"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dangerous Times in the Middle East

As the UN investigates the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the US, Britain and France are moving military assets into position for a possible strike against Syria. According to Joel Rosenberg, Syria and Iran have vowed to strike Israel if attacked by western military, while Russia is warning the west not to intervene because there is no proof of chemical weapons use.

Joel Rosenberg is one of the world’s leading experts on the middle east and prophecy in scripture concerning the middle east. He has written several books of fiction based on what he sees as prophesied in scripture. Some of his scenarios have already come true.

What happens if the UN inspectors find proof of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime? Will the west attack Syria? Will Syria and Iran then attack Israel? According to Rosenberg, Israel is ready for such an attack and, in fact, is hoping for the US to do something.

Remember President Obama’s promise that use of chemical weapons would be crossing a red line? Israeli PM Netanyahu is anxious to see whether he will keep his word thereby sending a message to Iran about their nuclear weapons ambitions. Something has to be done in the next several months to neutralize Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Rosenberg suggests that a strike would punish the Assad regime but not be a fatal blow, perhaps air or missile strikes against military targets.

Meanwhile France’s Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) reported that 3600 people were treated in hospitals in which it operates in Damascus for neurotoxic symptoms, about 10% of them died.

How long can it be before even Russia has to admit the use of chemical weapons? What will Obama do when it happens?

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Republican Guards’ elite Basij force in Iran suggests that the US would never get involved in a war in the Middle East right now because they can’t afford it and they don’t have the morale (read will).

In 2008, I first wrote about the potential of an Islamic-Russian war against Israel in which the US fails to come to their rescue. I suggested that the US would either not be able to financially afford to join a war, or there would be no will to do so. Now I have a top Iranian military leader agreeing with me.

And what of Russia? If Iran attempts to attack Israel, Israel will respond by attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. They have many facilities that will need to be rendered inoperable, so the attack(s) will be fierce and messy. Russia has an agreement with Iran to come to their rescue if Iran is attacked. Will Russia honor its agreement with Iran while the US abandons its agreement with Israel?

Search this blog for "Russian-Islamic War" for several other posts on this subject.

This is a dangerous times we live in.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

They were a Happy Couple

Pete was a great guy to work with. He always had great attitude, never angry, and he got things done like nobody else. I liked and greatly admired Pete. Pete was 10 years younger than me and looked more like 15 or 20 years younger.

I saw Pete a few months ago for the first time in 10 or 12 years. It was his retirement party. I went, not because we were close friends, we weren't, but because I wanted to make sure he knew how much he was appreciated.

I was aghast at how old Pete looked. His face had become lined and wrinkled and his eye-lids sagged at the corners. In 10 or 12 years he went from looking 15 or 20 years younger than me to looking 15 or 20 years older than me.

It wasn't easy getting to visit with the two of them as they kept disappearing from the party to go out and have a smoke. After a couple hours I finally got to talk to them. He introduced me to his wife whom I had not met before.

Like Pete she had a slim build that could have passed for a 20-something. Her face, however, was more badly wrinkled than her husband’s. I’m sure she was in her mid fifties, but her face looked like she could have been in her late seventies.

I was alarmed, but not surprised. I had seen it so many times how smoking ages the face so dramatically in one’s forties and fifties. The muscles seem to collapse, color and texture both change making one look quite weathered.

They told me of their plans for retirement - wonderful plans that sounded just delightful. They were a happy couple.

Yesterday, I got an email telling me that she was dead. She died from cancer three months after retirement. Just when they should have been starting the happiest time of their lives, they entered the worst time of their lives.

Damn smoking! Destroyed one life and shattered another! After 35 years of hard work, Pete gets to retire alone, alone with his cigarettes. What a waste!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Get Ready for the End of the World - Ayatollah Ali Hamenei

That was the message presented by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Hamenei to his people. Hamenei warned the Iranian people of the coming of the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam, the last and awaited prophet who will appear for the Doomsday to save the world and impose Islamic world order.

He said that, if the Iranian people believed themselves to be the soldiers of the Twelfth Imam, they should get ready to be led by Allah to the war to help the Islamic civilization triumph over the world.

“It is our destiny,” the Iranian spiritual leader concluded.

Local media report that Tehran has been circulating a brochure titled “The Last Six Months,” urging officers to brace themselves ahead of the Mahdi‘s arrival and the last standoff with the West.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards cautioned Israel and the US they had no information as the kind of warheads Iranian missiles may carry.

