Weekly Update by Mark Armstrong–18 April 2014

Greetings from Tyler,

Is it possible? Have we actually gone a whole week without another Federal Judge declaring that one state or another must “recognize” the legal status of queer matrimony? The issue is awaiting appellate decisions in a number of cases, and Texas is one of them! The Supreme Court seems in no hurry to undertake a decision that would settle the issue nationwide, and with all the rhetoric about being on the right or wrong side of history, you can see why. There will be ferociously angry reactions from liberal Hollywood, most news organizations and likely the Department of Justice if it should ever be ruled a state’s right to decide. Even the citizens of California voted against it in a statewide referendum, but were of course overruled by a Federal Judge. But the way the next generation is being brainwashed in school, by mainstream media and entertainment, it won’t be long before it gains widespread acceptance. Besides, anyone who says “nay” is an automatic bigot and “hater” by mainstream standards.

Surely the two issues have nothing in common, but it is increasingly impossible to deny that the U.S. has lost clout and credibility in the most volatile crises facing the world. Putin is systematically running over eastern Ukraine, using domestic thugs backed up by Russian troops to occupy prominent buildings and hubs of transportation. He’s ignored one “warning” after another of “consequences,” but there have been no consequences sufficient to deter his conquest. Colonel Ralph Peters, an expert on Russia and Eastern Europe has said repeatedly, Putin has no reverse gear. He won’t stop creating justifications for encroaching back into Eastern Europe unless he hits a wall, and right now there is no wall in his way. Warnings from the Obama administration mean about as much to Putin as they did to Syria or Iran, and have done about as much good.

The U.S. relationship with Iran has gone beyond mere appeasement. Arrangements are underway to release the first $450 million installment of frozen Iranian funds based on recent assessments that say they are making good on the promises they claim never to have made. You can imagine the reaction in Israel, who’s become America’s whipping boy by this administration’s policy of befriending one of the world’s most evil regimes. We’d probably make buddies with Kim Jong-un too, if only he’d agree to meet.

Despite the fact that nearly all the world’s developed nations have come to recognize that global warming hysteria threatens to bankrupt everything, our government is still pushing hard for more regulations and more subsidies and grants for “green energy.” The litany of corporate failures, from solar panel manufacturers to battery plants to failing car manufacturers, (not to mention the fact that winter has lasted halfway through April in much of the country) has not dampened their religious devotion to the “global warming” theory in the least. There seems to be a real enthusiasm for everything that nails self-sufficient Americans with additional regulations and taxes, no matter how spectacular the failure. Witness national health-care.

We seem to have weathered the first “blood moon” without any globe-altering consequence. The claim is that the sequence of eclipses has in the past coincided with major events, such as the establishment of Israel, or the Six Day War. It would seem that the “fundamental transformation” of the United States, complete with the deterioration of global influence might well rate as an event of global consequence. And that began some time before the publication of “blood moon” books became a popular topic. Not to discount the reality that events of huge importance in Europe, in the Middle East and the far east are taking shape. Some of them we saw coming, and blew the trumpet well in advance. Others, like Putin working to reestablish the Soviet Union by force, we didn’t.

But we know that Europe, the Middle East and the papacy are all positioned to make Bible prophecy a reality, blood moons or otherwise. As Mr. Jim Josephsen pointed out in his article in the last TCW, they’re hardly the “heavenly signs” at the end of the age.

We’ve already greeted some early arrivals for this weekend, which will conclude Monday with the last Day of Unleavened bread. It’s been interesting figuring out an unleavened cookout at this time. But the girls have been making unleavened tortillas like they’re going out of style, and stocking cabinets, counter tops and refrigerators with everything our guests will need. Dr. James Ricks will be our featured speaker tomorrow, and we’ll also be conducting our annual board meetings before and after the regular service. We’ll get the DVD recording of tomorrow’s service on its way to you ASAP!

Reaction to the first class mailing of the monthly letter has been reliably good, and our income steady. For some reason, we’ve had quite a spike in interest from the larger third class list this month and we’re not exactly sure why. Maybe it was the offer of the title Man Made Religion on CD. Regardless, we’ll be sending out a boatload of them to an audience who has yet to join us as co-workers.

We’d also like for you to remember Mr. Grant Picker in your prayers. He’s the patriarch of a terrific family (four generations deep), and is facing a series of procedures to do with his heart. We like him a lot, and want to have him around for a long, long time. Thank you all. Have a great Sabbath and last Day!

Mark Armstrong