Sunday, July 17, 2011

News From The Epicenter

It appears that violence is beginning to increase from Gaza - and the discussions around this center on "why" or "why now"?

Three rockets from Gaza Strip fired into Israel overnight

Three Kassam rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip overnight Saturday. Two of the rockets exploded in open fields in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and one in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damage was reported.

Palestinians reported Sunday morning that in response to the rockets, the IDF had struck a home in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun. The IDF spokesperson denied that there was any attack on the Strip.

We've watched these rocket attacks escalate over the past several weeks, and speculation regarding exactly who is behind these attacks is growing:

The recent escalation in rocket fire is viewed in the IDF as part of an effort by global jihad-aligned groups in Gaza to undermine Hamas’s authority and rule by attacking Israel. It is believed that Hamas is not currently interested in a large-scale conflict, and therefore is not sanctioning the rocket attacks.

Another possibility is that Hamas is turning a blind eye to the attacks as part of an effort to remind Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the world that it should be taken into account in ongoing efforts to get a diplomatic process back on track.

Either way, it is a dangerous game that is now being played in this powder-keg:

3 Rocket Attacks Awaken Southern Israelis Overnight

For the fifth time in less than a week, rocket fire shook the night for residents of Israel's western Negev and southern coastal region.

Three short-range Kassam rockets were fired by terrorists from Gaza, the first exploding at approximately 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning in the Ashkelon Coast regional council district. Hours later, residents in the Sha'ar HaNegev regional council district were similarly awakened by two more rocket attacks.

On Friday night Gaza terrorists fired a Kassam rocket at the Eshkol regional council district. That missile also exploded in an open area, causing no physical injuries or damage as well.

At least 19 rocket and mortar shells have exploded in southern Israel in the past two and a half weeks, a number of which have caused property damage. One soldier was wounded by a roadside bomb as well.

And the predictable Israeli response:

The Israel Air Force also immediately retaliated in response to the Saturday night attacks, according to Palestinian Authority sources in Gaza.

IAF pilots aimed air strikes at targets south of the northern town of Beit Hanoun following the terrorist rocket attacks, according to the PA source. Medical personnel in Gaza claimed that seven people were injured in the attack.

After a period of relative calm, we're starting to see an increase in violence - there is no doubting that now.

Gaza rocket fire: Why now?

There does not seem to be one clear explanation for the latest resumption of rocket fire from Gaza, and theories abound.

The new escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza, still limited in scope, is the first of its kind since the bitter round of clashes at the beginning of April.

It seems that the upswing in violence of the past couple of weeks is primarily a result of Palestinian actions that are then met by Israeli air strikes, albeit relatively restrained ones.

As already stated, the fire of the last two weeks has been from smaller factions, among them Hamas deserters and groups taking their cues from Al-Qaida.

It is possible that Hamas will not this time stick its head above the parapet to rein in the fire, and the “motivational factor” is the power struggle with Fatah and Hamas’ desire to return to the center stage regarding the conflict with Israel

In other words, this an attempt to show Fatah that without any progress on a comprise agreement, Hamas is capable of making trouble with Israel on the diplomatic front, even before the PA goes to the United Nations in September with its plan for recognition of a Palestinian state.

We'll see. It is hard to imagine that Hamas isn't involved - either through "turning a blind eye" to these rocket attacks or covertly encouraging these attacks.

In another interesting development, we may be on the verge of major uprisings in Jordan; something that has been closely watched over the past months:

Jordan Under Fire for Bloody Violence against Journalists

Violent Jordan police beat up journalists covering a protest and may have inadvertently paved the way for a hot “Arab Spring” summer.

King Abdullah II generally has been spared the massive uprising that has rocked several Muslim countries n the Middle East and Africa, but he has not been immune.

Friday’s club-swinging police in the capital of Amman injured at least 15 people in an unusually violent confrontation with nearly 300 reporters, who nearly outnumbered the demonstrators. The attacks on journalists sparked outrage throughout the country, and Jordan- based journalists said they would stage a sit-in protest Sunday.

It reported that Friday was “a black day for journalism in Jordan following the first open-ended sit-in since March. Demonstrators and loyalists clashed at the protest Friday, and journalists were caught in the crossfire, the Jordan Times reported.

“Within 20 minutes, everything changed 180 degrees,” Nidal Mansour, director of the Amman-based Centre for Defending the Freedom of Journalists, told the newspaper. The violence “shattered Jordan’s image as a welcoming country for members of the press,” he added. “Friday was not just a black day for journalism; it was a bloody day.”

We have to keep in mind the fact that nothing is "accidental" in the Middle East these days, and if there is an increase in violence, there is a reason. Only time will tell, but right now, Gaza, Southern Israel and Jordan are worth watching very closely for further developments.


