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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On My Brother's Death

[This is the message I received from my sister December 6th, 2017. My older brother Bill’s death was close and we were praying for him. Dennis]

(Carol, sister to Billy and Dennis wrote) Today Billy has low blood pressure, a fever, and a high heart rate. The hospice person thinks he'll pass away sometime today.

(Dennis) Thank you, Carol. May the Lord have His way. Billy is going to a better place where there is no more death, nor crying, nor pain, where time shall be no more and God shall wipe away every tear from our eyes. Yes, there are tears in Heaven, when we realise the wrongs we've committed, the hurt we are responsible for, the pain we caused others. But God promises to wipe away all those tears, and even promises that we'll remember them no more, for the former things will pass away and He will make all things new. Jesus is our only hope. All life has to offer is ashes and vanity in comparison. Our prayer is and has been that Billy has made his restitution with God, that he has gotten things right as much as possible, that he has kept his faith in Christ Jesus.

We pray for his family, that this time will help them each to reevaluate their lives and the path they are walking and that they may choose to follow God closer, nearer, every day. That they may choose to deepen their relationship with Jesus, strengthen their commitment with God, and further their knowledge of their Savior, Redeemer, Lover and Friend. We pray this all in Jesus' name, for there's none other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved, for He is the way, the truth and the life. And whosoever believes on Him shall be saved, for He is the resurrection and the life, and all that believe on Him shall never die, but shall have everlasting life.

That's His promise and it's more sure than anything we can touch or see. And eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered in to the heart of man the things God has prepared for those that love Him. He is the author and finisher of our faith, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. Let us embrace Him, let us draw nigh to Him in these moments of contemplation, these moments of reflection. Let us lift up our hands in praise and thanksgiving that another of His children has returned home. Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast, there no harm shall meet us, there we shall find sweet rest. In Jesus' name, Amen.

(Friend) I found your response comforting.

(Dennis) It's God's truth, written in His love letter to us called the Bible. Feed on it and it will bring life, and light, and strength, and hope, and love, and faith, and guidance, and courage, and instruction, and correction and wisdom and all things necessary for here and hereafter.

(Friend) I realize that its God's plan and the cycle of life. But it’s so difficult to understand the pain for those left behind.

(Dennis) Pain is a human experience and it causes us to seek God for release from pain. May those enduring pain seek His face. He has promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who will comfort and enable us afterwards to comfort others with the comfort with which we have been comforted by God.

C.S.Lewis wrote a short book about pain. I think it is called, The Problem with Pain. I’ll see if I can find a link to it. It might be worth your read.

(Friend) Yes, I’d like that. I’ll find it on Amazon.

(Dennis) Here's a quote from C.S.Lewis on being vulnerable. He wrote, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the caskit or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."

(Another Friend) I tried that and my life ended up a mess.

(Dennis) But that is why, if you take that mess to Jesus, He can mend the broken pieces and make them useful for His kingdom. "If your heart is breaking, turn to Jesus. He's the dearest friend that you can know. You will find Him standing close besides you waiting peace and comfort to bestow. (Chorus) Heartaches take them all to Jesus. Go to Him today, do it now without delay. Heartaches take them all to Jesus, He will take your heartaches all away. 2nd verse: There is joy for every troubled sorrow. Sweet release for every bitter pain. Jesus Christ is still the Great Physician, no one ever sought His help in vain. (Chorus) 3rd verse: Jesus understands what 'er the trouble. And He waits to heal your wounded soul. Will you trust His love so strong and tender? He alone can heal your wounded soul. (Chorus) Heartaches, take them all to Jesus, Go to Him today do it now without delay. Heartaches, take them all to Jesus, He will take your heartaches all away." Listen to the song here.

(Friend) crying

(Dennis) Like the Scriptures say, "All things work together for good to them that love God." The key is for us to learn to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the first commandment, and the second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself. This is what we are here to learn. It's all a process of drawing us closer to our Creator, the one who made us, made this beautiful world, came into it to literally show us the way, and died so that we could freely enter into relationship with Him.

He's the author and finisher of our faith, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, the very "I Am that I Am." If we seek Him with all our heart and mind and soul, and strength, we will find Him and He will come to us and be our Comfort, our Lover, and our Friend. He is the All and All of everything, and anything we put before Him will never satisfy us no matter how much we try.

