The shooting earlier today in Chattanooga was an act of Islamic terrorism. Yes, I know—my definition of Islamic terror is much broader than that of the US administration. In my book, any time a Muslim murders a non-Muslim, it's an act of Islamic terror. I don't really care whether or not the perpetrator was a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda or ISIS. It's very sad and our thoughts and prayers go out for the families of the victims. Here's the tweet ISIS sent out just a few minutes before the shooting started. We managed to get a screenshot before the Twitter account was suspended. As we've said before, this is war, folks.

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Coming soon to a court near you ... A sharia judge in the UK evidently thinks sharia (Muslim) law should trump local, civil law. We have at least one sharia court here in Texas. Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes between Muslims – similar to Jewish courts that mediate disputes between Jewish people according to established Jewish law. These religious courts have no civil authority. But here we have an instance where a sharia judge in England is suggesting that Islamic law (which allows Muslim men to have multiple wives) should have precedence over civil law (which doesn't allow polygamy). This could indicate that it's only a matter of time before religious sharia courts here in the USA clash with civil authority. Furthermore, we have a president who says that civil authority should not be able to tell a person who he can love. So what if he loves five different women? What then? http://www.clarionproject.org/news/uk-female-sharia-judge-muslims-have-right-polygamy

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Not long ago, Marcia and I were strolling through Brooklyn with some friends from Life in Messiah and we saw the new Lubavitcher HQ. Here's a little card they hand out to passers by. Just FYI, if you're not familiar with the Noahide Laws, there's a pretty decent article on Wikipedia.

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The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is taking a proactive approach to combatting anti-Semitism worldwide. This isn't a jazzy news item–just a report about lots of down-in-the-trenches hard work in the political arena. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutTheMinistry/Conferences-Seminars/GFCA2013/Pages/The-5th-Global-Forum-for-Combating-Antisemitism.aspx

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Today was our last of touring.We began with the Ammunition Hill memorial. But first a photo op! ----- DSC 0049 ----- DSC 0053 ----- DSC 0054 ----- DSC 0057 ----- DSC 0061 ----- DSC 0063 ----- DSC 0065 ----- Next stop- Yad Vashem. The Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. ----- DSC 0083 ----- DSC 0086 ----- DSC 0093 ----- DSC 0095 ----- The memorial to The Righteous Among the Nations. ----- DSC 0099 ----- DSC 0104 ----- DSC 0106 ----- Our last stop was Tel Azeka and an overlook of the Ela Valley where David slew Goliath. ----- DSC 0111 ----- DSC 0113 ----- DSC 0115 ----- DSC 0139 ----- And that's our tour. We had a nice farewell dinner at the hotel, said our good-by's and parted the next day with fond memories of our Israel Through Israeli Eyes tour. See you next time. ----- For more information about our next tour please call me at our office 210-226-0421 x147. Ask for RIck.

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Today we left the Galilee and headed for Jerusalem. Our first stop was Tel Megiddo.DSC 0002 ----- Sunrise over the Galilee. ----- DSC 0006 ----- Our co-workers from London, Robert and Rosamund Weissman. ----- DSC 0012 ----- DSC 0016 ----- DSC 0028 ----- DSC 0031 ----- DSC 0037 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0043 ----- DSC 0049 ----- The view towards Nazareth across the valley. ----- DSC 0063 ----- To the well. ----- DSC 0065 ----- DSC 0068 ----- Our next stop was Mt. Carmel. ----- DSC 0078 ----- DSC 0084 ----- DSC 0088 ----- After lunch we headed for the coastal city of Caesarea. ----- DSC 0090 ----- DSC 0094 ----- DSC 0100 ----- DSC 0103 ----- DSC 0110 ----- DSC 0113 ----- DSC 0117 ----- DSC 0124 ----- DSC 0127 ----- DSC 0134 ----- DSC 0141 ----- DSC 0147 ----- DSC 0149 ----- DSC 0157 ----- Our last stop of the day was Jaffa and a view of Tel Aviv. One photo explains it all. ----- DSC 0171 ----- Tomorrow we'll begin our tour of Jerusalem. Stay tuned...

