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Praying The News

News Briefs for November 28, 2022

Past Issues of News Briefs at www.lofj.wordpress.com

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:15-17)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child will deliver its 200 millionth shoebox filled with toys this season to a child in Ukraine. The Christian missionary program partners with churches throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and South Korea to deliver shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene items and school supplies for children in countries suffering from war, disease, poverty and disaster. Founded by evangelist Franklin Graham in 1993, the ministry has delivered Christmas gifts and the Gospel to more than 198 million children in over 170 countries and territories over the last three decades. In December, the 200 millionth shoebox will be packed and hand-delivered to a Ukrainian child impacted by war by former Ukrainian shoebox recipient Elizabeth Groff.

A longtime Christian ministry in Wyoming that the government had ordered to hire non-Christians for positions teaching the Christian faith has won a court battle over its employment requirements. According to officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Wyoming Rescue Mission last year served nearly 61,000 free meals to the public, provided 41,000 beds for men, women and children, enrolled 92 Discipleship Recovery Program participants and handed out 1,200 thrift store vouchers worth nearly $40,000. But government bureaucrats claimed that the mission likely violated the Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire an applicant who openly rejected Christian ideals. Now a settlement has been reached under which “state officials acknowledged that the rescue mission, as a religious organization, is free to hire like-minded employees who share the ministry’s religious beliefs and mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through its homeless shelter, clothing voucher service, faith-based recovery programs, and life-rebuilding assistance to Casper residents.”

The Bible-based television series The Chosen launched on Netflix last week and quickly became one of its most popular titles, garnering a tag as one of the platform’s “Most Liked” shows. The series is widely available for free on multiple platforms – including on The Chosen app, Peacock and Amazon Prime Video – but had never appeared on Netflix until now. Netflix is the world’s most popular paid streaming service, with more than 220 million paying subscribers. The series, in its third season, is the “first multi-season television series” about Jesus and His followers, according to its creators.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a contempt order by a federal judge that landed True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht and veteran election-fraud investigator Gregg Phillips in jail for more than a week. The ruling Tuesday came three weeks after U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt ordered Engelbrecht and Phillips jailed without bond in Houston, Texas, for refusing to disclose a confidential source in their probe of evidence that a Michigan-based election software company, Konnech, was storing the personal data of U.S. poll workers on servers in China. True the Vote – whose investigation of ballot trafficking was featured in the film “2000 Mules” – said the rights of Engelbrecht and Phillips “to openly speak on matters of public interest were impeded under the color of authority.”

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) that asked it to uphold the district’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. A three-judge panel from the court released its opinion Tuesday, concurring with a previous ruling made in December. According to Tuesday’s ruling, a San Diego Unified School District mandate “unlawfully seeks to usurp that authority (of the state legislature).”

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

Over 200 congregations in North Carolina have announced their departure from the United Methodist Church over the denomination’s support of gay marriage and electing gay bishops. On Saturday, during a special session of the UMC North Carolina Conference, delegates voted 957-165 in favor of the disaffiliation of 249 churches from the mainline denomination. Earlier this year, 41 of 990 congregations in the Western North Carolina Conference voted to leave the UMC. In May of this year, theologically conservative Methodists launched a new denomination, The Global Methodist Church.

Satanic Deception: He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

A new series called the “Santa Clauses,” on Disney+ reboots the earlier “Santa Clause” feature films by Tim Allen. A report at the Gateway Pundit noted, “Defenders of the series claim the scene where children are holding the letters which spell out ‘We Love You Satan’ is supposed to say ‘We Love You Santa’ and is just one of the many comedic scenes in the movies but parents aren’t laughing.” The report noted that Disney’s direct-to-consumer division has reported some $1.5 billion in losses during a recent quarter. “Many parents canceled their Disney+ subscription after Disney went on a ‘woke’ brigade and even reportedly offered financial help to its employees’ children who wanted gender reassignment surgery.”

Mass Delusions:  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. (2Thessalonians 2:9-11)

The Daily Telegraph has obtained a leaked email in which Ministry of Justice employees in the United Kingdom were told to clean up their language so as not to offend the transgender ideologists. Workers were told by the HM Prison and Probation Service that phrases like “protecting women and girls” could be offensive. Further, even “adult human female” is a form of “supporting bigotry while creating hostility towards trans people and their allies,” the memo said.

  • The so-called ‘woke’ agenda is so insane that it is clearly latter-day Satanic deception and delusion.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

At the CPO27 climate conference in Egypt, wealthy countries agreed early Sunday morning to help developing nations pay for the catastrophic consequences of climate change. Negotiators approved plans for a “loss and damage fund” that represented a significant shift for the United States, which had previously opposed such financing. But the summit has yet to approve a final deal, and other aspects of the pact did little to put pressure on nations to make deeper cuts in planet-warming emissions.

