Heaven Gets Richer as Earth Gets Poorer

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 13:11-12)

Robert John Gerald Jacob, affectionately known as Bob. died to this world in his house on Monday, September 21, 2020, surrounded by his wife, children and grandkids.

2020-09-26 Bob JacobBob was born on in 1943 in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Edgewater Park.  He attended King’s College, New York University, C.W. Post College, Rockefeller University, the University of Syracuse and the University of Chicago.  His choice of college in Long Island University endeared him to me 😉 , and I remember his hearty laughter when we wet in the University of Kentucky and he heard MY name. He said something clever at the time, along the lines of, “Did they name the college after you!? Oh, I must’ve gone to your cousin’s college!”  His New York accent was also something I treasured as it reminded me so much of time I spent in New England meeting people from “The City” visiting.

After completing his PhD, he moved to Lexington in 1978 with Gretchen and their three sons. He was a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Kentucky from 1978-2015, teaching medical and dental students. He also had a strong passion for research, where he mentored an abundance of students with an interest in the field. In his time of research he obtained many historic findings, awards and publications, making sure that his work meant something to the world, and more importantly, to his students.

Anita and I met Bob at First Alliance Church about the same time he and I met on campus, around the middle of 1991. I am not really sure which came first, but I definitely remember that meeting in FAC! Ron Gifford was making some astute point in his excellent manuscript sermon when a voice boomed out at the back of the auditorium, “Teach us, preacher!”

For Anita and I, used to more sedate church meetings, this made us look at each other with wide eyes! Someone yelling at the pastor!? Okay, supportive yelling, but loud enough it reverberated across the room! Eventually we heard Bob’s favorite classic, “Give me Jesus!” in response to something the pastor had said.

After service we met in the tiny foyer and smiled sheepishly at this robust University professor who was unashamed of identifying himself as a follower of Jesus. Our friendship went deepest when he supported Anita during turmoil over her tenure. He proved to be a wise advisor, a valued confidant on the Faculty Senate, and a reliable friend.

Most of all, he unabashedly embraced Jesus Christ and His lordship in his life, unafraid of what others thought of him. As much as anyone I have known, Bob exemplified Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 10: “Have no fear of [men, religious leaders, governors, kings], for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” A man without fear.

And so he went to Heaven last Monday, and I cried when I received the news. Not because I felt sorrow for him, but moved with compassion for Gretchen, his children and grandkids and all of us who will miss his laughter, bright smile, wise and scrutinizing eyes. He will be greatly missed until we join him around the Throne of the Lamb.

And so it goes. With each passing of a saint the world gets poorer unless we can find another who will shine Jesus’ light into the darkness; show Jesus’ love to the unlovable; give our lives to honoring the King of all Kings, just as Bob did.

So earth became poorer with Bob’s passing. A light of the world has gone out on this side, but shines even brighter in his real Home. Heaven certainly is richer with Bob’s booming voice calling out to the angels, “Just give me Jesus!”

Intermezzo Guest Blog: Ripe For Fraud – Mail-in Ballots

2020-09-24 Jarrett StepmanCommentary By
Jarrett Stepman

States across the country are experimenting with a mass switch to mail-in elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But is it wise for states to make such a big change, especially in light of messy voter rolls around the country?

What I was sent earlier this month by election officials in Alameda County, California, makes me worried that ballots going to the wrong locations will be a significant concern this year.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters notified me by mail at my parents’ address in Oakland that I would receive a ballot when the state sends them out Oct. 5. This is following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order that all California voters receive a mail-in ballot before the Nov. 3 election.

The problem is, I should not be considered a California voter.  Since I left California in 2011, I have registered to vote in two other places. I’ve officially changed my address. And my parents notified election workers at their local voting location after I left the state, but to no avail.

The only reason I was even aware of the situation is that my parents still live at the same address. 

I posted this information on Twitter, noting that it’s particularly concerning given that there will be a massive uptick in mail-in voting this year.

Although the official mail my parents received isn’t the actual ballot, it informed me that I would receive one along with every other California voter. Unless something changes, a ballot will be sent to me in a town where I haven’t lived or voted for a decade.

I’m hardly alone in my experience. That’s a problem.

What if I or my parents had been dishonest, and I voted twice? What if somebody else living at that address tried to submit my vote?

It’s not hard to see how this system could be abused by those who care to do so.

