer was leaving the residence, she was allegedly shot in the back shoulder by a man who hadn’t been a part of the discussion.

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)

New daily cases of Covid=19 are down 22% over the past two weeks as of 9/29. Hospitalizations are down 14% with deaths down 12%. Cases are mostly likely higher because of unreported home testing. However, fifteen states show increases over the past two weeks, ranging from Montana at +75% and Washington at +46% on the high end to Wyoming and Minnesota at +4% on the low end.

The seven-day average of new cases in England and Wales rose 13% for the week ending September 17 over the week before. The seven-day average of hospitalizations was up 17% in the week ending September 19 compared to the previous week. The recent rise in coronavirus cases in the U.K. isn’t due to a new variant say experts, but rather a signal that the predicted fall surge is upon us. Some experts say that the is a precursor of a fall surge in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a change to its guidance late last week and will no longer require nursing homes and hospitals to require masking in areas of low community transmission rates. Recent CDC data indicates that about 73 percent of counties in the United States are seeing “high” community transmission of COVID-19, so only 27% can make masking optional.

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)

Dr. Paul Offit, a current member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, startled the left after his warning about the newest COVID booster. “A healthy young person is unlikely to benefit from a booster dose… If there’s not clear evidence of benefit, then it’s not fair to ask people to take a risk,” Offit said during an appearance on CNN.

An analysis of reports in a database run by the CDC and the FDA found 648 cases of side effects in breastfed infants whose mothers received the COVID-19 vaccine, including three deaths. Health authorities in the United States, Israel and around the world recommended the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for pregnant and lactating women despite the lack of clinical studies or animal safety studies for that demographic.

International:

Official statistics compiled by the European Union show a massive increase in excess deaths among children since the EU approved the experimental COVID-19 vaccine for younger age groups.

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)

 A 41-year-old North Dakota man has admitted to running over Cayler Ellingson, an 18-year-old a teenager, explaining that the victim was part of a “Republican extremist group.” Making matters worse, the man is already out on a paltry $50,000 bail.

A gunman killed 13 people, including seven children, and wounded 21 other people in a school in central Russia on Monday, authorities said. Russia’s Investigative Committee said the shooting took place in a school in Izhevsk, a city about 600 miles east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region.

The poster boy for bail reform in New York City was arrested for attempted murder Monday police said after a warrant had been issued. Pedro Hernandez, 22, was taken into custody by the NYPD around 2 p.m. and taken to the Midtown North Precinct.

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)

At least 41 people have been killed and more than 1,200 have been arrested during anti-government protests in dozens of Iranian cities in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who was arrested by the Iranian “morality police” for not properly wearing a hijab earlier this month. Authorities claim she died of natural causes, but critics are skeptical.

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)

U.S. troops serving overseas may find that government schools are indoctrinating their children and teaching them to keep secrets from their parents. According to a report from the Claremont Institute, classes from the Department of Defense Education Activity teach children radical activism, gender ideology, and hiding gender questions from families.

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

Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell faces a very tough situation with skyrocketing crime along with not enough police officers. New Orleans is the newly crowned murder capital of the U.S.. As a result, a new initiative is being launched that will send civilians to crime scenes. Additionally, they will re-deploy ranking officers to the streets who were previously working in administrative, specialty, and detective capacities.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has stripped 47 deputies – 10% of the force – of their guns and arrest powers because they failed psychological exams in the wake of a fatal double shooting allegedly committed by a former deputy. The move came after the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal audit of deputies’ psychological examinations from January 2016 to the present.

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.

City police in Asheville, North Carolina, released new statistics that show violent crime in the Democrat-led tourist town increased 34% year-to-date compared to last year and 29% in 2021 over 2020.

Carjacking crimes erupted in cities across the country in 2020 as society was upended by coronavirus lockdowns and calls to defund the police echoed across the nation. Two years later, some cities are seeing even more drastic surges in carjackings, mostly by youth as young as twelve.

Scammers stole $45.6 billion in pandemic unemployment aid, the Labor Department watchdog said Wednesday. Applicants got aid using dead people’s Social Security numbers and names of people serving federal prison terms. About 1,000 people have been charged with fraud.

A nationwide spike in organized retail thefts has prompted nearly half of U.S. small businesses to raise prices to offset losses, the Chamber of Commerce reported Thursday.

Dozens of people entered a Wawa convenience store in Philadelphia and began ransacking the place on Saturday. Footage shows people throwing food and standing on furniture as employees are helpless to stop the chaos. The aftermath saw trash and products littering the store’s floor as throngs of people milled about outside. The video is only the most recent example of a string of smash-and-grab style crimes, which see organized groups stealing goods from stores with near impunity.

Fraud: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

An inspector general report released Thursday estimated that $45.6 billion in unemployment benefits were fraudulently received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The finding comes as the White House is requesting Congress to add $22.4 billion more for COVID-19 aid in the next government funding bill, a request that flies in the face of President Joe Biden’s “pandemic is over” remarks last weekend.

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)

Facebook parent company Meta announced Tuesday it had detected and shut down two separate networks of fake accounts engaged in covert influence operations run from China and Russia. The vast Russian campaign pushed pro-Kremlin narratives about the war in Ukraine, included thousands of accounts and pages across multiple social media platforms and spent more than $100,000 on ads on Facebook and Instagram. The Chinese footprint was much smaller, posing as conservative Americans and liberals living in Florida, Texas, and California, according to Meta.

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)

On September 12, 2022, President Biden signed the “Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Bio-manufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe and Secure American Bioeconomy.” Specified in that order is the development of genetic engineering technologies and techniques “to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers,” as well as genetic technologies to “unlock the power of biological data” using “computing tools and artificial intelligence.” This executive order “establishes a fast-tracked pipeline of mRNA shots and other gene therapies that will further the transhumanist agenda to create augmented humans and bring us into a post-human world,” writes Joseph Mercola, an American alternative medicine proponent and osteopathic physician.

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)

Anti-Jewish flyers were found Sunday morning on the eve of the Jewish New Year holiday in several neighborhoods of Ann Arbor, Michigan, including those of students who attend the nearby University of Michigan. Plastic baggies containing several pages of antisemitic propaganda were thrown onto lawns and driveways. Some of the propaganda, such as accusing Jews of being behind the Covid-19 “agenda,” had also been included in a rash of incidents in states from Florida to Texas to California over the past year. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the white supremacist Goyim Defense League group is responsible for at least 74 incidents in 2021.

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

In the U.S., synthetic opioids are the primary driver of drug overdose deaths. accounting for nearly two-thirds of more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2021. Most of it is manufactured in Mexico and comes illegally over the southern border.

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 cost of canceling student loan debt will be roughly $400 billion over 10 years, according to Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office.

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 Hallmark Channel will break new ground this Christmas season with its first-ever movie featuring a same-sex storyline as the plot’s primary focus. Although the Hallmark Channel has included LGBTQ characters in its films, this is the first one to feature a same-sex couple at the center of the story.

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 governor of Tennessee is calling for an investigation into Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic following viral tweets exposing that “Vanderbilt drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors” at great profit.

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

Houston, Texas, was seen as one of the cities most equipped to care for the massive numbers of Afghans granted parolee status in the U.S. after the August 2021 withdrawal. However, the resettlement system has all but collapsed under the weight of their needs, volunteers told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Many overwhelmed case officers assigned to help individual families with resettlement have abandoned their charges, turning the Biden administration’s federal welcome program to a herculean volunteer effort to stave off poverty and isolation, volunteers said. None of the five nonprofit agencies responsible for resettling displaced Afghans were prepared for the massive influx of refugees, even with partial government funding.

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)

A top U.S. immigration enforcement official has acknowledged that President Joe Biden’s administration is detaining and removing fewer illegal immigrants than earlier administrations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only detained 45,680 illegal immigrants in 2021, about half as many as it did in 2020. And in 2022, the agency has only detained about 48,200 illegal immigrants.

Venezuela is deliberately releasing prisoners, among them violent criminals, and has them travel to the U.S. southern border, a development that prompted 14 House Republicans to write to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying this has put the United States “in grave danger.”

Two more busloads of migrants arrived in New York City from Texas on Thursday. Mayor Eric Adams announced the city will soon be opening humanitarian relief centers to aid the hundreds of asylum seekers, who arrive in the city daily.

Food Supplies: Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

There has been another suspicious fire in the nation, and this one took one of the largest egg factories in America. The egg factory in Minnesota was torched Saturday night and it is just the latest in a long series of fires set to food manufacturing facilities all over the nation this year. A Forsman Farms spokesperson said that over 200,000 chickens were killed.

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)

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said three leaks were detected Monday in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carry natural gas under the sea from Russia to Europe. The Swedish national police said the leaks were “gross sabotage.” Bjorn Lund, a seismologist with Uppsala University in Sweden, said two explosion were recorded off the Danish coast. Europe had hoped to receive some natural gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this winter. Now, the two pipelines are unlikely to be able to carry any fuel even if there was political will to operate them, analysts at the Eurasia Group said.

  • Officials suspect Russian President Putin ordered the sabotage in retaliation for Denmark, Sweden and Finland voting to join NATA.

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)

Due to a record budget surplus, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced a proposed tax relief package that would provide $1.1 billion in tax relief to Florida families, including provisions to make necessary baby items like diapers, cribs, and strollers permanently tax exempt.

Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., who is seeking re-election in the midterms this November, announced that she will eliminate the sales tax on all grocery purchases in South Dakota.

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

Bank of America was penalized $225 million by federal regulators for “botching the distribution of state unemployment benefits at the height of the pandemic.” “Bank of America automatically and unlawfully froze people’s accounts with a faulty fraud detection program, and then gave them little recourse when there was, in fact, no fraud,” said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Bank of America must now compensate customers whose accounts were blocked.

Hertz has agreed to purchase up to 175,000 electric vehicles from General Motors over the next five years. This follows earlier announcements that Hertz would buy 100,000 electric cars from Tesla and another 65,000 from the Volvo spin-off brand Polestar.

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)

In his much-anticipated remarks on the economy following the Fed’s policy meeting that saw another jumbo interest rate hike to tame soaring prices, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said inflation was “running too high,” contradicting President Joe Biden’s recent assertion that prices had risen “just an inch, hardly at all.”

A key economic gauge from the Conference Board dropped for the sixth month in a row, signaling recession on the horizon. The Leading Economic Index for the U.S., which is a forward-looking gauge made up of 10 individual indicators, fell by 0.3 percent in August, and 2.7% over the past six months.

Consumer confidence rose for a second straight month in September, as moderating gas prices and the hope that inflationary pressures might be easing helped lift the nation’s collective mood. The Conference Board reported that its baseline index rose to 108 from a revised 103.6 in August, the highest it has been since April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average became the last of the major U.S. stock indexes to fall into what’s known as a bear market Monday as the market deepened its slump amid growing fears of a global recession. A bear market is defined as being down at least 20% from their peaks

Due to inflation, “The average American has lost $4,200 in annual income since President Biden took office — entirely wiping out gains made under the Trump administration,” a report from the Heritage Foundation says.

Consumers are changing their behavior due to rising food costs, dining out less often, buying less meat, buying chicken instead of beef, looking for deals, switching to generic brands and giving up splurges.

In August, existing home sales fell 0.4%, marking the seventh straight month of declines and down 20% from the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, the median home price fell 6% in the past two months. After reaching a record all-time high of $413,800 in June, it dropped to $389,000 in August.

New home sales bounced back in August despite high prices and rising mortgage rates that have pushed some buyers away. Some 685,000 new homes were sold last month, at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up from a revised 532,000 in July. A year ago, 686,000 newly constructed homes were sold.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.70% in the week ending September 29, up from 6.29% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. That’s the highest level since July 2007.

International

Just a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a point, the Bank of England on Thursday raised its key interest rate by half a percent to its highest level in 14 years. The Swiss National Bank followed the Fed on Thursday with a three-quarter-point hike of its own. The British pound crashed to a record low or $1.03 against the U.S. dollar on Monday on growing fears about the stability of UK government finances.

On Friday, UK finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced a set of tax cuts, including scrapping the top rate paid by the highest earners and reductions in duties paid on house purchases to spur the economy. The UK Treasury estimates that the cuts will wipe £45 billion ($48 billion) off annual government revenues over the next five years. That’s the biggest tax cut in half a century which critics say will only benefit the rich.

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

Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian State during his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday. The surprise endorsement marks the first time an Israeli prime minister has called for the two-state solution at the UN. Just a day earlier, President Biden made the same appeal for an independent Palestinian state in his own address to the Assembly.

On Wednesday morning, IDF soldiers and Border Police officers entered the Palestinian Authority-administered city of Jenin in northern Samaria, encircling the home of Ra’ad Hazem, the terrorist responsible for the deadly attack in Tel Aviv this April in which three men were murdered. The Israeli military said it was attempting to apprehend Hazem’s brother, Abd. The terrorists opened fire on the IDF forces. Israeli security personnel returned fire, killing four terrorists, including Abed Hazem. IDF forces reportedly used a small anti-tank missile during the gun battle, in order to clear the Hazem home where the terrorists were holed up.

The delivery of five red heifers to Israel has sparked a worldwide debate about its significance in biblical prophecy, particularly among Christians who believe a third temple will be built during the end-times. The five heifers arrived in Israel from Texas last week after being approved by Jewish rabbis as red in color and unblemished – two requirements in the Mosaic law for sacrifice according to Numbers 19.

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)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday they fired missiles and drones at militant targets in the Kurdish region of neighboring northern Iraq, where authorities said 13 people were killed and 58 injured. Iranian authorities accused armed Kurdish dissidents of involvement in unrest now shaking Iran, especially in the northwest where most of the country’s population of over 10 million Kurds live. Iraqi Kurdish sources said drone strikes targeted at least 10 bases of Iranian Kurds near Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan on Wednesday morning

Pro-Iranian forces including Hezbollah have begun to withdraw from Syria as a result of ongoing Israeli airstrikes in recent weeks, a senior IDF officer told reporters on Thursday.

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)

Large numbers of Russians rushed to book expensive one-way tickets out of the country while they still could Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of military reservists for the special military operation in Ukraine. Russia’s airports, train stations and highways were jammed as draft-age men fled the country. Some are pooling their resources to pay for a private plane. Video Tuesday showed a 10-mile long line of vehicles waiting to get into Georgia from Russia.

Across Russia, demonstrators spilled into the streets this week in the country’s first nationwide anti-war protests since Russian troops invaded Ukraine back in February. Thousands of activists marched in Russia’s major cities, chanting: “No to war!” “No to mobilization!” “Russia without Putin!”

Pro-Moscow administrations of all four occupied regions of southern and eastern Ukraine said Tuesday night that their residents voted to join Russia in five days of Kremlin-orchestrated balloting. According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhia region supported annexation, as did 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk. President Vladimir Putin will sign documents on Friday proclaiming Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, as Moscow rushes to lock in territorial claims that the Ukrainian army is threatening to reverse on the battlefield.

  • Ukraine and Western countries say the votes were phony referendums staged at gunpoint on Russian-held Ukrainian territory, and have been rejected in the West as illegal seizures of land captured in war.

The Biden administration will provide approximately $1.1 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine as part of its commitment to support the country’s long-term defense needs amid its war with Russia.

Russian troops intentionally launched Iranian drones over Uman, aiming specifically at Hasidic Jews who were celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, in the Ukrainian city. Despite warnings from Ukraine not to make the annual pilgrimage to Uman this year for safety reasons, tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews went to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday just hours after Vice President Kamala Harris left South Korea, where she had toured the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone which divides the peninsula. The Thursday launch is Pyongyang’s third in five days, continuing the nuclear-armed country’s record-breaking blitz of weapons tests this year. Speaking at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) earlier Thursday, Harris decried North Korea’s “brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations and an unlawful weapons program that threatens peace and stability”. She said that the US commitment to South Korea’s defense was “ironclad.”

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)

A suicide bombing by al-Qaeda-linked militants killed at least 11 people at a Somali army training camp, the latest assault to rock the capital as the president vows to stamp out a years-long insurgency. The blast at the facility in Mogadishu on Sunday occurred during the recruitment of new troops. Another 18 people were wounded.  Al-Shabaab, the Islamist group that’s been fighting Somalia’s government for the past decade, took responsibility for the bombing.

Eleven soldiers have been found dead and about 50 civilians are missing after an attack by Islamist militants on a 150-vehicle convoy under military escort taking supplies to a town in northern Burkina Faso on Monday, the government said on Tuesday. Twenty-eight people were wounded in the attack, including 20 soldiers. The assault took place in the commune of Gaskinde in Soum province, where jihadists linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have escalated attacks and seized territory since 2015. Militants have blockaded several areas, so government convoys and air drops have delivered essential goods to trapped civilians. Burkino Faso is in West Africa.

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)

It is estimated by a group of more than 200 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that one person dies from malnutrition every few seconds, a statistic that again highlights the scale of the ongoing global food crisis. They calculated that around the world between 7,756 and 19,702 people die from hunger each day, which they say is a conservative estimate. “Fifty million people are now just one step away from starvation,” said an open letter signed by 238 organizations.

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)

Twenty-five years ago, aerosol chemicals were eating up the ozone layer, causing a massive hole in earth’s protective shield from the sun’s radiation. In September 1987, the United States and dozens of key nations signed the Montreal Protocol, a binding agreement to phase out ozone-depleting substances, particularly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons. Three decades later, emissions of the substances have dropped more than 99%, their presence in the atmosphere has halved, and the ozone hole is on track to fully heal by 2070.

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 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Michoacan state in Mexico last Wednesday, killing at least two people. It was centered just miles from where a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday.

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Taiwan caused widespread damage. A ceiling in a sports center was seen collapsing on camera. No official word yet on deaths, injuries or extent of damage.

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 Central Tonga Islands welcomed the birth of a new baby – a baby island, that is. The new baby island emerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean where a submerged volcanoes awoke on September 10 and began forming an island out of lava, mud and ash. By 9/20, it was around six acres in size.

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)

Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Florida, Wednesday killing at least fifteen people. The storm dumped a foot of rain on some cities, caused severe flooding and knocked out power for 2.6 million people across the state. Ian shredded the roof of a Port Charlotte intensive care unit, flooding the hospital ward and turning a stairwell into a waterfall. About 40 Florida nursing homes have been evacuated due to Hurricane Ian. In Fort Myers, a 10-foot storm surge tossed boats and cars around like bath toys and left them smashed up in the street along with some sharks. The catastrophic hurricane turned cities into lakes and left a trail of destruction that “defies imagination” one responder said. Many stranded residents had to be rescued from rooftops.

  • At least three sections of the Sanibel Causeway were washed away by storm surge from Hurricane Ian, severing the Sanibel and Captiva islands’ only connection to Florida’s mainland. Ian washed away roads and structures that could not withstand what Governor DeSantis said was a “biblical storm surge.”
  • Ian became a tropical storm early Thursday morning, but regained hurricane strength as it churned toward South Carolina with ‘life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds’
  • Stronger storms are becoming more common in the Atlantic Ocean, as its surface water has warmed. Ian rapidly transformed from a relatively weak storm into a strong one, another phenomenon that has become more common. Through the 1980s and 90s, there was an average of one Category 4 storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Starting in the 2000s, the average has moved up to three Category 4 storms.

Hurricane F​iona smashed into Atlantic Canada with record-setting intensity, washing entire homes into the ocean and downing countless trees and power lines that left hundreds of thousands in the dark. T​he storm’s Saturday morning landfall was the strongest on record for any storm in Canada.

The U.S. government allocated more than $3 billion for hazard mitigation after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. But few projects had gotten underway and Hurricane Fiona wipe out the electrical grid once again.

