Posted by Lorren on September 23, 2016
This week in my son’s Bible class, I was reminded of a situation where principals mattered, and the person posed with the question of whether to do the right or wrong thing chose to do the wrong thing, and faced the consequences as a result.
The situation in question was that of Jacob. Prior to his birth, his mother, Rebecca, was told that Jacob was the promised son where his promised people would spring from. God HATED Esau, because although Esau was born with the birthright, he was willing to sell it because he was hungry.
Fast-forward several years. Isaac is dying, and it’s time to give the blessing. Isaac thinks that Esau is supposed to get it, because he was the firstborn (I’m not sure if he knew about the prophesy given to Rebecca about Jacob being the promised son, or if his favoritism to Esau blinded him). Either way, while Esau was hunting, Rebecca told Jacob to go trick his dad into giving him the blessing.
Jacob’s protest was not “it’s wrong to lie mom, I can’t do that.” It was “if I get caught, he’s going to curse me instead.” Rebecca probably couldn’t have countered the first argument, but she did counter the argument given, telling him that “if he gives you a curse, it will be upon my head” or something like that.
So Jacob lied. He paid for it in many ways. He angered his brother, had to run away from him, never saw his mom alive again, was tricked by his father-in-law, and saw misbehavior from his kids, probably all stemming from this incident (or the character traits that Jacob had that led to this incident).
If Jacob had told the truth and had refused to trick his dad, do we think that God would have allowed Isaac to bless Esau, whom He HATED? I don’t think so. Maybe Rebecca would have intervened. Maybe God would have stopped Isaac prior to giving the blessing, like he did for Abraham when he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac. Either way, Esau wouldn’t have been blessed, no matter what.
Today, people have the faith of Jacob. They think, “I have to vote for Trump because the alternative is Hillary, and she’s worse.” So they plan to vote for him, even though he has none of the characteristics of a good leader, as defined in various places in the Bible. He’s a liar, a whoremonger, an adulterer, proud, someone that takes advantage of the poor and widows, a bully… these are all things that God hates. Anybody living by their principals could not vote for him. I’m not saying that Clinton doesn’t have bad traits herself (she may not have all of the above traits, but I could add a few more onto her list). There is no godly choice, and I don’t even believe that there is a “lesser” of these two evils.
I’m voting for a 3rd party that I know will not win, and I will let God sort everything else out. He’s the One that lifts up and brings down leaders anyway. Perhaps these two poisonous candidates are God’s way of bringing judgement to this society. Whether the earthly outcome is good or bad, it’s not up to me to say. It is up to me to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t make any sense.
Posted by Lorren on December 8, 2015
Photo: Me in front of the World Trade Center
For the past 15 years, militant Islamic groups like Al Qaida, and now ISIS, have terrorized our world. In light of recent events, I have decided to reprint an article that I originally published to Associated Content/Yahoo! Voices on February 4, 2011. Since Yahoo! took all of their Voices content off their site and returned all rights to the original authors, I am reprinting the original article in its entirety without any changes. Obviously, the situation has changed somewhat in the last (almost) five years, so I am providing an update at the end.
Recently, Glenn Beck revealed his caliphate theory, that the current instability in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East could eventually lead to a caliphate in the region. He stated that this was the goal of the Moslem Brotherhood, and that if they were to take over, their goal would be to form a caliphate with other surrounding Arab nations. Leaders in Turkey and Iran have also expressed interest in a caliphate. What he hasn’t mentioned are the plans that Al Qaida also has for a caliphate. In fact, Al Qaida’s plans were revealed in 2005 in an Arabic book called Al-Zarqawi – al-Qeada’s Second Generation. In this book, written by Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, who interviewed some of the top leaders in the terrorist organization, the author revealed Al Qaida’s seven-phase plan that began on September 11th, 2001, and not only included an Islamic caliphate, but would end in world domination.