Again, this is an even bigger problem right now. Much of the country is experimenting with mass voting by mail even while many states have done a poor job of cleaning up their voter rolls and taking extra precautions to ensure election integrity.

A municipal election in May in Paterson, the third-largest city in New Jersey, demonstrated how a mail-in ballot system potentially can be abused. Ballot irregularities and alleged fraud led to a significant number of cast ballots being invalidated and a judge’s ordering a new election.

Among the problems were mismatched signatures on ballots and hundreds of ballots that were bundled improperly. Several people were charged with voter fraud.

That election in New Jersey simply may be an ugly outlier, but it’s also a good reason to be concerned about an election system being transformed on a widespread scale, as we are seeing for the 2020 presidential election.

State officials should treat election integrity as the serious issue that it is.

The bottom line is that voter rolls around the country are bloated and filled with inaccuracies. Countless voters are registered in multiple states, many of which have resisted cleaning up their rolls.

The 2020 election also presents unique problems. Most states are moving toward a mail-in system as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This makes irregularities in voter rolls more problematic, given that many states simply are sending out ballots to everyone who is currently registered. Others require a request, more like the typical process of acquiring an absentee ballot.

My Heritage Foundation colleague Hans von Spakovsky has written extensively about election integrity issues and warned about the implications of mass mail-in voting.

“Going entirely to by-mail elections would unwisely endanger the security and integrity of the election process, particularly if officials automatically mail absentee ballots to all registered voters without a signed, authenticated request from each voter,” von Spakovsky wrote in April.

Von Spakovsky noted in the article that having “thousands of ballots” arrive in places where voters no longer reside “risks those ballots being stolen and voted.”

As far as my own ongoing problem with California sending me ballots, von Spakovsky says:

Voter registration forms usually have a place on the bottom of the form where you can write in where you were previously registered. But states are notoriously lax about forwarding that information to the former jurisdictions or doing anything about information when they get it from other states. Their voter rolls, particularly California’s, are also in notoriously bad condition because they don’t take off people who have moved or died.

Mark Hemingway, who has written extensively about related issues, wrote in 2019 that a sharp divide now exists between those who prioritize “ballot access” and those who focus on “ballot security.” 

These sometimes competing concerns are prevalent in the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, often called the “Motor Voter Act.” Officials streamlined the process for voter registration, but opened the possibility of more inaccurate rolls, especially given how many people move from state to state.

“People are far more likely to register to vote in their new homes than to alert their old communities that they have moved,” Hemingway wrote.

It’s up to the states to do regular maintenance on their voter rolls, and they are supposed to follow up with a notice to voters who have been inactive for a long time.

However, Hemingway wrote that since passage of the National Voter Registration Act, “many states have simply ignored the maintenance requirements while others have sought legal workarounds.”

For those who say they’re concerned with protecting “democracy,” ballot security should be a priority. Messy voter rolls open up the possibility of fraud as well as innocent errors that could gravely threaten our electoral process.

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.”

Ruth Ginsburg is Dead But Words Still Live

Ruth Ginsburg, the Supreme Court Justice, died last night. This will be a testing ground for the election to come in November as Trump and Mitch McConnell move to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible. Mr. Trump had already released a list of potential replacements, his intent focusing on the next four years in an assumption that he would be reelected.

Before Obama left office, Democrats screamed for immediate confirmation of Merrick Garland, but McConnell deferred because it was an election year. As Senate majority leader, he was able to prevent the nomination from ever being considered for confirmation. After the 2016 election, Trump then nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia whose 2016 death was, itself, a surprise and inspired some conspiracy theories.

Now, in another election year, Mitch McConnell is labeled by the left, and Chuck Schumer in particular, as a hypocrite because he intends to see the nomination of Trump’s pick through, even though closer to the election than Garland’s nomination was.

The only thing you can say about politicians is they will be politicians. McConnell was fully within the scope of his authority as the elected Senator from Kentucky, and duly elected Senate Majority Leader, when he prevented Garland’s nomination from proceeding. He is still within his scope of authority to process the next nomination, even though this is mostly inconsistent with his public reasoning for denying the process to Garland.

However, Merrick Garland was nominated after a mid-term election which repudiated Barack Obama’s and the left’s overreach. Through a Senate majority of the opposing party the electorate said they did not want more leftist policies enforced by an activist judiciary. Now, four years later, you have that same electorate still with their Senate majority depending on the Senators to act like they were elected.

