World Watch Today

California Drought...Worst in 150 years

Steven LeBlanc

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For California, 2013 was the driest year since the State started measuring rainfall in 1849. The effects of the drought are so severe, that they can even be seen from space.

“We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, told The New York Times. The drought will impact 25 million people including farmers who control over 1 million acres of prime farmland. Also keep in mind, California gets 15 percent of its electricity from hydropower; the drought has brought water levels to unprecedented low levels.

We should not be ignorant of the ways in which God works. God often withholds rains upon a people who continue to sin against Him. Is the prolonged lack of rain in California just blind coincidence or is God angry with us as a people?

Drought—followed by famine—is one of the consequences for national disobedience. Our national sins do not go unnoticed by God. God makes this clear to Solomon and the same applies today since God has not changed (Malachi 3:6).

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:12-13).

Rain in due season is a blessing from God, but lack of rain can definitely be a sign of God’s punishment.

Most prolific growing area in the world in trouble…

California’s massive Central Valley, which is a composite of two valleys: the San Joaquin to the south and Sacramento to the north, is about 450 miles long, from Bakersfield up to Redding, and is 64 miles at its widest. Earth’s most prolific valley contains the world’s largest expanse of Class 1 soil, some of the most productive soil in the world.

It is predicted that half a million acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland will lie unused during the upcoming growing season. According to Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, two-thirds of California is suffering extreme drought.

California’s Central Valley produces more than 250 crops. Grapes, raisins, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, peaches, oranges, hay, alfalfa, walnuts, pistachios, and almonds—the list is almost endless. The J.G. Boswell Company operates the largest single cotton farm in the world in Kings County California– covering over 40,000 acres. The area around Stockton, California produces most of the nations asparagus crop, and the Fresno area produces most of the country’s raisins.

With no end in sight to California’s drought, farmers in the San Joaquin Valley fear federal officials could seize water in the San Luis Reservoir intended for their crops.
The Fresno Bee reports that dropping reservoir levels across the state are leading to struggles over water set aside via the Central Valley Project, a federally-run network of reservoirs, pumping plants and canals. If the drought continues we could very possibly see ‘water wars’ in California.

California’s Decadence

California has embraced its share of sin over the past decades, and it is only getting worse. California is first state to order Gay history to be taught in school… Do you think I am exaggerating when I say California leads America in its drive toward embracing moral decay? Note at what is happening in the public schools in California. In 2012 Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 48 a new measure that mandates teaching gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual individuals as role models — to public school children in government schools. Mandates. Meaning: teachers HAVE to teach children about sodomite relationships. The bill was sponsored by Senator Mark Leno, an openly homosexual lawmaker — Democrat.

Under SB 48, “textbooks, teachers and school boards will be forced to promote homosexuality, same-sex ‘marriage,’ bisexuality, transsexuality, sex change operations, and cross dressing as positive role models.”

The gay agenda is thriving in California and law SB 48 allows a tiny minority of people to impose their sexual perverse lifestyle models on all school children, starting in Kindergarten. Those of Gomorrah are pressing their agenda in California schools using the cloak of teaching, “anti-bullying” or, “diversity.” And parents who oppose Sodomite education in the schools where their children attend, are branded as bigots and haters (homophobes).

A few years ago the State Judicial power embraced sodomite marriages. Gay rights advocates mounted a vigorous groundbreaking legal challenge to a decision by California voters in 2008 who voted in support of Proposition 8 that bans same-sex marriage. The majority of Californians were against same-sex marriage but were overruled by a Judge who ignored the majority decision of the voters. Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist wrote this at the time:

The decision by a single, openly gay federal judge to strike down the will of 7 million Californians, tradition dating back millennia (not to mention biblical commands, which the judge decided, in his capacity as a false god, to also invalidate) is judicial vigilantism equal to Roe v. Wade. […]

Most great powers unravel from within before invading armies (or in America’s case, terrorists) conquer them. A preacher might develop a good sermon on how nations fare when they mock God.