Phase 1: Awakening
Phase 1 began on September 11, 2001, according to this document. The goal was to encourage the United States to declare war on Islam, which would mobilize the adherents to radical Islam. After the September 11th attacks, George Bush declared a “War on Terror.” Since then, the US has fought in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and radical Islam seems to have been emboldened. It looks like Al Qaida succeeded with this part of the plan.
Phase 2: Opening Eyes
In phase 2, which was the phase that Al Qaida was apparently in when the book was written, Al Qaida would make the Western nations become more aware of the Islamic community. Today, it’s pretty hard to ignore the Islamic community. It seems to be on the news every day. I think that this phase was a success on their part.
Phase 3: Arising and Standing Up
In phase 3, there would be more attacks against Turkey and Israel. There has been increased terrorist activity in Turkey for several years now. The United States and Britain warn citizens traveling to the area to be cautious of terrorist attacks. In Israel, the United States has a current travel warning for its citizens that wish to travel to the country, due to the danger of terrorism there. It looks as if Al Qaida’s plans in this area have also succeeded.
Phase 4: Hated Arab Governments Topple
The fourth phase of Al Qaida’s plan was scheduled to occur between 2010 and 2013; they plan to topple Arab countries that Al Qaida hates, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The recent uprising in Egypt could be a part of this plan; Egypt has recently been on good terms with Israel and the United States. Jordanian King Abdulla II recently dismissed the current government in response to protests. While this phase of the plan hasn’t been completed yet, it looks like it is in the works.
Phase 5: An Islamic Caliphate
Phase 5 of the plan was to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. Al Qaida’s target date for this to happen was between 2013 and 2016. Some of the leadership in Iran and Turkey already favor a caliphate; if the Moslem Brotherhood can gain control of Egypt, there would be at least three countries that favor this government. With the current instability in the Middle East, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that this could occur.
Phase 6: Total Confrontation
Phase six has been planned to start shortly after the caliphate has been announced. This is the most frightening part of the seven-phase plan, because it involves an Islamic army fighting against those people that are non-believers. If Iran perfects the nuclear bomb, this would help the terrorists with their plans. This may not be necessary though, because if nuclear-capable (and Islamic) Pakistan joined the caliphate, they would have nuclear capability with or without Iran. Hopefully, the world will not reach this phase, as the resulting war would probably result in many, perhaps millions, of casualties, and would probably involve nuclear weapons. Al Qaida doesn’t believe that this war will last for more than two years.
Phase 7: Definitive Victory
Al Qaida believes that they will win this war, and that the world will be so downtrodden after nearly two decades of struggle that they will capitulate to worldwide caliphate. Let’s hope that they are wrong, and this terrorist scheme is nipped in the bud at phase 4, where it seems to be today.
Bond, Pamela. “A Crisis in Jordan“. Examiner.com Wilmington, 3 February 2011.
Glenn Beck, 1 February 2011.
Glenn Beck, 3 February 2011.
Hall, Allan. “Al-Qaeda Chiefs Reveal World Domination Design.” The Age.com, 24 August 2005.
“Turkey Country Specific Information.” Travel.State.gov, 4 February 2011.
“Travel Advice By Country > Europe > Turkey.” Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 4 February 2011
“Travel Warning: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.” Travel.State.gov, August 10, 2010.
Update: Since I wrote this article in February of 2011, obviously ISIS and the Caliphate did not exist at the time of original publication. Phase 5, written about in this article, has been completed. With recent developments that have been happening around the world, if I were to write this article today, I would probably say that Phase 6 doesn’t seem too far-fetched now. Ouch.
Posted by Lorren on December 4, 2015
Since I made Christmas word searches for Spanish and German, I figured that I’d create one more Christmas word search for language learners: one in Russian.
Every culture is unique, and Russia is no exception. Russia doesn’t celebrate Christmas like we do in the United States: Santa doesn’t visit on Christmas Eve like many of us do in other parts of the world. Instead, they get a visit from Father Frost on New Year’s Eve. During Soviet times, religion was discouraged, so they ended up moving the big winter celebration to New Year’s Eve instead.