Spend time talking to Jesus today. Go for a walk by the beach or along a river and as you're absorbing the tranquillity of His creation, talk to Him. Pour out your soul, your complaint and then listen. Let Him talk to you. Pick up your Bible and read some psalms. Then read something from the New Testament and begin to renew your relationship with Jesus through His word. It's a love letter to you.

(Friend) Thank you

(Dennis) Abraham Lincoln said, “In regards to this great Book [the Bible], I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man.All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.”

(Another friend) I saw Carol's post about Bill's passing. Sorry for your loss, I hope you have warm memories of him. My thoughts are with you Dennis.

(Dennis) Thank you. Death is a great equaliser and a sober moment of reflection. We ask, "What have I done with my life?" "Have I done what God has called me to do?" "Have I loved sufficiently?" "Have I been generous and kind-hearted?" My brother said he had no regrets and was happy for the life he had lived. I think we all want to face death's door in confidence that we have done what we could to make the world a better place, even if only in our small circle of influence. My brother's friend's comments are his greatest testimony. His step-daughter's comments are his greatest testimony. In the later years of his life he was working as a janitor in a grammar school and loved to help the little kids when he could. Although my own relation with my brother was distant from living outside the States for so many years, nevertheless we can see he loved and was loved. 

"Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee!
Ah, at last I’ve found the reason for it all!
Ah, ‘tis love and love alone the whole world yearns for,
And ‘tis love that bids us heed Thy call!"
—Rida Johnson Young (1869-1926), “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life” (adapted)[1]

 Long live love!

Here's another poem by Franklin E. Belden, 1892.

’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
God is love; we’re His happy children;
God is love; we would be like Him.
’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
This world is full of sorrow,
Of sickness, death, and sin;
With loving heart we’ll do our part,
And try some soul to win.
And when this life is over,
And we are called above,
Our song shall be, eternally,
Of Jesus and His love.[2]

The following are some of the beautiful comments about my brother from the people who knew him the best! 

Debra Addy wrote,
Dearest Aunt Pat and Jillian, words cannot express how sorry for your loss I am 😒. I will always treasure my memories of Christmas Eve with both you and Uncle Mo singing Christmas Carols πŸ™‚. Let’s not forget spinach dip! There was never ever a visit without Uncle Mo making it for me and of course for him, lol. He was such a good man, always so calm and would give the best advice! I’m so thankful to have been able to call him Uncle Mo 😒😘 May he finally be at peace 😒 Please find comfort in the fact that it was so obvious that you both were his pride and joy, he loved you both so much! I will always miss my Uncle Mo 😒

Linda Veit
Dearest Patty and family, My thoughts and prayers have been and will remain with all of you. My heart hurts for all of you during this sad and difficult time, however I know that Mo is now at peace and is resting with our Lord. I will miss my friend and "Yankee Buddy" but have wonderful and special memories as I look back over the many years of our friendship. I will always remember our trip to the original Yankee stadium and will cherish the thoughts and memories of that day with you and Mo. Please know I am here for you and during the difficult times let the Lord hold you in the palm of his hand. My sincere condolences to you, Jillian, Dan, Danny, and all of Mo's family and friends. With sympathy, peace, and love, Linda

Susan Merriam
Dear Patti & Jill and family, We are so sorry for your loss and would like you to know that in the short time we have known Mo and you as our neighbors, Mo definitely left an impact on us with his special sense of humor, his quick smile,witty remarks, and friendly easy style . He was one of a kind and always ready to invite us over to his sports den in the garage to have a beer !! We loved him and you immediately. Please find comfort in your wonderful memories and look to God for your strength in the days ahead . Much love , your neighbors and friends Sue & Carlton Merriam

Wayne Nelson
My sincerest condolences. Bill was a leading brother in our fraternity in Montclair State. He was always there to lend a hand, participate, and help others. A ready smile when he was seemingly always on the verge of a humorous insight, prank, and laughter. May we all leave such memories when we reach the finish line of life. Be at peace, Bill. You will be sorely missed. Wayne Nelson Gamma Delta Chi MSC '70