  • A lot of the steps leading toward the prophesied one-world government seem fine and noble on the surface, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with a global government, except the Bible says evil people will be in charge enforcing anti-Christian secular humanism as the one-world religion and persecuting those who resist.

Central to a global government is a global digital currency which will facilitate much greater control (and abuse) over finances – government, business and individual. The Federal Reserve of New York along with major lenders such as Bank of America and HSBC have launched a pilot program for a digital dollar that will test the use of such tokens in the U.S. banking system. Utilizing the fundamentals of cryptocurrency known as blockchain, the pilot project will “experiment with wholesale digital asset transactions and settlements” and involve Citi, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, HSBC and payment specialists Mastercard and Swift.

Finland’s planned border fence with Russia looks to be a major geopolitical statement. The wall could fuel even greater tensions between the Kremlin and the West while signaling that Russia’s war in Ukraine may have forever altered Europe’s attitude toward its hostile neighbor. Finnish border guard officials have announced that they will begin construction in the spring on a nearly 2-mile stretch of fence along the Finland-Russia border near the eastern town of Imatra, according to Euronews and other media outlets. Beyond that initial construction, Finnish leaders this month proposed spending up to $143 million to build many more miles of fence along the boundary with Russia that eventually would stretch well over 100 miles.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

The relationship between the European Union and the United States is showing signs of strain, according to Politico, which writes that senior EU officials are “furious” with the Biden Administration and are accusing the U.S. of making profits off the Ukraine war while Europe suffers. They claim that the U.S. is selling guns and gas at exorbitant prices, while the laughably-named Inflation Reduction Act—Biden’s massive, inflationary climate, tax, and health care package—is threatening their industries at the same time Putin’s Ukraine war is choking their energy supply. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries,” said a senior EU official.

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

About 200 protesters claiming voter disenfranchisement and a stolen election rallied near the Arizona state Capitol on Friday, demanding that the planned Nov. 28 certification of the 2022 election be halted and a new election take place in December, according to local media. At issue are claims around voter disenfranchisement related to polling-place problems in Maricopa County. Problems with printer ink kept ballots from being accepted by tabulator machines, leading to a number of spoiled votes or people who abandoned the process after trying to cast their vote.

Republican House candidates gained over 3 million more votes than Democrats in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, but barely secured a GOP majority in the lower chamber. Recent data published by the Cook Political Report show that Republicans lead by some 3.5 million votes when all 435 House races are combined. As of Friday morning, Republicans had 54.13 million votes as compared with Democrats’ 50.79 million votes. With several races called this week, the GOP has 220 seats to Democrats’ 213, giving Republicans the majority. Two House races—one in Colorado and one in California—remain uncalled, although Republicans are leading in both. But Democrats were able to maintain their majority in the Senate with at least 50 seats and are waiting for the conclusion of the Georgia Senate runoff to determine if the upper chamber be an even 50–50 split or not. Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote for Democrats if that is the case.

  • “Simply put, Republicans picked up the votes they needed, just not where they needed them most,” Charlie Cook, a longtime analyst and founder of the Cook Political Report, wrote.

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Twitter has banned the account of CrimethInc, a far-leftist group known for inciting arson and other forms of political violence on the platform. The move comes after CEO Elon Musk began targeting users who call for violent aggression. The international group operates like ISIS: makes propaganda & training material to radicalize militants toward violence. Though the main account was suspended, they operate a dozen other accounts

A video in which Democrat Hillary Clinton unleashed a wide range of unsupported claims that the 2016 presidential race, won by Donald Trump, was “stolen,” has been censored by YouTube.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted Saturday night that “the people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.” The news came after a Musk poll on Twitter poll found a 72.8% majority from over 15 million respondents supported bringing Trump back on Twitter. Former President Donald Trump, who has vowed never to return after he was banned after Jan. 6, has yet to make a statement.

  • The undercover investigative group Project Veritas returned to Twitter Sunday evening after Twitter CEO Elon Musk ended its 21-month exile that began under previous ownership.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Police arrested two men at Penn Station early Saturday after threats to shoot up a synagogue appeared on Twitter on Thursday and Friday. A description of two men connected to the threats went out to police. Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officers spotted the two at Penn Station and arrested them. Christopher Brown, 21, and Matthew Mahrer, 22, are both charged with weapons possession charges. Brown faces additional charges of making terrorist threats—police said he admitted to running a white supremacist Twitter group and that Mahrer is one of his followers.