Swiss glaciers have recorded their worst melt rate since records began more than a century ago, losing 6% of their remaining volume this year. The melt has begun uncovering ground that has remained buried for millennia. At one site, bodies and even a plane re-emerged.

Signs of the Times Update: September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1Peter 4:12-13)

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)

Franklin Graham preached the Gospel to over 17,000 people in the first-ever evangelistic event in Mongolia. Hundreds of people surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. Over 250 Mongolian local churches worked together to bring about the “Festival of Joy,” which was the first time that the local church in Mongolia had held an event of this magnitude.

The Kendrick Brothers pro-life movie Lifemark has been extended in theaters one more week thanks to an impressive opening weekend that saw it land at No. 4 in the United States on its first night. After a solid week, the film was renewed in theaters for another week.

Apparently signaling a lack of support, Senate Democrats on Thursday postponed voting on a bill that would officially declare same-sex marriage the law in all 50 states. The bill’s sponsors admitted last week it may require an amendment to assure the bill does not allow polygamy.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has ruled in favor of a Texas law that seeks to rein in the power of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor free speech. “Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Oldham wrote in the opinion.

A New York Police Department officer can’t be fired for not having been vaccinated against COVID-19, a judge in Manhattan has ruled. “It’s a precedent-setting case,” said attorney James Mermigis, who represents Deletto.

At a press conference, Officer Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, reported that the department’s recent “Fall Haul” sting operation was a rousing success, arresting 160 individuals connected to human trafficking. The profiles of those arrested ran the gamut, including public-school staff, married men, law enforcement officers, undocumented migrants, career criminals, a Domino’s pizza chain operator, and several Disney employees.

A GoFundMe fundraiser created to support sex-trafficking victim Pieper Lewis has raised more than $480,000 from more than 13,200 donations. Lewis, 17, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and willful injury for stabbing to death a man she says raped her multiple times in 2020, when she was 15. She received five years’ probation and was ordered to pay $150,000 in compensation to the rapist’s family.

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)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to forge closer ties during a summit in Central Asia on Thursday that included a discussion of Chinese support for Russia’s troubled invasion of Ukraine and Russian support for Beijing’s claims to Taiwan.

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)

Less than half of Americans can name the three branches of the federal government — executive, legislative and judicial — according to an annual survey of civics knowledge conducted for the Constitution Day holiday on Saturday. Respondents to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s survey also had little understanding of the impact of a Supreme Court ruling, and few could enumerate the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The Biden administration has agreed to spend $80 million on a contract that provides for tracking of illegal aliens after they are released into the United States, reports Washington Free Beacon. But it specifically bans the use of GPS, a technology that would make tracking their locations very easy. Our inept federal government is at it again, one boondoggle after another.

Politics:  Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1Timothy 2:1-2)

President Joe Biden said last Thursday that a tentative railway labor agreement has been reached, averting a strike that could have been devastating to the economy before the pivotal midterm elections. What resulted from the back and forth was a tentative agreement that will go to union members for a vote after a post-ratification cooling off period of several weeks.

The Justice Department said last Monday that it was willing to accept one of Donald Trump’s picks for a Special Master (an independent arbiter) to review documents seized during an FBI search of the former president’s Florida home last months.

The Department of Justice has issued a flurry of over 30 subpoenas to aides of former President Donald Trump. The Justice Department also seized phones from two top Trump advisers in the investigation, which aims to probe Trump’s claims of a rigged 2020 presidential election. 

In a marked expansion of its probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, the Justice Department subpoenaed about 40 of Donald Trump’s aides last week. Department of Justice officials last week seized the phones of two top Trump advisers.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing former president Donald Trump, three of his grown children and executives at his company of flagrantly manipulating property valuations to deceive lenders, insurance brokers and tax authorities into giving them better rates on bank loans and insurance policies and to reduce their tax liability.

Fifty-eight percent of Canadians polled by Ipsos just a few days after the Queen Elizabeth’s death said the time has come for Canada to hold a referendum on ending its formal ties to the British throne. The Commonwealth, an association of 56 countries that include the 14 in which the British monarch remains their head of state, are also rethinking their affiliation with Britain.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Facebook has been monitoring users’ private messages and informing the Justice Department of people who have questioned the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, the New York Post reported. The social media giant also has alerted the department of users expressing anti-government or anti-authority sentiments during the past 19 months,

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)

Nearly half of Evangelical leaders said in a new survey that they have been disinvited, blacklisted or excluded because of their point of view or “guilt by association,” according to the National Association of Evangelicals, saying that they have been “canceled” by others “as a way of expressing their disapproval for their point of view.”

.CVS accommodated Paige Casey’s religious beliefs about not prescribing abortion drugs up until January 2022 when they told her she’d have to begin doing so. Because she refused to act against her beliefs, Paige was fired a few months later, just two days prior to receiving a merit-based raise.

An Ohio school allowed students to hang gay pride flags all over campus but when teen girl, Gabby Helsinger, responded by sharing bible verses she was slapped with severe punishment. Gabby was yanked from her class and issued ISS (in school suspension) for sharing encouraging messages from the bible.

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

Despite having hundreds of thousands of fewer customers, Planned Parenthood committed a record-breaking number of abortions and received an historic amount of funding from U.S. taxpayers in 2021, according to its newly released report. Planned Parenthood’s affiliates averaged 1,050 abortions a day for a total of 383,460 during the 2020-2021 fiscal year — an increase of 28,589 over 2019-2020 levels. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America received a highest-ever $633.4 million in taxpayer funds, a $15.3 million increase over 2020. That made the American taxpayer Planned Parenthood’s largest source of income and produced $133.7 million in profits and boosted PPFA’s net assets to $2.14 billion.

California launched a publicly funded website earlier this week to promote the state’s abortion services for undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens living inside and outside of California. The website features information on different types of abortion and how to obtain one. The site also has a section for out-of-state residents and undocumented immigrants, explaining that federal policies keep immigration officials out of health care facilities. A list of clinics is included on the website, along with links to help with travel expenses and lodging. Additionally, there is a section informing teenagers in other states that they can get an abortion in California without parental consent.

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom last Thursday misapplied the words of Jesus from Mark 12:31 in support of abortion, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” The billboard campaign advertises California abortion in seven pro-life states – Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas. Because we love everyone, unborn babies included, Jesus’ words are actually pro-life.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that he had signed a bill into law that prohibits nearly all abortions except in certain medical situations or in cases of rape or incest. West Virginia is the second state to pass a restrictive abortion bill after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade..

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

In a disturbing example of propaganda directed at children, a new activity booklet published this year in Canada teaches impressionable young minds about assisted suicide, painting it in a positive and desirable light. Published by Virtual Hospice Canada and partially funded by Canada’s health ministry, the book is titled, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) Activity Book and is available online.

  • The culture of death is expanding beyond abortion into euthanasia.

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)

New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are down 27% over the past two weeks as of 9/20, with hospitalizations and deaths both down 13%. In a recent interview, President Biden declared the pandemic over, but the White House and others like Dr. Fauci were quick to say that what Biden really meant is that the situation is much better now but is still a major problem and everyone still needs to get boosted because a fall surge is likely coming.

  • New cases are still up in 9 states, with Pennsylvania up 72%, Connecticut up 53%, New York up 42%, New Jersey up 32%, New Hampshire up 23%, Massachusetts up 3%, and Delaware and Vermont both up 1%. These states are all in the northeastern sector of the U.S.

In the Lancet Commission published Wednesday, renowned experts detailed “massive global failures” that led to more than 6.9 million reported Covid-19 deaths and ultimately an estimated 17.2 million deaths, as reported by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They found widespread failures in prevention, transparency, basic public health practices, and a lack of international cooperation and solidarity.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged publicly for the first time that the agency gave false information about its COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, said in a letter made public on Sept. 12 that the CDC did not perform Proportional Reporting Ratio analyses on adverse event reports at all in 2021, despite the agency previously saying it started to do so in February 2021.”

The former director of the CDC said that he believes White House adviser Anthony Fauci misled Congress about controversial gain-of-function research. Dr. Robert Redfield asserted in a new interview that “everyone had to agree to the narrative” pushed by Fauci and other health officials that the virus came from a “wet market” in Wuhan in 2019 and not the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

There are millions of Americans suffering from long COVID-19 – life-altering symptoms that endure for months or even years after an initial infection. “We don’t know how to treat long COVID. We are only beginning to know what it is,” said Dr. Clifford Rosen, a professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a senior scientist at the Maine Health Institute for Research.

It is generally known that exercise can bring more blood flow to the heart, lungs, and even the brain. However, many people do not know that regular aerobic exercise can also promote the regeneration of brain nerve cells in adults. This is important for long-Covid victims because studies have shown that the attack of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on neural stem cells leads to the destruction of the mechanism of neural cell regeneration in the brain.

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 study published in late August found that 345 people in England died of myocarditis in one year, all vaccinated with one of three COVID-19 vaccines. The publication of the study’s findings in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, marked the first time in the medical literature that researchers have confirmed that myocarditis associated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines can result in death..

Liberty Counsel reports that a recent investigation of the COVID shots found the Pfizer jab had 40 times more deaths, Moderna had 81 times more deaths, and Janssen had 152 times more deaths than all influenza vaccinations given during a similar two-year period. The investigation found that not only were the shots not properly tested, but also the doses and formulations in each lot are not consistent. The Epoch Times also reports that some lots of COVID-19 shots are associated with very severe side effects and death, whereas other lots have very few or no adverse events associated with their use..

Houston Methodist Hospital, the first hospital in the United States to mandate all its health care workers get the COVID-19 vaccine has quietly decided not to require the updated booster shot after facing staffing shortages, according to an internal email obtained by The Epoch Times. The hospital fired hundreds of employees who refused to get the original vaccines, and later mandated booster shots.

The Pentagon’s official watchdog says the Department of Defense is in “potential noncompliance” with standards for reviewing and denying religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to an internal memo by the Pentagon’s Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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)

New Orleans has overtaken St. Louis as the murder capital of America as the city sees a 141% increase in homicides when compared to recent years. According to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, an organization that tracks crime, there have been 52 homicides per 100,000 residents in New Orleans as of Sept. 11. In St. Louis, there have been almost 45 homicides per 100,000 residents as of Sept. 17. By comparison, there have been around 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 residents and 3.5 in New York City.

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 Virginia man who stabbed a stranger more than 50 times, allegedly believing that he was a werewolf, was released from a mental health facility after just three years. Then he made an online dating profile describing himself as “an easy-going adventurer” who recently got back from “two years of travel.”

On January 1, 2023, the state of Illinois will allow an additional group of criminals access to the state’s existing cashless bail policy. The ironically named SAFE-T Act would end cash bail for a list of 12 additional offenses. The first offense on the list is aggravated battery. Gun battery is also included and as long as no shots are fired.

  • Too many criminals and insane individuals are being released into communities all over the U.S. as well as flowing over our southern border.

The Justice Department has charged 47 defendants of the theft of $250 million, in the largest alleged fraud targeting pandemic financial aid to date. Defendants used fake names of nonexistent children to take cash meant to pay for meals that they instead put toward houses, cars and other luxury goods, prosecutors said.

Military prosecutors and defense attorneys are negotiating potential plea deals that could take the death penalty off the table for five defendants charged in connection with the 9/11 attack – and some families of victims are upset by the news. The five defendants are all held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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 Defense Department ordered an investigation into how it conducts clandestine information warfare in attempted manipulation of foreign attitudes. The Pentagon’s action comes after major social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, identified and took offline fake accounts, suspected of being run by the U.S. military, in violation of the platforms’ rules.

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

The Defund-the-Police agenda launched across America only a few years ago has had some serious impacts already. Crime sprees, neighborhoods overrun by gangs, no response to 911 calls and more. But police chiefs, retired, say it’s even worse than that: It’s left police forces overstretched, burned out, and without enough applicants to maintain the ranks. And their response times are longer.

The liberal city of Seattle is losing police officers amid a major spike in crime. In total, 122 officers have left the Seattle Police Department in 2022. Since the city council voted to defund the police department in 2020, nearly 500 police officers have left the force and there’s another 350 officers that will qualify for retirement at the end of the year. The city experienced 11 homicides in August, the deadliest single month on record.

FBI agents arrested about 6,000 alleged violent criminals and gang members across the United States over the past four months and have seized more than 2,700 firearms and large quantities of fentanyl. It comes as the average murder rate across the United States hit 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2021, the highest figure it’s been in more than 20 years.

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.

A California man pleaded guilty last week to threatening “to shoot up and bomb” dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster’s offices over its inclusive gender definitions and making similar threats to various other people and institutions, federal prosecutors announced.

  • It’s one thing to be opposed to all the gender confusion, but it’s another thing entirely to threaten or commit violence. This is what gives the conservative opposition a bad reputation and designations of extremism.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has big concerns about surging crime in Chicago, where the fast food giant is based, saying it is impacting the company’s 400 city restaurants and making it harder to recruit corporate talent. “We have violent crime that’s happening in our restaurants … we’re seeing homelessness issues in our restaurants. We’re having drug overdoses that are happening in our restaurants,” he said.

  • Starbucks too, has noted similar problems at some of its stores. Over the summer, the coffee chain announced it would close 16 locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon over crime and safety concerns.

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)

A new study shows about 28 million people were in forced labor and 22 million were in forced marriages at the end of 2021. Those numbers jumped by 25 percent since the last Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report five years ago. About 65% of forced marriages are found in Asia and the Pacific. The highest prevalence was in Arab States, where 4.8 out of 1,000 people are in forced marriages. High income countries have over half of the forced labor.

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)

It is estimated that global cybercrime will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, an amount larger than every economy in the world except the U.S. and China. Cybersecurity threats are escalating against the U.S. water industry, the U.S. healthcare system, and industrial infrastructure, including electricity grids, oil and gas facilities, and manufacturing plants.

The Justice Department announced charges last Wednesday against three Iranian individuals are alleged to have launched cyberattacks against the U.S. and global critical infrastructure. The individuals are still at large and believed to be in Iran. The State Department is offering a $10 million reward for information on the three men, alleging that they have carried out ransomware and other cyberattacks since at least 2020.

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)

Spies from China and India infiltrated Twitter and the social media company ignored a warning about insider threats, the company’s former top security official told lawmakers on last Tuesday. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko said various countries have wormed their way inside the company. Last month, a federal jury found former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia. Twitter fired Zatko for alleged poor job performance.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday he had signed a bill into law requiring transparency of social media companies, a move that could draw criticism from tech firms and industry groups. The law, AB-587, will require social media companies to publicly post their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment and extremism on their platforms, and report data on their enforcement of the policies. Last year, the governor of Texas signed a bill prohibiting social media firms from restricting users or their posts based on their viewpoint. The Supreme Court in May blocked the law, after technology industry groups sued.

South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission said Wednesday that it fined Meta $22 million and Google $50 million. Officials agreed that the companies’ business practices could cause serious privacy violations. The fines are the biggest penalties that South Korea has ever levied for privacy violations. According to the commission, Meta and Google did not adequately inform users about—or obtain consent for—how they would track users’ online behavior. Meta has indicated that it might challenge the fine in court.

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)

Some nurses have abandoned a workplace where conditions have become harder to endure, with impossibly high patient loads and even a shocking uptick in workplace violence. Others have quit their jobs to become travel nurses, staffing bedsides around the country on a temporary basis, and for as much as triple their usual pay. Colleges and universities are turning away tens of thousands of qualified aspiring nursing students every year, primarily due to a lack of qualified instructors who make far less income than practitioners.

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)

According to the latest statistics, life expectancy in the United States dropped precipitously in 2020 and 2021. In 2019, the average life span of Americans of all ethnicities was nearly 79 years. By the end of 2021, life expectancy had dropped to 76 — a loss of nearly three years. Aside from COVID, causes of death listed as contributors to this loss of life expectancy include accidental deaths, drug overdoses, heart disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

  • As you might expect, the idea that the COVID vaccine shots might have something to do with it is completely dismissed.

Sharply rising cases of some sexually transmitted diseases — including a 26% rise in new syphilis infections reported last year — are prompting U.S. health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts. Infections rates for some STDs, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have been rising for years. HIV cases are also on the rise, up 16% last year. And an international outbreak of monkeypox, which is being spread mainly between men who have sex with other men, has further highlighted the nation’s worsening problem with diseases spread mostly through sex.

  • This is the consequence of loosening sexual morality. If everyone adhered to God’s ordained order of sex only between a married man and woman, these problems would have largely been avoided.

Since the 1990s, researchers say, cancers have been rising in many countries among people under 50. And while the reasons are not fully clear, it’s likely that changes in lifestyle and environment — starting early in life — are playing a role. These cancers are most likely related to factors like poor diet, obesity and inactivity, new research finds. For certain cancers, increased screening may partly explain the rising incidence.

The percentage of adults getting mental health treatment increased from 19.2% in 2019 to 21.6% in 2021, the CDC reported in data published this month. Those more likely to have received treatment were younger adults, those aged 18 to 44, especially women in that age group, according to findings from the National Health Interview Survey.

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

Dr. Rahul Gupta, the first physician appointed U.S. drug czar last October, says an average of two drug victims die every 10 minutes. Gupta made it a top priority to meet with officials in Mexico City, considering the bulk of illegal drugs that killed more than 108,000 Americans in 2021 come from two global powerhouses: the Sinaloa Cartel and the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, known as CJNG. Gupta has settled on two overall strategies, drug interdiction and harm reduction, which includes: increased availability to the opioid antidote naloxone; preventative programs for youth; and expanded access to addiction treatment.

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 Virginia Department of Education issued new guideline Friday, which say that students’ participation in certain school programming and use of school facilities like bathrooms or locker rooms should be based on their biological sex. The policies also say that students who are minors must be referred to by the name and pronouns in their official records, unless a parent approves the use of something else. The guidelines say schools may not encourage teachers to conceal information about a student’s gender transitions from his or her parents. And they say parents must be given an opportunity to object before counseling services pertaining to gender are offered.

Over the last year or so, books were banned at least 2,500 times by more than 130 school districts across 30-plus states, according to an analysis published Monday by PEN America, a free speech and literary organization. The unprecedented trend escalated throughout the spring and into the summer. The most targeted title, by far, is Maia Kobabe’s graphic novel Gender Queer: A Memoir, which was banned in 41 school districts this past year. George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue comes in second place, banned in 29 districts.

Across the country, dozens of schools went on lockdown. Students and teachers hid in classrooms. Police searched campuses. Parents panicked. Each time, there was no threat. Officials say there’s been a wave of false reports of school shootings and threats of violence over the last several days. USA TODAY found at least 30 active shooter false alarms and threats made at schools last week. Authorities haven’t publicly said the incidents are related, but experts say these intentional false reports have similarities.

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)

Thousands took to the streets of Port-au-Prince for the second day in a row to protest yet another gas hike. The government announced the increase as citizens are already struggling with high fuel prices, unemployment, and widespread violence. Official fueling stations are largely closed, and the price of gas on the black market is currently $18 per gallon. Protesters are also calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

  • Two Haitian reporters, identified as Tayson Latigue and Frantzsen Charles, were fatally shot and their bodies were set on fire Sunday. The reporters were part of a group of seven journalists investigating worsening gang violence in the Cite Soleil district of Port-au-Prince.

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)

A new study done in the United Kingdom shows that 44% of the children born during 2000-2001 did not live with their biological parents throughout their childhood. The study also said 23% of U.K. families are single parents, 10% higher than the European average of 13%. It also revealed that single parent families are more likely to have financial problems, and in 2020, 49% of children living with a single parent were in relative poverty, compared to 25% of children living in married 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)

Organizers of the September 9-11 Boise Pride Festival cancelled a “Drag Kids” performance after public pressure prompted multiple sponsors to pull their support. The event advertised drag performances by children “from ages 11-18.” Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon blamed those who believe “it is not only okay but laudable to encourage children to engage in public displays of sexuality.”

