A Word to the Believer

I want to focus on the Believer, in these Last Days; the role that Messiah has given us, through Abba Father, in John 17. It is a beautiful prayer that confers power and love upon His disciples. It is the prayer that unites us.

Be of good courage.

17 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

A Recap on Terror

Imprisoned for failing to bribe a police officer for unlicensed selling — a common and oft overlooked misdemeanour — a Tunisian street vendor suffers the ignominy of a slap to the face from a female prison officer. On release from prison, he self-immolates. Subsequent tensions spill over to the streets of Tunis and from there to Tripoli, Cairo, and Damascus.

The year is 2011. Welcome to the Arab Spring.

A proxy-war in the Levant, centred on Syria and northern Iraq and fed by Islamic arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, allows the ascendency of a predominantly Western-trained Al-Qaida offshoot rebel group that call themselves the Islamic State. The West’s response is lukewarm until a Russian dalliance in Syria invites a more formidable American rejoinder from a new Washington administration.

A ramshackle Syria has half its population displaced or dead. Libya is a failed state. Iraq is a quagmire of Quds forces and Shiite Iraqi soldiers, Kurdistan Peshmerga, and Turkish troops, combined in their opposition to the Islamic State and other rebel Sunni loyalists.

Turmoil in the Middle East spurns a giant wave of migration through Turkey but also across the Mediterranean — were 5,000 people drown each year in an attempt at this crossing.

Despite arguments that attempt to exonerate this crisis, Europe suffers a spate of terror attacks* — mainly in France and Germany, but now also Manchester, England. Since 2015, 313 people have been killed in terror in 13 separate incidents across major European cities.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Where to from here?

It’s all glum as far as the eye can see; up to, and beyond, a September start to the Tribulation.

§


Annotations

*The terror attacks coincide with the European Immigration Crisis. They started in France with the killing of 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo attack in January of 2015 and then a mass-murder of 130 people in Paris later that year. This was followed in March (2016) by the Brussels bombings were 32 people were killed, before returning to France for the Nice terror attack in July were another 84 people lost their lives. Berlin and Munich combined suffered 12 fatalities in a July terror attack of 2016. Then we went back to France for the Normandy church attack later that month. Another 12 people were killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack. Early this year we had the Louvre knife attack followed by the Westminster attack, in which 4 people were killed. April saw 4 people killed in Stockholm and a policeman was shot dead later that month in Paris. Three days ago, 22 people were killed in the Manchester terror attack.

References

Terror attacks timeline: From Paris and Brussels terror to most recent attacks in Europe, Alice Foster – Express, May 24, 2017

President Trump’s Special Theory of Relativity

President Donald Trump could afford Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, forty minutes of his time today in New York, as they met aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid, and that only after delaying the meeting for 3 hours.

The President was in Washington lobbying to get his legislation, to repeal “Obamacare”, through the House, which it did. (It now has to get through the Senate where, of course, the Republicans also hold the balance of power.)

The delay in meeting with Mr Turnbull may not be so much of a snub, but you would think that the President could apportion more than 45 minutes of his time to a meeting with the Australian Prime Minister. In this geopolitical landscape, a staunch ally should be treated well. Speaking with the ally’s leader for 45 minutes is hardly preferential treatment. Of course, Mr Trump might have bigger fish to fry.

Perhaps Mr Trump is of the opinion that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Maybe that is why he gave Mr Turnbull the: ok, you’ve got 45 minutes!, routine.

Or, perhaps he feels that he has so many engagements that he wants, in a show of equanimity, to apportion each a maximum of 45 minutes. Interestingly, both Mr Trump (real estate) and Mr Turnbull (investment banking) have a background in business. Mr Turnbull has spent more time in politics than Mr Trump, but Mr Trump knows his way around a deal.

Mr Trump is clearly unhappy with the refugee deal, made by the Australian government with the previous Washington administration, because it plainly goes against his ethos and mandate to put America first. For that, it’s hard to fault him. He has, however, reluctantly accepted the deal, artless as it may seem to him.

It is important that we consider Mr Trump’s antecedent  behaviour, what he displayed even before he was sworn in as president. He was hitting the ground running from the moment the election result was called. He knew (and he knows) that there is no time to lose, and he has been go, go, go, ever since. It is in this context that we should read the forty-five minutes.

Others have said that the President showed great personal restraint and respect for the relationship with Australia by leaving Washington at all, to go to New York, for the meeting and dinner.

As odd as it sounds, it is possible that President Trump really only had 45 minutes to spare. As important as face-to-face meetings are, in this age of media, much of what can be done in person can be subsumed electronically.

And, as the President knows, you can’t be in two places at once.


Featured Image: World line [Wikimedia Commons]

Don’t Mention the War

It may only be a war of words, but the real thing is not far off. American VP Pence has come to our shores to tell us how important and vital the relationship with Australia is. He brought his family with him and met With Australia’s PM, Malcolm Turnbull, today. They both spoke. VP Pence out-spoke PM Turnbull in style and substance. Not that it was a competition, but as a public figure you are always on display. I think the meeting, of such a high U.S. official, is of a serious nature. Behind the images of wives and children, the message from Trump’s second-in-charge will be akin to a war footing. This was a public display of unity and friendship and families, but behind the scenes there is serious business going on and not just about North Korea.

[Ed: That might sound like stating the obvious, but the whole family thing is a bit of a ruse. Tensions are genuinely building, on both sides of the divide. This is not mere rhetoric and bluff.]


Image: Official portrait of Vice President Mike Pence. [Wikimedia Commons]