Sunday, August 26, 2012

Somebody’s Been Prayin’


In several previous blogs, I exhorted Christians to pray the prayer suggested in 2 Chronicles 7:14 by the Lord:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (NIV).
In the case of Brandon Raub’s unwarranted incarceration in a psychiatric hospital for “psychological evaluation,” God has answered an mother’s prayer for the release of her son, a decorated Marine hero who served valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As determined by federal judge W. Allan Sherret, Raub’s detention was invalid, even though ostensibly in compliance with applicable Virginia Emergency Custody statute § 37.2-808.
On August 24, The Blaze reported, “Earlier today, 26-year-old former U.S. Marine Brandon Raub was released from a psychiatric facility via a judge’s order, who ruled that the government had no legal grounds to hold him.
The battle is not over as Raub’s attorney, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, is reported to be planning a civil lawsuit for the treatment Raub received.
On August 24, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, “Hopewell Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett found that a document ordering Raub's transfer this week from a Hopewell hospital to the Salem VA Medical Center was faulty and ‘so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.’”
Military members and  veterans organizations are concerned for this abrogation of constitutional rights. There is a concern that people with military experience are being targeted by the government to deprive them of their 1st Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.
As I said in Spiritual Tsunami: Bible Prophecy and World Events are Converging at the end of each chapter, “But God . . . !” The fact is that God is still the one in charge and will not countenance the attempts of governments to divert His plans to bless believers.
Keep praying!
Despite this government’s implementation of provisions in the National Defense Authorization Acts passed after 9/11/2001, God will prevail!
The NDAA that President Obama signed quietly at the end of 2011 continues to provide for the unwarranted incarceration of individuals identified as a threat or in support of al Queda. We can expect that this government will continue it’s practice of enacting “under the radar” policies that will further deny basic rights to citizens without the benefit of constitutionally mandated separation of powers; i.e. ruling by fiat or unilateral caveat. They continue to expand the powers of the Executive branch and thus circumvent the legislative process dictated by the Constitution.
The saying, "all it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing," is attributed to Edmund Burke, an Irish politician and philosopher about the time of the American Revolution. It is no less true today! We can either remain “sheeple” or stand up like men and women who care and work to have the rights of citizens restored by the due process of law.
The preponderance of Christians tend to rely solely on God to advocate for them, but God expects believers to rely on Him while also doing everything within their power to effect the necessary changes to their governance. Our nation’s founding fathers recognized this and made the English ruler recognize the basic rights of the colonials in America.
When triumph comes, we can truly say, “somebodies been prayin’.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ICE agents “fed up!”


Today, 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents submitted a suit in a North Texas federal court to enjoin Homeland Security head, Janet Napolitano and ICE director, John Morton from proceeding with the president’s new non-deportation policy and an earlier memo instructing them not to go after rank-and-file illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Texas, adds a legal controversy to the political fight that has been brewing over President Obama’s immigration policies, which have steadily narrowed the range of immigrants the government is targeting for deportation.
The 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and deportation officers said Mr. Obama’s policies force them to choose between enforcing the law and being reprimanded by superiors, or listening to superiors and violating their own oaths of office and a 1996 law that requires them to put those who entered the country illegally into deportation proceedings . . .
Last week, at Mr. Obama’s direction, the Homeland Security Department began taking applications from those 30 years of age or younger who came to the U.S. as children and who have kept a fairly clean criminal record. They are being granted “deferred action,” which is an official notice they are not to be deported, and will be allowed to obtain work permits to stay and get jobs legally in the United States.
Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the (DHS) department, said officials are comfortable with their policy of narrowing the scope of those they target for deportation, and said more than 90 percent of those ICE deportations already fall within their high-priority categories . . .
Ms. Napolitano said she’s acting in accordance with Supreme Court rulings that have established a wide latitude for discretion by the executive branch, and said federal law directs the administration to establish immigration enforcement priorities.
But in their 22-page complaint, the agents say they’ve been told in broad terms to ignore a whole class of illegal immigrants. They said they have been instructed not to bother asking for proof, but to take an illegal immigrant’s word that he would qualify for the president’s more liberal policy . . .
Chris Crane, an ICE deportation officer, president of the National ICE Council and one of those suing to stop the policy, said morale is low among rank-and-file employees at the agency.
“They feel like they’ve become the enemy because, literally, we have this situation where individuals that have broken U.S. immigration law as well as often times criminal law at the state or local level — they’re being released, no questions asked, but our own officers are being threatened with their careers being taken away if they go out and enforce the laws on the books,” said Mr. Crane.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Texas, argues the administration policies fail to pass muster on three grounds: they infringe on Congress’s right to set immigration policy; they force ICE agents to disregard the law; and the Homeland Security Department didn’t follow the federal Administrative Procedure Act, which requires agencies to write regulations and put them out for public comment before taking big steps . . .
Mr. Crane said agents face another dilemma: If they do follow orders and release someone who later goes on to commit a crime, they may open themselves up to a civil lawsuit.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, has written to ICE asking for an explanation of the Doebler case, and he said he’s still waiting.
“The men and women who swore an oath to uphold the law and protect the public safety are now forced to ignore the law if they are to remain secure in their jobs,” he said.
Roy Beck, founder of NumbersUSA is an advocate for immigration control. His website regularly publishes the latest information in the battle for coherent immigration policies. Today on NumbersUSA, Beck posted an article entitled, “ICE Agents File Lawsuit Against DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.” The initial press release, and the text of the suit filed in federal court are both linked on the site. Both are worth reading.
With the proclivity of Obama’s administration, at his direction, to subvert the separation of powers and circumvent the rule of law, it is no surprise that some, accustomed to a more ethical implementation of their sworn duties will take exception to ill-conceived policies.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Joel and the Day of the Lord