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.

On September 16, reports surfaced that the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a leading organization that advocates for transgender medical procedures, had removed all age guidelines regarding the appropriate time to start puberty blocking drugs and undergo surgeries to remove healthy organs. The revelations come as news emerged Monday that a South Carolina clinic may have dispensed cross-sex hormones to children as young as four.

Montana health officials on Friday made permanent a rule that blocks transgender people from changing their birth certificates even if they undergo gender-confirmation surgery. The move comes just days before a court will hear arguments over the legality of a similar rule that’s been in effect on an emergency basis since May. The ACLU of Montana has asked state Judge Michael Moses to strike down the emergency rule.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday backed an LGBTQ student group seeking recognition at orthodox Yeshiva university in New York, temporarily requiring the school to allow the group to meet on campus while the litigation continues, overturning a lower court ruling. Four conservative justices – Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett – dissented from the decision last Wednesday.

  • Yeshiva University has abruptly suspended all student club activity in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this week that ordered the school to recognize — for now — an LGBTQ student group.

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)

A new U.S. intelligence review found that since 2014, Russia has secretly given more than $300 million to foreign political candidates in an effort to influence elections. The review found evidence of the money being funneled to more than two dozen countries across four continents; it did not address whether similar Russian activities have taken place in the US, but officials say the US is indeed “vulnerable” to such activities.

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

By land and by sea, more than 230,000 Cuban and Haitian migrants have attempted to reach the United States this year to seek asylum. U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered more than 175,000 Cubans at the Southwest border this fiscal year through July. In the same time period, border agents encountered 42,230 Haitians. Through Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard had stopped 5,545 Cubans and 7,173 Haitians at sea this fiscal year, a nearly 370% jump from last year. Both Haitians and Cubans are repatriated to their home countries if picked up at sea. 

Reverse Migrations: Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)

Many San Francisco, California, residents are preparing to leave the city after growing frustrations due to homelessness and public safety, according to a poll by SF Next. Approximately two-thirds of respondents say the city “has gone downhill” since when they first moved there. Nearly 40% of San Franciscans say they will move out of the city. Those most likely (54%) to leave are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. Between April 2020 and July 2021, 20% of San Francisco residents between the ages of 25 and 29 left the city.

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 the first time in U.S. history, more than two million illegal border crossings took place in one year at the southern border. Border Patrol agents experienced 203,597 illegal border encounters in August, bringing the total number of illegal border crossings this fiscal year to a record-breaking 2,150,639. Although there is another month before the fiscal year comes to a close, that number already exceeds the previous record of 1,734,686 illegal encounters set by the Biden administration last year.

U.S. taxpayers are paying over $20 billion each year to meet the needs of illegal aliens who entered the country under the Biden administration, according to a new cost analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The immigration group said it “conservatively estimates” that American taxpayers will end up paying each illegal alien $9,232, or an overall $20.4 billion burden a year to support the population. It comes in addition to the $140 billion existing annual cost of providing benefits and services for long-term illegal immigrants.

The governor of Illinois on Wednesday issued an emergency disaster proclamation after several hundred illegal immigrants were bused from the U.S.–Mexico border to Illinois. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, issued an executive order to send 75 members of the state National Guard to assist in making sure “all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving nearly daily to Chicago from the state of Texas.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has joined the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona in relocating illegal immigrants. He sent two planeloads to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, which quickly pulled together to assist the confused and tired group. The migrants, who mostly appear to be from Venezuela and don’t speak English, indicated through interpreters that they started their day in San Antonio, Texas. The migrants will be temporarily housed at a military base on Cape Cod, according to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

  • Keith Chatinover, a progressive commissioner for Dukes County, Mass., where Martha’s Vineyard is located, said in 2021, “I would love Martha’s Vineyard to become a haven for new immigrants to this country.”

Gov. Abbott of Texas sent two busloads of illegal immigrants to VP Kamala Harris’ doorstep, dropping them off at a bus stop nearby Harris’ residence in the Naval Observatory residence in Washington, D.C. That came just days after the vice president had proclaimed the border “secure.” A Fox reporter was there and asked the immigrants whether the border was closed. “The border is open… It’s open because we enter. We come in, free, no problem…We came illegally.” They were sent voluntarily north because border towns in Texas are completely overwhelmed and simply do not have the resources to care for these people.

  • Six more buses also arrived in New York City, as Texas continued to pressure sanctuary cities amid a surge of migrants crossing the southern border. The six buses were from El Paso. Another bus carrying illegal immigrants arrived near Vice President Kamala Harris’s home in Washington D.C. early on Sept. 17. Another six buses arrived Sunday morning.

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)

It has been reported by multiple outlets that at least 43% of the nation’s stock of baby formula has disappeared. Retailers like Target, Walgreens, and others are being forced to ration formula because stocks are low, and the shelves are empty unless you are at a detention center at our southern border. Thanks to photos from a whistleblower Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) has discovered that truckloads of baby formula have been sent to the border for illegal immigrants.

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)

An oil subsidiary in Germany previously controlled by a Russian oil giant is now under the control of the German government, it announced Friday. The German government said it took control of Rosneft Deutschland GmbH and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH, two companies owned up until now by multinational oil and gas company Rosneft. The government said the move would ensure continued oil production as the international community looks to cut its oil dependence on Russia.

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)

A million more seniors age 65 years and older fell into poverty last year, boosting the percentage in poverty to 10.3%, from 8.9% in 2020 and the highest level since 2002, according to the latest Census Bureau data. That’s in stark contrast to the 4.5-percentage point drop in child poverty to a record low 5.2%. Older adults are the only age segment that experienced an increase in poverty. In total, almost 6 million older adults live below the poverty level. And it’s only likely to get worse because the data is from before inflation skyrocketed this year.

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)

The pandemic largely is over, and many of the millions of workers who worked from their family rooms or kitchens during that time are back in the office at least for part of their work weeks. But more than 1,300 employees of the New York Times say they won’t do that. Their reason is inflation. It would mean they would have to spend more money on “gas, mass transit, clothing and lunches,” according to a report in the New York Post which calls the dispute “bitter” and said 1,316 workers “had signed a pledge not to return to the office.”

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

FedEx’s top executive, who took over the role at the beginning of this year, said that declining worldwide cargo volumes were the primary factor in the company’s unsatisfactory performance – and that means a recession is coming. FedEx Express results were particularly impacted by macroeconomic weakness in Asia and service challenges in Europe. “We are a reflection of everybody else’s business, especially the high-value economy in the world,” he concluded. FedEx will close 90 office locations, close five corporate office facilities, defer hiring efforts, reduce flights and cancel projects.

Economy: 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 made history on Wednesday, approving a third consecutive 75-basis-point hike in an aggressive move to tackle the white-hot inflation that has been plaguing the US economy. The supersized hike takes the central bank’s benchmark lending rate to a new target range of 3%-3.25%. That’s the highest the fed funds rate has been since the global financial crisis in 2008.

Compared to a year earlier, consumer prices in August were up 8.3%, which is extremely high by historical standards, though below the annual figures of 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June. Prices rose 0.1% in August from July, according to the Consumer Price Index. Most analysts had forecast a decline of 0.1%. Investors were hoping for a sign that inflation had peaked. But instead of declining, prices actually rose in August.

The average American income was essentially flat last year at $70,784, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.  The 2021 income report follows a 2.9% drop in 2020, the first significant decline since 2011. The flat income in 2021 didn’t keep pace with inflation, so overall it means that American earners lost purchasing power.

  • The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area leads all major cities with a 13% inflation rate over the past 12 months, followed by second-place Atlanta at 11.7% and 11.2% in the area around Tampa, Florida. Miami and Baltimore round out the top five.

Food costs spiked 11.4% over the past year, the largest annual increase since May 1979, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Egg prices soared 39.8%, while flour got 23.3% more expensive. Milk rose 17% and the price of bread jumped 16.2%. Chicken prices jumped 16.6%, while meats rose 6.7% and pork increased 6.8%. Fruits and vegetables together are up 9.4%. Overall, grocery prices jumped 13.5% and restaurant menu prices increased 8%.

Consumers are increasingly using buy now, pay later apps to cover the cost of rising food bills. An estimated 1 in 5 people who use BNPL services now say they’ve used the pay-over-time model to cover the cost of groceries, said Hugh Tallents, senior partner at management consulting firm cg42. Half of them do so regularly. Almost $46 billion in buy now, pay later transactions were made online in 2021, up from $15.3 billion the year before. Defaults and bankruptcy are like to rise as well. 

Surging rent prices are now hitting consumers hard. Rents rose 0.7% in August from July and marking the fastest monthly pace since January 1991. Annual rent inflation rose 6.7%, also the highest rate in almost 40 years, and industry experts say they will continue to rise.

Mortgage broker Freddie Mac said on Thursday that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had reached 6.02 percent, nearly double what it was nine months ago. The rapid increase in borrowing costs comes after the Federal Reserve launched an aggressive campaign to raise interest rates in order slow inflation.

August housing starts, a measure of new home construction, jumped 12.2% from July, but were down 0.1% from a year ago, according to the US Census Bureau. After a big drop earlier this spring, housing starts had been holding relatively steady up until last month’s big increase. The majority of the gain in housing starts in August was in multifamily properties, buildings with five units or more, which were up nearly 30% from July.

  • However, a survey released Monday found home builder confidence fell in September for the ninth-straight month to the lowest point since 2014. The sentiment dropped as higher mortgage rates, continuing supply chain problems and persistently high home prices continued to make homes less affordable for buyers.

Home sales declined for the seventh month in a row in August as higher mortgage rates and stubbornly high prices pushed prospective buyers out of the market. Sales of existing homes – which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – were down nearly 19.9% from a year ago and down 0.4% from July.

The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell again last week, setting a new three-month low and showing that employers are still reluctant to let go of workers despite some economic slowing. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were 213,000 for the week ended September 10, down 5,000 from a total of 218,000 claims in the prior week. That is the lowest level since May 28. Continuing jobless claims for the week ended September 3 were 1.4 million, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s level.

International Economy:

While gas prices have declined in the United States in recent weeks (although they still remain more than 35% higher than when Biden took office) they have remained shockingly high in Europe – more than $5.50 per gallon in the U.K., Germany, and France. At the same time, Europe has experienced a catastrophic rise in electricity costs. Manufacturers are furloughing workers and shutting down lines because they can’t pay the gas and electric charges, reports the New York Times.

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

An Israeli strike on the Damascus International Airport and nearby military posts south of the Syrian capital killed five soldiers. According to Syrian state media,. the strikes happened after midnight Friday, causing “material losses” as well. It added that some of the Israeli missiles were shot down before reaching their targets. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, confirmed that the strikes killed five Syrian soldiers and two members of Iran-backed groups. The Israeli army declined comment.

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 new Iranian “Arash 2” suicide drone has unique capabilities that were developed specifically for targeting Haifa and Tel Aviv, Commander of Iran’s Army Ground Force Brigadier General Kioomars Heidari said on national Iranian TV. He noted that the Arash 2 drone was specially designed for attacking Haifa and Tel Aviv, and that it is “a unique drone made for that purpose and awaits the command to start operation.” Israel said that the Iron Dome defense system has been upgraded and can now contend with drone threats as well.

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)

The Russian-controlled regions in southern and eastern Ukraine on Tuesday rolled out plans to start voting this week on whether to formally become part of Russia. Western countries are unlikely to recognize the referendums as legitimate. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the votes a sham and said that Ukraine would liberate its territories. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council and former president of Russia, said Russia would enshrine the new territories in its constitution so no future Russian leader could hand them back, and that they would be defended by any means necessary.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a mobilization of 300,000 reservists in Russia, in a measure that appeared to be an admission that Moscow’s war against Ukraine isn’t going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting. It’s the first mobilization in Russia since World War II and comes amid recent battlefield losses for the Kremlin’s forces.

The Russian leader, in a seven-minute televised address to the nation aired on Wednesday morning, also warned the West that he isn’t bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability. Putin has previously warned the West not to back Russia against the wall and has rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to help Ukraine.

Nuclear operator Energoatom said Monday that Russian missiles landed within 300 meters of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. None of the facility’s three nuclear reactors suffered damage. The plant is the second largest of four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, smaller only than the one in Zaporizhzhia. Vladimir Putin pledged Friday to step up attacks against Ukrainian infrastructure.

Ukraine has retaken thousands of miles and more than 300 villages and towns this month. The Ukraine Defense Ministry said Russian troops fleeing the Ukraine advance are massing at the Belgorod border, where other Russian troops are keeping them from crossing over. “They have no communication with the command,” the ministry said in a statement. “There is no supply of food and ammunition.”

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)

Border Patrol agents along the southwest border with Mexico apprehended 78 migrants listed on the Terrorist Screening Dataset during the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2022. This is three times the total of the last four years’ apprehensions of potential terrorists combined. The report from CBP stated that in previous years, 15 were apprehended in all of FY21, three in FY20, none in FY19, six in FY18, and two in FY17. The numbers could be significantly higher if the more than 580,000 migrants “got-aways” were counted.

The Taliban have summarily executed dozens of members of a resistance group fighting against their harsh rule in Afghanistan. In a move that echoes ISIS’s social media strategy, Taliban shared their battlefield atrocities online to spread fear among their enemies. The executed fighters are members of the National Resistance Front, a new group operating mainly out of the Panjshir Valley in central Afghanistan. 

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)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a sweeping package of what he called the country’s “most aggressive” climate measures to “accelerate the state’s transition” to non-conventional energy sources. The package includes 40 bills of new green rules affecting large-scale industry as well as the family home and private and public transportation. Newsom’s office said his sweeping package of measures will create four million new jobs over the next 20 years, cut air pollution by 60 percent, and reduce state oil consumption by 91 percent. How this would be achieved was not explained in the governor’s news release.

Yvon Chouinard started the outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia 50 years ago and built it into a $3 billion company. On Wednesday, he announced he’s giving it away. Patagonia and all of its voting stock are now held by a trust charged with protecting the company’s values. All nonvoting shares go to a nonprofit, the Holdfast Collective, that will fight environmental crises and protect nature. “Earth is now our only shareholder,” a company statement said. Patagonia, which sells more than $1 billion in merchandise a year, will remain a for-profit company and expects to make donations to environmental causes of about $100 million a year.

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​n earthquake and an aftershock caused minor damage in a Northern California community and were felt across the highly populated Bay Area last Tuesday night. The 4.4-magnitude quake and a 3.9-magnitude aftershock struck just after 6:30 p.m. local time and were centered in Santa Rosa, California, around 50 miles north of San Francisco along the Rodgers Creek fault line, a part of the San Andreas fault system. The Santa Rosa Fire Department said that they had to respond to some reports of gas leaks, but that no one was injured.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the sparsely populated southeastern part of Taiwan on Sunday, derailing train cars, causing a convenience store to collapse and trapping hundreds on mountain roads. The weather bureau said the epicenter was in Taitung county, and followed a 6.4 magnitude temblor on Saturday evening in the same area.

A​ 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Mexico Monday afternoon, not far from the town of Aquila, killing at least one person. The USGS said the quake struck at 1:05 p.m. local time at a depth of about 9 miles. Near the epicenter, buildings shook, and structural damage was reported in Michoacan state. In Mexico City, some 400 miles east of the epicenter, buildings were evacuated as a precaution and power was knocked out in some areas.

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)

Mudslides last Monday, 9/12, in Forest Falls, California, obliterated and damaged several homes. The mudslide was triggered after as much as 2.5 inches of rain fell around Forest Falls, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County, sending debris down steep hillsides marked by wildfire burn scars. Mudslides, more formally called “debris flows,” are an especially dangerous and fast-moving type of landslide. T​he county installed barriers on some homeowners’ property to protect them from mudslides after wildfires, but they didn’t hold up to the flow. One owner’s jeep was found thirty feet downhill with a tree laying on its roof. Many other cars were trapped in window-high mud.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a state of disaster Saturday as a powerful storm battered the coast over a 1,000-mile span, causing widespread flooding in several communities. Remnants of Typhoon Merbok brought on the worst storm in the state’s recent history. At least five communities — Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay, Golovin, Newtok and Nome — have been impacted as of Sunday due to high water levels. Initial damage reports have shown erosion, electrical issues and power outages. Homes were moved off their foundations and one house in Nome floated down a river until it got caught at a bridge.

Hurricane Fiona hammered the Dominican Republic Monday after carving a path of destruction across Puerto Rico Sunday that included damaged homes, landslides, flooded roadways and a total blackout of the island’s power grid. A​t least one person was killed in the Dominican Republic by a falling tree. Two persons were also killed in Puerto Rico, where flooding continued, and millions of people remained without power or running water. Strong winds ripped roofs off homes and the heavy rain also caused landslides in Puerto Rico. Rain totals have reached 12 to 20 inches in most areas, but some locations have seen up to 35 inches.

  • The storm strengthened to a Category 3 storm Tuesday with sustained winds of 115 mph. The hurricane was moving north-northwest at 10 mph, and was centered about 10 miles off the coast of Grand Turk Island. Hurricane conditions were occurring over the Turks and Caicos Tuesday.

Floodwaters triggered by heavy rainfall swept through several towns in a hilly region of central Italy early Friday, leaving 10 people dead and at least four missing. Dozens of survivors scrambled onto rooftops or up trees to await rescue. The flooding left the 1,300 residents of Barbara without drinking water and with spotty telephone service. Some 50 people were treated at hospitals for injuries.

A massive typhoon roared across Japan’s southwestern region of Kyushu on Sunday, forcing 8 million residents to flee and pounding some areas with unprecedented winds and waves. The Japan Meteorological Agency said it was “raining like never before” in neighboring Miyazaki, where some areas saw more than 15 inches of rain in the 24 hours through Sunday afternoon. Power lines tumbled and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were dark as the storm slowly rolled northward over Kyushu.

Signs of the Times Update: September 12, 2022

September 12, 2022

 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31–32)

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)

Queen Elizabeth was well-known for her deep faith in God in both her public statements, including her eloquent Christmas messages, and actions. One of Queen Elizabeth’s title was “Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.” Queen Elizabeth II often knelt before Jesus Christ in prayer and worship. In doing so, the queen pointed not just her subjects but the entire world to their Savior, reports WORLD News. In her Easter message in 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, she said: “Easter isn’t canceled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. … As dark as death can be—particularly for those suffering with grief—light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”

It was only a little more than a year ago that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that a Philadelphia foster and adoption agency could operate by its Christian standards, irrespective of the city’s so-called non-discrimination demands to promote the LGBT ideology. Now a federal district court has ruled that the state of New York cannot shut down a faith-based provider of adoption services over its religious beliefs. The state had threatened to order the organization to phase out its adoption program over the service’s standard of prioritizing the placement of children in homes with a married mother and father. The court ruling ordered that the state be banned from enforcing its demands “insofar as it would compel New Hope to process applications from, or place children for adoption with, same-sex couples or unmarried cohabitating couples.

On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade School Board, which represents the nation’s fourth-largest school district, voted against a measure that would have recognized October as “LGBTQ history month.” The vote follows an August 23 school board election in which Miami-Dade was flipped to a conservative majority. The vote also comes as Americans’ satisfaction with the U.S. education system reached its lowest point in two decades, with a newly released Gallup poll finding that just 42% of adults are “satisfied with U.S. education.”

Yeshiva University in New York City will not have to recognize an LGBT student club, at least not for the time being, according to an emergency ruling the U.S. Supreme Court issued late on Sept. 9, temporarily blocking a lower court order forcing such recognition. Founded in 1897, the Orthodox Jewish university describes itself in court documents as “the world’s premier Torah-based institution of higher education.” The word “yeshiva” itself refers to a traditional Jewish religious school. Recognizing the LGBT student organization would violate its religious teachings, the school argues. The new ruling came as the high court has become increasingly protective of constitutionally guaranteed religious rights in recent years.