The threat from the Revolutionary Guard to Israel and the US was made to deter or delay the inevitable attack on Iran's nuclear weapons program. See the following posts for background: 
Iran and the Bomb 
The Inevitable Middle East War 

Christians believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth after seven years of the Great Tribulation, and restore peace and order. During that 7 year period, the AntiChrist will take control of the world and slaughter millions of Christians. I believe the 12th Imam, or the Mahdi, is the AntiChrist.

The recent statement by Hamenei, at the very least, confirms Islam's desire for world dominance, either by war or by emigration and population growth. Hamenei, in his old age, seems to be getting too impatient to wait for the second option.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Butch, the Undercover Police Dog

This is our dog, Butch! She's a long-haired Chihuahua in training to be a police dog. Right now I'm working on under-cover techniques. I think it's working. A few minutes ago while we were out walking, a guy yelled out his truck window, "I like your cat!"

We often walk by the courthouse and sometimes encounter policemen. When I ask them if they need any more police dogs they just laugh. Can't understand why they don't take me seriously. If they knew how 'killer' her breath is they would hire her on the spot.

Actually her real name is Bell. It was Tinkerbell but that doesn't work so well for a police dog. It sometimes morphs into Stinkerbell, or Tinklebell, but whatever you call her, she's a real ringer.


One day, as I got ready to take Bell out for the third time that day, I said, "Come on you useless ball of fur". Somehow, my wife began to think that I didn't like the useless ball of fur. In fact, I did like her, mostly, we had some moments; but she had caused our delightful tri-pedal hairball to go into a depression and start to get snarly. Also, looking after her seemed to give new life to my care-giver burnout; it was a lot like looking after a kid.

So, one day the cable guy comes to install a new cable system in our apartment. He said his daughters would love Bell, they would dress her up and carry her around, which she loves - anything for attention. He explained that they had a big dog which was attached to his son but pretty much ignored the little girls.

He tried getting a cat for the girls, but not long after, saw the dog carrying the cat in his mouth across the backyard to the open gate where he dropped her. I'm sure he was trying to convey a message the poor feline.

Anyway, he came back at the end of his work day and picked up Tinkerbell and we haven't seen her since. Pat kept asking the guy if he shouldn't call his wife, but he insisted it was better not to, beside she had a bad cold. Nevertheless, when we called to check on her a few weeks later, she was fine and loving the attention from the girls. It was the end of her undercover police work.

Tripod - Bailey, recovered her playful personality a month or two after Bell left when she was finally sure that Ball wasn't coming back.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More of What God Did

See "God Answers Prayer" in the July archive for the rest of the story.

This is what the Lord spared my wife from when He healed her in March. Many of Pat's PH friends spend as much time in the hospital as they do at home. Many hospitals in the US don't know how to treat PH and some will flat-out refuse to admit them. Despite her sickness, Trudy works relentlessly to raise money for PH research while raising her young children. God bless her and her family.

Trudy Seidel 
As most of you know I was diagnosed April of 2012, with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which means the professionals have NO idea why I was "lucky" enough to get it.
It sounds fairly simple, like High blood pressure which is able to be controlled. The problem is it isn't that simple and it cant be cured, not even controlled very easily; however, it can be treated. "Pulmonary hypertension is a simplified name for a complex health problem—continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery in the lungs, resulting in an enlarged heart which can lose its ability to pump.

My current treatment involves the following: I have a Hickman catheter (which I've already had to get replaced due to a defect), which is a intravenous line in my chest going to my heart that provides me with life saving medicine; I have to make my medicine every 24 hours). Besides my IV meds (Remodulin, which bears many miserable and reoccurring side effects so I take more meds to lessen them), I take Adcirca (another lung med again causing side effects, so more and different meds for those), Digoxin, (a drug used to treat congestive heart failure that I now have due to PH), plus a long list of other medicines that I have to take to fight off all the side effects of the PH drugs.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lovers of Self

2 Tim 3:1-5
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
For men will be lovers of self,…
Holding to a form of godliness,…
Avoid such men as these.

Loving yourself, as discussed in the post “Loving Yourself”, requires action. Love in the Bible is usually an action verb requiring you to do something. Loving your neighbor means giving him drink when he’s thirsty, food when he’s hungry, clothes when he is naked, etc., etc. In loving ourselves we automatically do all those things for ourselves. But pop psychology would have us do much more for ourselves so that we feel good about ourselves; is that what Christ wants from us?