Bob Piotrowski
Patti, So sorry to hear that Mo has passed away. It's been 5 years, but seems like yesterday, that Mo and I were able to reunite at the Gamma reunion at Tierney's . It was terrific seeing him again and meeting you, the love of his life! After our college years, we were "travel" buddies for a bit. One trip started out to Cooperstown. On the fly, we then added the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton and ended in Saint Louis, visiting his sister, who was in Ohio, on the way back. There were also many trips to the shore. Every time Donna and I leave the Tropicana in AC, I think of Mo! We pass Tony's Baltimore Bar and Grill, where we made a few visits in the pre-casino days. He was a great guy and I have many other fond memories that I will cherish. Rest in Peace Mo....Gamma Brothers Forever! Bob Piotrowski

You can watch the memorial video made of him at this link: William A. Molinski III


Trump Risks Uniting the Entire Arab World Against the US

Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, December 9, 2017

President Trump and the Israeli government will have foreseen and discounted a Palestinian “day of rage” and protests among Muslims everywhere in the wake of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move its embassy there. They assume that this will all blow over because US allies such as the rulers of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt will be satisfied with pro-forma protests, and the Palestinians are too weak to do anything except demonstrate ineffectively.

The US and Israel could be miscalculating: when I lived in Jerusalem I came to believe that many dramatic events in Israel, such as shootings and bombings, often had less effect than the outside world expected. But anything involving Jerusalem itself, and above all its Muslim holy sites, had a much bigger impact than anybody had imagined.

The immediate consequence of Trump’s action is that the US becomes weaker because it has carried out another initiative of which the rest of the world disapproves. A superpower at the height of its strength might get away with such a demarche, but not a politically divided US, its influence already ebbing because of failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. The move is so obviously against US foreign policy interests that it will further persuade other world leaders that Trump is an impossible ally.

The move could have other dangerous consequences. There is a myth that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle was not an issue that concerned Osama bin Laden or played a role in the rise of al-Qaeda. In fact, bin Laden’s speeches and writings are full of references to the Palestinians–and his first public utterances in the 1980s were calls for a boycott of American goods because of its backing for Israel.

The connection between the Palestinian question and 9/11 was played down at the time, particularly by neocon pundits and think tanks who claimed that the US could safely ignore the issue while pursuing an aggressive policy in Iraq. It is true that 9/11 damaged the Palestinians because they were marginalised as the US and its allies began a series of wars during which they largely disappeared from the news agenda.

But as the wars in Iraq and Syria come to an end, focus will shift back to Israel and the Palestinians. Isis and al-Qaeda have been defeated in their efforts to change regimes in Baghdad and Damascus. If they are going to survive and get support in the Muslim world, they will need to find a new enemy. Battered they may be, but they have far more activists and resources than bin Laden at the time of 9/11. The declaration on Jerusalem throws al-Qaeda-type movements a lifeline, just as they are facing complete defeat.

Trump inherited the war to eliminate the self-declared Caliphate from President Obama and has continued it unchanged. Most decisions about the conflict have in any case been taken by the Pentagon and not by the White House. Up to now the biggest change in US policy in the region has been the effort to end Obama’s dΓ©tente with Iran and build up an anti-Iranian coalition. This will now become a more difficult job.

In October, Trump de-certified the nuclear deal with Iran, demonising the Iranians as the source of all instability in the region. He and his administration tend to conflate Iranians and Shias in much the same way as do Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchs of the Gulf. His National Security Adviser H R McMaster said in late October that “what is most important, not just for the United States but for all nations, is to confront the scourge of Hezbollah and to confront the scourge of the Iranians and the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps].”

It is unclear how far this belligerent rhetoric is going to turn into real military action. If Trump does want to confront Iran and the axis of states and paramilitary organisations it leads, then he has left it a bit late. The Iranian Shia side has triumphed in the war in Syria and Iraq against predominantly Sunni resistance, which was once backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The role of Hezbollah and the Shia paramilitary, Hashd al-Shaabi, will naturally diminish because there is no longer a war to fight and the central governments in Baghdad and Damascus are becoming stronger.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will make it easier for Tehran to call for all Muslims, Shia and Sunni, to stand together in defence of the Palestinians and the holy sites. It will make it more difficult, though not impossible, for Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies to act with the US, move closer to Israel and portray Iran as the greatest threat in the region.