The faith-based, adoption-themed movie Lifemark opened at No. 7 in theaters over the weekend, marking the sixth straight time that a movie made by filmmaking brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick opened in the Top 10. The film, which is in theaters for one week only through Thursday, grossed an estimated $2.2 million to notch the seventh spot. Lifemark finished even higher in per-theater average ($1,444) at No. 3. On the popular movie website RottenTomatoes.com, it received an impressive audience score of 97 percent. The pro-life film features a nearly aborted baby who is adopted and later reconnected with his birth mother.

A private Christian school in North Carolina is apologizing after it baptized more than 100 children without notifying parents. Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, N.C., announced on its Facebook page Thursday that it had “over 100 middle and high school students spontaneously declare their faith and get baptized” earlier that day. Although most comments on the Facebook page were positive, the school acknowledged that parents may have wanted to attend. “Several students had given their lives to the Lord during Spiritual Emphasis Week, and they were scheduled to be baptized this morning. But the Spirit of the Lord moved, and the invitation to accept the Lord and be baptized was given, and the students just began to respond to the presence of the Lord.”

  • Even if the Spirit moved, they should have taken down the students’ names, gotten parents’ permissions and scheduled another baptism. Leaving parents out of school decisions has been a growing problem in the secular world. Let’s not have the Christian world adopt their practices.

The Pakistani Supreme Court has issued a highly significant and welcome ruling, which includes the declaration that the preaching of Christianity “is not a crime, nor can it be made into one.” The nine-page ruling is a clear and comprehensive denunciation of the way in which “blasphemy” laws are misused in Pakistan. The court raises issues such as false and malicious accusations, the lack of credible evidence in many cases, and the mob violence with which the accused person is often threatened. The Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad has granted bail to three Christians charged with “blasphemy” in separate cases. The bench of two judges ruled that the accused should be protected until the allegation was proved and the state has a special responsibility to ensure protection of those accused of “blasphemy.”

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 Walt Disney Company, through its FXX Network, is releasing an animated sitcom series called Little Demon, which a film industry website describes this way: “After being impregnated by the Devil, a reluctant mother and her Antichrist daughter attempt to live an ordinary life in Delaware.” According to One Million Moms (OMM), the show carries graphic violence and nudity and “makes light of hell and the dangers of the demonic realm.” OMM adds that the series “is introducing viewers, including children who might stumble across the series, to a world of demons, witches, and sorcery. Along with the demonic content of the series, the minds of younger viewers will also be inundated with secular worldviews that reflect the current culture.”

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)

America’s government debt is on the verge of eclipsing $31 trillion for the first time ever, even as COVID-related federal spending slows. In 2020, when COVID led to a sharp economic downturn and a dramatic spike in new federal spending, the government spent a record-high $3.1 trillion more than the revenue it collected. In 2021, the budget deficit fell just a bit to $2.8 trillion, and it’s expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The budget deficit hit a recent low of around $400 billion in 2014, rising to $1 trillion in 2019. In the early 2000s the deficit averaged around $250 billion, and there was even a surplus of about $100 billion in 2001.

Senate Democrats last Wednesday crammed a bill to codify same-sex marriage into a continuing resolution to fund the government past September 30. Funding bills bypass the filibuster rule which requires 60 of 100 Senators to vote to close the filibuster and move the bill along to a simple majority vote, i.e. 51 out of 100. While this is a legal move, it is just another example of why Americans no longer trust Congress.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Police are using a new technique – geofence – to solve crimes that’s raising privacy issues. Geofence creates a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Police can then get a warrant to find out what cellphone crossed the geofence at a particular time. Just as when police want to search a home or business for evidence of a crime, geofences and other electronic seizures require a warrant – and the number of warrants granted is on the rise. This has been employed to catch hit-and-run drivers and other crimes, but the practice also raises concerns about invasion of privacy and questions about how frequently geofence actually solves crimes.

  • Google’s own statistics show geofence warrants now represent more than a quarter of the 40,000 search warrants received by the company each year, nearly all of them from local law enforcement. That’s about a fourfold increase since 2018. Facebook fielded 64,000 search warrants last year from U.S. law enforcement. 

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

An Irish school teacher who was suspended over his refusal to use transgender pronouns and names has been jailed after he refused to obey a court order. Enoch Burke, a secondary school teacher and a Christian at the Church of Ireland-operated Wilson’s Hospital School in Westmeath, Ireland, had been suspended with pay in August following a controversy during which he declined to use the preferred name and pronoun (“they”) of a transgender-identifying student. Burke, though, continued to try and teach. The school responded by obtaining a court order prohibiting him from setting foot on the property. After Burke breached the court order, he was arrested Monday and committed to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. Burke says the school is abandoning its Christian heritage. The school’s request, he said, is “contrary to the work of God.”

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

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and other top Biden administration officials who were resisting efforts to obtain their communications with Big Tech companies must hand over the records, a federal judge ruled on Sept. 6. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee, ordered the government to quickly produce documents after it was sued by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri over alleged collusion with Big Tech firms such as Facebook. The initial tranche of discovery, released on Aug. 31, revealed that more than 50 government officials across a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users. But some of the officials refused to provide any answers, or answer all questions posed by the plaintiffs. Among them: Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

Independent Journalist Alex Berenson was banned from Twitter for supposedly violating their COVID policy. His crime? Citing official data from Israel showing that the mRNA vaccines did not stop transmission of the coronavirus and that the protection waned over months. Berenson sued and won. He was immediately reinstated on the social media platform, and the judge granted him discovery. Berenson’s legal team discovered that the Biden administration had demanded he be removed from the social media platform. Internal documents showed the White House pressed the social media company to ban Berenson for four months.

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 former California fire chief is ratcheting up his fight against a city official’s decision to fire him from his job for attending a Christian leadership conference. His case is being appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a district judge ruled against him. In 2010, a deputy city manager in Stockton, California, told Chief Ron Hittle and his staff to attend training. Knowing that budget cuts limited their options, Hittle ruled out several out-of-state training opportunities, and instead, focused on trainings closer to home. That’s when he came across Willow Creek Church’s Global Leadership Summit in a business magazine. The event had great reviews, and the fact that it was broadcast to sites around the world—including Hittle’s home church—made it an affordable choice for Hittle and his team who paid for the conference themselves. Hittle logged the event on the city calendar so all were aware of the plan.

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

A Michigan election board placed a pro-abortion amendment proposal on the state’s Nov. 8 ballot on Friday. Pro-abortion groups earlier this year collected a record-breaking 750,000 signatures in a petition drive to get the proposal on the ballot. Abortion is the top issue motivating citizens of Michigan to vote in November, according to a poll by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV.

The Biden administration has announced its plan to allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide abortion access for veterans at its medical facilities nationwide, even in states that have imposed restrictions on the procedure. In a statement released Friday, the department announced its submission of an interim final rule to the Federal Register that will allow VA hospitals to provide access to abortion and abortion counseling in cases of incest, rape and life-threatening emergencies.

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 known daily new cases of Covid-19 fell 25% over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations were down 9% and deaths declined 22%. While the hospitalization and death numbers are probably fairly accurate, the number of new cases could be off a lot due to home testing. Only if a person goes to the hospital do they become a statistic. Only three states showed an increase in cases over the past two weeks: South Carolina was up 14%, Missouri increased by 8% and Texas was up 1%. Tennessee saw the biggest decline at -61%, with Arizona at -57% and New Mexico at -53%.

The U.S. has recently averaged about 320 new Covid-19 deaths per day, far below pandemic peaks, including levels above 2,500 a day during the Omicron wave early this year. But the country hasn’t matched lows closer to 200 a day reached during a lull last year. Roughly 85% of people who died from Covid-19 through mid-August this summer were 65 or older, a Wall Street Journal analysis of death-certificate data show. The rate is similar to 2020 peaks, before vaccines were available. Covid-19 is on pace to be the third-leading cause of death for the third straight year, said Dr. Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Since 2020, it has trailed only heart disease and cancer.

  • A significant number of those who are dying have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, as well as at least one booster shot, but overall the vaccines seem to have reduced Covid mortality even as they cause additional deaths and health issues.

From 2019 to 2021, Native American’s life expectancy fell from 71.8 years to 65.2. Covid was largely to blame. Typically, experts start to worry when they see drops in life expectancy that measure in just tenths of a year; Native Americans lost nearly seven years. The drop erases the equivalent of more than four decades of American life expectancy gains. And the average Native American person is now expected to live as long as the average American did in 1944.

New Zealand was touted as having some of the world’s strictest pandemic protocols. Now, after 2½ years, the country has dropped its coronavirus requirements. In a news conference Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the government would no longer require masks and would roll back vaccine requirements. “With high vaccination rates now coupled with high numbers of people having had the virus itself, it’s now safe for them to conclude,” she 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)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top U.S. health officials said that COVID-19 vaccines will likely be administered yearly, similar to the annual flu shot, unless a “dramatically” different new variant of the virus appears. At a White House press briefing Tuesday, officials said that one COVID-19 shot will be made available in the fall, once a year, that will be updated against the original strain of the virus and whichever strain is the dominant circulating strain that year. The announcement came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized new updated booster shots that are designed to combat the most prevalent Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. The FDA and the CDC recommend these new booster shots for all Americans ages 12 and above, although they have never been tested on humans, just like the annual flu shots.

Mainstream media “fact checkers,” relying on the CDC, typically have slapped a “misinformation” label on reports that the COVID-19 vaccines are associated with a significantly high rate of myocarditis, potentially causing blood clots, heart attack or stroke. But the CDC’s own analysis of its Vaccine Safety Datalink surveillance data shows the incidence of myocarditis after vaccination is three to five times higher for young men than what the agency was reporting at this time last year. In August last year, for example, the CDC reported 42.6 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis per million males ages 12-15 males after vaccination. Now, the CDC says the rate is actually 150.5 per million, which aligns with health experts the media maligned as purveyors of misinformation.

A team of nine experts from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and other top universities has published paradigm-shifting research about the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and why mandating vaccines for college students is unethical. This 50-page study, which was published on The Social Science Research Network at the end of August, analyzed CDC and industry-sponsored data on vaccine adverse events, and concluded that mandates for COVID-19 boosters for young people may cause 18 to 98 actual serious adverse events for each COVID-19 infection-related hospitalization theoretically prevented.

More embalmers report they have seen the emergence of bizarre “fibrous” clots in a substantial portion of their cases since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. In February, as WND reported, a veteran funeral director in Alabama, Richard Hirschman, said he and more than a dozen colleagues in the industry had been noticing the clots. Now, the Epoch Times, which has spoken to others who are observing the same phenomena, reports preliminary research suggests the clots are produced by spike proteins in the body. And some believe there could be a relationship to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Three Italian surgeons conducted a study analyzing blood from 1,006 people who developed symptoms after they got a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA injection and found 94 percent of them to have “aggregation of erythrocytes and the presence of particles of various shapes and sizes of unclear origin,” one month after inoculation. Erythrocytes are a type of red blood cell that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide. “What seems plain enough is that metallic particles resembling graphene oxide and possibly other metallic compounds … have been included in the cocktail of whatever the manufacturers have seen fit to put in the so-called mRNA ‘vaccines,’” the authors wrote in the study’s discussion and conclusions.

International:

Australia’s state of Victoria is known for particularly rigid COVID-19 restrictions on its population of 7 million. About 95% of the state’s adults have received COVID vaccines and most are boosted with mRNA shots. Yet, Victoria’s official government data shows deaths in August soared to the highest level in at least 13 years, reports investigative reporter Alex Berenson. He noted that Victoria’s database is better than most, with state law requiring physicians and funeral directors to report deaths online. In 2022, so far, Victoria has registered 32,533 deaths overall, which is 20% above its average for the same eight-month period from 2017 through 2021. And COVID deaths have spike since the introduction of the vaccines. More than two-thirds of Victoria’s COVID deaths have occurred in 2022.

  • Meanwhile, British government data indicates adults aged 40-74 who have received mRNA booster shots are twice as likely to be hospitalized as those who haven’t recently been boosted. Similarly, in June, an analysis of Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccine trials by British Medical Journal Editor Dr. Peter Doshi and other medical scientists found the mRNA shots are more likely to land a recipient in the hospital than to provide protection Covid-related infection.

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)

A majority of adults in the U.S. say that health care is not handled well in the country, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Only 12% say it is handled extremely or very well. Overall, the public gives even lower marks for how prescription drug costs, the quality of care at nursing homes and mental health care are being handled, with just 6 percent or less saying those health services are done very well in the country.

“Medical deserts” are widespread and expanding across the U.S. Closed pharmacies and hospitals, severe doctor shortages, and a lack of medical infrastructure are leaving over 30 million Americans stranded and forced to deal with inadequate healthcare that could mean the difference between life and death. Rural areas are disproportionately affected, as these areas seen the disappearance of essential medical services. The steady closure of rural hospitals has left Americans, specifically in places like Vermont, Arkansas, and Alabama, to travel greater distances to hospitals. The pandemic has worsened the already severe crisis, as 20 rural hospitals were forced to close in 2020, a record number. Even before the pandemic, which strained rural healthcare even further, 101 rural hospitals closed between 2013 and 2020, a Government Accountability Office report found.

  • When 87-year-old veteran Jim Motley experienced a stroke, his son Nicholas got him in a car to drive to the nearest hospital in West Virginia. After driving for over an hour, past two shuttered hospitals, Jim Motley had passed away.

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)

MRSA is on the rise again. MRSA, which stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is one of the well-known superbugs, which are bacterias that are resistant to most antibiotics. Prior to the pandemic, laboratory-identified cases of MRSA infection had been significantly decreasing. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the United States, hospitals have experienced an increase in the number of MRSA infections. During the fourth quarter of 2020, the national MRSA bacteremia standardized infection ratio was 34 percent higher than that of 2019. Several states reported even greater increases in 2020, such as Arizona with an 80 percent increase and New Jersey with a 99 percent increase.

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

Much like the argument back in the day that kids would experiment no matter what, so they needed to be taught “sex education,” the administration of Joe Biden is suggesting harmful behavior will happen anyway, so it wants “harm reduction” kiosks to provide various items like drug needles. It is the Washington Free Beacon that is reporting the Biden administration is spending $3.6 million “to deploy vending machines filled with drug supplies in rural Kentucky.” The goal is to “reduce stigma for drug users,” the report explains.

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)

A 16-year-old and a 22-year-old were injured Thursday night in a shooting at Uvalde Memorial Park, a hard hit for the community that lost 19 children and two teachers in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in May. Thursday’s shooting was suspected to be gang-related, and anyone with information was asked to get in touch with authorities. Four suspects allegedly connected to Thursday’s shooting were taken into custody after arriving at a hospital seeking medical help. The shooting is believed to have occurred after a physical altercation between rival gangs. Governor Abbott said he is deploying the state’s Department of Public Safety to target the five gangs that operate in the city, and that six additional state trooper units will also work with city authorities to target the gangs.

At least 11 mass shootings occurred nationwide during Labor Day weekend, killing at least 15 people, according to Gun Violence Archive. Mass shootings occurred in cities including Saint Paul, Minnesota, Charleston, South Carolina, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland. The weekend’s deadliest mass shooting occurred in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where three people died and two others were injured. Another mass shooting killed two people and injured three in Philadelphia. At least nine people were killed and an additional nineteen were injured by gunfire in Philadelphia overall during the weekend, according to Metro Philadelphia. Forty-six people were shot and seven wounded during the weekend overall in Chicago.

Even before he and his brother allegedly stabbed 28 people a week ago Sunday in Saskatchewan, Myles Sanderson’s criminal record contained a history of violence. He began drinking and smoking marijuana at the age of 12 (he would soon graduate to cocaine). In 2017, he barged into an ex-girlfriend’s home, punched a hole in the door of a bathroom where his two kids were hiding in the tub, and threw a cement block at a vehicle parked outside. On Wednesday afternoon, police caught up with Sanderson near the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan. He reportedly surrendered after officers rammed his vehicle. Sanderson, 32, told parole officials that substance abuse made him out of his mind in the past. Many of his past crimes happened while he was intoxicated. But court records also show that his childhood was marked by violence and neglect.

Authorities said a man who drove around Memphis, Tennessee, shooting at people, killing four, during an hours long rampage that forced frightened people to shelter in place Wednesday has been arrested. The Memphis Police Department identified the suspect as Ezekiel Kelly, 19, after receiving reports of a person shooting and posting live videos on Facebook. Four people were killed and three others were wounded in seven shootings across Memphis. In April 2021, Kelly was charged with attempted first-degree murder but pled guilty to a downgraded aggravated assault charge. Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released in March 2022 after serving just 11 months of his sentence.

  • Why are progressives so intent on releasing violent criminals back on the streets?

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

The death toll from a fire at a karaoke parlor in southern Vietnam has risen to 32 and some parts of the building remain inaccessible more than a day later. The fire began late Tuesday and trapped workers and customers inside the multi-story venue in Thuan An city in Binh Duong province. The fire was brought under control quickly but smoldered into the next day. At least one karaoke room and one storage room have not been accessed because the temperature remained too high. Some people were injured from asphyxiation and others suffered broken limbs when they jumped from upper floors to try to escape the fire, reports said. Firefighters using ladders from their trucks managed to rescue others.

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)

Juul has agreed to pay $439 million in a settlement with states over their marketing their e-cigarettes to teens. Under an agreement reached with 34 states and territories, Juul will also have to stop advertising on public transportation, paying influencers or depicting anyone under 35 years old in ads.

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)

Applicants to the incoming freshmen classes at West Point and Annapolis were down sharply this year as the country’s prestigious service academies struggle with the same recruiting crisis hobbling the rest of the U.S. military. The Air Force Academy said it received 8,393 applications for the Class of 2026, compared to 11,599 for the Class of 2025, a 28% decline. The U.S. Naval Academy saw a 20% decrease from 16,265 who had applied for the Class of 2025.

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)

Irish regulators are slapping Instagram with a big fine after an investigation found the social media platform mishandled teenagers’ personal information in violation of strict European Union data privacy rules. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission made a final decision last week to fine the company 405 million euros ($402 million). The penalty is the second-biggest issued under the EU’s stringent privacy rules after Luxembourg’s regulators fined Amazon 746 million euros last year.

  • Instagram parent Meta, which also owns Facebook, said that while it had “engaged fully” with regulators throughout the investigation, “we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it.”

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 has topped The Heritage Foundation’s inaugural “Education Freedom Report Card,” with the conservative public policy think tank declaring it is the most parent-friendly jurisdiction in the union, followed by Arizona, Idaho and Indiana. New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia rounded out the bottom of the list. The report card is comprised of four categories—school choice, transparency, regulatory freedom and spending—and utilizes 30 “discrete factors” to determine each state’s score.

Students in Seattle this Monday will miss a fourth day of school as teachers strike over pay and classroom support for students with special needs and learning disabilities. The school district Sunday afternoon announced the cancellation of Monday classes and said negotiations with the union were ongoing. The Seattle Education Association said 95% of its voting members approved the strike. The strike began Wednesday, what was supposed to be the first day of school for the approximately 49,000 students in the district.

A report compiled by Do No Harm, a nonprofit pushing back against the enforcement of woke theology in the medical field, reviewed the admissions process at a number of medical schools and found that they appear to be screening out potential students based on their political views. The authors wrote: A review of the admissions process at 50 of the top-ranked medical schools found that 36 asked applicants their views on, or experience in, DEI efforts (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). Many were overt in asking applicants if they agreed with certain statements about racial politics and the causes of disparate health outcomes. This focus on identity politics is not limited to elite medical schools. Schools outside the top-ranked tier are also probing for information about candidates’ attitudes toward race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and more.