Anonymous said...

A warm 'hello' to everyone on this wonderful site. I have been a daily visitor here for the last 4 months. Having lost my beloved husband 5 months ago to Leukemia at the age of 55, I cannot find the words to tell you all, how I have been so encouraged and 'lifted high' by reading all the daily updates and then the comments from all of you - I have been so blessed - thank you. I believe that although 2011 surely started of as a 'tough' year for me, I stand strong and am in awe of our amazing Father and the inheritance that we who love him are about to enter into - whoo hooo I can't wait - 'looking up' always. 'Soon and very soon we are going to meet our Lord' - thank you all again for the blessing you have sent my way daily.

South Africa

Scott said...

Janice - thanks so much for the comments, and we'll look forward to seeing you soon!

I know many of us have struggled with many "things" over the past year - financial, health, loss of loved ones, spiritual attacks, etc. You name it.

But we're all in this together, in these last days - and we are all, collectively, a unique group as not only Jesus' bride, but those who are being obedient to Jesus' commands to watch for His return.

A crown awaits us (2 Tim 4:8) as does the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. And that's just the beginning :)

Thanks again,

Alice said...

Hi Janice!!! A warm welcome to you, too! It's so nice to have so many wonderful members of the body of Christ here together, watching for His return!


Dylan said...

Hey Janice! Welcome to this blog. I definitely look forward to meeting the whole body of the church when the rapture happens, but more specifically I can't wait to meet our family on this blog. Although I'll probably be too excited to meet Jesus face to face to even think about searching for you guys. I'll meet you guys eventually though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janice~

W.O.W..South Africa :) I am so happy to see many coming out to say HI. Welcome. You and I came onto the scene about the same time. It's funny how we were all lead here in different ways:) Truly a blessing by following the promptings of the HS.

Have a blessed day!!


James said...


How wonderful it is to have you here at Scott's blog. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that love never ends at death infact it deepens and comforts us in our grief and allows us to draw closer to Christ. The beauty and majesty of Christ is only exalted in love and each time we let our guard down to trust in that perfect love with another, we take a step closer to being more like Christ. Your husband has been made new and I am sure even though he is in Heaven standing beside Christ, I'm 100% positive that his heart is fixed on the day that you join him in paradise forever. I hope God will allow me to witness your reunion.

May God pour out His grace on every aspect of your life and comfort you in His perfect arms filled with love!

God bless you!


Tasarwen said...

Janice, welcome to this little corner of the web. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. There is nothing easy about it and I pray for great comfort and peace for you. *big hug*

James, your message was lovely. It truly touched me. Thank you!

This has been a tough year for me, also. There seems to be a great evil coming against my family. When I think it will never end, I am reminded that Heaven is forever. Thank goodness!

Tasarwen said...

Janice, welcome to this little corner of the web. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. There is nothing easy about it and I pray for great comfort and peace for you. *big hug*

James, your message was lovely. It truly touched me. Thank you!

This has been a tough year for me, also. There seems to be a great evil coming against my family. When I think it will never end, I am reminded that Heaven is forever. Thank goodness!

Scott said...

Nice to see you back!

Caver said...

Janice, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. The good news is you're gonna be reunited in a very short time. Both Mrs C and I will be praying for your strength and guidance during these tough times.

Gary, so glad to have you hear from so far away. I can't imagine what its like being a Christian over there. You are welcome here.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE MY FAMILY! :) ALL OF YOU! It seems like every day I get a new brother or sister! We will all be together forever and ever when we make it to the Promised Land! Party in Jerusalem VERY VERY SOON! your sis in Christ Jesus-ally

James said...


Thank you and I no what you mean about being attacked. I also know that probably everyone on this blog can relate to that.

For watchers, the devil delights in bringing scoffers your way. It's funny though. The Holy Spirit warns us about them as they reveal themselves and we know just where to keep them. Be easy on yourself when you worry. It's a wordly habit and it comes easy to all of us. Here lately when I come accross someone/scoffer, as you might have read about in an earlier blog, I keep seeing the word "Truth" in my minds eye or the place where the Holy Spirit resides. I'm going to listen more to that and apply that word to everything that is said to me.

I am lifting you and your family up in prayer as we speak. Please let us know specifics to pray for so we can join in this battle with you.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Hi to all of you.

Janice, I too lost my husband not long ago (Sept. 2010).

This site and all of you have been such a blessing to me. Thank you.

May God continue to keep us all solidly in Him until we meet Him face to face. Thank you Jesus for your love and protection. We love you.


Scott said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so glad to see that you dound your way here. My father recently went to be with the Lord and I am looking forward to seeing him again relatively soon.

Thanks for the comments and its so nice to have you here!


Anonymous said...