Persecution of Christians is on the rise in at least 18 countries, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, due to growing jihadism and nationalism, according to a report released by a Catholic group that examined human rights violations against Christians in 24 countries where it is particularly difficult to be a Christian. An analysis of the persecution of Christians in 2020-2022, compared with 2017-2019, shows that the situation for Christians has become worse, or “slightly worse,” in at least 18 countries, said the report released by Aid to the Church in Need. These countries include Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Russia, North Korea, China, Vietnam, India and Qatar.

  • Around the world, more than 360 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution just for following Jesus — that’s one in seven believers worldwide, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated protections for unborn babies after six weeks of pregnancy. It is still considering whether the state’s heartbeat law is constitutional. Georgia passed a law in 2019 protecting babies after six weeks when the first cardiac activity can be detected in a baby. A lower court on Nov. 15 overturned that law and immediately allowed abortions after six weeks to restart. The state attorney general appealed that ruling and asked for it to be put on hold while the appeal moved forward. Seven of the nine justices agreed with the opinion that put the lower court’s ruling on hold.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of multiple medical professionals and organizations, alleging that the Food and Drug Administration overstepped its authority by approving and repeatedly loosening restrictions on the abortion pill.  “The only way the FDA could have approved chemical abortion drugs was to use its accelerated drug approval authority, necessitating the FDA to call pregnancy an ‘illness’ and argue that these dangerous drugs provide a ‘meaningful therapeutic benefit’ over existing treatments,” the lawsuit reads, adding, “But pregnancy is not an illness, nor do chemical abortion drugs provide a therapeutic benefit over surgical abortion. In asserting these transparently false conclusions, the FDA exceeded its regulatory authority to approve the drugs.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

COVID-19: There is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” she said. Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated, yet for months, the World Health Organization has described Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports. Some researchers say the continent’s younger population — the average age is 20 versus about 43 in Western Europe — in addition to their lower rates of urbanization and tendency to spend time outdoors, may have spared it the more lethal effects of the virus so far. Several studies are probing whether there might be other explanations, including genetic reasons or past infection with parasitic diseases.

New cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. are up 6% over the past two weeks, with hospitalizations up 3% and deaths up 4%. However, there is wide variation among states, with Arizona up 82% and Michigan up 77% over the past two weeks, while Nebraska is down 65% with Oklahoma down 40%. Worldwide, new cases are up 21% and deaths up 1%.

During seven hours of questioning in a landmark lawsuit alleging the federal government colluded with social media companies to censor speech, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed that the communist Chinese government convinced him to press for the crippling COVID-19 lockdowns, according to attorneys and plaintiffs who were at the deposition Wednesday. Fauci, who is retiring as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after 38 years, also was unable to cite any study backing his sudden change of position on the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is once again recommending masking in public. Masking and social distancing should be encouraged or even mandated once more in public in order to protect people from COVID-19 and from the possibility of suffering from “Long COVID.” The new report, commissioned by HHS and produced by research agency Coforma, also calls for a broad range of government policies to help people who continue to deal with the lingering effects of COVID. Those policies include an awareness campaign, funding for long COVID support groups, financial support for students and workers, and new health benefits for COVID victims.

While most clear out their COVID-19 symptoms in days to a few weeks, recent studies estimate that about 1 in 8 people who have been infected will have persistent COVID symptoms, despite testing negative for COVID-19. Doctors still don’t understand the drivers behind these symptoms, or why these people are affected. Many long COVID patients are younger in age and previously had no underlying health conditions. However, many are hit with a myriad of mental and physiological conditions, including symptoms common to acute COVID such as cough, fevers, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches, as well as less common COVID symptoms, including brain fog, severe fatigue, chest pains, depression and anxiety, pins and needles sensations, heart palpitations, and sleep problems, along with other strange conditions.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

As of November 11, 2022, the CDC has reported through VAERS that 13,487 Americans have been hospitalized after COVID-19 vaccination with life-threatening problems like pulmonary embolism.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the person in custody for murdering five people and injuring many others at Club Q in Colorado last Saturday is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns Aldrich’s lawyers said in new court filings Tuesday. The court filing said: “Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.” Aldrich has a troubled past. He changed his name from Nicholas Franklin Brink to Anderson Lee Aldrich to distance himself from birth father, Aaron Brink. The Daily Mail reports that Aldrich’s father is an ex-con porn star.