LGBTQ+ 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 California State Senate passed a bill that would allow courts in California to take custody of minors from out of state who come to the Golden State seeking gender transition surgeries and cross-sex hormones, even if these actions go against the wishes of the minors’ parents. Legal experts and children’s advocates warn that the measure, which awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature to become law, is almost certainly unconstitutional, would cause severe harm to the health and wellbeing of children, and would egregiously violate parental custody rights.

A California teacher in the Capistrano school district boasted and posted about a “queer library” in her classroom that was filled with over 100 books – some of which contained sexual imagery, information on orgies, sex parties and BDSM (whatever that is). The teacher at San Juan Hills High School, identified on the school’s website as Danielle Serio, is known as “Flint.” Flint posted repeatedly on TikTok about books in the “queer library” and said it was available to students and has been active for five years.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Washington’s conversion therapy ban for LGBT minors is constitutional, rejecting Christian therapist Brian Tingley’s claims that the ban violated his free speech rights to counsel patients with unwanted same-sex attraction. Circuit Judge Ronald Gould authored the panel opinion, stating that the law “does not violate the First or Fourteenth Amendments” because the state has the power to regulate medical practices.

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.

Nightingale-Bamford School, an all-female preparatory school in Manhattan, New York, is recommending books on transgenderism for kindergartners on its school library website. The recommended reading for parents and their students include picture books such as “When Aidan Became A Brother,” a story about a biological girl believing she is a boy as her new sibling is born. The school also recommended “Julian Is A Mermaid” by Jessica Love, about a boy, Julian, who wants to be like the women he saw dressed up as mermaids and eventually reveals his change in gender identity to his grandmother, who helps him transition.

  • Whether you call it ‘grooming’ or ‘indoctrination,’ it is an abomination to subject very young children to sexualized themes of any kind, let alone gender dysphoria.

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

Homeland Security failed to fully vet some of the Afghan evacuees whom it brought into the U.S. during last year’s airlift, the department’s inspector general said in a new audit Tuesday that warned some people who pose “a risk to national security” may have been let in. One evacuee was cleared to reach the U.S. despite having been just liberated from prison by the Taliban. Another reached the U.S. and was released, only to have the FBI conclude three months later that the evacuee “posed national security concerns.” The evacuation was so hastily constructed that the department didn’t have formal policies on how to vet the Afghans, and screening decisions were made “on an ad hoc basis,” the audit said.

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)

Homeland Security on Thursday announced it has adopted a new lenient policy on legal immigrants’ use of welfare, tossing a Trump-era green-card policy that would have been far stricter. Under the new system, known as the “public charge” rule, immigrants will only be penalized for potential welfare use if the government believes they will eventually become “primarily dependent” on government payments. Living in government housing, using Medicaid for health coverage or accepting food stamps wouldn’t count against an immigrant. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the new rule will deliver “fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants.”

The number of migrant encounters at the southern border has smashed through the two million mark this fiscal year, breaching the already-historic 1.7 million encounters last year – but those numbers by themselves do not state how have been released into the U.S., or account for hundreds of thousands of others who have slipped past Border Patrol.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris twice declared the U.S. southern border is “secure” during an interview Sunday, despite the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who routinely cross into the country every month.

The mayor of the city of Washington D.C. has declared a public emergency over the influx of illegal immigrants into the nation’s capital. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the emergency on Sept. 8. The city has received some 9,400 illegal aliens from the states of Texas and Arizona, according to her office. The declaration enables the mayor to establish a new office, the Office of Migrant Services, specifically to help the illegal immigrants arriving from the border states. The office will receive an initial $10 million to establish the office, which will help nonprofits and others greet, house, and feed the illegal aliens. The city hopes to either use federal funding or be reimbursed for the spending.

A group of over 100 migrants bused up from the southern border were moved to an Illinois suburb after being welcomed in Chicago – an action that is reportedly frustrating local officials. The migrants are staying at a Hampton Inn in Burr Ridge and a Holiday Inn in Countryside. An estimated 300 migrants have been bused from Texas to Chicago in the past two weeks.  While Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook County is a sanctuary county, the migrants at the Burr Ridge Hampton Inn are in DuPage County. The county’s sanctuary status is unclear. However, Burr Ridge Republican Mayor Garry Grasso previously said he would work to secure the border and “defund sanctuary cities.”

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 United Kingdom on Thursday confirmed plans to subsidize energy bills for households and businesses, joining other European governments in a costly race to protect their economies from freezing up this winter as Russia cuts off supplies of gas. The UK plan could cost as much as $172 billion, analysts said. Add that to recent similar announcements by Germany, Austria and other EU governments, and the region’s bill for drawing the sting of rising prices is already more than $500 billion.

Newly elected U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss ended England’s ban on fracking Thursday, opening the door to domestic shale gas production amid a European energy crisis. The return of fracking is just one piece of a larger energy and economy plan Truss is pursuing in her first weeks since gaining office. Her administration also announced a national freeze on household energy prices, a plan that will cost the government tens of billions. Under Truss’s plan, household energy costs will be limited to $2,900 per year after ballooning to $4,100 in 2022. The U.K. originally banned fracking in 2019 but could restart domestic production as early as March 2023.

A group of West Virginia coal miners rescued a couple after their electric vehicle died, pushing the car to a charging station at the coal mine. “It was pretty ironic… to be plugged into a coal mine,” State Sen. Smith said. The couple was headed to a weekend getaway when their electric vehicle ran out of power in an area known for traffic from 18-wheelers. “That’s just not a good place to be, so we had to figure out a way to get them out,” miner Daniel House said. The group did not talk politics with the couple, but gave them a “Friends of coal” license plate souvenir, so they would not forget the memorable rescue mission. 

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)

More than one-third of U.S. families working full-time, year-round do not earn enough to cover a basic family budget, said a report from Brandeis University’s diversitydatakids.org program at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy. It’s even worse for Black and Hispanic families. More than half cannot afford basic needs, according to the report.

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)

Portland residents are outraged, blaming far-left politicians for the homeless crisis and crime surge fueling an exodus from the city. The Fields Bar & Grill owner Jim Rice said small businesses in the area have taken a particularly significant hit battling the crises. “Our business has been burglarized five times in the last year,” he said. “U.S. Outdoor, which is only maybe about six blocks from us, they have been burglarized 17 times. They finally had to close their doors because they just could not afford being burglarized as many times as they are.” Total crime has spiked nearly 25% according to the Portland Police Department. Motor vehicle theft has increased by 51%, burglary by 19% and robbery by 42%.

Overrun with homeless camps, many sidewalks in Portland, Oregon, have become impassible for disabled people, charges a class action lawsuit. The city, states the complaint filed in federal court, is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination based on disability and requires accessible sidewalks. The 10 plaintiffs, who use wheelchairs, walkers or canes, explain that the tents on sidewalks prevent people prevent them from passing without difficulty. They want a judge to order the to clear the sidewalks and provide shelters for the displace homeless people.

Residents of Seattle’s Chinatown are fighting back against city officials over their plan to build a homeless megaplex in the center of their neighborhood. The King County Department of Community and Human Services is planning to spend $66.5 million to construct a 24/7 homeless shelter that will house more than 500 people, according to the King County press release. Thousands of Chinatown residents attended a rally Thursday to protest the construction of the homeless shelter.

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 in 2021 paid more in taxes than they did on food, shelter and healthcare combined. according to Table R-1 in the BLS’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, American “consumer units” spent an average of $15,495.28 on food, clothing and health care combined, while paying an average of $16,729.73 in total taxes to federal, state and local governments. “A consumer unit,” the BLS says in the glossary for its Consumer Expenditure Survey, “comprises either (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal arrangements; (2) persons living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or (3) two or more person living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.”

President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive federal student loans raised a new question: Will recipients have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven? Although the plan is exempt from federal taxes, some states could levy taxes on those borrowers who take advantage of the forgiveness plan. Arkansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin are among the states where borrowers seeking loan forgiveness may have to consider a higher tax bill.

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)

Hundreds of thousands of women are streaming back to the workforce after leaving during the pandemic. In August, the share of women age 25 to 54 working or looking for jobs jumped to 77.2% from 76.4% the prior month, topping its pre-COVID mark of 76.9% for the first time since the health crisis began in early 2020, the Labor Department’s latest jobs report shows. That’s nearly half a million women in that age bracket who joined the labor force last month, the most since June 2020.

Advanced Energy Economy, a trade association headquartered in Washington, estimates the creation of 23 million full- or part-time jobs in green technologies stemming from this summer’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and last year’s infrastructure bill. A recent Department of Energy labor report found energy sector job growth is already outpacing the overall U.S. average, with huge gains in technologies like electric vehicles and solar outpacing losses in oil and gas. Whether the U.S. will be able to fill those positions is an open question. The Inflation Reduction Act provides billions of dollars to build and retrofit U.S. homes with highly efficient, next-generation cooking and HVAC equipment, like heat pumps and induction stoves. But the deployment will hinge on the availability and training of home contractors in the new technologies.

Many blue-collar workforces are turning gray. The average age of electricians, home contractors, and other hands-on professionals is ticking up as workers retire faster than young people replace them. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council predicts a severe job crisis as exponential job growth in fields like solar takes place over the next decade with not nearly enough workers available. The new clean-energy jobs will also require specialized training. “Do we have workforce to get this done? No, we don’t right now,” warned Gretchen Cantali, director of advanced program and apprenticeship development for the Home Builders Institute.

United Parcel Service said Wednesday it plans to hire more than 100,000 extra workers to help handle an increase in packages during the critical holiday season. UPS said the openings will be for full- and part-time seasonal positions, and they are primarily package handlers, drivers and driver helpers. Holiday-season volumes usually start rising in October and remain high into January. The hiring plans come as online shopping has slowed after a pandemic-induced surge, but the online market is still well above pre-pandemic levels.

Personal Finances: Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28) Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4)

If you haven’t used that credit to go shopping or get a meal, you aren’t alone. A new survey from CreditCards.com found nearly half (47%) of Americans have one unused gift card, voucher or store credit, totaling $21 billion nationwide. On average, a person has $175 in unspent gift cards, vouchers and store credit, a $61 jump from 2021. The survey results also showed younger people are letting the credit go to waste more: 52% of millennials and 51% of Gen Z have at least one unused gift card around. On average, millennials have $226 in credit, and Gen Zers have $149.

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

California legislators signed a nation-leading measure giving more than a half-million fast food workers more power and protections, despite the objections of restaurant owners who warned it would drive up consumers’ costs. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law on Monday, creating a 10-member Fast Food Council with equal numbers of workers’ delegates and employers’ representatives, along with two state officials, empowered to set minimum standards for wages, hours and working conditions in California. The law caps minimum wage increases for fast food workers at chains with more than 100 restaurants at $22 an hour next year, compared to the statewide minimum of $15.50 an hour.

  • Restaurant owners moved Wednesday to at least temporarily block a nation-leading new California law giving more power to fast food workers. The owners want the state’s voters to ultimately decide the law’s fate. A coalition calling itself Protect Neighborhood Restaurants filed a referendum request with the state attorney general. If they get enough signatures, the law that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Monday, Labor Day, wouldn’t take effect unless it’s supported by a majority of voters.

More than 6 in 10 small businesses are not hiring because they cannot take on the additional costs, according to a new survey, up 18 percentage points from July. Alignable, a network for small businesses, said 63% of surveyed businesses are unwilling to hire and 10% of that share is laying off people. Alignable dubbed it a “quite significant” change that is also impacting Canada, where 59% of businesses say they cannot hire and 4% are doing layoffs.

Cineworld Group — the world’s second largest movie theater chain and owner of Regal Cinemas — said Wednesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The British company, which owns more than 500 movie theaters across the United States, said that it commenced Chapter 11 proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to shed company debt. It also expects the action will “strengthen its balance sheet and provide the financial strength and flexibility to accelerate, and capitalize on, Cineworld’s strategy in the cinema industry.” Cineworld also said in the filing that it “expects to operate its global business and cinemas as usual throughout this process.”

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 first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 to 222,000 for the week ended September 3, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday. Continuing jobless claims for the week ended September 3 increased by 36,000 to 1.47 million, the highest level in nearly five months, according to the Labor Department. The nation’s labor market has remained strong despite slumps in other areas of the economy, but has shown hints of deceleration. Following a blowout monthly job gain of 526,000 in July, a more moderate 315,000 jobs were added in August, representing the second-lowest monthly total in 16 months.

The U.S. dollar can’t be stopped. Fueled by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening policy, the value of the greenback is appreciating to multi-decade highs and squashing currencies around the world. Normally, it’s emerging-market countries that shoulder the burden of a strong dollar. But atypically, the dollar is currently appreciating more against the currencies of rich economies than it is against those of emerging markets. The Euro is at a 20-year low against the dollar, and the British pound is at its lowest level against since 1985.

Mortgage rates reached their highest level since 2008, inching closer to 6% this week, as it became clearer to investors that aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve would continue. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.89% in the week ending September 8, up from 5.66% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. That is significantly higher than this time last year when it was 2.88%.

Climbing mortgage rates have been dampening the red-hot pandemic housing market for a few months now. Sellers are slashing prices while buyers are sitting on the sidelines, home sales are falling through, contingencies are back, and bidding wars have become more of an exception than the rule. The most recent evidence of a cooling housing market comes in the form of mortgage loan applications: they were down 23% the week ending September 2 than the same week a year ago, according to the Mortgage Brokers Association.

Prices for manufactured goods are starting to moderate. Unfortunately, inflation could stay high because the cost of services is still climbing. Housing and medical services are among those that will keep inflation higher, forcing the Fed to keep bumping up interest rates to slow them down. And that could mean consumers end up paying more.

International Economy:

The European Central Bank hiked interest rates by a record three-quarters of a percentage point on Thursday and promised more to come as it scrambles to contain the inflationary fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis. The move will take the benchmark rate for the 19 countries using the euro to 0.75%. It follows the central bank’s first hike since 2011 in July, when rates were increased to zero after years in negative territory. Eurozone inflation hit 9.1% in August, driven by the soaring cost of energy and rising food prices.

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

Israeli police have been called to investigate after suspected Christian extremists posted a call Saturday directly on the site of a religious freedom group for assassins to kill its members, with a bonus for its Jewish leader. “$5,000 will be payed [sic] to anyone who beh3ads [sic] an MRFF member. A thousand more if they are a kike,” said the threatening message found in the Comments section of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) website. The founder and head of MRFF is Mikey Weinstein, who is Jewish. According to the foundation’s website, both he and his group have been targeted often by “white Christian nationalists,” with death threats having “escalated over the summer.”

In recent years, antisemitism in the U.S. educational system has been primarily associated with the demonization of Israel at institutions of higher education. Now, efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state are now moving from higher education to K-12 public schools. Attempts to falsely label Israel an “apartheid state” and promote similar forms of defamation are being aided and abetted by teachers unions including the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.. Last year, California became the first state to pass a law mandating that public-school students must complete an ethnic studies course before receiving a high school diploma. The Wall Street Journal reported that embedded in the Consortium’s materials are references to Israel as a “colonial settler state” founded “through genocide.”

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)

A Palestinian terrorist armed with a submachine gun and two bombs was arrested by officers in the Arab-Jewish coastal city of Jaffa on Thursday, on his way to committing a major terror attack in Tel Aviv, police said. The 19-year-old resident of Nablus, who crossed the green line illegally, aroused the suspicion of officers from the Yassam special forces unit near Jaffa’s clock tower who then arrested him. He was carrying two pipe bombs filled with nails, police said, as well as a Palestinian manufactured ‘Carlo’ submachine gun, a weapon of choice for terrorists from Judea and Samaria, since they are untraceable.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian terrorist identified as Yunis Ghassan al-Tayeh tossed an explosive device at Israeli troops in the town of Tubas in Samaria. Israeli security forces have launched a massive campaign called Operation Wave Breaker to stop terrorists like al-Tayeh, who are incited by groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which receive their funding and marching orders from Iran. IDF soldiers fired on the group with whom the terrorist was operating, eliminating him before he could continue his attack.

The talk about an imminent revival of the nuclear deal between Iran and the Biden administration and other Western countries not only worries Israel, but it has also raised serious concerns among many Arabs nations. They state that they are especially worried about the billions of dollars that Iran’s mullahs will receive once the deal is done. The Arabs say they have no doubt that the money would be used by the mullahs to promote more terrorism and violence and expand Tehran’s terrorist proxies in the Middle East, including Hezbollah, the Houthis, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and various militias in Iraq. Iran has already been sponsoring attacks against Saudi Arabia from Yemen.

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

Ukraine took several more northeastern villages Monday as the invaded nation’s counteroffensive gained momentum, forcing Moscow to withdraw overwhelmed troops from the region. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have retaken over 2,500 sq. km of Russian-occupied Ukraine, right up to Russia’s border. And they have done this by punching a hole through thinly guarded Russian front lines east of Kharkiv, and severing the Russian lines of logistics, forcing the withdrawal of large contingents of Russian soldiers from multiple locations, but most importantly Izyum and Kupyansk. Ukraine’s offensive has surprisingly come with no opposition, advancing fifty miles in two days toward Kupiansk, which the Russians have apparently abandoned. As Ukraine forces retook Izium Saturday, Russia announced that they’re leaving the Kharkiv area “temporarily. “Russia attacked power stations and other infrastructure Sunday with mortar and rockets, causing widespread outages across Ukraine

Deputies from 18 municipal districts in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kolpino have called for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s resignation, according to a petition with a list of signatures posted on Twitter on Monday.     “We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of its president Vladimir Putin are detrimental to Russia’s and its citizens’ future. We demand Vladimir Putin’s resignation from the post of the President of the Russian Federation,” said the petition

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unscheduled visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, last Thursday as the Biden administration announced major new military aid worth more than $2 billion for Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia. Blinken said the Biden administration had notified Congress of its intent to provide $2 billion in long-term Foreign Military Financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and regional security partners, that are “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.” Pending expected congressional approval, about $1 billion of that will go to Ukraine and the rest will be divided among eighteen other countries.

The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine has halted operations as a safety measure, according to a Sunday statement from Energoatom, the state agency in charge of the plant. The plant is “completely stopped” after Energoatom disconnected the number 6 power unit from the grid at around 3:40 a.m., the statement read. “Preparations are underway for its cooling and transfer to a cold state,” the agency said.

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)

At least six people were beheaded and an Italian nun killed, three kidnapped, six terrorists captured and dozens of houses torched last Tuesday by Islamic State-linked insurgents in Mozambique’s Nampula province. Speaking in the resort town of Xai north of the capital Maputo, President Filipe Nyusi said the insurgents unleashed a killing spree as they fled from soldiers from Mozambique, Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community sent to tackle the violence. The insurgency is concentrated in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado and has claimed thousands of lives since it broke out in 2017, disrupting multibillion-dollar natural gas projects.

Albania on Wednesday pulled the plug on diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over a major cyberattack carried out by Tehran nearly two months ago on Albanian government websites. Albania now joins the United States, Canada, Israel and Morocco in slashing ties with Iran’s regime due to its alleged nefarious activities. “The deep investigation put at our disposal undeniable evidence that the cyberattack against our country was orchestrated and sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran which had involved four groups for the attack on Albania,” said Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said. Albania’s decision to kick Iranian diplomats out of the southeastern European country comes amid continuing efforts by the Biden administration to reward Tehran with as much as $275 billion in economic benefits as part of a new Iran nuclear deal. 

