December 2011

Iran Threatens the United States

Tensions are rising between Iran and the United States. Iran is threatening to close the world’s most strategic choke point—the Strait of Hormuz. 20 percent of the world’s total crude oil is shipped through the Strait. Iran’s first vice-president warned that the shipment of crude oil which flows through the crucial Strait, will be halted if foreign sanctions are imposed on its oil exports. Iranian Vice President Mohammd-Reza Rahimi said that, “if Western countries sanctioned Iranian oil, then Iran would not allow one drop of oil to cross the Strait of Hormuz”.

Much of the oil exported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait and Iraq – including nearly all the liquefied natural gas from lead exporter Qatar – must advance through a 4-mile (6.4 km) wide shipping channel within the Strait.

The U.S. Navy said it would not accept any Iranian disruption of the free flow of goods through Hormuz. Iran condemned the statement by the U.S. Revolutionary Guard deputy chief Hossein Salami said that the U.S. “was in no position to tell Iran what to do”.

America is sending a message to Iran that a price is to be paid for Iran’s provocative war games on display in the Strait. The Obama administration announced a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia on Thursday, saying it has agreed to sell f-15 fighter jets to the Saudis valued at $30 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia is a longtime rival of Iran, with relations deteriorating further last fall after the US halted, what it said was an Iranian-backed plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

A recent Jerusalem Post article says Israel is preparing for an impending conflict in the Middle East. “Israel is moving forward with plans to hold the largest-ever missile defense exercise in its history this spring amid Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons,” Yaakov Katz wrote in the Post. Lieutenant General Frank Gorenc, commander of the US’s Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, there is talk of deploying several thousand American soldiers in Israel.

Bible prophecy reveals that Europe is becoming more powerful. Eventually a charismatic leader will emerge in Europe, he will take particular interest in Israel and the Middle East. Cunning and appealing, he will also be empowered by evil, an evil that can persuade world leaders and Rome (see Revelation 13; Daniel 8:23-25; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan will inspire increasing hostility aimed at Israel and the United States.

Steven LeBlanc

America's Love Affair with Meth

America’s insatiable hunger for drugs has given birth to a very addictive and destructive substance known as Meth. The U.N. World Drug Report calls meth the most abused hard drug on earth, and the world’s 28 million meth addicts equals the combined number for cocaine and heroin users. America alone has 1.5 million users, and the number is rising. California is the world’s largest meth-producing “nation”. California is by some estimates, producing more meth than the next five biggest producer states in the U.S. combined.

Methamphetamine has the ability to addict a user like no drug before. Compared to other stimulants such as cocaine, which produces feelings of euphoria for a few minutes when ingested, Meth gives a user feelings of euphoria for literally hours. When taken by mouth, snorted, injected or smoked it produces intense pleasure by releasing the brains reward chemical dopamine. This intense pleasure keeps Meth users coming back for more.

Americans are given over to addictions of one kind or another. The Prophet Isaiah condemns the nation that is given over to substance abuse, whether that substance is alcohol, or drugs like Meth, or other addictions such as gambling or video games. Isaiah 5:11 speaks to our people today: What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk. Americans love their drugs…alcohol, cocaine, meth marijuana etc. We are paying a terrible price for our addictions.

Israel Clashes with European Union

Israel clashed with the European Union for their harsh criticism of the Jewish state at the UN Security meeting this past week. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lashed out stating that the European Union was in danger of making itself irrelevant as far as the peace process is concerned.

“If European powers continue to focus exaggerated attention on Israel, a law-abiding and democratic nation, instead of real flash points like Syria and Egypt, they are bound to lose their credibility and make themselves irrelevant,” read the Foreign Ministry statement.

Israel’s temper flared based upon a statement released by the four European members of the Security Council – France, Britain, Germany and Portugal. These nations condemned Jewish building in Judea, Samaria.

The Europeans asserted that recent Israeli plans to build additional buildings in existing Jewish “settlements” in Jewish neighborhoods on the eastern side of Jerusalem “send a devastating message” and must be reversed. “All settlement activity, including in east Jerusalem, must cease immediately,” insisted France, Britain, Germany and Portugal.

The Europeans demand that both sides present proposals to the European Union, United States, UN and Russia. The Quartet would then sift those proposals and provide a roadmap for peace.