Schumer, on the other hand, is hardly without his hypocrisies. He actually voiced in a public forum that Justices Gorshuch and Kavanaugh “would pay the price” after the next election! Words that from a conservative about a liberal justice would have been prosecuted as threatening the judiciary. But he excused himself by saying, “That’s just the way we New Yorkers talk.” Yeah, right.

How will this be a testing ground? Look for the “left” to rally, riot and cause mayhem for any judge foolish enough to allow his or her name to be offered by Trump unless said judge pays homage to the twin idols of the left, the goddess of Abortion and the god of Gender Dysphoria.

As you can see from that bastion of accurate news reporting (???), CNN, when Maxine Waters (D-California) in 2018 called for accosting politicians with which voters disagree, even some of her own party got kind of spooked as they considered the possible repercussions if some on the right took that tack.

If this it the attitude and composure (or lack thereof) by the political left over Trump’s administration back in 2018, what will be the outflow when he tries to appoint another Supreme Court Justice? If you watched the travesty of Justice Bork’s Senate hearings , where “borking” became a verb, that was just a foretaste of what is to come when Trump submits his nominee for the Court.

What the left cannot accomplish at the ballot box, they have depended on an acquiescent court to force through with rulings redefining marriage, justifying social engineering and transforming our society into a hodge-podge of anti-Christian values. Now that “originalists” are about to get a majority on the Supreme Court, they fear their last resort of forcing social change to allow unrestricted abortion and foster an anti-traditional family perspective is going to slip away, possibly for a generation.

What is most interesting is that even in the age of Antifa, BLM and socialism’s rise in the US, the conservative foundations of our country still refuse to metamorphose into the riotous posture of those who oppose them. The Judeo-Christian roots that seem to be slipping away in the younger generations still reach down far enough to constrain those who are angry at the injustices of those who cry, “No Justice, No Peace.”

Those roots are deep into the theme Jesus taught, “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” Beyond just the kindness to a neighbor, our ethics call us to love even our enemies. And that is a tough one! LOVE the protester who threw bricks through my storefront? Love the pyro who set fire to my car? Love the Marxist who feels like everyone else should give him in “reparations” whatever loot he may be able to steal?

If someone has “greedily” worked hard and diligently saved and prospered, how it is less greedy to demand that he be forced to give his legitimate earnings away to someone who just wants it and has done nothing to earn it? But, still, we are called to love even such upside down reasoners “who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” We must leave them for Father to judge, not us.

It is always sad when someone of dubious spiritual standing dies. Whether Ruth Ginsburg knew Jesus clearly enough to trust Him for salvation is left to speculation until each of us follows her through that Door of No Return. However, her legacy is stained by her political statements before President Trump’s election. Granted that she apologized for the statements which she regretted as “incautious” . . . but the internet is a harsh new master who will not forget, nor let anyone else do so.

Be Ready for . . .

The one question extremely few would have answered correctly in June, 2015:  Where do you see yourself in five years?  A typical question asked by head-hunters or human resources’ interviewers, most would not have anticipated working from home, taking turns watching children who could not attend school, looking for work since so many jobs folded up for the duration of the pandemic, and changing routes to avoid rioting crowds in some cities.

Nine months into 2020, most of us would agree that this year has not gone according to our expectations.  From a virus by multiple names from Wuhan to Covid-19, churches that cannot meet or even sing, riots and graffiti disparaging police, a run-up to an election that no one expects to solve anything — to wildfires and locust swarms, hurricanes and extreme deadly heat, the majority of the year has felt like a slow-motion lunge off a ladder face-first onto concrete..

Loneliness settled into some of the most disparaging situations as nursing home residents met the Spectre without even a loved one with whom to hold hands as Death ushered them into an even bigger unknown.  Civil unrest erupted into violent lawlessness as BLM appropriated the protests over George Floyd’s death to foment destruction and mayhem, calling for the reorganizing of police the way Hitler did before consolidating his power in the Third Reich.

Some are speculating on whether the pandemic is judgement foretold in Revelation, one of the Four Horseman, perhaps.  It has been said that while history does not actually repeat itself, it does rhyme.  Such is the case with the current crises through which we are living.  A careful reading of the end-time events described in John’s Apocalypse (aka Revelation) will suggest that “these are just the beginnings of birth pains.”  There are more to come. 