Matt 16:24
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

If Jesus loved Himself would He have spent 40 days in the mountains fasting? Would He have voluntarily suffered the pain and humiliation of the scourging and the cross? No! He endured such things because He loves the Father, not Himself – “nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done!”

2 Tim 2:11b,12a
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.

Dying, enduring, these are not words of love unless the dying and enduring is for someone else. Dying and enduring are sacrificial acts – acts of agape love. But agape love takes no thought of self, it is selfless and sacrificial. Is it possible to be selfless for your self? It’s an absurd contradiction!

Definition: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, it gives and expects nothing in return. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.

The lowest type of love in the Bible is Eros. It might be better defined in English as lust rather than love. As Plato pointed out, Eros doesn’t have to be physical. We certainly lust for things that are not sexual – this is Eros. It has an element of selfishness in it and is the only one of the four biblical words for love that does.

In my opinion, loving yourself can only be accomplished as Eros, lust, the lowest form of love. It is the very thing that scripture teaches us to die to so we can live to agape.

I’m not saying you can’t love yourself and love others with a godly love. I’m saying that if you do, one has nothing to do with the other. The first is sin (according to A.W. Tozer); the second is God!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

'Come On Charlie Brown, Kick the Football'

My wife has been recovering from knee surgery, Pulmonary Hypertension, fibromyalgea, etc., etc. for several months now, and in that time she has set as a goal to get up in the morning, get dressed, and walk the dog. It hasn't happened yet!

This morning I came out of the bathroom and was getting ready to walk the dog when Pat announces that she will walk the dog. I stand there in stunned silence. Do I believe her? Is this the appropriate time to laugh? I notice that she is already dressed and my heart fairly skips a beat.

"I think I'll go to the mall and graze for Christmas presents," she announces. "But I'm going to take my (brand new never-been-used) walker and I need you to come down to the truck and show me how to fold it up." I'm getting a little suspicious now, but do as I'm asked.

At the truck, she folds the walker with my instructions, puts it in the back seat of the truck, gets in the truck and drives away. I'm standing there with the dog who still hasn't been walked. I'm thoroughly identifying with Charlie Brown as Lucy pulls the football away for the nteenth time.

As she leaves she asks me to pray for her for wisdom. Suddenly, the flesh rises up and revenge fills my heart. "It's pretty early in the morning to be asking God for a miracle," I proclaim, feeling a little smug. She just laughs as I walk the dog.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Loving Yourself

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? Jer 17:9

I spent much of yesterday conversing with followers a certain evangelist on Facebook. I was drawn into it by a friend who re-posted the evangelist's post where he fairly gushed about loving himself. I was more than slightly nauseated.

My heart goes out to those people whose ears are being tickled by anti-Biblical doctrine that is nothing but new age psychobabble. They are in for a very rude awakening, and I doubt that most will have the ‘deep-soil’ foundation to ride out the storm.

Loving one’s self is a quick trip up Feelgood Mountain for romantic Christians. You are like Peter, James and John, who were chosen by Jesus to go up the Mount of Transfiguration with Him. There they saw wonderful things such that Peter wanted to remain there and build temples. But what did Jesus do? He immediately led them down into the demon-filled valley of death.

What waited for them there was the torture and death of everything they believed in. To make matters worse, Peter denied Jesus 3 times, cursed Him and retreated to his fishing boat abandoning Christ and all he believed.

The walled City of Hong Kong - easily the worst slum in the world
before it was torn down
Some people believe that they can live on the mountain all the rest of their lives, but they cannot. Their faith will be tried and tested and stretched beyond belief. It will be painful and if you persevere, you will know God better than you do now.

Jesus retrieved Peter from his boat and commissioned him to go forth and preach the Gospel. Peter finally understood Who Jesus really was and what He expected of him. Until we are made broken bread and poured out wine, we will never be ready to be sent out. We may have the Holy Spirit and we may go out, but we will not be ready.

We will be like Jackie Pullinger, who, with great enthusiasm, went to the old walled city of Hong Kong – the worst slum in the world, and preached the gospel. For years she had not one convert. It was only after she realized that she had to stop preaching Jesus and start being Jesus that she began to change lives.

She had very little to her name but she sacrificed all of it, even her own bed at times. Very soon she began leading people to Christ and delivering them from drug dependencies. Before long she began the enormously successful St Stephen Society which set thousands of drug addicts free through prayer in southeast Asia and turned them to Christ.

She accomplished more than she could have imagined but only after she gave up everything she had including her self-image. There was no room for self-love there, if there had been, she would have wasted her entire life in that hell-hole.