Posts

Needing Something to Read?

I don't know about you, but I am beginning to feel like "cabin fever" is about to set in.  Living in Minnesota, we try to find our way through a long winter, but when spring comes, it is time to get out and do something.  Well, this COVID-19 virus has forced the winter "stay at home" to linger longer.  So, what is a person to do?  Allow me to make some reading recommendations.  I have not done a book review in quite some time, so it is long overdue. 


With few stores open and with restaurants closed, except for the drive-thru, I strongly suggest sitting down and reading a good book.  One that I highly recommend is titled, "Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions."  The author is Greg Koukl, founder and president of an apologetics ministry known as Stand to Reason.  Like many, I have often been fearful of engaging in a conversation with an unbeliever because I felt inadequate to answer his/her questions.  Imagine my surprise when…

The Coronavirus Stimulates Family Creativity

We are living in uniquely different times.  Across the globe it seems that life is either in slow-motion or has come to a practical standstill.  Schools are closed, perhaps not to reopen until next fall.  Students will now become engaged in online learning - which should not be a problem for those students who have the drive to learn, but which could prove to be disastrous for those students who struggle with learning.  Restaurants and bars are closed - where does one go for "happy hour" these days?  Drive through lanes are still open but how many Big Macs can a person eat over the course of weeks of semi-isolation?  Libraries are closed.  Many retail stores have reduced hours or are shuttered altogether.  We are being encouraged to remain in our homes.  Churches are canceling services, many going to live-streaming in order to keep their flocks somewhat connected.  Yes, these are uniquely different times. 


What can a family do?  Let me offer some suggestions. 
Bake some coo…

Of Fears and Certainties

Panic is defined as "a sudden, unreasoning fear, often spreading quickly."  One of the chief contributing factors to a panic is the fear of the unknown.  Our globe today is being ravaged by panic - the fears of the unknown.  The coronavirus is causing nearly every nation on earth to react in such ways that people are moved with fear.  Cruise ships lie in anchor, that is if they can return to a port.  Airlines are cutting back on flights as planes are nearly empty.  Countries are closing borders or at least demanding a 14-day quarantine period for those entering therein.  (My scheduled tour to Israel in April has been canceled because of the threats of quarantine).  There are talks about either canceling March Madness or at least having the games played in empty arenas.  Conferences across the globe are being canceled, leaving hotels with vast numbers of unoccupied rooms.  Some schools are being closed as students are required to enter into that 14-day quarantine period.  And…

Of Elections in Israel and in America

This past Monday, the people in Israel conducted their third national election within the past eleven months.  For the past year Israel has had only a care-taker government as no one person has been able to form a unity coalition government.  The pending results of Monday's election appear to be better, but still not conclusive.  With final results to be announced next Monday, the unofficial results have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party winning 36 seats within the Knesset (Israel's Parliament), while his main challenger, Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party, winning 32 seats.  When you focus upon those parties that align themselves with the right-center positions of the Likud Party, then the Prime Minister controls either 59 or 60 seats within the 120-seat Knesset.  That means that he needs either one or two others to join his coalition and then he can form a government.  (Yes, I know that Israeli politics is very complicated).


What happens if the Prime Mi…

Highlights from History and Foreshadowing of Prophecy

Yes, we are back to the snow covered lawns of Buffalo, MN.  Marlys and I had a wonderful time while in Tennessee and Texas, although it rained most of the time while we were gone.  Lots of flooding in the deep south, but the trees were beginning to bud and the daffodils were blooming.  As we traveled back north we noticed several large flocks of geese moving north as well.  Guess that is a good sign that spring is just around the corner. 


One of the highlights of our time away was the visit to The Hermitage in Nashville, TN - the home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.  For some reason, I have become fascinated with his story - and it is a very interesting one at that.  Jackson was the first non-politician to be elected to the office of president.  He was a military general, best known for the victory over the British at New Orleans in 1815 - a battle that closed the War of 1812.  Jackson became a national hero, thus propelling him to the presidency.  He w…

More on the Deal of the Century and a Follow Up to the Caucuses

Last week President Trump unveiled his plan for peace in the Middle East.  He has called it, "the deal of the century."  In last week's blog posting, we looked at some of the key components of that plan. 


One of my favorite Israeli writers and editorialists is Caroline Glick.  She wrote a probing and insightful piece following the release of President Trump's plan.  You can read the article in its entirety at: www.carolineglick.com/the-oslo-blood-libel-is-over.  I highly recommend this article.  Ms. Glick begins her article by stating that she was a member of Israel's negotiating team with the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) from 1994 to 1996.  This included the negotiations known as the Oslo Accords.  She writes: "Throughout the period of my work, I never found any reason to believe the peace process I was a part of would lead to peace.  The same Palestinian leaders who joked with us in fancy meeting rooms in Cairo and Taba breached every commitm…

The Deal of the Century Unveiled

Yesterday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu present, President Trump presented his plan for peace in the Middle East.  It has been called, "the deal of the century."  It really is his vision for what a two-state solution should look like between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  On Monday, President Trump had met with Benny Gantz, the leader of the rival Blue and White Party, and shared the plan with him.  (Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Netanyahu are once again locked in an election battle on March 2).  Mr. Gantz affirmed his approval of the plan after his meeting with President Trump.


Here is what is known of the plan.  First, the United States recognizes those Israeli settlements presently on the occupied West Bank.  There are some 15 such settlements.  In return, Israel will give up a small portion of land in the Negev just south of the Gaza Strip.  Also, Israel will accept a four-year freeze on new settlement construction as this plan is negotiated with …