No less a theological thinker than Abraham Lincoln concluded that our Civil War might have been God’s judgment for America’s tolerance of slavery. If that were so, why should “the Almighty,” as Lincoln frequently referred to God, stay His hand in the face of our celebration of same-sex marriage?

America’s Abortion Capital

It is an old cliché, but it is true “as California goes, so goes the nation.” California aborts more children than any other state by far, earning the epithet as the nation’s Abortion Capital. There are a stupefying 512 abortion clinics/providers in the state, towering above New York State’s 225 abortion providers.

Leave it to California to expand the number of people who may perform an abortion. As states across the U.S. enact new laws restricting abortion, California lawmakers are on the verge of passing legislation that could greatly expand access to the procedure by allowing nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and certified nurse midwives to perform first-trimester abortions.

58% of women having abortions are in their 20s; 61% have one or more children; 85% are unmarried. (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/new_york.html)

California leads the world in the production of Pornography

The United States produces more than 80% of the world’s pornography and mainly created in the Los Angeles county area. More pornographic movies are filmed in the Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley area of California than anywhere else in the world. About 6,000 adult films are shot each year. The San Fernando Valley Porn industry generates 10,000 to 15,000 jobs annually and had $4 billion in annual sales.

Certainly God will punish us for our sexual promiscuity (Jeremiah 5:9).

But God guarantees if we obey Him we will be blessed with rain in due season: “If you walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely” (Leviticus 26:3-5).

Europe & America Threaten to Strangle Israel

Steven LeBlanc

The European Union (EU) is angry with the lack of progress with peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is threatening to take economic action against Israeli business if the talks fail. Clearly Europe is moving to isolate Israel economically over its Palestinian policies. President Obama also sees Israel as the stubborn party most to blame for lack of progress with regards to creating a Palestinian State.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in recent weeks that Israel will be bombarded with a Washington-led full court press campaign, “on steroids” if renewed negotiations with the PA fails to bear the fruits America demands.

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, says that the EU wants to expand its cooperation with Israel. But he asserted if Israel keeps building settlements and peace talks collapse, “what will transpire is a situation in which Israel will find itself increasingly isolated” on the economic landscape. Faaborg-Andersen said the EU considers Israeli settlements built on lands claimed by the Palestinians as illegal– an obstacle to peace.

Europe is Israel’s Biggest Trading Partner (Asia being a close 2nd)
A growing number of European businesses and pension funds have begun to drop investments or limit trade with Israeli firms involved in the West Bank settlements.
Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid warns that if Europe boycotts Israeli business the result could be crippling:

The Israeli economy will retreat, every Israeli citizen will be hit directly in his pocket, the cost of living will rise, budgets for education, health welfare and security will be cut, and many international markets will be closed to us. 33% of Israeli trade is with the European Union. If there is no political settlement and we enter a scenario where our economy drops 20% in exports to the EU, the impact on the GDP would be 11 billion shekels annually, and 9,800 employees will be laid off immediately.

The Israeli Finance Minister went on to say that…“We must recognize that if the talks fail — and the world will believe they failed because of us — there will be a price, and it’s best we know what that price is.” Lapid stressed that, “Today Israel is more exposed economically than it’s exposed from a security perspective,” he added, “The security debate makes us forget occasionally the fact that our military is not a goal, it is a tool. It’s a tool that is meant to allow us to reach an agreement that will strengthen Israel’s economy and guarantee its future as a Jewish state.”

Hurting Israeli Business
The European Union recently moved to block investments in Israeli companies that are linked to work that is taking place in the Israeli settlements (land obtained by Israel during the Six Day War of 1967). The Israeli settlements are viewed by the European Union as an illegal land grab by Israel, a direct violation of the rights of Palestinians—meaning that Israel is stealing land and building homes on that land belonging to Palestinians.

530,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967. The 2.6 million Palestinians living in the so-called occupied territories want an in dependent nation in those lands (with a capital in Jerusalem), demanding that Israel’s settlement building program is a road block to any peace agreement with Israel.