At least seven people died, including the gunman, in a mass shooting event in the break room at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday. Four more were hospitalized. According to one employee, the suspected gunman also worked at Walmart. In a video posted online, the witness said he had just left the staff room when the manager entered and opened fire. The shooter apparently killed himself.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Massive protests erupted in China’s far western Xinjiang region on Friday as long-simmering frustrations over the country’s strict COVID-19 policies hit a boiling point when claims circulated online blaming lockdown restrictions for hindering escape from a deadly apartment building fire. Crowds chanted “End the lockdown!” pumping their fists in the air as they walked down a main thoroughfare. Hundreds of demonstrators in Shanghai shouted and jostled with police on Sunday evening as protests over China’s stringent COVID restrictions flared for a third day, The wave of civil disobedience, which has spread to other cities including Beijing, is unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago and comes amid mounting frustration over his signature zero-COVID policy.

  • As numbers swelled at demonstrations in multiple major cities over the weekend, so too have the range of grievances voiced – with some calling for greater democracy and freedom, while many called for President Jinping to resign.

Chaos hit the streets of the German city of Leipzig on Saturday after an attempt by Antifa to violently disrupt a march protesting the Western sanctions war with Russia, their impact on citizens, and the war in Ukraine more generally. It comes as many in the country are struggling with the rocketing costs of food and fuel brought about by tensions between the West and Moscow, with Germany in particular having traditionally been heavily reliant on Russian gas exports and vulnerable to supply shocks.

Justice (or lack thereof): Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Congress can access six years’ worth of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Lower courts had already concluded that the House Ways and Means Committee had broad authority to obtain any individual’s returns. Trump and his attorneys appealed to the Supreme Court, but the court lifted that order on Tuesday with no notable dissent. However, when Congress reconvenes on Jan. 3, Republicans will have control of the House, and likely will not take any further action on the matter.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Target, the large American retail chain, said on Wednesday that the massive wave of crime is causing devastating losses for the company. The retail giant said they are getting looted at an alarming rate. It has hurt the bottom line by an estimated $400 million so far this year. Target is not alone in this issue. CVS has suffered a 300% increase in loss by theft. Rite-Aid has suffered a loss of $5 million in losses due to the theft in their New York City stores alone. Home Depot has opted to lock more products up to battle theft.

A Portland, Oregon, clothing shop permanently shut down this month after facing a string of break-ins that has left the store financially gutted, according to a note posted to the front of the store. “Our city is in peril,” a printed note posted on Rains PDX store reads, according to KATU2. “Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses. We have sustained 15 break-ins … we have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.”

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

U.S. regulators have imposed a ban on electronic equipment created by several major Chinese tech corporations, citing national security concerns. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules on Nov. 25 that will prohibit the import or sale of Chinese communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security. The new rules will bar equipment from Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE from being imported into or sold in the United States. The order will also prohibit telecommunications equipment and video surveillance equipment produced by Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua, as well as the companies’ subsidiaries or affiliates

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., says former President Donald Trump “was right” to go after the China-owned videosharing app TikTok. “All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.” Warner is only the most recent in a series of U.S. politicians and officials to call for a crackdown on TikTok. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called on regulators to ban the app in the U.S., and FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that it contributes to China’s status as the number one theft of U.S. data in the world. “China’s vast hacking program is the world’s largest, and they have stolen more Americans’ personal and business data than every other nation combined,” Wray told lawmakers last week.

Hundreds of Chinese-manufactured drones have been detected in restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., in recent months, a trend that national security agencies fear could become a new means for foreign espionage.    The recreational drones made by Chinese company DJI, which are designed with “geofencing” restrictions to keep them out of sensitive locations, are being manipulated by users with simple workarounds to fly over no-go zones around the nation’s capital.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

More than 1 in every 10 births in the United States now occur prematurely, and the number of these more dangerous deliveries jumped by 4% during 2021, a new report from the March of Dimes shows. The premature birth rate has now reached 10.5% of all births — the highest level since 2007. The premature birth rate for Black women rose from 14.4% in 2020 to 14.7% in 2021, while it increased from 11.6% to 12.3% for Native American women. Overall, American women now live in one of the most dangerous developed nations in the world when it comes to childbirth.

Drugs: And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Greek: pharmakeia, i.e. pharmacy, drugs].

While marijuana legalization in some U.S. states and Canada may send a message that weed is harmless, that’s not necessarily so, according to a new study that found lung damage was more common in marijuana smokers than tobacco users. Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada compared chest CT results from 56 marijuana smokers, including some who also used tobacco, with 33 who smoked only tobacco and 57 nonsmokers. Roughly 75% of the weed smokers had emphysema compared to 67% of the tobacco-only smokers and 5% of nonsmokers.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

For the second time in a week, a woman who has detransitioned from a gender-nonconforming lifestyle is suing the health care professionals who advised her to undergo gender transition procedures, including the surgical removal of both breasts. The lawsuit highlights a growing trend of formerly gender-confused individuals who are suing the health care industry over what they say is medical malpractice for leaving them with disfigured bodies because of medical misdiagnosis.

