The Middle East is Worth Watching Right Now

I want to apologize for not getting a blog out last week.  For some strange, inexplicable reason, my blog became "frozen in time."  I could bring up the old postings, but could create no new postings.  Even one of our techies here at church could not figure it out.  So, we will begin with a new blog site.  Hopefully this will get to all my readers.  Those who read the postings on Facebook should not have any difficulty.  Others can link directly from our church's web page.  That is

Wow!  There is so much happening in the world right now one wonders where to begin.  So, let's begin where history will come to a climax - in the Middle East.  Last week President Trump signed a proclamation whereby the United States formally recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory that was captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War.  It was also recaptured during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Since that time Israeli communities have been settled on the Golan and several Israeli army corps have been based on the Golan Heights.  When a person visits the Golan Heights, he immediately begins to understand the strategic importance of this territory to the security of the region of Galilee and to Israel itself.  This recognition, coupled with President Trump's moving the United States' Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, affirms the dynamic relationship between our two nations.  In the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "In the long sweep of Jewish history, there have been a handful of proclamations by non-Jewish leaders on behalf of our people in our land.  Cyrus the Great, the great Persian king; [Britain's] Lord [Arthur] Balfour, President Harry S. Truman, and President Donald J. Trump.  You, Mr. President, have done it not once, but twice, with your bold proclamation on Jerusalem and your bold proclamation today on the Golan." (from article written by Fred Lucas and posted at The Daily Signal website). 

Tensions are running high along the Israeli-Gaza border.  The one-year anniversary of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip was marked with riots along the border fencing and rockets launched from within Gaza toward Israeli communities.  One home was hit by a rocket and several family members were injured.  Israel retaliated with a series of strategic and surgical airstrikes at Hamas targets within Gaza.  Meanwhile Egyptian negotiators have been attempting to broker a lasting cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, but with only little success.  One wonders, as we approach the hot days of summer, that a full blown war between Hamas and Israel will occur?  Will this time Hezbollah join in with an attack upon Israel from the north?  The leaders of Hamas have certainly indicated that they are prepared for a war with Israel. 

I believe both Hamas and Hezbollah are waiting to see how the Israeli elections turn out this coming Tuesday, April 9.  According to the most recent polls I have seen, Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party has a very narrow lead.  Will he be returned to the Prime Minister's Office, or will the Israeli electorate desire a change within that office?  That is the question that will be answered next week.  Much is riding on the outcome of that election.  So, stay tuned. 

Back home it has been very interesting to watch those who have thrown their hats into the arena for the Democratic nomination.  The majority of them have a strong leaning toward the progressive and leftist spectrum of the party.  The one who was seen as the proverbial frontrunner, Joe Biden, has suddenly been enveloped in a firestorm surrounding his actions toward women in the past.  It will be interesting to see how the Democratic leaders react and respond to this firestorm. 

I want to recommend a movie to you.  Marlys and I went to see "Unplanned" last weekend.  It is the powerful story of a young woman Abby Johnson who became the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic director.  In that capacity she oversaw 22,000 abortions in the eight years she was with that clinic.  Yet, in a powerful scene, God opened her eyes to see what was really happening during an abortion and she resigned and left Planned Parenthood.  She now leads an effort to get those who work within the clinics to leave.  This is a powerful movie, yet one that I found to be very difficult to sit through.  I became angry at those Planned Parenthood leaders who openly lied and deceived innocent young lives.  And I recognized as heroes those who stand at those clinic gates and pray for those who enter.  Praise God for those who are rescued.  I believe every teen - both boys and girls - need to see this movie.  And they need to see it with a family member so that a discussion can be held following the movie. 

Friends, these are exciting days.  I am reminded of those words Jesus included in His model prayer for His disciples: "Your kingdom come."  How this should be our prayer!  How we need to labor with diligence until the trumpet sounds for His coming. 


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