There is a broader consequence of the switch in US policy: there are some 1.5 billion Muslims in the world who are the majority in some 50 states and make up 22 per cent of the world’s population. None of them will be pleased by Trump’s latest action. The population of many of these countries, including some of the largest such as Turkey (80 million) and Pakistan (193 million), were already very anti-American before the Trump presidency. In 2012, polls showed that 74 per cent of Pakistanis considered the US as an enemy. Even this high figure is surpassed by Turkey where 82 per cent said this summer that they had an unfavourable view of the US. Divided about everything else, Turks agree on their dislike of the US, which will again make it more difficult for the US to act against Iran.

President Putin is to visit Istanbul on Monday to speak to President Erdogan about Jerusalem and Syria, a sign that it may be difficult to isolate the issue of the Israeli capital from other conflicts.

All these important developments are happening, though nothing has really changed on the ground: Israel already treated Jerusalem as its capital, and the so-called peace process with the Palestinians has been a sham for years. The US can no longer pretend to be an even-handed mediator, but then it never was one in the first place.

By recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump and Israel may have broken a political rule which says it is dangerous to mess with de facto situations others have informally come to accept. Doing so can have unexpectedly disastrous consequences. A good example of this happened less than three months ago when President Masoud Barzani held a referendum demanding Iraqi Kurdish formal independence, though the Iraqi Kurds had enjoyed de facto near independence since 2003. The Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian governments, who had accepted the previous situation for years, reacted furiously and within three weeks the Kurds lost control of Kirkuk and much of their territory. It may be that President Trump and Israel will likewise find that they risked more than they imagined and will pay a heavier price than expected for formalising Israeli rule in Jerusalem.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jerusalem: Netanyahu expects EU to follow US recognition

BBC News 11/12/17

Benjamin Netanyahu and Federuca Mogherini
The pair greeted each other warmly but had different things to say on Jerusalem

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he expects European countries to follow the US in recognising Jerusalem as his country's capital.

He is in Brussels for talks - the first time an Israeli prime minister has visited the city in more than 20 years.

But the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini says the bloc's stance on the matter is unchanged.

Donald Trump's move has left the US isolated on a highly sensitive issue between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arriving in Brussels, Mr Netanyahu again welcomed the announcement, saying Jerusalem had been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and Mr Trump had put "facts squarely on the table".

"I believe that all, or most, European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace," he added.

As well as recognising Jerusalem, President Trump also said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But Ms Mogherini said the EU would continue to recognise the "international consensus" on Jerusalem.

"We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both."

She also condemned "all attacks on Jews everywhere in the world".

Before heading to Brussels, Mr Netanyahu met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, who urged him to freeze settlement building and to re-engage with Palestinians.
Why Trump's move was controversial

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Why the city of Jerusalem matters

According to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

Since 1967, Israel has built a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem. These are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Jerusalem is also home to key religious sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, especially in East Jerusalem.

How the world reacted

Mr Trump's announcement drew worldwide condemnation and sparked protests which continued for a fifth day on Monday.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinians lobbed stones at Israeli security forces while Lebanese people have been taking to the streets of Beirut.

Dennis Edwards:

Here we see the difference in the American and European point of view. Much of Europe is dependent on Arab oil and perhaps has therefore been more concerned with the Palestinian's wishes in regards to Jerusalem. Or the apparent division between America and Europe on the Palestinian problem may give rise to a Hegelian solution, i.e., you create the problem to later come in with the solution you desire. Bible prophecy indicates, if we are understanding the prophecies correctly, that there will be a Holy Covenant or agreement for a seven year period. Some eschatologists, or people who study Bible prophecy, believe that the the Covenant will be some sort of peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians offering concessions to both sides. Palestine wants autonomy and Israel wants Jerusalem and a Holy Temple. Could the Covenant be a accord that placates both sides. It remains to be seen. But we should be attentive to the developments in Israel because the Holy Covenant is one of the major signs of the times as it ushers in the last seven years before the supernatural return of Christ.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel in reversal of longtime U.S. policy

By David Nakamura, Washington Post, December 6, 2017

President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defying warnings from other Middle East countries and some U.S. allies in a politically risky move that he insisted would not derail efforts to broker a peace deal.

But in a sign that the move could backfire, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Trump’s announcement as a “declaration of withdraw” by the United States from the peace process, according to the Associated Press.