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)

The United Nations said Monday it will likely declare famine in the Southern Bay region of Somalia. UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths told reporters that he was shocked during a recent visit at the sight of starving babies too weak to cry. Over 850,000 people reside in areas affected by a historic drought, and more than 1 million have been driven from their homes to stagger through the desert in search of assistance, often burying family members along the way. The Horn of Africa has witnessed four straight failed rainy seasons—a phenomenon unseen in over half a century.

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)

Environmental groups lambasted Democrats’ side deal to green-light a West Virginia natural gas pipeline, saying such a provision would be a “betrayal.” The groups argued that the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a 304-mile West Virginia-to-Virginia natural gas pipeline that is under construction, would mark a setback for federal environmental and endangered species protections. The $6.6 billion pipeline is mostly completed, but has faced a series of permitting setbacks from federal agencies and courts. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., agreed to support the Inflation Reduction Act, the $739 billion climate and tax package President Biden signed last month, in exchange for Democratic leadership’s support of a permitting reform deal that would make it easier to approve energy projects including fossil fuel pipelines. Under the deal, which is expected to be included in the upcoming government funding bill, the MVP pipeline would be given broad federal approval.

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)

At least seven deaths have been reported after a massive earthquake struck Papua New Guinea in the Southwest Pacific. The magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck at 9:45 a.m. local time Sunday about 50 miles northwest of the city of Lae at a depth of about 38 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey. It was felt around the country, including in the national capital Port Moresby, where moderate to severe shaking was felt for over a minute. Reports on social media also showed falling structures, lots of debris and damage to hospitals, homes, roads and highways. A second earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 happened at 10:42 a.m. local time Sunday, about 45 miles northwest of the epicenter of the previous quake.

An earthquake rattled parts of southwest China last Monday, leaving more than 45 dead and dozens of others missing or injured. It was a 6.6-magnitude earthquake in China’s Sichuan province. Rescuers used ropes to carefully evacuate residents of a landslide-hit area after the earthquake caused extensive damage across the region.

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)

Across the American West, including the states of Idaho and Montana, dozens of large fires are burning. Many of the fires are fueled by the recent heat wave that plagued many parts of the west. There are 14 large (over 100 cares) fires currently burning in Washington, 11 in Oregon, 35 more in Idaho and 21 in Montana. In addition, there are 12 large fires in California. The largest fires are the Double Creek Fire in Oregon, (154,380 acres), the Moose Fire in Idaho (126,252 acres), the Mosquito Fire in Northern California (46,587 acres), the Lightning Complex also in Northern California (41,540 acres) and the Fairview Fire in Southern California (28,307 acres).

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)

Olive oil producers in Spain have been hit hard by a prolonged heat wave and extreme drought. Kyle Holland, a pricing analyst for oilseeds and grains at Mintec, a commodities data company, expects a “dramatic reduction” of between 33% and 38% in Spain’s olive oil harvest that begins in October. In July, temperatures broke records, hitting over 104 degrees Fahrenheit across parts of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. By early August, sweltering heat and a lack of rainfall had pushed almost two-thirds of land in the European Union into drought conditions, according to the European Drought Observatory.

As a historic heat wave hit the U.S. West, it shattered numerous temperature records and strained California’s electricity grid, Thousands of people were left without power last Wednesday. Sacramento hit 116 degrees Tuesday, the hottest day on record for the state capital, according to the National Weather Service. Records were also broken all over the Bay Area, with some cities shattering previous daily records by more than 10 degrees. The heat wave will be the hottest and longest on record for California for September. California residents have for days been urged to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher – despite the heat – as well as avoid using major appliances, and turn off all unnecessary lights between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest utility, has notified about 525,000 customers to prepare for potential rotating outages.

Typhoon Hinnamnor killed at least six people and dumped 3 feet of rain on part of South Korea on Tuesday before heading back out to sea. It made landfall near the port of Busan. About 89,000 residents lost power, but it was restored for most people within hours. The death toll could have been much higher, officials said, but communities were warned early and schools were closed. At least five people remained missing Tuesday. Emergency personnel tried to get to the worst hit areas in armored vehicles. They waded through thigh-high water into basements with ropes tied to them where people were trapped. Flash floods triggered landslides that took down power lines.

A huge melt event occurred on Greenland’s ice sheet last weekend, when temperatures rose above freezing, even at an elevation near 10,000 feet. At the same time, warmer water temperatures – as much as 9 degrees above normal in parts of the northern Atlantic Ocean – helped fuel creation of Hurricane Danielle much farther north than typical. Within just two months, a mountain pass at Les Diablerets in western Switzerland, ice-covered for several thousand years, became ice-free.

Signs of the Times Update: September 5, 2022

September 5, 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)

The city of Louisville, Ky., cannot force a photographer to work at a same-sex wedding under a federal court ruling Tuesday that sided with a Christian businesswoman in her lawsuit opposing the application of a new ordinance. Chelsey Nelson sued Louisville in 2019 and claimed its Fairness Ordinance – which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – would require her to photograph same-sex weddings, violating her First Amendment rights. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton sided with Nelson, who owns a studio, Chelsey Nelson Photography.

A retired Kansas teacher won $95,000 in a lawsuit against the Geary County school district after administrators attempted to force her to deceive parents about their student’s gender identity. Pamela Ricard, 58, argued that school administrators in Kansas had demanded that she use students’ preferred gender pronouns in classrooms, but avoid using those terms when speaking to parents. Ricard sued, arguing such deception was against her Christian beliefs. The district agreed to settle on Wednesday, and Ricard and her attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) withdrew the lawsuit. “No school district should ever force teachers to willfully deceive parents or engage in any speech that violates their deeply held religious beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a statement.

A posh college, Oberlin, has been found guilty over its years-long war against the innocent owners of a nearby grocery store, for which officials at the institution now are being required to pay some $36 million in damages. The fight was over a false claim of racism that the school orchestrated against the grocery owners who caught three black students shoplifting. There was nothing racist about the grocery’s actions, as the students pleaded guilty. But the school created the false narrative of racism against the store, and stuck with it even after a jury award the family store owners millions in damages. To this day, they refuse to admit guilt.

Three days before the first day of school in Columbus, Ohio, the teachers’ union went on strike, leaving 47,000 students with nowhere to go. School board officials promised that schooling would move forward “online,” but on what was supposed to be the first day, the website suffered hours-long outages. It was chaos. But not for a new charter school. Westside Christian School opened its door to serve kindergarteners through second graders this year, using Sunday school classrooms and the gym inside a local Baptist church. Thanks to funding from donors and Ohio’s school voucher program, which allows kids who live in failing school districts to use their tax dollars for private schooling, students can attend Westside Christian School without paying tuition.

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)

At least a third of senior pastors in the United States believe one can earn a place in Heaven by simply being a good person, according to a nationwide survey. The findings were among several surprising responses as part of a survey conducted earlier this year by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. The American Worldview Inventory 2022 examined more than three dozen beliefs held by pastors. Researchers found that in addition to believing that people can merit salvation based solely on their good works, one-third or more of senior pastors surveyed also believe the Holy Spirit is not a person but rather “a symbol of God’s power.” Others said that moral truth is subjective; sexual relations between two unmarried people who love each other is “morally acceptable” and biblical teaching on abortion is “ambiguous.” The survey found that a “loss of biblical belief is prevalent among pastors in all denominational groupings.”

  • At least a third of those surveyed also said they believe “socialism is preferable to capitalism and that allowing property ownership facilitates economic injustice,” which researchers say could point to the “increase of cultural and political influence into the church.

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)

In a shocking and first-of-its-kind reading of a more than 30-year-old disability law, a federal judge ruled that the distress that results from a person feeling that he or she is the wrong sex is a disability that must be accommodated under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, education, transportation, and in places that are open to the general public. If the opinion is left to stand, it would open the door for those who consider themselves transgender and feel clinically distressed to receive public accommodations in bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons, same-sex housing, and more, stated Breaking Christian News.

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)

President Biden used the words “extreme,” “extremists,” or “extremism” six times; some form of “insurrection” three times; the acronym “MAGA” (usually “MAGA Republicans” or “MAGA forces”) 13 times; and he called out Donald Trump by name three times during his primetime address to the nation from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall Thursday night, according to a transcript of the speech by the New York Times. That about sums up the main theme of his address: a plea for Americans to reject Trumpism and fight to save American democracy. The “Divider-in-Chief cast Trump supporters as extremists and a violent threat to democracy, even stronger than Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ depiction. A few days prior to the divisive speech, Biden characterized MAGA as semi-fascism.

  • The nation’s top TV networks declined to air President Biden‘s Thursday address to the nation, deeming it too political ahead of the midterms. During Mr. Biden‘s primetime speech on restoring democratic norms, NBC and CBS aired reruns of “Law & Order” and “Young Sheldon,” respectively, while ABC ran its “Press Your Luck” game show. Fox News Channel, meanwhile, opted to stick with its regularly slotted opinion show hosted by Tucker Carlson.

The acting head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has said that the agency is not against former President Donald Trump. “Our fundamental interest is always in ensuring that government records are properly managed, preserved, and protected to ensure access to them for the life of the Republic,” said Debra Wall, the acting archivist. “For the past 30-plus years as a NARA career civil servant, I have been proud to work for a uniquely and fiercely non-political government agency, known for its integrity and its position as an ‘honest broker,’” she said.

  • A judge on Monday granted Trump’s request for a ‘special master’ to review the documents that the FBI collected in their raid on Mar-a-Lago. U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon said the extraordinary criminal probe into former president Trump’s handling of classified documents supported the appointment of an impartial outside expert to review items for attorney-client or executive privilege. Cannon said the government for now cannot use the material seized by the FBI on Aug. 8 for its investigation, but it can continue assessing any potential breaches of national security.
  • Federal Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the DOJ to unseal a more detailed property receipt during a hearing on Thursday. The first property receipt released shortly after the Mar-a-Lago raid only mentioned nondescript items. Receipts now show that the FBI seized over 50 empty folders marked “CLASSIFIED” during last month’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

International Politics

Chileans decisively voted down a new constitution Sunday that would have instituted a host of left-wing reforms. Citizens opposed the new constitution by a 62%-38% margin, according to official returns. It would have replaced the constitution that was originally put in place during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1981. The vote stymies a major initiative of leftist millennial President Gabriel Boric, who was elected in December and took office in March. As president, I receive this message with a lot of humility,” Mr. Boric said in a televised address Sunday night.

Liz Truss will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom after winning most votes in the Conservative Party leadership contest, succeeding Boris Johnson who resigned in July after a series of scandals. Truss defeated rival Rishi Sunak with 81,326 votes to 60,399 among party members and will take over as leader on Tuesday, as Britons face mounting economic and social crisis. She pledged action to tackle the crisis in a short victory speech at a conference center in London on Monday. Without offering details, Truss promised a “bold plan” to cut taxes and build economic growth, and “deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”

  • It’s so easy and ridiculous for politicians of all stripes to make these kinds of bold promises and then fail to deliver without a subsequent apology for lying to us once again.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Police forces across the country track cell phone data without warrants, according to a Thursday report from the Associated Press that examined public records and internal emails. A product from the Virginia-based company Fog Data Science was used by law enforcement to track 250 million devices to create what police call “patterns of life.” The product, called Fog Reveal, tracks devices through their advertising identification numbers taken from apps like Waze and Starbucks, which are used for targeted ads. Critics of the tracking program point to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” On the other hand, a prosecutor said the product has also been used to find missing children and in other situations when lives are in danger. 

  • There are always ‘good’ reasons for government to abrogate free speech, freedom of religion, free enterprise, freedom from unwarranted searches and the like.

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

More than 50 officials in President Joe Biden’s administration across a dozen agencies have been involved with efforts to pressure Big Tech companies to crack down on alleged misinformation, according to documents released on Aug. 31. The documents were part of a preliminary production in a lawsuit levied against the government by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, later joined by experts maligned by federal officials. `Senior officials in the U.S. government, including White House lawyer Dana Remus, deputy assistant to the president Rob Flaherty, and onetime White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt, have been in touch with one or more major social media companies to try to get the companies to tighten rules on allegedly false and misleading information on COVID-19, and take action against users who violate the rules, the documents show.

  • Much of the so-called ‘misleading information’ turned out to be correct. Such is the problem when socialistic government squelches free speech.

After Twitter showed Donald Trump the door, he went on to found his own platform, Truth Social. You can download it for Apple but not for Android, Google’s phone operating system. Google told Truth Social that the app violated Alphabet’s policies, specifically lax moderation. Google is reportedly concerned about threats of and incitements to violence. Approximately 44% of people with smartphones are Android users and are prevented from accessing the app.

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)

From brazen broad daylight attacks caught on surveillance and cell phone cameras to houses of worship being vandalized with antisemitic tropes, hates crimes against Jews have hit record highs in New York City, prompting many to question their safety every time they leave their home. After two Jewish men were doused with a fire extinguisher, with one of them being further assaulted, while walking in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood and another Jewish man was attacked in an unrelated incident last week, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell visited the predominantly Jewish community to announce that arrests had been made in both incidents and to assure residents of their safety despite the swell of antisemitic attacks in the area.

There are currently more documented cases of Christian martyrs in Nigeria than all other nations combined, and it is growing at an alarming rate. It is now estimated that a Christian in Nigeria is killed every two hours, reports RevelationMedia. Just a few months ago the U.S. government removed Nigeria from a religious liberty watch list, giving them a “clean pass” on their religious freedoms! This has effectively sent a message to the Nigerian government that they do not have to do anything to protect Christians in their country! And they, in fact, are doing very little. “The more the world turns a blind eye, the more our brothers and sisters in Nigeria will suffer and face death at the hands of radical Muslims,” says RevelationMedia.

A United Nations report late Wednesday accused China of baseless detentions, inhumane treatment of prisoners, rape, and torture. China’s actions against Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups “may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” according to the report. The report stopped short of saying China is committing genocide, though the United States and other countries have accused China of trying to eradicate the Uyghurs. There are about 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, living in Xinjiang, which is officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Uyghurs speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish, and see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. They make up less than half of the Xinjiang population.

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

A scandal-plagued abortion chain plans to shut its facilities in the Dayton area and Indianapolis unless there is a last-minute block on pro-life laws in Ohio and Indiana. Women’s Medical Center in Dayton has a history of emergencies and only received a license to commit abortions after legal challenges and the hiring of new backup doctors to meet the requirement of a state law. The center lost its license due to frequent health and safety violations. It was operated by Martin Haskell, an abortionist who helped pioneer gruesome partial-birth abortions.

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

In 2016, Canada legalized euthanasia through the euphemistically titled Medical Aid in Dying (or MAiD). Since passing, the number of Canadians who support the practice has risen slightly from 75 percent to 80 percent. The response from communities representing those with disabilities, however, has remained consistently opposed. Just last year, over 10,000 lives were legally taken, an increase of a third from the year before. Patients can request aid in dying without informing family members and for any reason, including, beginning in 2023, mental health issues and not just physical suffering. Doctors, as well as nurse practitioners, can raise the topic of euthanasia with any patient and are not required to first exhaust all other treatment options. Though the government keeps track of yearly deaths by euthanasia, it does not have a commission to review troubling cases, a practice used by other permissive nations like Belgium and the Netherlands.

  • Next year, euthanasia will likely be extended to so-called “mature” minors. At a time when so many efforts are being made toward suicide prevention among teenagers, they will be taught that death is an acceptable way out of mental anguish.

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)

New daily cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. continued to decline, down 8% over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations are down 10% but deaths increased by 7%. With home testing not included in these recorded numbers, it’s impossible to draw and specific conclusions, but the increase in deaths posits substantially more cases than recorded. Sixteen states show increased number of cases, led by Georgia at +40%. The remaining 34 states show declines, with Wyoming showing the greatest decrease at -39%

Emerging statistics on excess mortality rates paint an alarming picture. Far more people died in 2021, after the rollout of the COVID shots, and in 2022, than during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, reports the Epoch Times.   “In the U.S., we lost 349,000 younger Americans to something besides COVID and non-natural death between April 3, 2021 and August 13, 2022, and that’s not counting the tens of thousands of death records that the CDC has inexplicably deleted.” Millennials, aged 25 to 44, had an 84% increase in excess deaths. All of which occurred after the vaccines were rolled out.

The National Institutes of Health announced it was finally cutting off a subaward to the Wuhan Institute of Virology after it continued to refuse to hand over key information about the coronavirus research it conducted with U.S. tax dollars. But the NIH may continue funding EcoHealth’s controversial bat coronavirus research despite its history of funneling hundreds of thousands of U.S. tax dollars to the Chinese lab. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which has been led by Dr. Anthony Fauci for decades, “will begin to engage with EHA to renegotiate the grant.”

A large study on the impact of using ivermectin as a prophylaxis for COVID-19 found that regular users of the drug experienced up to a 92% reduction in mortality compared to those who did not. Brazilian research scientist Dr. Flavio A. Cadegiani said via Twitter that his study in his home country showed a “dose-response effect,” meaning that “the more you used, the more protection you had.” He observed that people who use ivermectin regularly every 15 days for at least six to eight weeks had up to a 92% reduction in mortality.

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 vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The FDA and the CDC have authorized reformulated coronavirus boosters targeting omicron subvariants, meaning the new shots could be rolled out this week. The changes are the first since the mRNA vaccines debuted in December 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to sign off on the boosters, a step expected by the end of this week. Officials hope the reformulated shots will help ward off a possible surge of coronavirus cases this fall. Regulators said the boosters, which target BA.4 and BA.5, will replace the boosters that had been in circulation since 2021.

COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness for all age groups has been much worse against the Omicron virus variants than earlier strains, particularly the currently dominant subvariants, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data presented on Sept. 1. The patterns show the vaccine effectiveness was “waning substantially,” CDC scientist Ruth Link-Gelles said while presenting the data to the agency’s vaccine advisory panel.

As of Aug. 21, 998 non-serious reports have been entered into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) for children 4 or younger who received a Pfizer vaccine and children 5 or younger who received a Moderna vaccine, Dr. Tom Shimabukuro said on Sept. 1. Shimabukuro is a researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which runs VAERS with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Most of the adverse event reports have been for outcomes designated non-serious, or events that did not include death, a life-threatening illness, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, permanent disability, congenital anomaly, or birth defect. However, 19 were designated serious, with 9 for children who received a Moderna vaccine and 10 for children who received a Pfizer vaccine.

In a CDC survey of over 13,000 children, more than 55 percent of the subjects between the ages of 6 months and two years had a “systemic reaction” in response to their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC said on Sept. 1. A systemic reaction is a response beyond the injection site. The CDC said almost 60 percent had a systemic reaction to the second dose of the Moderna vaccine. While the most common systemic reactions were fatigue, fever, irritability, and crying, parents of more than 6 percent of the children in the study said their child was unable to perform normal activities after the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Last Tuesday, Sweden and Denmark announced that they were halting Moderna COVID vaccinations for those under 30-years-old due to possible side effects. The Swedish health authority Wednesday cited new data on the increased risk of heart inflammation as a reason for the pause for those aged 30 and under. Denmark will stop giving the shot to those younger than 18. The two countries recommended Pfizer Inc.’s and BioNTech SE’s rival vaccine as a replacement. Both vaccinations use messenger RNA technology to prompt an immune reaction.

The British government is recommending against pregnant and breastfeeding women receiving Covid vaccinations because of the rapid development of the vaccine, that is an “absence of reproductive toxicity data,” the National Pulse reported. Therefore, “sufficient reassurance of safe use of the vaccine in pregnant women cannot be provided at the present time.”

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)

A series of stabbings at an Indigenous community and at another town nearby in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan left 10 people dead and 15 wounded, Canadian police said Sunday as they searched for two suspects. The stabbings took place in multiple locations on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the village of Weldon, northeast of Saskatoon. Rhonda Blackmore, the assistant commissioner of the RCMP Saskatchewan, said some of the victims appear to have been targeted by the suspects but others appear to have been attacked at random. Police don’t yet know a motive.

