PINES FIRE NEAR JULIAN, CALIFORNIA
Following the devastating fires in Colorado and Arizona, this week has seen the beginning of what might turn out to be the worst fire ever in an area near Julian, California, which is situated 25 miles east of Ramona (where the San Diego church meets for Sabbath services). As of noon, Thursday, the fire, which is also referred to as the “Pines Fire,” is only 25% contained. It has already burned 17,500 acres, including at least five houses. The damage so far is estimated as $1,9 million. 500 people were evacuated from their houses. The loss of wild life can’t even be estimated. Almost 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, including personnel from as far as Sacramento and Arizona. The cause of the fire has not been officially determined yet, but there is a great likelihood that a forest helicopter caused the fire, when disconnecting a power line.
The bible predicts that we will be observing more and more of these kinds of fires in the years ahead. God is trying to warn and shake up this nation.
CHILD AND TEEN ABDUCTIONS ON THE RISE
We have recently seen an unprecedented rise in the abductions, kidnappings and murders of young children and teenagers. Especially shocking is the brutality and “in-your-face” attitude, with which the perpetrators have conducted their crimes, including the breaking and entering into homes to kidnap a child or teen. The most recent case in these bizarre series of appalling events happened early Thursday morning in Lancaster, California (which is 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles). A man kidnapped two teenage girls (16 and 17) at gunpoint from lovers’ lane in a remote area. The girls were sitting in separate cars with male friends, when the gunman approached them and tied up the male friends, before leaving with the girls in a car which belonged to one of the males.
Fortunately, only hours after the abduction, the two teenage girls were found alive and the man suspected of kidnapping them was shot and killed by police.
This most recent event shows the kind of world in which we are all living. The bible warns all of us to show great caution in how we are to conduct ourselves, and to stay away from dangerous situations or locations. God-fearing parents need to take extra efforts to supervise their children and teens.
GERMANS BUY MANHATTAN?
In an interesting article of BILD Online, August 1, it is suggested “the New York Skyline becomes German.” More and more high-rise buildings are in the hands of Germans, according to the newspaper, including the Chrysler Building and the Seagram Building. One is somewhat reminded of God’s prediction in Deuteronomy 28:43-44, “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.”
A bomb exploded this week in a cafeteria of the Hebrew University, killing four students, including Americans, and injuring more than 80. The terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility and stated that the attack was “intended to avenge the July 22 killing of its leader, Salah Shehada.”
President Bush, meeting on Thursday with Jordan’s King Abdullah, stated that he was furious over the attack, but he expressed at the same time his belief that peace is still possible. Observers are expecting, however, a serious act of retaliation from Israel, which would make any peace prospects in the region more and more illusory.
Zenit News Agency reported on July 26, that a church-state treaty was signed between the Czech Republic and the Vatican. The treaty must still be ratified by the Parliament. 39.2% of the Czechs are Catholics, while 39.8% are atheists. The article pointed out that all the other Eastern European countries have already signed similar agreements with the Vatican. The treaty recognizes the civil effects of a marriage conducted by the Catholic Church, and it treats Catholic schools like public schools. It also permits and regulates the teaching of Catholic religion in public schools. The article continued that the “thorny questions relating to Church property expropriated by the communist regime” would still have to be resolved.