In a midday speech at the White House, Trump defended his decision as “long overdue” recognition of reality given that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s parliament, supreme court and prime minister’s office. He argued that an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians has remained elusive for more than two decades even as his predecessors declined to recognize the contested Holy City as Israel’s capital.

“Some say they lacked courage, but they made the best judgment based on the facts as they understood them,” Trump said, speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room. “Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades, we’re no closer to a lasting peace agreement.”

Trump added that “it’s folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula will produce a different or better result.”
The announcement came a day after senior White House aides previewed Trump’s decision, and the president also ordered the State Department to begin planning to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a process that administration officials said would take several years. After his remarks, Trump signed another six-month waiver to maintain the embassy compound in Tel Aviv, which senior aides said was meant to ensure funding was not eliminated under a 1995 law even as planning for a new embassy would commence.

Trump emphasized that despite his decision he remained committed to helping broker a peace agreement.

The announcement set off a flurry of reactions in Washington, Europe and the Middle East. Trump spoke with Abbas on Tuesday to inform him of the decision and Abbas told him his government would not accept the move.

Image result for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on trump 
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the president’s announcement, calling it “a historic day” and stating that his nation is “profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision.”

Trump campaigned on a promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a move popular among evangelicals. A slew of evangelical leaders, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, released statements of praise on Wednesday.
Dennis Edwards: Here's my analysis of the situation.
Like I explained yesterday the decision by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital  could indeed be a monumental one. Many Bible prophecy eschatologists believe the Antichrist will be involved in confirming a peace pact in the Middle East.[1] This pact is called in Scriptures "the Holy Covenant."[2] The covenant will be confirmed by many for a seven year period.[3] Some have speculated that the Covenant could be the long awaited peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian people and the rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. If we are understanding Scripture correctly the Antichrist is the author or presenter of the Holy Covenant.[4] However, the Antichrist later breaks the Covenant half way through the seven year period.[5] At this point he places something called by Scriptures "the Abomination of Desolation" in the Temple in Jerusalem.[6]
The proclamation by Trump at this present moment seems to push us closer to the point of confirming a Covenant for the rebuilding of the much desired Jewish Temple. The present situation with the Arab nations divided as they are among themselves makes any sort of united retaliation against Israel less likely. Israeli military strategy has been since the 1980s to sow discord among the Arab as confirmed in their own writings. The American military has also been used as an instrument in defeating Israel's enemies as in the case of Iraq and Libya. The American military intelligence that indicated that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction could easily have been supplied by Israeli secret Mossad agents. The whole "Arab Spring" event may have been instigated by American/Israeli intelligence operatives to bring down Qaddafi and the Syrian leader Assad.
Therefore, with the election of Trump the powers that be behind the scenes saw that it was time to move forward with Jerusalem as capital of Israel. They could give the American evangelicals some leeway in regards to abortion in exchange for their support concerning Israel. Even the recent documentary called "Christ Revealed" promoted a very strongly positive image of Israel and the need for Christians to support the "Promised Land" and its people. 
I believe that this American/Israeli relationship will eventually pit America and Israel against the world led by the Antichrist world leader as seen in the Biblical invasion of Israel as found in Ezekiel 38 and 39 in the Old Testament, or the Battle of Armageddon in the New Testament.[7] Therefore, the announcement of America recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital could very well move us further down the road to the Holy Covenant, that seven year agreement of peace which may involve the Jewish nation and the Palestinians. When the Holy Covenant is confirmed, it is broken some three and a half years later.[8] The breaking of the Covenant starts the terrible Great Tribulation period mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24 in the New Testament.[9]
Stay attentive to these developments. We all have that anxious feeling in our stomachs that the world is headed for disaster. But we deserve it. We have abandoned our Christian principles and embraced vain theories of man, rejecting Biblical instruction and guidelines. Daniel Webster, Secretary of State for three different Presidents warned: 
"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go prospering and to prosper, but if we or our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
[1] Daniel 9:27
[2] Daniel 11:30
[3] Daniel 9:27
[4] Daniel 11:22; 9:27
[5] Daniel 9:27
[6] Daniel 11:31; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15  
[7] Revelation 16:16; Revelation 19:17-21
[8] Daniel 9:27
[9] Matthew 24:15, 21

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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