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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 …

More Signs Pointing to the Coming of the King

In the light of the political arguments taking place both on the campaign trails, especially among the Democrats, and in Washington, I found the following article, written by Louis DeBroux, very interesting.  It was posted on January 15 to the Patriot Post website: www.patriotpost.us/articles/67915-americans-more-conservative-as-democrats-turn-hard-left-2020-01-15.   Mr. DeBroux writes: "The latest edition of Gallup's annual survey of ideological and political leanings of the American people provides some interesting insights as we approach the 2020 elections.  According to the poll's summary, 'As Americans continued to lean more Democratic than Republican in their party preferences in 2019, the ideological balance of the country remained center-right, with 37% of Americans, on average, identifying as conservative during the past year, 35% as moderate and 24% as liberal.'  This represents a 2% increase since 2018 of self-described conservatives and a 2% decrease i…

Of Impeachment, Weather, and the Church

Today the House of Representatives will be voting on sending the two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.  According to the Constitution, it is now the function of the Senate to conduct a trial  of the President based upon those Articles of Impeachment.  The Senators will hear the Managers from the House present the Articles and give a defense for the Articles based upon the testimony received during the impeachment hearings this past December.  The Senators will then have the opportunity of asking questions of those House Managers seeking to decide whether there is sufficient grounds to deliberate the Articles further.  At the end of the period of questioning, the Senate will then decide to: a) make a decision on the guilt or innocence of the President based upon what they have heard from the House Managers, or b) to call their own witnesses in order to hear further testimony.  Their decision will be based upon their perception of the strengths or weaknesses…

Tensions in the Middle East: What Do They Tell Us?

Wow! What an event-filled first week of 2020!  Earthquakes.  Floods.  Assassinations.  Riots in the streets.  Continued political intrigue.  The clock is ticking toward the coming of the Savior!  Now, that is great news!


Tensions were stretched razor-thin in the Middle East as Iran and the United States conducted their own version of a "stare-down."  Our embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, was attacked by a rioting crowd of Iranian-backed Iraqi militants.  They were able to breach the outer wall, but could not penetrate the interior of the embassy.  After two days, the assault was over.  Then came the rocket attack that killed General Soleimani and several others just outside the Baghdad airport.  Immediately Iranian leaders threatened the destruction of American assets in the Middle East.  Last night, following the three days of mourning for the General, Iran did launch about a dozen missiles toward joint Iraqi-American airbases but caused little damage and no casualties.  As of this…

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

This is the final day of 2019.  Tomorrow we initiate a new calendar filled with new opportunities and challenges.  I always find it helpful as one year closes and another begins to take some time just to review what happened and to anticipate what might lie ahead.  I thought I would invite you to sit in with me as I processed 2019 and looked forward to 2020.


This past year was filled with increased international tensions.  Hong Kong became a focal point for those seeking a more democratic voice.  Tensions grew as the demonstrators became more bold with their demands, while the Beijing government made threats, yet often backed away.  The matter of the future of Hong Kong is still unresolved as we enter into 2020.  Question for 2020: Will the Chinese government yield to the demands of the demonstrators or will they come down with an iron fist?  And, if they yield, will this cause others within China itself to demand similar concessions? 


Another flashpoint was the Middle East.  To be b…

An Advent Mystery

Oh there is so much about which I could write this afternoon.  The vote will soon occur within the United States House of Representatives on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump.  It would appear, barring some unforeseen turn of events, that he will become the third President to be impeached, the other two being Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.  We could also talk about the recent elections in Great Britain that really turned the tables on British Parliament and the entire Brexit position.  We could also write about the continuing unrest in Hong Kong and how the democratic movement there simply will not die.  And, of course, here in Minnesota the topic for discussion is whether the Vikings, with two games remaining, will be able to make the playoffs. 


But, this is the week before Christmas and I want to focus this afternoon on the second greatest miracle recorded in human history, that of the Incarnation.  [Note: in my humble opinion, the greatest miracle is that o…