This will be my last Christmas-related word search for this year. I hope that you like it, and I hope that it helps you get into the spirit of the season.
Christmas Russian – Answer Key
Posted by Lorren on December 3, 2015
I figured if I was going to make a Christmas word search for Spanish learners, I might as well make one for German learners as well. This word search has the same sized grid as the Spanish one, and the same amount of words; however, these German words are a little bit longer, so there will be more letters circled.
Feel free to print this word search out if you’d like. You can do the word search yourself, give to your German-learning homeschool kids, or a class of kids. The translation to all of the words is included, so you don’t have to look them up if you don’t already know them.
Christmas German – Answer Key
Posted by Lorren on December 2, 2015
Love Yule, print by kasei_lee
I hope that everything has been going well for you. Life has been busy for me, as I’m sure that it has been for you.
One of the things that I’ve been doing over the last few years is relearning some of the languages that I learned a long time ago. A lot of people in the United States like to learn Spanish. It’s the second most spoken language in this country, so I can see why. Spanish was actually the fourth language that I studied. Anyway, I’ve been relearning Spanish, as well as German and Russian, lately. After I learned the basics, I started reading Spanish books and magazines, like Divergente and Los Juegos del Hambre.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to learn a language, after you have learned the basics of a language, is to actually use the language. One of the things that I like to do sometimes is word puzzles. If you do a search, a lot of the puzzles that you find for Spanish learners are meant for kids. I thought that perhaps we could do better. So I made this word search with some Spanish Christmas words. Since I’m making this for Spanish learners, I included the translation, and in many cases, I also included the gender.
I hope you like it. Let me know what you think. I’m including both the puzzle itself, and a separate file with the answer key. They’re in Adobe PDF files, so most people should be able to read them.
Christmas Spanish – Answer Key
Here’s a preview of the puzzle:
Posted by Lorren on September 12, 2014
I just read a comment from someone who said that we are spending too much on drug research, and that we can’t, as a society, afford to pay to find a cure for everything. That is true, but it did get me thinking… it costs too much money to get a drug to market these days.
I understand why it costs so much to get a drug to market. Drug companies (and the government) want drugs to be safe when they get to the consumer. Drug companies do not want to be sued if the drug has unwanted side effects. While that is noble and good, it also keeps people from getting drugs for conditions that they will otherwise die from.
So wouldn’t the solution be to create an “experimental” class of medications? These would be medications that have been tested, but not as rigorously as the medications that are not experimental. Since these drugs have not been fully tested, they would be a “take at your own risk” class of drugs. Drug companies would be liable to pay damages only if they knowingly had information that these drugs were harmful but didn’t relay that information on to the customers. After a certain period of time (and perhaps more testing) these drugs could eventually make it out of the experimental phase and become regular drugs.
People probably wouldn’t want to take an experimental headache medication, but they might be interested in an experimental medication for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or cancer. These diseases can severely reduce the quality of or even end a life, so some people would gladly try out an experimental medicine for these conditions. There will also be people who aren’t interested in experimental medication, but that should be a choice.
Experimental medication probably won’t happen though. The government these days doesn’t want to allow anybody to have to take any responsibility for their decisions. Why else would raw milk be illegal in places? Why do people need to go to doctors to get prescriptions (they don’t in Mexico). Why have helmet or seat belt laws for adults? That’s one of the things that I love about Arizona law… people don’t have to wear helmets if they don’t want to. I always point out idiots not wearing helmets to my kids when I see them riding by. I want them to know that they are idiots for not wearing helmets, but I also want them to understand that they should have the right to be idiots. But that’s another completely different subject. It’s not idiotic to want to try an experimental medication for a deadly disease that might end up in nasty complications, but the government probably wouldn’t allow it.