The Gold MineDr. James Christie describes some of the events of the end of time with a wisdom born of one thoroughly steeped in Scripture and balanced in his understanding of how to disclose a complex piece of literature.   I have referenced his work, The Gold Mine, before (), and now it just seems to become more relevant as the months crawl by.  I encourage you to download it and read it as soon as possible!

So if we are facing a wrap up of this age, how much worse will things get before they finally get better?  Well, things have been much worse at other times in history:

  • the Crusades lasted almost 400 years from 1060 to 1430 killing hundreds of thousands in the name of God (on both sides of the Christian/Islamic divide).
  • the Bubonic plague of the middle 1300s killed 40% of Egypt, 30% of the Middle East, and about half of the 100,000 people in Paris. The worst hit area was Mediterranean Europe, including Italy, Spain, and southern France.  There, about 75% to 80% of the total populations died. 
  • sometimes called the War to End All Wars, or The Great War, WW1 resulted in 15,000,000 civilian and military deaths and precipitated the Spanish Flu which took another 40,000,000 lives around the world.
  • Hitler’s regime murdered 6,000,000 Jews and hundreds of thousands of others in the POW camps, while 60,000,000 soldiers and civilians died on both sides of the avoidable conflict we know as WWII.
  • Stalin forced starvation on an estimated 4,000,000 to 10,000,000 Ukrainians when food was scarce in the Soviet Union, but his campaign of Holodomor was entirely a political construct.
  • the Chinese famine of ’58-’62 killed an estimated 45,000,000 people.
  • in ’75-’79 the Kmer Rouge murdered between 2,500,000 and 3,000,000, sometimes simply because they wore glasses and were therefore suspected of being intellectuals who would oppose Pol Pot’s programs.

And this minuscule list only touches on the “big” man-made events of a few centuries and overlooks the natural disasters and calamities that have fallen on mankind for millennia;  think Yellow River flood, Hurricane Katrina, Indonesian tsunami, California wildfires! 

And even these do not account for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by Khans, emperors and despots, nor for harm caused by weapons of mass destruction and murder by chemical warfare.  Nor does this list take into measure the economic and personal devastation of events such as the Crash of ’29 or the ethnic “cleansing” by almost every group who enjoyed a short season as the “preferred demographic.”

2020-09-12 The Four HorsemenYet the end times are described by Jesus as being something of a magnitude more!  “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.”  (Matthew 24:21-22)

For the follower of Jesus, that is those who are His disciples, and not just “bench warmers” who attend church or have a statue at home, this would be a good time to refocus on how Father can take our struggles and turn them into triumph for His glory.  This triumph may seem drowned out by the loud roar of life’s chaos but God’s sovereignty is never at stake, even if it feels like our plans are falling apart.  In fact, it is often in the middle of the worst darkness that His goodness and grace can shine the brightest through us.

There are dark days ahead for the world, but the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2 Peter 2:9)  So these are days that call for faith that Father knows what He is accomplishing as the timeclock for this age winds down.  It is the opportunity to let our lights shine!

A friend told of some monks who were captured in WWII and put into a concentration camp.  Their reaction was that of Christ’s followers: they simply proceeded to serve the new community they were among.  And so it may be for some of us.  We must be prepared to lose our lives for Jesus’ and righteousness’ sake, or we are clinging too tightly to something we will lose anyway!  As Jim Elliott penned before giving his life to reach the Waorani Indians in Ecuador, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  

We may not be called to reach hostile Indian tribes or remote island people like John Chau, but we may be called to reach out to our neighbors in love.   Who is to say that the mission field might become dangerous in our cities and in our suburbs as people make politicians and “causes” their gods?  The end is near, as I have noted in previous blogs, whether that is merely my end or the end of the age.  It is certainly closer than when Jesus, Paul, Peter and John predicted it.

So Jesus’ main message was not get ready, not watch for world events, not identify the anti-Christ, not even attend church.  His main message was: The Kingdom of God Is Near.  BE ready!  Now, where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Intermezzo: 9/11/01 Forever Changed …

2020-09-11 Remember
9/11/01 was a beautiful fall day across most of the country, especially up in the northeast around NY and New England.  But where ever you lived in the US, the day changed you.  It changed our nation.  It changed me.

The ACLJ, the American Center for Law and Justice produced a thoughtful and solemn one hour commemoration of the events of that day, with interviews with a handful of some of the people most directly affected.  It tells several stories from first responders and families who lost loved ones.