Another blow to the Israeli business community came recently when the Norwegian Minister of Finance dropped Israeli companies Danya Cebus and Africa Israel Investments from the government’s $800 billion oil fund—the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund. The decision was based upon Israel’s refusal to stop building settlements in the so-called “Palestinian territories”.

The Dutch investment firm PGGM, one of the 20 largest pension asset managers globally, has recently withdrew investment from five Israeli banks because they are involved in financing the construction of Jewish settlements in the so called “occupied territories”.

Future Palestinian State
Israel’s 1967 frontier, before it captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, is the likely scale for drawing the border of a future Palestine, included would be land swaps that would allow Israel to keep some of the settlements it has built on occupied lands. The Palestinians, in turn, would have to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

The bottom line is that Europe is more involved in the Middle East than most people realize. Europe has clout simply because the 505 million Europeans that are part of the European Union buy billions of dollars of Israeli goods and services. If the EU chooses to strangle its investment and goods purchases involving Israel there is no doubt that this will hurt the Israeli economy. Israel especially looks to America for sophisticated war equipment that includes fighter jets. America can use this as a leverage to force Israel to give land for peace in a settlement with the Palestinian leadership.

Don’t underestimate Europe as an economic power! In the future Europe will once again become a military power. Prophecy reveals that Europe will be motivated to move troops into the Middle East. This will not happen next month or next year, but it will happen in the not too distant future.

An end-time king of the North spoken of in Daniel 11 beginning in verse 40, will appear as the ruler of the end-time, European-centered superpower, the same one called the beast in Revelation 17. It will retaliate when attacked by the king of the South and roll into the Middle East and take control of Israel—this is yet in the future:

Notice what it says: “At the time of the end the king of the South(Islamic led power) shall attack him; and the king of the North (European Dictator) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.”

America's Great Sin...In its 41st year

Steven LeBlanc

The 41st Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is this week. In a 7-2 ruling on January 22, 1973, the justices declared laws prohibiting abortion violated a woman’s constitutional right to privacy. They also asserted states could regulate abortion procedures in the interest of a woman’s health.

Since that dark day in 1973, there have been an estimated: 57 million abortions in the United States. Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com informs us of the death toll. “If you run the math on those terrible figures, the numbers are absolutely chilling”:

1.382 million abortions every year
115,167 abortions every month
26,577 abortions every week
3,786 abortions every day
157 abortions every hour
2.6 abortions every minute

The Bible regards the unborn as having personality. In Galatians, Paul speaks of himself as a person while still in his mother’s womb, (compare Jeremiah 1:5 for the same accent)

The Gospel of Luke ascribes personality to the fetus within Elizabeth:

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit… As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (1:41, 44).

Also, read Exodus 23:7: “Have nothing to do with a false charge, and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.”

Will not God punish our “Christian” nation for such brutality—a people who have such a callous attitude toward the unborn child!

Throwing the towel in-America's smaller footprint in the Middle East

Steven LeBlanc

Al Qaeda’ s Resurgence in Iraq

01 14 2014

IRAQ..looks as if it is heading toward the abyss of civil war.

President Obama’s decision to pull all troops out of Iraq has created a power vacuum—into which has stepped Al-Qadea. Its operatives have taken much of Anbar province in Iraq. This is a significant win for the ‘black flag’ (Al Qaeda symbol) in its move to control and establish a piece of land that can achieve the goal of establishing a caliphate in the Middle east.

IRAN…The West is tired of Middle East wars and appears to be throwing in the towel. Capitulation to Iran at Geneva saw America, the UK and the European Union agree to allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium. US Secretary of State John Kerry made the strange suggestion that Iran might play a role in Syrian peace talks. Syria has been a proxy for Iran for years and has been used by Iran to kill many of its Sunni enemies. Such a suggestion by the Secretary of State is a show of naiveté that continues to thrive among western governments. Having Iran participate in any meetings regarding Syria would be like asking a thief to help with the local neighborhood watch.