Posted by Lorren on September 3, 2014
We are coming up on the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. There is a lot of reason to believe that we may end up seeing another attack this year. There has been a lot of chatter over the last couple of months that there is a massive terrorist attack planned for many malls across the United States on a day that is significant to Islamic extremists… plus, there were 11 jets that went missing in Libya recently. It may be significant that this will be the 13th anniversary of the attacks. While I don’t place much emphasis on numbers like that, those in power sometimes do. Now is not the time to forget what happened. It is also not the time to be asleep. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus and received his forgiveness, you will not be prepared if something would happen to you during these dark times. Here are the headlines to note today:
- More Palestinians Support Hamas – Israel and Hamas might not be firing rockets at each other (for now), but more people support Hamas than ever before. We shouldn’t be incredibly surprised though. The Bible does say that the world will turn away from Israel in the end. In fact, the entire world is going to eventually turn on Israel. In related news, the EU is threatening to refuse importation of poultry that is not marked whether or not it comes from settlements and even CNN is admitting bias against Israel.
- Amnesty International details “Ethnic Cleansing” in Iraq – In just a short time, ISIS has gone from an organization that few had heard of, to one of the most feared forces of evil in the world. A recent report has documented those atrocities. In related news, a second US journalist has been beheaded by ISIS.
- Lawmakers Tell Obama “We Must Go After ISIS” – After a second journalist was beheaded by ISIS, US lawmakers are urging Obama to go after ISIS. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The White House currently says that they have no strategy on ISIS. Maybe if Obama had been paying attention to his daily briefings instead of going golfing, he would.
- Ukraine is another hot spot – The UN has said that there are more than a million refugees fleeing the Ukraine, with the threat of Russian forces beating down on them. Meanwhile, the US is preparing a military drill in the Ukraine in the middle of the month, and Russia is planning to alter its military strategy towards NATO. Tensions are heating up. The Bible speaks of a partnership between China and Russia in the last days (we are seeing that in other areas), but it also speaks of war in the last days. We are blessed that the war is as contained at it is at this point.
- US Experiences Money Woes – Fast food workers are planning civil disobedience to protest the fact that they aren’t getting $15 an hour (I don’t get paid $15 an hour, and I work in a skilled job). Meanwhile, the Fed believes that the US hasn’t seen much inflation because it says that Americans are hoarding money.
- Earthquakes in various places – 5.5 in the Eastern Pacific, 5.2 in Iceland, 5.0 in New Zealand, and a minor earthquake in Lebanon.
- Volcanoes in various places – a volcanic eruption in Iceland, two in Ecuador, and one in Russia.
- Ebola is Spiraling Out of Control – Ebola is a massive pestilence that has been around for decades. I remember reading stories about it while in high school. However, Ebola has always been previously contained withing small villages, and it quickly died out. This current strain of Ebola has a lower death rate, but continues to spread like wildfire. Another strain of Ebola is in the Congo right now; let’s hope this strain does die out quickly. In other news, another American doctor has been infected with Ebola, one Ebola patient left quarantine in search of food (if you’re going to quarantine someone, you should probably feed them), and now the Ebola virus is putting the West African food availability at risk, as quarantine zones are making it more difficult to transport and sell food.
- The Great Falling Away – The Bible says that in the last days, people will be departing from the faith. Stories reporting sex with ghosts, demons, and fairies and the blasphemy challenge just shows you how far down the rabbit hole we are going.
If we have turned our lives over to Jesus, we don’t need to fear. He did say that things would get crazy in the last days. It certainly looks as if they have.
Posted by Lorren on August 19, 2014
Despite my not updating for the past couple of weeks, the world has not gotten any safer – the world is headed into more and more dangerous territory. I recently read the book Divergent and was inspired by the saying on one of the character’s walls: Fear God Alone. Yes, the times that we are facing may be difficult, and we may even face persecution (or depending on where you live, perhaps you are now)… but the only thing that we should really fear is God. The trials that we face here will only be temporary – the eternity that we face will last forever. Perhaps if we remind ourselves of that, it will be easier to get through the tough times. Here are some things that are going on right now:
- Ebola feared to have entered Austria – A lady that recently traveled to Nigeria died in her apartment in Austria. Blood, hair, and urine samples were sent to a lab for testing for the deadly ebola virus.