There are more than 130 gender, sexual orientation and pronoun options listed on the San Francisco’s Guaranteed Income For Transgender People (GIFT) program application. Under the GIFT program, 55 San Francisco residents who earn less than $600 monthly and identify as one of the many genders listed will receive $1,200 per month. “The lengthy list of possible ‘gender identity’ and sexual orientation labels is an apparent attempt to be ‘inclusive,’” Mary Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which focuses on promoting the Catholic vision while responding to the challenges of gender ideology. “But it really exposes the meaninglessness of these labels – and of the concept of ‘gender identity’ itself. ‘Gender identity’ means nothing more than one’s ‘perception of self’ or identity feelings – it can be fluid, and can change at any time.”

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Two Arizona counties have delayed certifying the election results until November 28. The Mohave County board of supervisors explicitly promised during a meeting they would certify the results by the Nov. 28 deadline, saying their decision to push certification back until the deadline was a political statement about the voting issues encountered in Maricopa country, the state’s largest county by far. Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, a Mohave County resident, praised the decision to delay, saying rural voters were being disenfranchised by what happened in Maricopa. However, unlike Mohave, the Cochise County board of supervisors did not promise to certify the result by the deadline.

A Republican candidate for Arizona’s attorney general position on Nov. 22 sued his opponent and a slew of election officials, including officials in Maricopa County, alleging that widespread “errors and inaccuracies” caused voter disenfranchisement. Officials in at least 15 counties have “caused the unlawful denial of the franchise to certain qualified electors, erroneously tallied certain ballots, and included for tabulation in the canvass certain illegal votes in connection with the election for the office of Arizona Attorney General,” Abe Hamadeh, the candidate, said in the complaint.

A memo detailing the findings of nearly a dozen attorneys who visited voting sites in Maricopa County, Arizona, on election day describes widespread problems with tabulation equipment, long lines, and voters leaving in frustration. According to the memo, 72 of the 115 vote centers the attorneys visited, 62.61 percent, experienced “material problems.” “It seems very clear that the printer/tabulator failures on election day at 62.61 percent of the vote centers observed by 11 roving attorneys, and the resulting long lines at a majority of vote centers, led to substantial voter suppression,” the memo said.

An overlooked memory card with uncounted ballots changed the final results of a special election in Cobb County, Georgia. Madelyn Orochena was originally declared the winner of the special election. However, when additional ballots were located on the memory card, Lynette Burnette was shown as the winner of the race by 31 votes. Orochena told WSB-TV that she is “just doing all that I can do that’s within my rights to regain some confidence that this was a fair election.”

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Border Patrol agents are preparing for a massive migration push at the U.S.-Mexico border when Title 42 ends just four days before Christmas, the Washington Examiner reported. A federal judge on Nov. 16 gave the Biden administration until Dec. 21 to wind down its use of Title 42 to expel migrants. The Trump-era policy allowed U.S. authorities to keep migrants from seeking asylum at the border, based on the need to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “When Title 42 ends we are going to see an already broken immigration system become completely inundated across all sectors,” one Border Patrol agent wrote in a message to the Examiner.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) claims that the 11 million illegal immigrants and “Dreamers” from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are badly needed. “Now more than ever, we’re short of workers. We have a population that is not reproducing on its own with the same level that it used to. The only way we’re going to have a good future in America is if we welcome and embrace immigrants.”

The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency announced on Thursday that they apprehended 138 sex offenders who entered the country illegally. The agency added that the arrests were made as part of its nationwide Enforcement and Removal Operations that ran from Oct. 22-Nov. 4. Those arrested during the operation included people who had an executable final order of removal from the United States, according to ICE. While some had been convicted of sex crimes in 2022, others had been convicted of offenses years ago, including an individual in New York who was found guilty of first-degree rape in April 2002, as well as an individual in Chicago who was found guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor in October 2017.

A third bus of immigrants arrived in Philadelphia from Texas early Friday morning, with a fourth one expected soon after, to bring a total of 81 more migrants into the sanctuary city as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to send asylum-seeking immigrants to cities led by Democrats. City and immigration leaders transferred the arrivals to a city bus and took them to a city-run welcome center in North Philadelphia. Over the past 10 days, about 150 immigrants will have been sent to Philadelphia, arriving at the bus station in what Mayor Jim Kenney and other advocates are calling a cheap political stunt.

Travel: The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)

Airlines and airports were scrambling to get people home Monday after a swath of bad weather helped force thousands of flight cancellations and delays over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. More than 7,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were delayed or canceled Sunday, one of the year’s busiest travel days, according to the tracking website flightaware.com. Over 800 more flights were already delayed or canceled early Monday. Travel is back in a big way after the crushing impact of COVID-19. AAA estimated that 54.6 million people were traveling 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving weekend. That’s 98% of pre-pandemic levels.