European leaders mostly side with Arab demands and adopt Arab sympathies; the Palestinians are happy with the new direction taken by the EU, and have already submitted a “peace” proposal to the European Union. Israel refuses to include the EU in the negotiation process because Europe leans heavily toward the Palestinian viewpoint.

For years Palestinians terrorists, many of them backed by the Palestinian leadership, have attacked and killed Israeli Jews. European leaders respond to Palestinian terror attacks by condemning violence in general, and calling on both sides to “show restraint.” Palestinians are seldom condemned by Europe for their aggression.

Prophecy tells us a time will come when a European power moves into Israel, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him. And the king of the north [European Beast power] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land [Israel], and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand: even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon (Daniel 11:40-43).

That time is not come, but clearly, Europe is taking a more intense interest in Middle East politics and sees itself as taking on the role of peacemaker. America is a declining power. A European power will fill the leadership vacuum left by the United States. This will not happened immediately, but in time, Europe will take a very active role in Middle East politics.

Steven LeBlanc

Living Together Bad for Women

Living together is becoming more popular than marriage. Over 60 percent of first marriages are now preceded by living together, compared to virtually none 50 years ago. Women are particularly hurt by the surge in living together relationships.

Cohabiting women are more likely to have to work outside the home, compared to married women. Married men actually help out more — up to eight hours a week — with household chores than live-in boyfriends. Cohabiting relationships are characterized by less commitment, greater infidelity, more domestic violence, more instability, and more emotional drama, compared to married relationships. All of this hurts women.

Studies have consistently shown that cohabitation makes for poorer marriages and higher rates of divorce. 70 percent of women who live with a partner and then marry that partner, will later divorce that partner. A women who lives with a man outside of marriage is 3 times more likely to suffer violence at the hands of her “partner” than a woman who is married.

Sexual relations before or outside marriage are wrong, no matter how much we care for the other person. It is wrong, first because it violates the command of God, and second because it perverts the sexual union so that it ceases to be the beautiful expression of love for ones lifetime mate. 1 Corinthians 6:16-18 – Fornication is wrong because it constitutes being “one flesh” with someone other than one’s lawful spouse. “One flesh” refers back to God’s original marriage plan, which places the sexual union in marriage (Gen. 2:24). Living together actually is an attack on Marriage.

Men and women differ greatly in their mate-selection strategies; cohabitation often has a different meaning for each sex. Women often see it as a step toward eventual marriage, while men regard it more as a sexual opportunity without the ties of long-term commitment. A woman’s willingness to live with a man outside of marriage encourages a man’s selfishness. What our grandmothers understood is often true: If a woman truly wants a man to marry her, wisdom dictates playing hard to get by saying no to living together.

Instead of a stepping-stone to a happy marriage, it is a stumbling block. And it hurts women.

Steven LeBlanc

Single Mom's Romantic Life Hurts Kids

New research reveals that romantic lives of single moms can have a devastating impact on children. We tend to think that children suffer from the absence of a father, which is true; but it is easy to overlook the fact that single moms, who expose their children to a man (a romantic interest), most likely cause emotional damage to their kids.

A new study by Arizona State University professor Carey E. Cooper and family scholar Sara S. McLanahan looked at how “partnership instability” impacted children’s mental health using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national survey that follows approximately 5,000 parents and their children from birth to age five.

It’s not just living together (cohabitation) that puts children at risk; it’s dating drama that upsets children. The study found that partnership instability is associated with lower verbal ability, more anger problems, and more social problems. Single moms who date… their children have much more attention issues. The study is the first to provide strong clear evidence that dating is actually harmful to most children.

What can we learn from the study? A mothers’ romantic life drama is very unsettling to her children. Dating fosters insecurity in a child’s life. The fitful search for soul mates by single moms does not work to help your child feel he or she is the center of your world, and deeply protected. Children do not want to compete with a boyfriend for a mother’s love and attention.

“A father to the fatherless and a defender of widows is God in his holy habitation. God takes the lonely and sets them in families.” -Psalm 68:5-6. If you are a single mom it is often best to wait until your children are grown before you enter the dating world. New boyfriends, or even husbands, are often bad for your children because they rob your kids of your time, attention and emotional energy. Look to God, God-fearing people and family for friendship and support—not a new boyfriend.

Steven LeBlanc

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