- Police Under Fire In Ferguson, Missouri – The United States rarely sees outbreaks of violence and rioting like it has in Ferguson, Missouri. While many of the people protesting the shooting of Michael Brown’s death have been peaceful, not all of them have. Some have been attacking police officers. The National Guard has been called out, and a curfew has been imposed in order to prevent looting and burning. This event has called into question the use of military weaponry in use at the local police level. It is a shame that people often are fearful of, rather than feel protected by, the police.
- School Massacre Averted in Southern California – The Bible says that the last days will be like the days of Noah, which were full of violence. Fortunately, some violence was averted when a planned school shooting in Southern California was stopped.
- August… a Time for Vacations and… Snow? – Britain is seeing some of the coldest August weather in 95 years. There might even be some snow in Scotland. Brrr…
While the news isn’t always cheery, we can be cheered in the fact that nothing escapes God’s knowledge.
Posted by Lorren on July 29, 2014
Today I was on Facebook, and a friend of mine posted about how things are so much better now that Obama has been president for a while. One of the statistics that they pointed out was the increase of the Dow. Of course, they neglected to compare the prices of things like gas and food, but that’s another story. I’m pretty sure that this particular friend is not saved, and it made me so sad, because she has no clue what’s about to happen. They are so unprepared for the calamity that is coming our way; there are many people like that. You can’t tell them what is going to happen either – they’ve heard doomsayers all before, and they don’t believe that it’s going to happen. Just because we have been okay so far, doesn’t mean that we will continue to be okay. The signs are all around us that something is coming. Please don’t be asleep.
Today, news continues to pour out of Israel. At least 160 children were killed digging the terror tunnels for Hamas. More people were killed, and the peace process is still not succeeding. There will be a peace deal at some point. When there is, watch out, especially if the peace deal is for seven years. The Bible predicted that it would happen in the Great Tribulation.
- Antisemitism is on the Rise: The People’s Resistance Committee, allies with Hamas, has threatened to chop off the heads of Jews that remain in “Palestine”. There’s that beheading thing again; the Bible says that people will be beheaded for the Lord’s sake in the last days. Some Jewish leaders now fear that a new holocaust is beginning. Antisemitic writing and posters were found in Rome’s Jewish quarter. There have also been antisemitic attacks in the UK and in France.
- Crowdfunding May Be Used to Build the Third Temple – In the last days, the third temple has to be rebuilt, because the Bible says that the Antichrist will eventually put himself in the temple as being God. A new campaign on Indigogo is now trying to raise money to have it built. So far, they have raised more than $6,000 of their $100,000 goal.
- Is there a Stock Market Bubble? – I mentioned earlier that my friend had pointed out that the Dow was so much higher than it was five years ago, and that is true; however, even USA Today is questioning whether or not their might be a stock market bubble, with a graph of the S&P 500 over the times where the internet bubble burst, the housing bubble burst, and today. Their conclusion was that there was not a bubble, that the Fed’s easy money policy was causing this rise in the stock market, and that the stock market was rightfully as high as it is. Sure… if you believe that, I have some wonderful ocean-front property right by my house that I’d like to sell you (I live in Arizona, BTW).
- More Ebola news: Liberia is closing most of its borders based on fears of Ebola. It has also cancelled flights. The CDC is concerned that Ebola could “spread like a forest fire” although it doesn’t think that it will leave West Africa (pestilence is predicted for the Tribulation though). The problem is being made worse by the fact that villagers in infected villages don’t want doctors to come in and help them. This reminds me of the stories that you would hear from Medieval Europe, where people behaved irrationally during outbreaks of the Plague. Ebola is concerning to me. Most outbreaks come and go fairly quickly. This one has been dragging on for months, perhaps due to the fact that the death rate is lower in the current strain, which allows it to spread longer (the most deadly viruses die out before the infection can spread).