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Today we toured the Golan Hts. north of the Sea of Galilee.First stop- Tel Hazor. The ruins of an ancient city. ----- DSC 0003 ----- DSC 0005 ----- DSC 0008 ----- DSC 0013 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0017 ----- DSC 0021 An olive press. More about olives in a bit! ----- DSC 0022 ----- DSC 0029 ----- Next stop- Banias (Caesarea Phillipi). The headwaters of the Jordan River. ----- DSC 0034 ----- DSC 0040 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0052 ----- DSC 0053 From left- Rosemond and Robert Weissman listen to Pastor Rander Draper. ----- After lunch we tried to visit Mt. Mental but the rain and fog made it essential that we change plans so we visited the olive products factory at Kibbutz En Gev- Olea Essence. ----- DSC 0067 ----- DSC 0071 ----- Tomorrow we'll leave Tiberius and make our way to Jerusalem via the coast and Tel Aviv. Stay tuned...

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Today we left the Dead Sea and headed north towards Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.First stop- Qumran. Where they found the Dead Sea scrolls. ----- DSC 0003 ----- DSC 0005 ----- DSC 0012 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0015 ----- DSC 0016 ----- DSC 0020 ----- DSC 0036 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0054 ----- DSC 0056 ----- DSC 0093 ----- DSC 0099 ----- DSC 0108 ----- Next stop- Qasr-El Yahud. This is the baptism spot on the Jordan River just north of the Dead Sea. ----- DSC 0111 ----- DSC 0112 ----- DSC 0115 ----- We continued our journey north through the West Bank to Beir She'an- the ancient Roman City of the Decapolis and one of the largest archaeological sites in Israel. ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0123 ----- DSC 0126 ----- DSC 0128 ----- DSC 0130 ----- DSC 0135 ----- DSC 0139 ----- DSC 0149 ----- DSC 0151 ----- DSC 0152 ----- DSC 0155 ----- DSC 0158 ----- DSC 0163 ----- DSC 0166 ----- DSC 0168 ----- DSC 0169 ----- After a shopping stop at the Galilee Experience we walked to our hotel for the next three nights. Tomorrow we'll tour the Galilee area. Stay tuned...

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Some of our friends have been asking what we think about the elections that are just now taking place in Israel. I personally like Bibi Netanyahu and would be voting for him if I was an Israeli. Nonetheless, I also recognize that the Messianic movement in Israel is diverse and not everyone is sold on Bibi. An Israeli friend just the other day told me she doesn't care for his "Napoleonic" demeanor. Others didn't like the way Bibi has tried to throw a monkey wrench into the negotiations with Iran. That's their perception. But like I said, I agree with Bibi. I don't trust the Iranian mullahs. The Iranian people are great (we have friends from Iran). But their Islamist overlords are doing their best to prolong the negotiations because they're making progress toward a weaponized nuclear capacity with every day that passes. So the longer the West is willing to negotiate, the better the Ayatollah likes it. The passage of time is in his favor, not Israel's. I also agree with Bibi about the impracticality of the "two state solution." I'm actually surprised that he had the guts to be so unabashedly politically incorrect – but he came right out and said it! When Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinians in 2005, it was a good test to determine if "Palestine" and Israel could coexist as neighbors. Even the hawkish, conservative military hero Ariel Sharon signed off on the Gaza plan. But it has been an unmitigated disaster and everyone knows it – even those who don't want to admit it out loud. At the risk of offending some well-meaning friends (both here and in Israel), let me say that anyone who still believes that a Jewish State and a Palestinian State can live peaceably, side by side, is either incredibly naive or just simply ... well, to be blunt, not very smart. Please forgive me if that offends you, but I'm speaking here from my heart. I'm telling you—the two state solution, for all practical purposes, is dead. Most Israelis are politically conservative; however, the conservative bloc is splintered among several parties and that makes it hard for the conservatives to come up with a consensus candidate. That's why Bibi has been struggling in the polls. It also doesn't help that some conservatives see him as pompous and arrogant. it's hard for them to separate personalities from principles. At the end of the day tomorrow, we will know the answer of the Israeli voters. And 24 hours from now, regardless of who wins the election, the real answer to Israel's continuing dilemma will still be the same: the Jewish people need their Messiah. Political solutions, alliances, and military might are not the ultimate solution. Someday, all of those things will fail—and all the Israelis will have left is the LORD God of Israel. And maybe, after all is said and done, that's where He wants them. Dry Bones

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If you're interested in the creation vs. evolution debate, you might want to check out the Nota Bene Science & Culture Update. Here's an article from ENV that's featured in the current issue of the Update. With so much hokey and half-baked "creationist" stuff online these days, you'll find Nota Bene's articles refreshingly insightful, relevant, and informed. Intelligent Design and special creation, strictly speaking, are not the same thing; ID also encompasses approaches like theistic or deistic evolution. But there are many intriguing areas where ID and special creation overlap. Enjoy the article and feel free to let us know what you think. Is it important for believers to know what they believe about the question of how we got here? Or not? Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself Evolution News

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