Food Supplies: Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. The tiny nation, which is a little larger than Maryland, has figured out how to mass-produce vegetables and meat using vertical farming, seed technology and robotics. The advances could serve as a model for feeding a world in which millions are starving to death..

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

U.S. oil prices have fallen to their lowest level since December 2021 on concerns that protests in China against Covid-19 lockdowns will dent demand. Global oil prices have fallen about 35% since June as strict coronavirus restrictions in China have kept demand weak, and as some of the world’s major economies have signaled they are heading toward a recession, further reducing demand. The U.S. average cost of a gallon of gas is now $3.55, down 5.7% from last month, according to the AAA.

Debt:  The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7) Owe no one anything except to love one another, (Romans 13:8)

The White House is extending the pause on student loan payments until as late as June 30, 2023, President Joe Biden said Tuesday, as his plan for wider student loan debt forgiveness remains tied up in the courts. Biden defended his plan for far-reaching student debt forgiveness and said the extension of the moratorium was a way to address the ongoing legal challenges. “I’m confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” he said.

Homelessness: Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:19-20)

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, announced on Instagram Tuesday that he has recently awarded 40 grants as part of his Bezos Day 1 Families Fund initiative, which he launched in 2018. The donations are part of a $2 billion total commitment to combat homelessness.

Business: Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. (Proverbs 16:8)

HP Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will lay off thousands of workers over the next three years, becoming the latest tech company to significantly downsize staffing amid a souring economic climate. The computer maker disclosed the major job cuts in a statement accompanying its lackluster quarterly earnings report on Tuesday afternoon, where it also said sales dropped more than 11% compared to the same period last year.

Globalization of the United States economy has had a crippling impact on American towns as free trade makes it easier for companies to move production and jobs overseas, a report from the U.S. International Trade Commission details. The report, which assembled union representatives, economists, and others to discuss the impact of decades-long U.S. free trade policy, was requested by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and conducted in March and April of this year. Among other findings, the report found that U.S. free trade policy has allowed companies to more readily move American jobs overseas and keep wages low for jobs that remain in the U.S.

Mississippi-based United Furniture Industries laid off nearly its entire workforce before Thanksgiving. Around 2,700 workers lost their jobs on Monday, according to a report from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. The company, which had become one of the largest furniture businesses in the country, sent a memo via email and text message to workers late Monday night and instructed them not to report to work the next morning. In a follow-up email, United Furniture Industries said the layoff is “expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.” Truck drivers who were out making deliveries were told to return to a United Furniture location immediately to turn in their vehicles. The reason for the layoffs – made at the behest of the company’s board of directors – was “unforeseen business circumstances.”

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of what for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits ticked higher last week, hitting the highest level in three months. Figures released Wednesday by the Labor Department show initial claims for the week ended Nov. 19 rose to 240,000 from the upwardly revised 223,000 recorded a week earlier. That is above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims and marks the highest level since mid-August. Continuing claims rose slightly to 1.55 million for the week ended Nov. 12, up by 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level. One year ago, nearly 2.28 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits.

The Leading Economic Indicators index from the Conference Board indicated that things continued to get worse in October, falling 0.8% from the prior month. This comes after a decrease of 0.5% in September. The index has fallen for eight consecutive months and indicates that the U.S. economy is headed toward, or already in, a recession.

A Thanksgiving meal for 10 will cost $64.05, a 20% increase from last year’s average of $53.31, the American Farm Bureau reported. The Farm Bureau’s survey of prices show:     16-pound turkey: $28.96 or $1.81 per pound (up 21%); 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $3.88 (up 69%); 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.90 (up 23%);     1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.73 (up 22%); 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.28 (up 18%); 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.84 (up 16%); 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.96 (up 11%). However, A 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries is just $2.57, down 14% from a year ago.

Mortgage rates dropped again this week, after plunging nearly half a percentage point last week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.58% in the week ending November 23, down from 6.61% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate was 3.10%.

House prices in the United States — which rose during the pandemic by the most since the 1970s — are falling too. Economists at Goldman Sachs expect a decline of around 5%-10% from the peak reached in June through to March 2024. In a “pessimistic” scenario, .US. prices could plunge as much as 20%, Dallas Fed economist Enrique Martinez-Garcia wrote in a blog post recently.

New home sales in the U.S. defied expectations and rose in October, government data showed Wednesday, despite mortgage rates remaining high. Although sales surged during the pandemic, the sector cooled with the central bank raising the benchmark lending rate multiple times this year to ease demand and tamp down soaring inflation. But sales of new single-family houses picked up 7.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 632,000 in October, said the Commerce Department.