- Other news: In Japan, a teenage girl strangled and decapitated her friend (days of Noah). Journalists are concerned that the surveillance state in the United States is hurting their ability to do their jobs. There were earthquakes in Mexico, Oklahoma, and New Guinea. Another massive hole was found at “the end of the world” in Siberia. North Carolina and Virginia are not going to uphold their gay marriage bans. China is once again cracking down on Christians.
If we are following the Lord, we don’t have to be afraid. Psalm 91:5-6 says that “thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” That doesn’t mean that Christians won’t be affected by any of the disease or war that surrounds us, but we don’t have to be afraid. We have something better ahead of us to look forward to. The scary headlines surrounding us every day are simply signs to show us that we might not have much longer before these better things come to us.
Posted by Lorren on July 27, 2014
We are living in exciting (and alarming) times. It’s exciting to see all of the headlines and know that these are the times that the Bible was speaking of thousands of years ago! At the same time, it’s troubling. I was listening to the news, praying for strength to survive the upcoming days of trouble coming ahead. I was praying yesterday for an unsaved friend to see his miraculous power so that she could come to know the Truth about God and turn to him for salvation. Who knows how much time we have left? I’ve told the story before about how on January 29, 1995, my interest in Bible Prophecy was awakened at a Super Bowl party, of all places… even then, I could see the events lining up, but everything back then was taking place behind the scenes, it seemed. Today, Bible prophecy is right out in the open! Now is not the time to sit back and live like we have an entire lifetime ahead of us to serve God before we meet the Lord… we have so little time! If you have not turned to Jesus for salvation, please do so today. If you have, please do whatever you can to serve Him in these final remaining days.
ISIS is in Gaza – This headline is very disturbing. ISIS, the militant group that seemed to take over most of Iraq like Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, claims to be in Gaza. While disturbing, I am reminded that God has worked miracles in the past, and will do so again in the future. I’ve already written recently about how some of the terrorists are remarking that God seems to be changing the course of their bombs in midair. When God’s miracles are needed the most, that is when he shines the greatest.
ABC Family Show Tackling Late-Term Abortion – A long time ago, the Disney stamp of approval meant that you could trust your kids with it. That is certainly not the case any more. There have been several shows that I have told my kids that they are not able to watch. The latest Disney hubbub involves a show called the Fosters, which revolves around a biracial lesbian couple. In this latest story, one of the characters is pregnant and has developed pre-eclampsia, which can be a life-threatening condition. The character decides to abort the baby in order to save her life. Do we really want kids watching this? I don’t want mine watching this.
Judge Promotes Beheading as a Form of Execution – If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may have read the passages of Revelation where the Bible talks about the people beheaded for Christ’s sake and thought that those passages were quite foreign… nobody beheaded people back in those days. Today, beheading is becoming more and more accepted as a form of execution. There have been several problems with lethal injections recently, and drug shortages haven’t helped. A judge with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has recently said that beheadings would be a “foolproof” method of executing, and that the US should also reconsider firing squads. Well, isn’t that convenient.
Waters Turn Blood Red in China – The Yangtze River in China has turned blood red, and scientists do not know what is causing it. This is just one of a string of blood-red rivers that have turned up in recent years (I should write an article on it if I get the time). This is going to happen on a massive scale during the Great Tribulation. Revelation 16:4 says that the third angel will pour his vials on the rivers and fountains of waters, and they will turn into blood. Are we being warned here?
So much more is happening. The Israeli war in Gaza continues, the US evacuated the embassy in Libya, Russia is accusing the US of conducting a “smear campaign”, a UK official wants to hold the 2018 World Cup somewhere outside of Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis (will there even be a 2018 World Cup?), US Border agents are warning of the violent MS-13 gang recruiting at immigrant stations in Arizona, volcanic eruptions occurred in Russia and Ecuador, the drought is causing rattlesnakes to appear closer to homes in California, ebola spread to Nigeria through a man that was flying on a plane, and marijuana is seen to be a cause for a recent increase in homeless people in Denver, Colorado.
Now is not the time to be fearful. None of these headlines are taking God by surprise. Now is the time to turn to him.