Category Archives: Current Events

Early Warning: “Providing advanced notice of some impending event or development”

If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  John 15:18-21

I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.  They will put you out of the synagogues.  Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.  And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.  But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.  John 16:1-4

I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes I catch wind of things that make my spiritual antennae go up.  This last week was one of those times, and I felt led to pass it on.  I have an I Phone, an I Pad, and a Mac Book Pro.  Hence, I use I Tunes (Maybe not much longer after this article).  In the IOS 12 update, there is this new “Device Trust Score” that seems rather odd to me.  Check out this article from Venture Beat:

Apple’s promise of transparency regarding user data means that any new privacy policy update might reveal that it’s doing something new and weird with your data. Alongside yesterday’s releases of iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5, Apple quietly updated some of its iTunes Store terms and privacy disclosures, including one standout provision: It’s now using an abstracted summary of your phone calls or emails as an anti-fraud measure.

The provision appears in the iTunes Store & Privacy windows of iOS and tvOS devices:

I Tunes Trust Policy

 

This provision is unusual for a few reasons, perhaps the least of which is that Apple TVs don’t make phone calls or send emails. As such, it’s unclear how Apple computes the device trust score for iTunes purchases made through Apple TVs, but there’s other potential “information about how you use your device” that could be scraped and abstracted…

It’s equally unclear how recording and tracking the number of calls or emails traversing a user’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch would better enable Apple to verify a device’s identity than just checking its unique device identifier. Every one of these devices has both hardcoded serial numbers and advertising identifiers, while iPhones and cellular iPads also have SIM cards with other device-specific codes.

Citing personal privacy concerns, Apple has said that it’s unwilling to share users’ private data, notably including phone call logs, even under foreign government demands — except under proper legal process. While transmitting and storing an abstracted number of emails or phone calls doesn’t come close to full call or email records, it’s an odd metric to rely upon as an anti-fraud measure.

This would not have bothered me as much if I hadn’t of just read this article by Megan Palin a week or so before, from the New York Post, (Sept. 19, 2018):

China’s chilling dictatorship is moving quickly to introduce social scorecards by which all citizens will be monitored 24/7 and ranked on their behavior.

The Communist Party’s plan is for every one of its 1.4 billion citizens to be at the whim of a dystopian social credit system, and it’s on track to be fully operational by the year 2020.

An active pilot program has already seen millions of people each assigned a score out of 800 and either reap its benefits or suffer its consequences — depending on which end of the scale they sit.

Under the social credit scheme, points are lost and gained based on readings from a sophisticated network of 200 million surveillance cameras — a figure set to triple in 18 months.

The program has been enabled by rapid advances in facial recognition, body scanning and geo-tracking.

The data is combined with information collected from individuals’ government records — including medical and educational — along with their financial and internet browsing histories. Overall scores can go up and down in “real time” dependent on the person’s behavior, but they can also be affected by people they associate with.

“If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you’ll lose points too,” the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) reports.

The mandatory “social credit” system was first announced in 2014 in a bid to reinforce the notion that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful,” according to a government document.

In an episode on the ABC’s “Foreign Correspondent,” financial credit system Jie Cong, Tianjin general manager for financial credit system Alipay, summarized the system in black and white.

“If people keep their promises they can go anywhere in the world,” he said. “If people break their promises they won’t be able to move an inch.”

Under the system, those deemed to be “top citizens” are rewarded bonus points.

The benefits of being ranked on the higher end of the scale include waived deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications and fast-tracking to the most prestigious universities.

Dandan, a young mother and marketing professional, is proud of her high score. If she keeps it up her infant son will be more likely to get into a top school.

“China likes to experiment in this creative way…I think people in every country want a stable and safe society,” she said.

“We need a social credit system. We hope we can help each other, love each other and help everyone to become prosperous.”

Now you might become a little jumpy when both China and Apple use the same verbage: “Trust Score.”  Hmmm.  So, dig a little further and you can read a host of articles about how China and Apple have been linked because it is so much cheaper to produce I Phones in China, saving Apple billions of dollars.  

This is one such article from The Daily Caller.  Writers Lieberman and Pickrell write about how Apple “contributes to the suppression of human rights and internet freedom” to become the ninth largest company in the world (not just tech company, company of any kind).  

• So it is no coincidence that the “Trust Score” rating in China begins to bleed into the United States via the Apple Company.  

