Breaking: Trump Expels 60 Russian Diplomats and Intelligence Personnel from US

Many domestic news outlets, including USA Today, New York Times and CNN, as well as several foreign outlets have announced that President Trump has expelled 60 Russian diplomats, including 12 intelligence operatives.  Several NATO allies have followed suit.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said:

“Today, the United States began the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission to the United Nations who have abused their privilege of residence in the United States.  After a review, we have determined that the 12 intelligence operatives engaged in espionage activities that are adverse to‎ our national security.”

Joel Rosenberg posted analysis of these actions and suggested 5 additional things President Trump should do, regarding Russia.  You will find those suggestions here.  (Not to say we should always agree with Rosenberg, but he expresses interesting thoughts regarding the situation.)

BTW – if you are reading Rosenberg’s newest novel, The Kremlin Conspiracy, these actions are a welcome course of action compared to what is depicted in the book!  Let’s pray that our president and his security team act more aggressively than the president depicted in that novel.  Our leaders need wisdom…let’s ask of God!

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
~James 1:5

Israel Sends Trauma Experts to Parkland FL

Following the recent school shooting in Parkland FL, Yotam Dagan had a particular concern: how would student at Stoneman Douglas High School react to the next fire drill?  The Israeli clinical psychologist and former Israeli special forces member realized the shooter had pulled the fire alarm to empty classrooms.

According to CNN, Dagan said:

“If it’s just done without any early preparation or warning, the sound of the bell is going to reactivate the traumatic response….There are going to be meltdowns. There are going to be panic attacks.”

So, Dagan and fellow psychologist Alan Cohen hopped on a plane and flew to Florida.  “It’s not as if Israel knows anything America doesn’t.  But we have a lot more practical experience in putting them into a coherent program.” Indeed, as members of the Israel Trauma Coalition, they have experience in providing trauma counseling following terrorist activity in Israel and around the world, as well as assistance following natural disasters worldwide.

They are also experts in identifying those in need of trauma assistance, and brought their expertise to those impacted, as well as to community leaders who are in position to provide resources to those in need.

Read the inspiring story here.

I am reminded once again of the Israeli commitment to tikkun olam…making the world a better place.  Consistently, Israel is one of the first on scene anywhere in the world when assistance is needed.  Praise God for their tikkun olam commitment…and may we learn from their faithfulness.

Protests in Iran and Jesus Making Himself Known!

Image result for protests in iran

Protests have broken out across Iran over the past few days.  Though freedom of speech is not supported in Iran, news is leaking out through social media and foreign press.  CNN (a very liberal news organization) is reporting, and President Trump is tweeting.

The fact is,  we don’t know all the details, though it appears that many are protesting against both President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.  Mired in a corrupt economy and high unemployment, Iranian citizens expected things to get better following the 2015 nuclear deal in which America gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran.  Instead, the Iranian regime dumped funds into sponsoring terrorism, to the neglect of their own people.

So, what’s the outcome? That question would be answered differently from different perspectives, but let’s consider the spiritual perspective for a moment.

Some media sources (such as this one) are reporting mass conversions, particularly by young people, to Christianity.  Jesus has been revealing Himself to Iranians for years, so this is not all the work of the current protests.  But the fact remains that many are seeing the void that Islam creates and are looking for something that will truly fill that void.  They are in search of the One True God!

Get your Bibles out and you will see that others have been in search of the One True God.  Hagar in Genesis 15-16.  The Samaritan woman in John 4.  Consider Acts 2, known to us as the account of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit showed up there, and guess who was present?  A whole bunch of people groups we would recognize as Arabs today!

Most interestingly, verse 9 mentions Parthians.  Guess who that is!  Iranians!  Yes, they were present at Pentecost, when the One True God made Himself known through the coming of the Holy Spirit.  That very same Holy Spirit is speaking once more to Iranians, and they are coming to know the God of Abraham…the One True God.  Not Allah, but Jesus Christ!

Friends, as our world continues to lurch toward the end of days, view news of current events through the lens of Scripture and know that God is preparing us for a new kingdom!  One in which He will rule and reign.

He desires that none should perish, thus He is revealing Himself to all who will believe in Him!  Pray for the Iranian people.  They are normal human beings, just like us.  They are ruled by an evil regime, guided by a false religion.  They simply need to know Jesus!  He is moving in their midst, so let’s join forces with our Lord and pray for the salvation of many!