Online sales for Black Friday set a record this year with consumers spending $9.12 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. That is a gain of 2.3% year-over-year. Tech gifts have been very popular so far with sales rising 221% above a regular day in October this year. Among the top sellers were smart home items and audio equipment. More shoppers are also taking advantage of buy now, pay later services; such orders were up 78% compared to the previous week. Cyber Monday is also expected to set records, with Adobe Analytics expecting sales up 5.1% over last year at $11.2 billion. 

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

At least 19 people were injured in a pair of terrorist bombings in Jerusalem Wednesday morning. Bombs went off at bus stops near the city entrance off of Weizmann Boulevard and at Ramot Junction, where three people were reported injured. Four of the victims of the Weizmann Boulevard bombing are listed in critical condition, with two more in serious condition. All three of the victims of the Ramot bombing are listed in light condition.

Despite earlier promises to the contrary, Qatar is preventing Jewish visitors to the FIFA World Cup from attaining kosher cooked food or praying in a public venue during their stay, sources told The Jerusalem Post. “We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces in order for religious Jews who came to see the games to have a place of worship,” a Jewish organization representative said. “We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they cannot secure them.” The tournament began Sunday and continues until December 18. An estimated 10,000 religiously observant Jews are expected to attend.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Iran has reportedly reached 60% enrichment of uranium at its Fordow enrichment plant, marking a dangerous step closer to the country’s goal of obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran has begun to enrich uranium to higher levels of purity at the underground Fordow site, the country’s nuclear chief said Tuesday. “We had said that Iran will seriously react to any resolution and political pressure … that is why Iran has started enriching uranium to 60% purity from Monday at the Fordow site,” said Mohammad Eslami, according to Iranian media. Iran has done so at other sites, but the Fordow site is an underground facility where Iran will likely test its most sensitive nuclear work. The original JCPOA nuclear deal capped enrichment at 3.67%.

Iranian hackers on Thursday released a series of videos taken from street security cameras from Wednesday’s twin bombings at bus stops in Jerusalem that killed one person and injured two dozen others. The hackers, who go by the name “Moses Staff,” also published personal documents allegedly taken from Israeli companies. They also claimed on Telegram to have access to high-quality satellite images of Israel. “For a long time we have had control over all your activities, step by step and moment by moment,” read a Hebrew-language caption on one of the videos. It is not yet known whether the footage came from cameras belonging to the police, the municipality or another entity.

Wars & Rumors of Wars:  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Russia/Ukraine: The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution declaring Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism because of Moscow’s strikes on civilian targets. “The deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes,” the Parliament said. The resolution was adopted with 494 votes in favor, 58 against and 44 abstentions.

The United States has authorized an additional $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, which will include weapons, munitions and air defense equipment, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. President Joe Biden has said he expects U.S. aid to Ukraine will continue without interruption despite skepticism by Republicans, who are expected to use their new majority in the House of Representatives to more closely monitor the flow of aid. The Biden administration has so far provided $19.7 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.

  • President Biden’s administration is scrambling to track the nearly $20 billion in military aid it has sent to Ukraine as Republicans warn of impending audits when they take control of the House in January. A potential audit would determine how much, if any, of the U.S. aid is ending up in the wrong hands. The Biden administration’s previous tracking efforts have inspected only a fraction of the aid provided to the country.

As the Ukrainian government worked to restore power and water following recent Russian military strikes, Ukrainians were mourning a Moscow-backed atrocity that began 90 years ago: the Holodomor. The Holodomor, which translates roughly to “death by hunger” in Ukrainian, is also known as the Great Famine. More than 3 million people died over two years as the Soviet government under Josef Stalin confiscated food and grain supplies and deported many Ukrainians.

Satellite images of Europe show Ukraine sitting mainly in darkness, while other countries and capitals, including Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, remain strongly lit. The contrast comes after the barrage of missile strikes from Russia have left tens of millions of Ukrainians without power and water as winter sets in. This past Wednesday, strikes targeting critical infrastructure killed 10 people while causing power outages across Ukraine and more than half of neighboring Moldova. According to Ukraine Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, “the vast majority of electricity consumers were cut off” in his country. 

An attack last week by Russian forces on Ukraine’s power grid caused “colossal” damage, leaving no thermal or hydroelectric power plant in Ukraine intact, according to the head of the government-owned electricity transmission system operator. “This was the biggest attack, the biggest in history. Over 100 heavy missiles were launched. Their targets were Ukrainian energy system facilities, mainly, Ukrenergo substations and Ukrainian thermal power stations producing energy for Ukrainian consumers,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrenergo, said Tuesday. “To understand the scale of these attacks, what we’re dealing with, almost all thermal and power generation from large power plants suffered damage from missile strikes. There are almost no Ukrenergo hub substations that are intact. Practically every key substation has been hit at least once, and some three, five or eight times,” he added.  