SYRIA…The war in Syria, you have the radical Shiite bloc led by Iran, which overflies Iraq to supply Bashar al-Assad and sends (Lebanese) Hezbollah to fight for him in Syria. Russia, which has stationed ships offshore, support al-Assad with weaponry. Syria is a Russian protectorate.

The Sunni Gulf states are terrified of Iranian hegemony (territorial and soon nuclear); non-Arab Turkey is mostly Sunni and also fears Iran. Fragile Jordan is not in favor of an Iranian dominated Middle East.

President Obama backed off on his “red line” in Syria, sending a message to all that America wants a diminished role in the Middle East. America’s agreement with Iran sends a message of appeasement to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. They see American weakness and the impending power vacuum that is giving energy to insurgents like Al-Qaeda.

The United States has long been the world’s policeman. We are now seeing what happens when the policeman can’t be depended on, or when that policeman loses its nerve. Why are we a ‘sunset’ power? Because “righteousness exalts a nation. But sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Righteousness clearly involves keeping God’s commandments (Psalm 119:172); sin is the transgression of His law (1 John 3:4). We no longer honor God—He will give us over to poor decision making on international affairs. Our ability to maintain clear vision, sustained by strong action is clearly deteriorating.

Israel's Other Fear

Steven LeBlanc

From the Israeli point of view, there are two serious threats from Iran. One is the Iranian nuclear threat. The other fear is Iranian support for proxies such as Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza strip, and the Shiite government of Iraq led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. These are Iran’s good friends but are also enemies of Israel. The great concern is that since President Obama is now talking with the Iranians—the U.S. will soften its stance toward Iran’s use of these proxies to cause Israel trouble.

Israel is increasingly worried about the situation in Iraq. With the Syrian civil war escalating and talks with Iran making headline news, we must not forget the weight of Iraq. The importance of Iraq cannot be overstated, if anything, its role in the Middle East has grown. Iraq is a Shiite-majority Arab state and is viewed by the Obama administration as a counter to the rising jihadist threat in Syria. But this Shiite dominated nation is a potential threat to Israel—something that Washington seems to under-appreciate.

Keep in mind that a new Iraqi civil war is not out of the question. The country is divided by 3 groups all contesting for power. The majority (60%-65%) of Iraqi Muslims are members of the Shi’a sect, (32-37%) are Sunni, made up of both Arabs and Kurds. Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim but differ from their Arab neighbors in language and customs. Over ten years after the capture of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is at risk of being engulfed by civil war once again as al-Qaeda reclaims vast tracts of the country. The death toll (Sunni Shia conflict) for 2013 surpassed 7,000.

Lebanon’s Sunni Threat

Israel’s enemy Hezbollah is currently distracted by the Sunni threat in Lebanon. This threat also concerns Israel.

The January 2nd explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs — the fifth attack targeting Hezbollah’s interests since July — reveals a growing jihadist surge and intent to push Hezbollah aside, Sunnis are anti-Hezbollah—Hezbollah is greatest military power in Lebanon today. As retaliatory sectarian attacks between Sunni jihadists and Shiite militants loyal to Hezbollah escalate over the next year, Israel will be watching closely to see if Sunni (Al-Qaeda sympathetic) backed rebels emerge as a true threat to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

For now, much of the fighting you see in the Middle East is Muslim against Muslim. But in time the whole Muslim world will seek to unify its efforts to destroy Israel.

In the future Lebanon will be involved with other Arab nations in a push to destroy Israel. Read Psalm 83: 4,6-8–The prophecy reads, in part, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more…The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites (Arabs; Saudi Arabia); Moab (Jordan) and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia (Gaza strip) with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot”.

Lebanon (Gebal) and Tyre play a prominent role in Psalm 83. Gebal was an important Phoenician port city “between Sidon and Arvad (see Josh. 13:5; 1 Kin. 5:18). It was called Byblos by the Greeks and Romans, and Gubla by the Assyrians and Babylonians.” The Phoenician city is today known as Jbail or Jubayl in Lebanon, 25 miles north of Beirut.

2014 promises to be a year of assassinations, war and blood feuds in the Middle East.

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