Once again, perhaps it is time for me to get rid of my Apple devices!  Jesus warned us of this time over 2000 years ago, so don’t be surprised by it.

But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.  John 16:4

 

 

 


What in the world is going on?

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.  Thus, Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  Acts 4:32-37

binoculars-1209011__340.jpgYou don’t have to watch the current events on the news long to realize that we are on the brink of something.  If you dig deeper, you will see people predicting that our financial bubble is soon to burst.  In fact, this time it won’t be a downturn in just the United States, but a global meltdown.  I have heard the ‘Chicken Littles’ come and go, but now there are so many of them from so many directions that it is getting hard to ignore.  Read Ron Edwards’ blog to get his stats about many current related topics: Living Eternal Now

This is a quote about world-drought from Hackett Financial Advisors,

“Things are happening that haven’t happened in a long time,” said Hackett. “It’s just the beginning.  We have data that goes back to the 1600s and 1800s from ice core samples, tree rings, and from actually written testimony of the kind of problems that they had,” said Hackett.  “We are not doomist and gloomist, that’s not our modus operandi,” he said. “But the world we are heading into is a world of food scarcity and local famines.  “It’s not going to be pleasant. It’s going to be a very difficult time. We’re going to have to come up with new ways of growing food in this more difficult environment.”

And then there is the political climate of hate, coming from both sides.  It is like a pressure cooker that is soon to pop the lid off.  I am old enough to remember pre-Watergate years when things were not divisive and there could be a sense of unity regardless of who had the majority in the House.

All of this is to say what echoes in the back of many peoples’ minds, including my own: “Are we headed into the End Times?”  This is a very real question.  Like, what would you do if there was a global financial collapse and money wasn’t any good anymore?  Further, all of your savings that you banked on for retirement and security suddenly vanished?  Or, what if drought really began to take over and food resources become so scarce that grocery stores didn’t have shelves of food anymore?  And hyper inflation took over, driving prices through the roof?

My husband and I have made some new friends recently that are real life ‘Dooms Day Preppers.’  This other couple are not Christians, so they aren’t operating from the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.  We have to remind ourselves of the promises of Scripture, like in Matthew 6:31-32 where it says, Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

We have had many good opportunities to share about Jesus with them.  I believe that they are in our lives for a specific reason.  They are challenging us to get ready for a coming physical crisis by storing up food and supplies.  We are wanting to communicate what it means to store up treasures in Heaven where moth and rust does not corrupt and where thieves do not steal.  My prayer is that one day soon they will join the family.

As my husband and I look at what is going on currently, we can’t blow off our prepper friends.  Their take is that if the economy collapses and our money is no good, then stored up food and dry goods are worth more than a whole bunch of paper bills.  They foresee that the drought will cause issues with the non drought areas because people will migrate here and take over our resources.  They are also convinced that an EMP is a credible threat (electro magnetic pulse that would wipe out all computers and electronic devices).  We know that nothing that will happen that doesn’t come in and out of God’s hands.

However, that doesn’t negate Acts 4 and the kind of community that we may have to become.  My view of the End Times is a PreWrath Framework.  That means that I don’t believe that believers will be raptured up before any specific tribulation will come.  I take Scripture at face value, which means that in Matthew 24 for instance, when Jesus gave a  timeline, He was telling us something.  That timeline includes wars, famines and earthquakes, tribulation and false prophets, lawlessness increasing, and the love of many growing cold.  That’s just the beginning of the birth pangs.

But then there is the specific chronology of events starting in vs. 15: The Abomination of Desolation (in the Temple in Jerusalem), THEN the Great Tribulation (Satan’s wrath cf Rev. 6:12), and then the return of Christ in the clouds, along with the gathering of His elect from the four winds.

I have written a novel that puts a story line to this framework, The Gathering.  The link is there.  It is on Lulu.com, just in case you want a little summer reading.  My conclusion is that we must live in a community of believers much like the Acts believers did.  In order to do that, we must have things to share–hard goods.  My admonishment is this: you might want to ask yourself the same question: What in the world is going on?  And then do something.  Pray and ask God to tell you what you need to prepare.  It might be radical.

What we are doing is kind of radical.  We aren’t spending our money on a summer vacation.  It’s going into canning and other resources that will we will use in the future if the cost of things spiral out of control.  We have an eye on how this can be used to share with others.