College students in Norfolk, Virginia, were among seven wounded in a shooting at an off-campus building early Sunday, prompting a nearby hospital to go on lockdown.  Seven people were taken to the hospital, five of whom had non-life-threatening injuries and two who had life-threatening injuries, according to police. 

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)

New York State is rolling out new laws in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that New York’s regulations on obtaining a concealed carry permit were unconstitutionally restrictive. The new laws took effect Thursday and ban people from carrying firearms at most hospitals, restaurants, transit systems, Times Square, parks, schools, theaters and other areas deemed “sensitive locations.” “The Supreme Court with all this data, with all this knowledge, with a law that was working just fine in our state, decide to take us backwards, possibly opening the door to more tragedies when people can carry guns concealed,” said Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochulsaid, citing data that New York has fewer deaths by firearms per 100,000 population than states with more lax gun laws.

  • A federal judge has refused to halt New York’s new concealed carry law, saying those challenging the gun control legislation passed in July do not have sufficient injury to bring their lawsuit.

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 judge sentenced retired New York police officer Thomas Webster to 10 years in prison for attacking and choking Washington, D.C., police officer Noah Rathburn. A jury convicted Webster in May of all six charges against him, including assaulting a police officer and engaging in violence on restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon. Rathburn’s body camera footage showed Webster attacking him and swinging a flagpole at him. The officer caught the pole and took it from him. Then, Rathburn said, Webster tackled him and tried to rip off his helmet and gas mask. The 56-year-old said he was acting in self-defense. During the chaos of the riot, he thought the officer hit him. During the trial, Webster apologized to Rathburn and his family and said he regretted going to the Capitol in the first place.

  • The judge said she had to give him a longer sentence than other rioters who never touched a police officer. The previous longest sentences were held by two rioters who separately got seven years and three months in prison.

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)

Pentagon officials are concerned that U.S. ammunition stocks donated to Ukraine have severely depleted U.S. stocks, weakening U.S. readiness in the event of a conflict, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. The Biden administration has drawn much of the over $13 billion in weapons systems and accompanying ammunition the U.S. has provided to Ukraine from existing arsenals.

The Army saw a 26 percent increase in reports of sexual assault, compared to 13 percent across the U.S. military. Every two years, the Pentagon also does an anonymous survey asking service members if they experienced unwanted sexual contact. Those numbers were up to 36,000 from 20,000 in 2018. That means about 1 in 5 service members reported an incident in the previous year. It is unclear whether those numbers represent more incidents or more people willing to speak about them.

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.

According to NYPD crime statistics, robberies are up nearly 40% over the past year in New York City and grand larceny has spiked by 46%.

Dangerous drag-racing “street takeovers,” as they are known, are happening all over the country. In just the last week, an entire block in Des Moines was damaged by out-of-control cars; police in Salt Lake City arrested six people for illegal drag racing; in Chandler, Arizona, police say an illegal drag race left one driver dead; and near Chicago, a pedestrian was struck and killed in a crosswalk during what police believe was a street race. Another led to the destruction of police vehicles.

Fraud: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

A lawsuit filed on behalf of 26 grassroots Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapters last week alleged that the leader of the national organization siphoned $10 million in charitable contributions to pay for his own personal expenses. Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a nonprofit that serves as the umbrella group for local BLM chapters nationwide, claimed in the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court that Shalomyah Bowers, the leader of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), defrauded the local chapters for “unjust enrichment” and used their funds as his “personal piggy bank.” BLMGNF, which received more than $90 million in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, represents the national BLM movement.

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)

US life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, falling by nearly a year from 2020, according to a government report released last Wednesday. Life expectancy was 78 years, 10 months in 2019. In 2020, it dropped to 77 years. Last year, it fell to about 76 years, 1 month. The last time it was that low was in 1996..In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated American lifespan has shortened by nearly three years. The last comparable decrease happened in the early 1940s, during the height of World War II. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials blamed COVID-19 for about half the decline in 2021.

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

For the first time on record, more people in the United States are smoking marijuana instead of nicotine cigarettes, a new Gallup poll reveals. It’s the latest evidence to show the dramatic shift in people’s attitudes over the substances. The poll July 5 to July 26 comes as cigarette use has been on a downward spiral over the past decade-plus. Only 11% of adults in the U.S. say they smoke cigarettes nowadays, compared with 45% in the same poll in the 1950s. On the flip side, marijuana use has been up across the board on the wave of legalization in many U.S. states. Sixteen percent of Americans in the poll indicated they smoke marijuana, including 48% who say they have tried it over their lifetime. Compare that number to just 4% in the same poll from 1969.

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)

American students’ test scores plunged during the pandemic to levels unseen for decades. The results in elementary school math and reading plummeted, according to the first nationally representative report comparing student achievement from just before the pandemic to performance two years later. Math scores dropped 7 points during that period, marking a first-ever decline, while reading scores slipped 5 points, producing the largest dip in 30 years.

An undercover video has captured a public-school administrator admitting that he quietly refuses to hire “brainwashed” religious teachers and older people, so he can impose his own liberal views on the district’s schoolchildren. His comments touched off a torrent of criticism from Catholic officials, education experts, and Democratic elected officials. Jeremy Boland — the assistant principal of Cos Cob Elementary School, a public school in Greenwich, Connecticut — unknowingly made numerous controversial statements to investigative journalists with Project Veritas. The 12-minute video, which was shot in July and posted online late Tuesday night, appears to show Boland confessing that he won’t hire Catholic applicants, a violation of state and federal civil rights laws. Boland has been placed on leave.

  • “If Mr. Boland had said he doesn’t hire LGBTQ+ teachers, he would already be begging for another job,” Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at the Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand.

Jennifer Norris, director of student activities at the private Trinity School on Manhattan’s upscale Upper West Side, boasted to a Project Veritas undercover journalist that she feels like a “double agent” who is “sneaking” her political “agenda” into classrooms. And she complained of pushback in class from “white boys” who are “protected by capitalism.” “I just keep trying to disrupt wherever I can. And now that I’m in this position, I have so many opportunities to do that,” she said. Norris said she “can’t pretend I’m [not] promoting an agenda, even though I clearly am with all the stuff I’m doing.”

Schools are competing for a shrinking pool of teachers, and wealthier suburban districts are winning out over those with fewer resources, especially rural schools and those that support more low-income families and students of color. Enrollment in teacher preparation programs is also plummeting, down 33% between 2010 and 2020 – a trend that has only intensified during the pandemic, according to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

America’s K-12 public schools are adding perimeter fences, school resource officers and even guns for teachers in a bid to prevent mass shootings as students return to class. The increased security has been fueled by soaring concerns over recent mass shootings. California’s Roseville City School District says it is spending $2 million “to outfit our schools with a six-foot perimeter fence and equip every classroom with classroom-safe locking doors and operable blinds.” In Connecticut, Brookfield Public Schools are adding two school resource officers at each elementary school, five security monitors and one after-hours armed school security guard at the local high school. Ohio is training teachers and other staff to carry a gun at school through a 24-hour course that stresses active shooter training, based on a law that Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed in June.

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)

The family of a Donovan Lewis, the 20-year-old unarmed man who was fatally shot Tuesday by a Columbus police officer, is calling for protests to remain peaceful this weekend and demanding change as the community processes the killing. Officer Ricky Anderson shot Lewis early Tuesday morning while Lewis was in bed during an attempted arrest on charges of domestic violence, assault and improper handling of a firearm. Lewis died at a hospital and police released body camera footage following the shooting. The video shows Anderson, a 30-year police veteran assigned to the canine unit, draw his weapon before opening the bedroom door. An officer yells, “Hands!” and shines a light on Lewis as he sits up in bed. Anderson fires a single shot almost immediately.

Puerto Ricans tired of constant power outages took their broken household appliances to the steps of San Juan’s town hall on Thursday in yet another protest against the energy company.

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)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised a vote on the oxymoronic “Respect for Marriage Act.” This would be the first federal policy forcing same-sex marriages nationwide, demanding participation and honor from people of faith by erasing religious objections, silencing government officials and overriding states’ rights regarding marriage law and policy, reports Liberty Counsel. HR 8404 will also allow child bride “marriages” in all 50 states—even for same-sex relationships. What’s more, the polygamy still taking place in Utah will become legal. No one in Utah has been prosecuted for polygamy in 49 years—even when it is well-documented in court. Utah decriminalized polygamy in 2020, and now it’s on par with a traffic offense.

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.

Rates of pharmaceutical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria have markedly increased among children receiving Medicaid in Florida in recent years, according to data from the state’s Medicaid regulator. Statistics provided to Fox News Digital by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which oversees the state’s $36.2 billion Medicaid program, show that the number of children on Medicaid receiving behavioral therapy to treat gender dysphoria increased from 143 in 2017 to 233 in 2021, or nearly 63%. Meanwhile, children receiving puberty blockers spiked from 15 children in 2017 to 55 in 2021, a percentage increase of nearly 270%. The number of Florida minors on Medicaid taking testosterone for gender dysphoria rose 166%, from 130 recipients in 2017 to 346 in 2021. The number of children receiving estrogen spiked 110%, from 72 in 2017 to 151 in 2021.

  • During that same time period, Florida Medicaid saw an increase in the number of patients as young as 16 receiving irreversible surgical procedures to treat gender dysphoria, from a combined total of three children between 2017 to 2020 to 12 children in 2021 alone.

A textbook ordered by the Newport-Mesa school district in California called “Comprehensive Health Skills for High School,” claims that there are eight different gender identities, including androgynous, bygender, gender-nonconforming, gender questioning and nonbinary. The Newport-Mesa school district’s curriculum also said that there were 10 different sexual orientations including androsexual, polysexual, skoliosexual, demisexual and gynesexual. The Newport-Mesa school district’s curriculum also said that there were 10 different sexual orientations including androsexual, polysexual, skoliosexual, demisexual and gynesexual. 

Masked, black-clad Antifa protesters showed up brandishing weapons Sunday morning to protect a “drag brunch” for children at a Roanoke bar. Police maintained a presence at the event, which took place at the Anderson Distillery and Grill in Roanoke, Texas, and led at times to tense stand-offs between protesters and counter-protesters. Approximately 20 children and multiple self-proclaimed teachers attended the event where drag queens performed.

  • The sexualization of young children is part of the progressive strategy to groom them early in life into a culture of ‘anything goes’ sexuality, which progressives worship as the antithesis of Godly commandments.

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

One year after the U.S. evacuated more than 76,000 Afghans to the United States at the end of its 20-year war, refugee advocates say tens of thousands of Afghan allies who would likely qualify for U.S. protection – reaching into the hundreds of thousands when their family members are included – are still struggling to reach safety. Despite recent U.S. efforts to speed relocations, their paths have been bogged down by bureaucratic backlogs, humanitarian parole denials and the logistical barriers of third-country visa processing in the absence of a U.S. Consulate in Afghanistan, advocates say.

  • Many evacuees who fled Afghanistan a year ago, expecting to resettle in the United States, remain in Albania and in limbo. Evacuation was not necessarily the path to refuge in the United States that many expected. And it may never be for the estimated thousands of evacuees who boarded chartered flights in their escape and landed in other countries.

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)

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd called out White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tuesday after she raised eyebrows by claiming migrants are not “just walking in” across the southern border. “I watch these people walk across the border every single day. We see it. It’s disgusting what we’re seeing. And she knows exactly what’s happening. But she’s deflecting. She’s lying. She knows that the mainstream media isn’t going to cover this issue,” he said.

  • In just one Texas border sector, some 52,000 illegal aliens crossed into the United States through the Texas-based Del Rio Sector in August, alone. That’s about 1700 illegal crossings a day.

As if the crisis along the southern border were not bad enough, adult illegal immigrants are posing as minors to enter—and stay in—the U.S. since typically those under 18 are welcomed with open arms. The government refers to them as Unaccompanied Alien Children and hundreds of thousands have entered the country in the last few years. The Department of Health and Human Services is charged with caring for illegal migrants under the age of 18 and the agency spends millions of dollars annually to house, medically treat, entertain, and school them who come mainly from Central America.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is now busing migrants from his state to Chicago. It’s the third Democrat-run city to receive migrants from Texas. The other two are New York City and Washington, D.C. “The migrants were dropped off at Union Station,” read a statement tweeted Wednesday night by Abbott. Chicago will now be a drop-off location for the busing strategy as part of the governor’s response to President Biden’s open border policies overwhelming border communities in Texas.

At least nine migrants were found dead after dozens attempted a hazardous crossing of the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas, officials said Saturday. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican officials made the discovery Thursday while responding to a large group of people crossing the river following days of heavy rains that had resulted in particularly swift currents. U.S. officials recovered six bodies, while Mexican teams recovered three others. The agency said U.S. crews rescued 37 others from the river and detained 16 more, while Mexican officials took 39 migrants into custody.

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)

President Biden’s administration has leased far fewer acres for oil and gas drilling offshore and on federal land at the early stages of his presidency than has any other leader since Harry Truman at the end of World War II, according to a new analysis. The Wall Street Journal’s analysis shows Biden’s Interior Department has leased 126,228 acres for drilling in his first 19 months of office, through Aug. 20. No other president’s administration since Richard Nixon, in the 1969-70 period, has issued fewer than 4.4 million acres by this stage of a first term. “The president said he was going to stop leasing, and he’s been remarkably successful,” said former administration Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, an energy lawyer.

Russia will keep gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline shut down completely until the west lifts sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin says. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday laid blame for the shutdown squarely on sanctions introduced against our country by western countries including Germany and the UK for Russia’s gas shutdown. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline accounts for about 35% of Europe’s total Russian gas imports last year. Inflation in Germany rose to 8.8% in August, a nearly 50-year record that comes amid the energy crisis in the country. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and many countries have called for the European Union to raise interest rates to stem inflation across the continent.

The West’s biggest economies on Friday agreed to impose a price cap on Russian oil in an attempt to reduce Moscow’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine without further stoking global inflation. Finance ministers from the G7 group of countries — the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom — said they would ban the provision of “services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally” above the price cap. That could block insurance cover or finance for oil shipments. The maximum price would be set by “a broad coalition” of countries, they said in a joint statement. It would take effect alongside the European Union’s next batch of sanctions, which include a ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil starting in early December.

OPEC said Monday it would reduce oil production next month, the cartel’s first output cut since the depths of the pandemic, as it braces for a global economic slowdown to hit demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied oil producing nations, including Russia, agreed to shave 100,000 barrels per day off their production targets in October.

Once shunned by many Democrats and environmentalists, nuclear power is gaining acceptance among the party and activists as a clean alternative to fossil fuels, amid soaring energy costs and a sluggish transition to renewables. Proponents argue that the carbon-free energy source is clean, affordable, can be generated around the clock and is already prevalent, giving it a leg up over wind and solar, which are intermittent and hamstrung by limited battery storage capabilities. Democrats pumped billions of dollars into nuclear tax incentives in their recently approved tax-and-climate spending law, the latest show of support by the party. Included were production credits for existing facilities, and incentives to create smaller reactors that are more affordable, quicker to build, safer to operate, and which last upwards of six decades.

Taxes/Rebates:  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)

White House officials say President Biden’s decision to cancel between $10,000 and $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans is fully paid for because of a drop in the federal deficit, an argument that suggests the full cost of the policy will just be piled on top of the national debt, which means now taxpayers owe the money instead of the loan recipients.

No sooner had President Joe Biden announced his plan for student loan debt forgiveness — $10,000 for non-Pell grant recipients and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients — the president of the NAACP was complaining that it should be more than twice as much. At least $50,000. Brookings Institution scholar Andre M. Perry echoed the sentiment. The plan, according to Perry, “does not go far enough in addressing the root of the problem: a postsecondary education system that has seen tuition rise three-fold in the last 30 years. That same system will put future borrowers in peril.” The underlying issue is, do we need to pump a lot of tax money into higher education so students can afford to deal with runaway tuition costs? Or do we have runaway tuition costs because we’re pumping billions of taxpayer funds into higher education?

  • Tuition costs have risen 5 times the rate of inflation over the past 50 years.

Los Angeles County has officially kicked off its basic income program that gives 1,000 residents $1,000 per month for the next three years. According to officials, recipients were chosen at random of a pool of more than 180,000 applicants. Participants must be at least 18 years old, have a household income under $56,000 for a single person or $96,000 for a family of four and have experienced negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Given the huge number of L.A. County residents who applied, it’s abundantly clear that a guaranteed basic income is an idea whose time has come,” L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. “I’m confident that we will see… that a guaranteed basic income, by giving people a bit of financial breathing room, allows them to stabilize their lives and that of their family.”

Some Pennsylvania residents who are elderly or disabled are eligible to get another, one-time rebate payment, according to the governor’s office. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that residents who already received a property tax or rent rebate would get an additional one that’s 70 percent of their original rebate—or up to $1,657.50. About 361,042 Pennsylvanians are slated to receive the rebates.

Infrastructure: But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 7:26-7)

Mississippi’s capital city lacked enough water pressure to fight fires, flush toilets and meet other critical needs last Tuesday because its main water treatment facility began failing Monday, the governor said – a problem officials blame on longstanding water system problems and last week’s river flooding. The state is declaring an emergency for Jackson as it scrambles to begin distributing drinking and non-drinking water to up to 180,000 city residents. Labor Day may be far from leisurely for the residents of Jackson, Mississippi, who are approaching a week of unsafe drinking water and soaring temperatures as the capital city’s ongoing water crisis worsens. Jackson residents spent a long weekend of watching water boil for a minute before cooking, as they’ve done since July, and having to shower with their mouths closed, as instructed by officials Thursday.

  • The Mississippi capital entered a spiral of decline when two different out-migrations caused its tax base to plummet, eroding its ability to afford repairs or apply for federal money as its infrastructure crumbled. First a white exodus followed later by a Black exodus of those with the means to move out of the failing city.
  • As Jackson works to get its failed water treatment facility back on line, some temporary efforts to provide the residents with safe drinking water proved unsustainable Monday as the National Guard ran out of bottled water to distribute.

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)

Back to the office? At the peak of lockdowns, in May 2020, just over a third of U.S. workers worked remotely at some point during the month, according to the Labor Department. Most blue-collar jobs never went remote, and many offices in small and midsize cities have since returned. But in the 10 largest U.S. cities, workers were still working from home around 38 percent of the time earlier this summer, according to researchers at Stanford and elsewhere. Some companies still plan to call their workers back into the office, like the New York Times. Others have embraced permanent remote work. Airbnb, for example, said its employees never need to come back to the office. Still others are redefining what office space means. Salesforce opened a kind of retreat center for nature walks, cooking classes and different activities that let workers spend time together, but work is all remote. Zillow, which says it’s “headquartered in the cloud,” has redesigned some of its office spaces to look more like social spaces.

Zoom towns are those U.S. towns that attracted remote workers who fled expensive cities during the pandemic. Zoom is the software that most remote workers used to conduct meetings over the internet. After two years of bidding wars, above-asking and no contingency offers, many of the Zoom towns are now seeing a massive slowdown. In Boise, Idaho, the median sale price for a home jumped from $340,000 in May 2020 to $487,500 in May 2021, a 43.4% year-over-year increase. In May 2022, that number went to $585,000, a 20% increase from the previous year. Since May, however, the year-over-year price increase has slowed down considerably, with July registering only a 4.5% year-over-year increase. At the same time, the percentage of active listings with price drops increased from 14% in February to 68% in July. Other Zoom towns show similar slowdowns.