The prophetic Book of Joel in the Christian Old Testament and among the Nebiim (prophets) of the Jewish Bible describes a time—likely, some scholars think, in the 7th century B.C. (Before Christ)(or B.C.E–Before the Christian Era or Before the Common Era) that resembles our own time in 2012 in America as well as globally.
Joel chapter One reads:
Joel 1:1-20
1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel. 2 Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? 3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. 4 What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten. 5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips. 6 A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness. 7 It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees. It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white. 8 Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth grieving for the husband of her youth. 9 Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the LORD. 10 The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. 11 Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed. 12 The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree-- all the trees of the field--are dried up. Surely the joy of mankind is withered away. 13 Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. 15 Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 16 Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes-- joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up. 18 How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering. 19 To you, O LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. 20 Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures. NIV
“Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?” Good question, Joel! In a June 2012 MoneyNews article entitled, “Trump Says The Way President Obama Is Running The Country Is "Stupid", Donald Trump said:
The United States is no longer a rich country. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others. We’re up to $16 trillion in debt.”
It’s clear that Trump holds President Barack Obama responsible for the ballooning debt. Trump stated that the way Obama is running the country is “stupid.”
He goes on to point out that the downgrade of U.S. debt is inevitable. 
“We are going up to $16 trillion [in debt] very soon, and it’s going to be a lot higher than that before he gets finished. When you have [debt] in the $21-$22 trillion, you are talking about a downgrade no matter how you cut it.”
Ballooning debt and a credit downgrade aren’t Trump’s only worries for this country. He says that the official unemployment rate of 8.2 percent “isn’t a real number” and that the real figure is closer to 15 percent to 16 percent. He even mentioned that some believe the unemployment rate to be as high as 21 percent.
“Right now, frankly, the country isn’t doing well,” Trump added, “Recession may be a nice word.”
Things don’t look well for America or the world at large. That same MoneyNews article cited another economist, Robert Wiedemer, who accurately predicted in his book, Aftershock, the economic collapse that almost sank the United States.
Wiedemer says, “The data is clear, 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market drop, and 100% annual inflation . . . starting in 2012.”
The prophet Joel goes on to say in v.4, “What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.”
It should be clear to any thinking person that we in America cannot continue the policies that have brought us to the place we now live. Government must be reined in and spending curtailed until we again achieve a balance budget. Currently the United States debt load is at 100% of GDP and therefore unsustainable.
The currently widespread drought is reflected in Joel 1:10-12:
The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. 11 Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed. 12 The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree-- all the trees of the field--are dried up.
Christian writer Joel Rosenberg in his new book, Implosion, calls upon all believers to repent of their profligate ways and turn to God in earnest prayer, after the pattern suggested in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Rosenberg believes the only hope for America’s survival may lie in a Third Great Awakening, akin to the First and Second Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries. People were awakened to their extreme need for a personal relationship with God. Those awakenings are reflected in the formation of a new nation and correction of the proliferation of sinful acts and practices which sapped the energy of the young nation.
In the absence of such a spiritual awakening, Christian believers still have the hope of eternal salvation—promised to those who believe—and the joy of serving Jesus Christ, but also the responsibility to share the good news that Jesus died for all so that others may receive salvation and be disciple in the faith.
America as a nation is unnamed in scripture, even by metaphor. As we continue on in time toward the culmination of what the Bible calls the end times or last days, all must recognize that things are not forecast to get better. Instead, our nation may very well become a casualty of the end times: whether through natural or man-caused catastrophes—economic or otherwise.
Jesus told us with his words recorded in Matthew’s gospel: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36 NIV)
To be fully ready, we must all assess our spiritual condition, get right with God if we sense we are not, and look for the signs Jesus cited in Matthew chapters 24 & 25.
Watch!