Ethiopia/Tigray: When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, he was lauded as a regional peacemaker. Now, he is presiding over a protracted civil war that by many accounts bears the hallmarks of genocide. Tigray has been under assault from Ethiopian forces led by PM Ahmed, Eritrean forces led by President Isaias Afwerki and various militias accused of extrajudicial executions, sexual violence and indiscriminate shelling. An estimated 383,000 to 600,000 civilians died in Tigray between November 2020 and August 2022, according to Professor Jan Nyssen and a team of researchers at Ghent University, in Belgium, who are authorities on Tigray’s geography and agriculture. The estimates represent deaths from atrocities, lack of medicines and health care, and hunger.

Yemen/Houthis: Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted a ship at an oil terminal in the south of the country on Monday in the latest in a series of recent attacks that threaten to escalate conflict after months of relative calm. The government, which controls the territory where the terminal is located, said in a statement that the strike took place while a commercial ship was in the port of Al-Dabah, near the city of Mukalla, and that it had been carried out by drones. It did not say whether any damage had been sustained or to which nation the vessel belonged. The Houthis takes issue with its rivals receiving funds from oil exports. Yemen’s warring parties failed last month to renew a months-long truce that had spurred hopes for a longer peace. In October, the rebels targeted several other ships in drone attacks. War has raged since 2014 in Yemen between the Houthi rebels and pro-government forces backed by a coalition of Sunni Gulf Arab states. The Iran-backed Houthis swept down from the mountains in 2014, occupied northern Yemen and the country’s capital and forced the internationally recognized government to flee into exile to Saudi Arabia.

Turkey/Syria: There is significant concern that Turkey’s planned ground invasion into Syria to root out the U.S.-allied Kurds could open the floodgates for the release of thousands of imprisoned Islamic State terrorists. Syrian Kurdish forces have incarcerated thousands of ISIS terrorists from more than 50 countries in prisons in northeastern Syrian. Brigadier Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said Wednesday, “Recent air strikes in Syria directly threatened the safety of U.S. personnel who are working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and maintain custody of more than 10,000 ISIS detainees.”

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Monday hit Indonesia’s main island, Java. By Tuesday, at least 268 were reported dead, with 151 missing and more than 1,000 wounded. The earthquake damaged 22,000 homes and displaced more than 58,000 people. Many of the dead were public school students who were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools when the buildings collapsed. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency recorded at least 25 aftershocks. The country is situated on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. It was hit with a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in February, killing 25 people and injuring 460. In January 2021, another magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit and killed more than 100 people and injured almost 6,500 more. 

An area in northwestern Turkey that was devastated by earthquakes 23 years ago, was hit by a magnitude 5.9 quake and several strong aftershocks that sent residents into a panic Wednesday. At least 68 people were injured, mostly while trying to flee homes. The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said that the earthquake was centered in the town of Golkaya, in Duzce province, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Istanbul.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

For the first time in nearly four decades, Mauna Loa erupted Sunday on the Big Island of Hawaii. The eruption of the world’s largest active volcano began late Sunday night. Early Monday, the USGS said lava flows were contained within the summit area and weren’t threatening nearby communities. The eruption sparked an ashfall advisory Monday for Hawaii’s Big Island and surrounding waters.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The mega-drought in the southwestern U.S. continues to decline, with the proportion of the area in severe to exceptional drought dropping from 71% at the beginning of 2022 to 45% last week. However, there are wide differences among individual states. California experienced just a negligible decline from 86% to 85%, while Utah also improved just a little from 94% to 91%. Nevada actually worsened from 89% to 99% over the year thus far. In contrast, New Mexico improved from 76% to 21%, while Arizona improved from 26% to 12%, with Colorado dropping from 67% to 25%.

Heavy rainfall triggered landslides early Saturday on the southern Italian island of Ischia that killed two and left as many as 12 people missing as it cut a muddy swath through a port town, collapsing buildings and sweeping cars and buses into the sea. Streets were impassable and mayors on the island urged people to stay at home. At least 100 people were reported stranded.

This news brief contributed by Pastor John Jacobsen, author of a number of exciting Christian fiction novels about the End Times (see www.johnajacobsen.com and www.gofg.org).  You can contact him on Facebook or purchase his books at Amazon.com at: https://www.amazon.com/End-Beginning-John-Jacobsen-ebook/dp/B005DTO2SO

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