Tastefully presented, it does not glorify the gore or the terrorists who are to be pitied for their attempt to please a god who wanted them to kill and destroy.  Those of us schooled in the Bible know well enough who that ‘thief/god’ is.  Remember those who lost their lives that day, who are listed at the end of the production.

Intermezzo: A Life That Is Valued

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”  Ecclesiastes 11:5

A Heart Starts Beating By Five Weeks

Can you imagine the headlines if scientists discovered one single living cell on another planet.  LIFE EXISTS OUT THERE!  So how is a “mass of cells” bearing the DNA of a mother and father not life just because “it” is dependent on the mother to stay alive?

One of the condemnations of Israel was the bloodshed of the innocent.  The result was Father allowed them to be overrun by the Babylonian kingdom.  A quick examination of the Old Testament prophets will reveal that the nation’s arrogance and lust for profit, the immorality that was justified by the leaders and the murder of children and innocent victims that was excused and even condoned as part of their worship brought God’s judgment.

In our generation we (at least some of us) abhor the killing of children (more about this in a minute), but if the child is still in the mother’s womb some do not even consider “it” a human yet.   In January, 2019 the NY State Senate passed a law allowing abortion “up to the moment of birth!”  The cheers are reminiscent of the loud drums that would drown out a dying infant’s cries in the worship of Molech.

In the 1960’s we began “dehumanizing” unborn babies, first by calling them “fetuses.”  Pro-abortionists claim that even at 36 weeks (!!!) the baby is just a mass of cells, part of the woman’s body that she can dispose of like she would a offensive mole.  Compare a real medical picture with a papaya!

When people are presented with the facts, they often change their minds and reject the killing of preborn children.
Live Action has produced tasteful animated videos with two main goals in mind:
1. Expose the brutal reality of what happens during an abortion, and,
2. Show the beautiful humanity of the preborn child.

The videos are compassionate and well done, not graphic or gory, but still represent the terrible things abortion does to a baby.  These Abortion Procedures – medically accurate animations depicting the reality of abortion – have prompted thousands of people to reject abortion, including pregnant women, who then chose life for their preborn son or daughter!

Here is the link to their website dedicated entirely to this video series: https://www.abortionprocedures.com/

And now there is even discussion going on about “post-birth” abortion in The BMJ’s Journal of Medical Ethics!  How can anyone not recognize this as infanticide, the premeditated murder of babies!?  Laws have been attempted in various states to ban the murder of “abortion survivors,” babies who live through an abortion procedure only to be tossed into the garbage.  Most of these have been overturned by judges who will someday give an account to the Life-Giver who loves every one of the children who died.  Dr. Anthony Levatino who narrates the videos has received denunciations of other medical professionals because he has changed from providing abortions to preventing them.

The biggest and most insidious lie the abortion industry, particularly Planned Parenthood, espouses is that abortions are done to save a woman’s life.  Abortion is never medically necessary under any circumstances.  The separation of a baby from his or her mother may be necessary, but that is a far cry from saying that the unborn baby must be killed to save the woman’s life.  Attempts should be made to save both.

Further, the racism and eugenics of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, has finally been acknowledged by the organization, in spite of articles claiming that she championed the health and well being of “undesirables” who would diminish the quality of society.  In a July, 2020 article in that conservative bastion (???), The Washington Post no less (!!), one of Planned Parenthood’s most prominent clinics announced the removal of her name.  “The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color. Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy.”

In spite of its claim to be reforming and fighting racism, Planned Parenthood continues to house its clinics in predominantly minority  communities under the guise of providing “health care” to financially challenged groups.  According to Wellesley economist Phillip Levine, white births dipped only slightly after legalization of abortion while the nonwhite birthrate dropped by 15%.  Fifty years later, the abortion rate is still five times higher for black Americans than for whites.

Pray for our nation that we will turn away from the selfish view that owning a nice car or having a big house or enjoying a pleasant career is worth more than a baby’s life.  Pray that our leaders and representatives will set the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood on a path to elimination, that every life would be valued.

Guest Blog: New York Needs The Police

Well, stupid blocks on WordPress are not its only problem. This blog was scheduled on their calendar to go out on September 5 at 8am. No idea how WordPress screwed this up, but it is getting so frustrating, I may move my blog to another host.
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I am not getting lazy (although some think I have been that way for a long time! 😉 ).
But I am just finding some folks saying some things better than I can, and some have better grounds for saying it. Such is the case with New York’s need for police. Welcome to a guest blog by BeautyBeyondBones, a courageous young woman who lives in NYC and is a Christ-follower.