Some 71% of Americans now say they approve of the job that labor unions are doing, according to a new Gallup poll, continuing to climb after decades of decline and registering the highest mark since the Lyndon Johnson administration. Gallup reported last Tuesday that this year’s approval rating is up from 68% last year and 64% in 2019, the last time it asked the question before the COVID-19 pandemic. The 71% mark was last reached in 1965, when organized labor claimed the allegiance of a far higher share of the American workforce.

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

Businesses in one of San Francisco’s trendiest neighborhoods are threatening to withhold tax payments unless the woke politicians remove homeless people from the area and implement a stronger police presence. The Castro Merchants Association, which represents 125 businesses, sent a letter to city officials earlier this month outlining three demands: 35 shelter beds for “mentally ill and substance-abusing individuals who have taken up residence in the Castro,” monthly metrics on services offered to the homeless in the Castro and a devised plan following a homeless person’s refusal for services. San Francisco officials tallied nearly 8,000 homeless people in February.

Toyota announced plans Wednesday to invest $5.6 billion in new plants to build electric vehicle batteries in Japan and the United States. But unlike other automakers who are going all-in on EVs, Toyota said it’s still not convinced that’s the best path forward. The world’s largest automaker in terms of vehicles sold, Toyota has lagged behind most other major global automakers in building fully battery powered EVs, despite its history of being a leader in hybrid gas/electric vehicles more than 20 years. Rivals such as Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford have far more pure battery-powered EV offerings, as well as a significant number of EVs under development.

Bed Bath & Beyond is in deep turmoil. The company is trying to rescue itself and stay out of bankruptcy by shrinking. The chain said Wednesday that it will lay off approximately 20% of corporate employees, close around 150 stores and slash several of its in-house home goods’ brands. Crucially, the company also said it secured more than $500 million in financing to shore up its ailing financial straits. The company’s Chief Financial Officer committed suicide by jumping out of an 18th floor window in New York City after being hit with a $1.2 billion lawsuit claiming that he had illegally manipulated and profited from a “pump and dump” scheme.

Snap Inc., the parent company of the popular app Snapchat, announced plans to lay off some 20% of its more than 6,400 global employees. The news will impact the jobs of more than 1,200 staffers at the tech giant, and comes as broader economic conditions have deteriorated in recent months amid rising inflation and the Federal Reserve’s interest rates hikes. The recent market downturn has especially pummeled the tech sector, where news of hiring freezes, layoffs, and other cost-cutting measures have dominated headlines for months.

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)

Lower gas prices helped consumer confidence bounce back in August, breaking a three-month stretch of worsening sentiment. However this improvement, while welcome, is tempered by ongoing worries that the US economy may be heading toward a recession. The Conference Board’s monthly snapshot of consumer attitudes improved, rising to 103.2 from July’s downwardly revised 95.3. The August number matches the level it reached in May and marks the first time since then that the headline index broke 100, the historical baseline metric.

Employers added 315,000 jobs in August. According to the monthly survey by the Labor Department. That’s down from 528,000 in July and the average of 471,000 through this year. But it still marks 20 straight months of gains despite strong inflation. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.7% from the historically low mark of 3.5%. However, the ADP National Employment Report. private payroll job growth slowed markedly in August, suggesting that companies are pulling back on hiring amid growing fears of an economic slowdown. Companies added just 132,000 jobs last month, below the 270,000 gain recorded in July and is the lowest since May, when employers hired just 128,000 workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that the number of open job positions ticked up unexpectedly in July, with around 11.2 million jobs available, slightly higher than June’s revised total of 11 million openings. There were close to two jobs available per job seeker in July.

Weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since late June as employers appear reluctant to part with workers in a tight labor market. According to a report from the US Department of Labor, 232,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims in the week ending August 27, a drop of 5,000 from the previous week’s level. That’s the lowest level since the week ending in June 25, which reported 231,000 first-time claims, which really means that claims have been about the same for at least three months.

The current median average time for a home on the market in July was 14 days, slightly better compared to 17 days a year ago, says the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Also, the median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $403,800, up about 10.8% from last year.

The average gas price for a gallon in California and Los Angeles was $5.25 on Thursday, which is 5 cents lower than a week earlier, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The previous record for the start of the Labor Day weekend in California came last year at $4.39 a gallon.

International Economy:

Figures released Wednesday show that August inflation was at 9.1 percent in the European Union, its highest since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. The figure was up a bit from 8.9 percent for July in the 19 countries that use the euro as their currency. The European Central Bank is fighting inflation with interest rate increases, which could also smother economic growth. Rising food and energy prices are challenging household finances in many European countries.

  • Britain, Denmark, and Norway—which have their own currencies—are also witnessing increasing inflation. U.K. residents may see their energy bills spike 80 percent, regulators warned last week.

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

Arab terrorists opened fire on an Israeli bus in the Jordan Valley Sunday, leaving at least seven Israelis wounded. The attack took place on Route 508, along Israel’s border with the Kingdom of Jordan, near the Israeli communities of Beka’ot and Hamra, at around 12:45 Sunday afternoon. According to initial reports, four people were wounded in the attack, including two who suffered gunshot wounds and are listed in moderate condition. Two others were wounded by shattered glass and are listed in light condition.

The growing violence in Judea and Samaria is a sign that a third major escalation has begun, according to Palestinian sources speaking to Israel Hayom Monday. “This is a third intifada,” one source said. “This is not the end. This is the beginning of the new stage in the ongoing battle in the West Bank.” The recent uptick in terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as the active resistance with hot weapons to IDF arrest raids in terrorist hotbeds such as Jenin, is a conscious decision on the part of Palestinian groups and individuals, they say.

An article calling for “death to Israel” has been published in the student paper of an Australian university, amid reports that Jewish students on campus are increasingly scared in the face of rising anti-Semitism. Habibah Jaghoori, the author of the article published in Adelaide University’s On Dit magazine, took to Twitter two days before its publication, calling for the “annihilation” of Israel, which she termed a “genocidal colonial apartheid project.” Jaghoori’s article concludes: “The solution to achieving peace and bringing forth justice for Palestine is to demand the abolition of Israel. Free Palestine and Death to Israel.”

An investigation by Israel’s military found that its IDF forces likely killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by mistake during an exchange of gunfire with Palestinians earlier this year, officials said Monday. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American and seasoned journalist, was fatally shot in the West Bank in May while covering a raid by the IDF on Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank city of Jenin. The IDF’s admission follows months of outrage over Abu Akleh’s death, and debate over which side was responsible for her slaying.

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 Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted an extensive series of strikes in Syria on Wednesday night, the country’s state media reported. Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that the IAF targeted the Aleppo International Airport with a missile strike that caused material damage to the airport. About an hour and a half later, the IAF conducted another strike from the direction of Lake Kinneret, targeting “some points southeast of Damascus.” The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that four Israeli missiles hit a runway at the International Aleppo Airport and warehouses in its vicinity, causing fires and explosions, “likely to be due to the explosion of a batch of Iranian missiles.” The Saudi Al-Haddath channel reported that Iranian weapons systems were targeted in the attacks. The IDF has remained silent on the report, as it usually does after reported operations in Syria.

Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital began to withdraw from the streets Tuesday, restoring a measure of calm after a serious escalation of the nation’s political crisis. At least 20 protesters were killed. Following two days of deadly unrest that sparked fears instability might spread throughout the country and even the region, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his supporters to leave the government quarter where they had rallied. Within minutes, some could be seen heeding the call, dismantling their tents and walking out of the area known as the Green Zone. Iraq’s military also announced the lifting of a nationwide curfew, further raising hopes that the immediate crisis was ebbing, though larger political problems remain.

  • Iraq’s government has been deadlocked since al-Sadr’s party won the largest share of seats in October parliamentary elections but not enough to secure a majority government. That led to months of political infighting between al-Sadr’s Shiite followers and his Iran-backed Shiite rivals before it became violent Monday.

U.S. forces late Monday night foiled an Iranian attempt to capture an unmanned American vessel sailing the Persian Gulf, Pentagon officials said. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet said in a statement Tuesday that an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy ship connected a towing line to an American Saildrone Explorer unmanned craft in an apparent attempt to seize the vessel. U.S. ships and helicopters responded, though it was not immediately clear whether any shots were fired. Iranian forces disconnected the towing line and eventually fled the area.

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

Ukraine’s Minister of Energy warned Monday that the “world is once again on the brink of nuclear disaster” after heavy shelling brought down Europe’s largest nuclear plant’s last transmission line. Ukrainian Energy Secretary German Galushchenko said that the majority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission has left the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as the station “is depleted again.” The last line connecting it with the energy system of Ukraine — LEP 330 kW ZATES — Ferosplavna – separated due to the fire that occurred as a result of shelling,” Galushchenko wrote. “Any repair of the lines are impossible now— there are combat operations around the station.” De-occupying the nuclear power plant and creating a demilitarized zone around it is the only way to ensure nuclear security.

More than six months into its war in Ukraine, Russia “has yet to achieve any of its strategic objectives” in its invasion, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday. Russia “continues to lose significant equipment and personnel” in the war, he added, saying that the losses will have a lasting impact on Moscow’s future combat effectiveness.

Russian shelling hit the southern Ukraine port city of Mykolaiv Saturday night, damaging a medical treatment facility, the city’s mayor said Sunday. Mykolaiv and its surrounding region have been hit daily for weeks in the conflict. Mykolaiv, on the Southern Bug River about 30 kilometers (20 miles) upstream from the Black Sea, is a significant port and shipbuilding center. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian shelling late Saturday set a large wooden restaurant complex on fire, according to the region’s emergency service.

Russia has bought lethal drones from Iran to attack Ukrainian troops, a move that underscores Russia’s dwindling stocks of precision weapons more than six months after its invasion. There are indications, however, that the Russians are not satisfied with the purchase because of the drones’ unreliability.

It’s a dangerous time to be a Russian oil executive lately, as eight have died since January under suspicious circumstances. Six of them were linked to state-owned giant Gazprom, while the other two were with Lukoil, the second-largest oil company in the country. The most recent oligarch to meet an untimely end was Ravil Maganov, the (now former) chair of the board of directors of Lukoil who apparently fell from a 6-story window at a Moscow hospital on September 1. His company had criticized Russia’s invasion in Ukraine in March. This is at least a 6th such ‘suicide’ among Russian top-managers recently.

  • Cause of death: criticizing Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is hosting joint military exercises with several countries, including China and India. With Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine largely stalled and his forces sustaining heavy losses of soldiers and weaponry, the military exercises being held in the Russian Far East this week will be on a smaller scale than in previous years. Yet they are designed to send an important message: Moscow is not as isolated as the West might think.

North/South Korea

U.S. and South Korean military forces on Thursday concluded their most substantial “live-fire” joint exercises in years — major drills featuring howitzer rounds slammed into a mountainside, swooping A-10 attack aircraft and Apache helicopters that Washington and Seoul had scaled back over the past half-decade for a variety of reasons. The scope of the joint exercises had been reduced during President Trump‘s 2018-2019 diplomatic outreach to North Korea. The liberal administration of former South Korean Moon Jae-in had also sought to appease Pyongyang by curtailing the drills, which were further hindered in recent years by COVID-19 restrictions.

  • The regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slammed the drills, claiming the U.S. and South Korea engaged in rehearsal for invading the North. The regime has a history of responding by test launching missiles.

China/Taiwan

The Biden administration greenlighted $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, which included 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles. Congress was notified about the proposed sales to Taiwan on Friday. “The package was in the works for some time precisely because we expected it would be needed as the [People’s Republic of China] increased pressure on Taiwan. It reflects the U.S. government’s assessment of Taiwan‘s defense needs, and the threat posed to it by the PRC,” said Laura Rosenberger, the White House senior director for China and 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)

A suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed a high-level Russian diplomat and a guard at the Russian embassy. An attacker blew himself up outside the Kabul embassy, killing the Second Secretary of the embassy and a Russian guard as well as four Afghans, according to Russian and Afghan statements. It is a rare attack on a diplomatic mission since the Taliban took over the country a year ago.

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)

California state lawmakers worked late into Wednesday night to pass an aggressive climate legislation package, including $54 billion in new spending on clean energy and drought resilience measures, and a bill to stop the planned closure of the state’s last nuclear plant. The legislative action comes as California and other Western states are in the grip of an intense heatwave amid a devastating, 22-year drought. And it follows state air regulators’ vote to phase out new gas-powered car sales in the state by 2035. Among other things, the legislation will codify new benchmarks to get California to 90% clean electricity by 2035 and 95% by 2040 – stepping stones toward its already established goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.

A city in New Mexico has about 20 days of fresh water left, and officials there are scrambling to find another source to prevent cancer-causing particles from flowing out of faucets. The hillsides around Las Vegas, New Mexico, were scorched by the state’s largest wildfire on record this spring, which burned more than 340,000 acres. Then, an unusually wet monsoon season brought significant summer rainfall – something that would typically be celebrated in the drought-stricken West, but instead has led to disaster-upon-disaster as rainfall washed the charred debris into the region’s water system. Now, one of the city’s two reservoirs is filled with contaminated water that the current filtration system cannot handle. It’s also a health risk – when carbon reacts with high levels of chlorine used to treat water, it can become carcinogenic.

Thousands of dead fish and other marine life carcasses are washing ashore in the San Francisco Bay Area, creating a foul smell. Experts point to an unprecedented “red tide” algae bloom as the mostly likely cause. Abnormal numbers of dead crabs, bat rays, striped bass, white sturgeon and more have been spotted throughout the Bay area over the last week, officials say, notably at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. The start of the fish die-off could date back even further – as the harmful algae bloom has been spreading since late July. Experts also fear that the impacts could worsen over the weekend’s expected heatwave, which could cause the harmful algae bloom to grow even more.

  • While many algae blooms are beneficial to ocean life, a “red tide” is a harmful algal bloom – which can produce powerful, fatal toxins and/or cause a water’s oxygen to fall past levels needed for survival

Beach goers in Southern California are being targeted by swarms of tiny, aggressive sea bugs who have an appetite for human feet. The bugs, who have earned the nickname “mini shark,” have been identified as water-line isopods (Excirolana chiltoni), a crustacean species that grows to be around 0.3 inches (0.8 centimeters) long and can form swarms of more than 1,000. The “mini-sharks” live in the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean and seasonally migrate up and down the coast leaving in their wake beach goers hopping in pain.

The North Pacific Ocean is currently covered with tens of thousands of tons of floating plastic debris, dispersed over millions of square miles. A large fraction is composed of fishing nets and ropes while the rest is mostly composed of hard plastic objects and fragments, sometimes carrying evidence on their origin. In 2019, an oceanographic mission conducted in the area, retrieved over 6000 hard plastic debris items. The debris was later sorted, counted, weighed, and analyzed for evidence of origin and age. The results revealed that a majority of the floating material stems from fishing activities. While recent assessments for plastic inputs into the ocean point to coastal developing economies and rivers as major contributors into oceanic plastic pollution, here we show that most floating plastics in the North Pacific can be traced back to six industrialized fishing nations – Japan, China, Korea, USA, Taiwan and Russia.

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 remote eastern Oregon exploded in size over the weekend and has scorched more than 43,000 acres as of Monday. The Double Creek Fire near the community of Imnaha in Hells Canyon Recreation Area was 0% contained as of Monday. The fire prompted evacuations of campers from Imnaha south to Pallette Ranch. The fire, burning on conifer timber stands and grass and shrubs, was detected last Tuesday and was started by lightning and fed by gusting winds.

  • Firefighters were monitoring two other lightning-caused fires in the nearby Eagle Cap Wilderness. The Nebo Fire has charred 11 square miles of rugged terrain, while the Sturgill Fire had grown to 13 square miles.

A wildfire in Northern Los Angeles has set more than 5,000 acres ablaze as the state battles one of the hottest heat waves on record. California firefighters are working to contain the Route Fire that started on Wednesday near Castaic Lake. So far, approximately 27% of the fire has been contained, and evacuation orders were lifted Thursday evening. No fatalities have been reported at this time, but reportedly seven firefighters are being treated for injuries sustained

At least two people were killed in a fast-moving wildfire that swept through the community of Weed, California. At least 106 buildings were destroyed, and several others damaged. Three injuries were reported. The blaze, called the Mill Fire, had burned about 6.6 square miles and was 40% contained as of Monday morning.

Another northern California wildfire injured several people on Friday and forced the evacuations of thousands. According to Cal Fire, the blaze had spread over 3,921 acres on Saturday and was 20% contained. The cause of the fire, which started on Friday near the property of Roseburg Forest Products, remains under investigation.

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)

Over all 50 U.S. states, the percentage of the country in severe to exceptional drought declined over the past three months from 31% to 26%. However, there are vast differences between the U.S. East (with virtually not drought) and the West (experiencing a megadrought. The northeast increased from 0% to 11% of its area in severe to exceptional drought, while the southeast declined from 3% to 0%. The so-called Midwest (which is actually in the eastern half of the country) increased from 0% to 3%. However, Texas and Oklahoma are suffering drought conditions more like the West, with Texas declining from 66% to 48% and Oklahoma increasing from 35% to 88% over the past three months

  • Most of the severe drought is centered in the West which declined from 69% to 48% overall due to the summer’s monsoon rains. However, there were wide differences on a state-by-state basis. California remained at 97.5% in severe to exceptional drought, and Nevada remained at 99.5% with Utah showing a slight improvement from 99.5% to 95.8%. Other western states showed more marked improvement with Colorado declining from 57% to 17%, New Mexico improving from 97% to 59% and Arizona decreasing from 78% to 23%. In the northwest, Oregon improved from 63% to 52%, and Washington declined from 17% to 0%, while Idaho dropped from 37% to 16% and Montana decreased from 49% to 16% and Wyoming improved only slightly from 24% to 21%.

A dangerous and sweltering heat wave continued to consume much of the western U.S., especially California on Friday through the Labor Day weekend. The intense heat is putting a strain on the electrical grid and exacerbating wildfire concerns, which only grew Friday as a fast-moving fire forced at least 5,000 residents to evacuate in Northern California. Temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s and lower 100s resulted in widespread daily records each day for much of the region.

  • Authorities in California extended a “Flex Alert” telling residents to conserve energy, including not charging their electric vehicles, on Sunday afternoon and evening, due to the heat wave. So much for green clean energy and electric vehicles.

A wall of storms that roared through a swath of the Midwest and South last Monday with heavy rains, hail and wind gusts of up to 80 mph, killed at least three people and knocked out power to more than 1 million homes and businesses.

UN Secretary General António Guterres on Tuesday launched a flash $160 million appeal for flood-ravaged Pakistan, where more than 1,100 people have been killed and 33 million others impacted in one of the worst monsoon seasons ever. It is feared that up to one-third of the flood-ravaged country could soon be under water. The waters have destroyed more than 1 million homes, washed away more than 2,175 miles of roads, and killed about 1 million animals, according to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. During this year’s monsoon season, Pakistan’s rainfall has been almost three times the national average for the past 30 years. A recent heat wave has caused the melting of Himalayan glaciers, causing glacial lake outburst floods.

  • Pakistan is home to more glaciers than anywhere in the world outside the polar regions, but as the climate warms, it’s becoming more vulnerable to sudden outbursts of melting glacier water that have the power to bring widespread destruction to its people. The country’s chief meteorologist has warned that this year alone, Pakistan has seen triple the usual amount of glacial lake outbursts – a sudden release of water from a lake fed by glacier melt – that can cause catastrophic flooding. It’s not yet clear how much Pakistan’s current flooding crisis might be connected to glacial melt

A deadly storm swept through northeast Spain last Tuesday killing a twenty-month old baby after she was struck by massive hailstones. Dozens of people were injured across the Catalan region by hail measuring 4 inches in diameter, larger than a baseball. Many cars were damaged. The region has been ravaged by an intense heat wave all summer.

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