Greetings from Tyler,

Lost in numerous attempts to undermine the “general tranquility” our founders recommended was a primary responsibility of high office, are some very important developments. The pope, leader of the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Catholics, just concluded a visit to Turkey during which he snuggled up to bishop Bartholomew, leader of the estimated 300 million Orthodox “Christians” and agreed to a pact of unity.

He even went to the impressively large and ornate Blue Mosque, some said to pray with the mufti. (The Vatican corrected that impression, saying he merely observed a silent moment of adoration in the mosque, whatever that may signify.)

His attempts to win over President Erdogan didn’t go as well. When the pope condemned the brutality of ISIS, Erdogan retorted that the biggest problem with the Middle East was western “Islamophobia.” Like so many other politically-correct phobias, this one’s been invented out of whole cloth, as if we are not supposed to recoil when terrorists murder, rape, behead innocents, and go about their bloody mission of world domination by any means necessary. The Turkish president has been less than helpful in providing logistic support against ISIS, as his ridiculous statement would indicate. It looks like winning over the Muslims is too tall an order, even for this gregarious pope.

But his outreach to other “Christian” sects is meeting with apparent success. From the Anglicans to the Orthodox and even to Protestants, it’s beginning to look like “one-world Christianity” is a real possibility. And isn’t that exactly what Bible prophecy has lead us to expect?

Germany has just seen one of its provincial elections propel Communists back into power in a part of what used to be East Germany. They will now have a voice in the coalition government of Angela Merckel, and there is understandable discomfort with this development. Now there will be people with a voice in German government who were a part of the abusive Communist regime that spied on its imprisoned population and dealt ruthlessly with all suspected critics. This cannot bode well for the future.

It has been demonstrated here at home over recent days and weeks that there is a significant interest among way too many for stoking up racial animosities without any legitimate justification. The situation in Staten Island, New York has been illogically grafted onto the Ferguson riots. “Hands up don’t shoot,” is the slogan they’ve adopted, even though forensic evidence along with numerous eyewitnesses prove it had no basis in fact in the Ferguson case, let alone anything to do with what happened in New York.

But the video we’ve all seen repeatedly shows the New York policeman cranking down on the uncooperative man’s neck, aggressively pulling his forearm into the windpipe area which apparently at least contributed to his death on the sidewalk. Nobody supports what the policeman did. Not even the NYPD. But anyone who’s seen Cops knows that refusing a policeman’s instructions or resisting arrest will get you slammed to the ground one way or another. Why it has to be all about race is a mystery until you consider that there is a whole industry, currently backed by the highest offices in the land, that lives and breathe for opportunities to incite racial division.

Thankfully, those out in the streets in New York for the most part didn’t behave anything like the angry mob in Ferguson. They turned it into more of a street party. If this was the 1960’s, it would have been called a “happening.” Not that the grievance industry won’t continue insisting that the United States is a racist nation, with white policemen “hunting down” young black men for sport. National statistics prove that’s not the case, but the would-be rabble rousers continue to rant. We can only hope that it’s not overly optimistic to believe that the vast, vast majority see them for what they are, and refuse to be caught up in the hatred they preach.

While our news is clogged with race-hustlers and some networks that hype the situation beyond its true scope, various departments of the administration are dodging questions to do with reports that U.S. sanctions against Israel are being discussed. The current administration believes that Israel is responsible for inciting Muslims by the development of land within its sovereign territory. It has been a grievance that’s been cited by Muslims for decades, but never one that any previous U.S. administration took seriously. Along with so many other norms that reflect who we are as a nation, this too may be about to change.

No one seems able to put their finger on what our financial future may hold. The stock market is at or near all-time highs. But our national debt just punched through 18 trillion, with more and more untethered dollars infused into a confused economy. There are “bubbles”, not unlike the one in real estate that wiped out fortunes and staggered the national economy to such an extent that it still hasn’t fully recovered. Some experts are worrying about the bond market and its derivatives, wondering if and when it may crash with a bang even bigger and more destructive than 2008.

It seems things are getting more complicated by the day, and there’s almost more that we can digest. We certainly hope there hasn’t been the kind of fraud and abuse in the bond market that caused the crash of 2008. But everything else we’re dealing with in terms of world events is beyond speculation. And that tells us that we live in a time where everything is moving in the direction warned of by God’s church for decades.

Mark Armstrong