Her story can be reiterated in a number of cities that have called for defunding police, maintaining the ignorant BLM line that they are the poor victims, all the while setting fires in their own cities and destroying what they are incapable of making. Such sad schmucks deserve our pity, not hatred. (See 2 Timothy 3:13 and Deuteronomy 11:16)
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New York Needs The Police

by beautybeyondbones, September 3, 2020
NYC is not safe anymore.
And it’s because the city desperately needs police presence.

I don’t have to tell you about society’s current tidal wave of hatred and detest towards our men and women in blue. Battle cries to “defund the police;” publicly canceling anyone who even considers that “blue lives matter.” There is a [sw]elling uprising against law and order, and while – sure, it may seem “woke” and a noble bandwagon to jump on, the fact of the matter is, there are serious consequences to alienating those who are there to protect and defend. And that is being seen in full scale in Manhattan, no matter how much the mainstream media may try to downplay it.

(And Mom and dad, I apologize ahead of time for the worry this post may ignite. Please know that I am being safe, taking precautions, and frankly . . . not doing anything stupid to get into a dangerous situation.)

My friends and I got back from Maine on Monday night at midnight. And the city was lights out. Dead. For a city that used to literally never sleep — where you could go out at any time, on any day, and see swaths of people milling around — it is alarming that Manhattan is so quiet. And why? Because half of New York has left, and those that have stayed behind are scared to go out past 10.

Outdoor restaurants close at 10 pm. Historically 24-hour CVS’s, bodegas, and diners — now all close at 10. Parks – which have never been gated up . . . now, locked with a chain and padlock at 10.

Why? Because it is no longer safe to be out after dark.

Perhaps you may be thinking I’m overreacting. Sure . . . just a typical overdramatic millennial who’s extra skiddish because she’s a young woman who lives alone. Please. I have never once felt scared in NYC. Ever. Until now.

It was such a shock to go from “Mayberry,” Maine back to Gotham. The night my friends and I got home, I got a text from one of my friends — that morning, there was an arrest made in her building. A homeless man had been living in her stairwell for MONTHS, and had been stealing packages. This was in a super nice building on the Upper West Side — arguably one of the nicest, most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan.

A man. Living in her stairwell.

Which is particularly alarming and crazy, because she had been getting her packages delivered to my doorman building for quite some time now, because all of her packages were going missing.

Crime is up. You may recall the incident I had just a few months ago: where a BLM radical YouTuber accosted me outside my building, and forced me to get on my knees and hail BLM while he livestreamed it. I was one of a string of young women he “vlogged” that day.

Graffiti tags are absolutely everywhere. The population of homeless people has soared, and so has their boldness. My friend was curtly confronted by a homeless man who pressured her into VENMOing HIM money, when she explained she didn’t have any cash.

My “neighborhood watch” Citizen App on my phone pings incessantly throughout the day and night, notifying me of crime in my current vicinity. Unsettling reminders for sure.

These are not just isolated incidents. Homicides. Robberies. Burglaries. All have skyrocketed recently. And why? Because cops are afraid to do their jobs anymore.

Why put your life on the line, when — if you act to defend yourself, it could be filmed and end up on national news where you’ll be labeled a racist, and prosecuted?

They’ve had enough. And so they’re walking off the job. In startlingly large numbers.

The NYPD has recently cited “ongoing challenges,” including an “increase in retirements” and “deep budget cuts.”

That is terrifying information. Terrifying.

In case you missed it, back in June, one billion dollars was cut from the NYC police budget. And the impact of that are now beginning to be felt.

What is going to happen to our country if law and order is not the backbone of society? Truly? What will our world become?

Now here’s the tough part. Because yes – we need to support our men and women of the badge – but it is also true that there are “bad apples” that are drawn to the allure of the police force, and the power and -sadly, weaponry- that goes along with it. But to completely throw the entire baby out with the bathwater, just because of a problematic bunch . . . it is wholeheartedly unwise.

Are the horrific and heartbreaking incidents of unjust police brutality that have happened in recent months absolutely unwarranted, unjust, and deserving prosecution? One hundred percent yes.

But those handful of terrible, terrible incidents do not color the vast majority of blue men and women who truly have dedicated their lives and their livelihoods to protecting and serving the community, and keeping people safe.

It is a job that I cannot imagine waking up and doing every day.

And it is a job that, yes, probably should have more training and vetting, and support, and accountability, than it currently does.

But we need to support law and order in this country. Without it, we are creating a scenario ripe for malice, and foul play, and all sorts of corruption. A scenario that we are beginning to see play out in Manhattan.

Yes – we need to stand up for the innocent lives lost to unjust police force. We need to demand justice for Brionna Taylor, for George Floyd, and for those heartbreaking examples of lives lost at the hands of cops.

But we need the police.

If that means supply more adequate training – so be it. If that means more checks and balances within the system – full steam ahead. If that means a stricter vetting process to become a man or woman in blue – let it be done.

But we need the police. And we need to support the police.

Lord, may the civil unrest that is plaguing this country come to a peaceful end. May our brothers and sisters see one another as just that: one family — one human race, all with dignity and inherent value. May we come to respect one another and earnestly desire to work together to come up with creative and effective solutions to make each and every person in this country feel safe, and supported. And may any tinges of racism be expunged from the hearts of those harboring such darkness, and be replaced with Your love — a love that sees the dignity and value of each and every human life – from conception to natural death. Amen.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

Intermezzo: Guest Blog by Joel Rosenberg

Joel Rosenberg wrote the runaway best-seller The Last Jihad in 2001.  It was in process when one of the most horrific attacks on US soil occurred on September 11, 2001.  In the novel, a group of Islamic terrorists use airplanes as suicide missiles to attack some sites in the US and suddenly, Mr. Rosenberg was the man to interview on CNN, CNBC, Fox News and others until he ran out of hours to talk.

He has since emigrated from the US to Israel with his family to be at what he calls The Epicenter, a 2008 book that still reads like current headlines.  He has worked tirelessly to further peace in this region of the world and met with leaders of almost every Arab nation as well as other nations with vested interest in this center of world attention. This is a man worth reading and listening to as he has the ears of evangelicals as well as interactions with major world actors who will move and shake events in the coming years before Jesus returns.   So even if you don’t follow my blog 😦 , I highly recommend you tap into Joel’s pages and keep your hopes high.  “Look, I am coming soon.  Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”  Jesus, Revelation 22:7

 

Where are the courageous moderate Muslims willing to speak out & fight back against the radicals? As an Israeli, I actually interviewed two such men. Meet Mohammed and Ali. 
by joel rosenberg

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, I’ve been asked variations of this question: If “real” Muslims are peaceful, where are they?   If there are really courageous, moderate, peace-loving Muslims out there, then why don’t we ever hear about them?  Because they media is not covering them.

Let’s face it, there are some 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. The vast, vast majority are not hijacking planes and flying them into buildings, are they?  Or blowing themselves up in malls and schools and restaurants.  Or calling for “jihad” — holy war — against Christians and Jews. Right?

Of course not.  Yet the radicals are the only ones we seem hear about on TV and in the newspapers.

Don’t get me wrong — the radicals are a serious, lethal threat. And I have no intention of minimizing the threat they pose.  Indeed, I’ve spent the last two decades of my career as an author, speaker and Mideast analyst explaining who these radicals are, why they are so dangerous, and why world leaders and lay people need to take them more seriously. 

That said, why are the moderates — the ones who want to make peace with Jews and Christians, and with Israel — not on the cover of Time and Newsweek and other magazines?  Why aren’t they profiled on 60 Minutes and other news programs?

Traveling from Morocco to Afghanistan, I’ve worked hard to find the moderate Muslims I know are out there yet have been quiet, or have been ignored by the mainstream media even when they have bravely spoken out and taken action against the radicals. 

As we launched these two new websites this week — ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS — I decided to interview two of the most interesting and important and courageous moderate Muslims that I’ve had the honor of meeting.  We don’t agree theologically. And there are political matters we disagree on, as well.  But they’re not trying to kill me. I’m not trying to kill them.  To the contrary, we’re actively trying to advance peace and religious freedom in this part of the world, even though we have profound disagreements on, for example, who Jesus is, and whether the Bible is the Word of God.

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One of these men is a Saudi cleric — Sheikh Mohammed al-Issa.  The other is an Emirati businessman (from the UAE) — Dr. Al Rashid Al Nuaimi.

They are absolutely fascinating, and I want to introduce you to them.  Here are links to the interviews I have done with them.  I highly recommend you take some time to read them.  And while you’re at it, pray for these men and their families. 

Thanks so much — and shalom and salaam from Jerusalem.