Hi Diane~

Nice to meet you too. I am so sorry to hear about your loss too. That saddens my heart deeply for you and Janice. I want to offer up some scriptures for you both. I would like to put a nice hedge of protection around you both at this difficult juncture in your lives. Maybe God will use you greatly in these last days to go out among many and harvest a few souls.

Thinking of you... God Bless!!


James 1:27 tells us, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (NIV).

Exodus 22:22―God tells us . . . He will "certainly hear her cry.” Very rarely in scripture is this phrase used. There is a double emphasis in this passage of God hearing the widow’s prayer. We have found the widows to be mighty intercessors in prayer.

1 Kings 17—God used the widow of Zarephath to feed the prophet Elijah during the time of famine. Her obedience is a great example of faith even in the face of starvation.

The Shunammite widow in 2 Kings 4 tells of the widow’s plea to Elisha the prophet. The incident teaches us that even though we think we have nothing to offer—in her case only a little bit of oil—God can use small things to supply our needs above and beyond what we ask.

Consider Anna the prophetess in Luke 2, a widow devoted to prayer and fasting. Upon seeing Jesus, she was among the first to speak of the child who was to bring redemption to Israel.

Jesus, himself, used a widow to demonstrate true sacrifice. The widow’s mite is one of the most powerful examples of giving in the body of Christ.

1 Timothy 5―The scripture tells us to "honor the widows.” We often see widows as victims not as victors. We must allow widows to take their place in the Kingdom work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tas~

I didn't want your recent situation with attacks on your family to go un-noticed either.

Seems you and James are truly getting hit hard these days by the evil one. Since the blog is limited in space sometimes it is easier for me to search for a link to a site that may cover a topic we are going through.

I am feeling a lot of pressure these days even within our home. I would like to offer up this link (sorry I am not good with the attachment thing) which seems to help us when Satan Attacks. I like it because it not only helps with scriptural references but how we should conduct ourselves via...

Cutting it Off - Completely ignore it - Scriptural Responses - Confrontational Responses - The Written Responses - The Public Responses - The Mediator Responses - The Cross Responses -

These days too many things are taken out of context and can be used against us in the wrong way later on. I think this can help us to keep it together with fore thought before we act and to always conduct ourselves in a Christ like manner. One of the toughest jobs we seem to have in life as humans :)

Have a blessed day!


Ellis said...

Welcome, Diane & Janice. :) Big hug to you both.

And hello to Gary from Indonesia, too!

GG, thanks for the link. I clicked on the 'back' button, and I see there's all kinds of articles there, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ellis :)

I didn't even see those. I will check them out too! Have a great day.


Tasarwen said...

Thank you Scott, it's nice to be back.

James, my story is a long and sad one. Primarily, our son (who is 35 and was saved at a very young age) has turned his back on the Lord. My mom and brother (non-Christians, it appears), are interfering and there is much back-biting going on. Of course, my hubby and I are on the wrong side of the fence. *sigh* My little family is broken apart. But I am trusting the Lord in this one.

GG, thanks so much for the link. So much of it applies to what is coming up against me.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Tasarwen

I am sad to report that your story is now very common. I have 'lost' two sons to the world and one to the Emergent caper plus his family. Two refuse to have anything to do with me. The pain is I know how you feel!

Jesus said this would happen, but knowing it doesn't ease the sense of grief - but He remains always faithful and finds ways to bless and encourage me, as He will you.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, don't look at the wind and the waves and Praise The Lord out loud; I like to think it amazes the angels, upsets the enemy and gives glory to our Saviour.

Keep looking up - not long now and remember that ALL things work together for good for those who trust in Christ Jesus and are called according to His purposes.

Don't know how, but I am confident He will turn our sorrow to joy and will keep His hand upon our sons. He knows who are His and will NOT let them go. When our boys were first saved, Jesus knew what would happen and accepted them anyway.

God bless, strengthen and uphold you both in this time of testing.

Scott said...

Those scriptures are so great; thanks so much for adding those.

Also - keep praying about those family members (as I know you are) - we'll do the same => sometimes it takes years and years for God to answer those prayers.

Also - who knows what big prophetic events could come around and force people to take a serious look at prophecy. That may give all of us more opportunities to witness.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for allowing us to share,care,learn and lift each other up in our time of need. If you did not allow that platform we would be only hearers and not doers of the word especially in these last days. I have to believe in that scripture about raise up a child... I don't have it in front of me but from what I took out of it they will always know when and how to return back to the Lord. Yes Sue I think many will be coming home soon. Maybe together we can all pray for that. I have some non-Christians too!

God Bless!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of your greetings and Bible verses. (Some days I really miss being close to my husband, James.)

It is so exciting to know that Jesus is coming soon.

Like many others, I am praying for family members (three stepdaughters, their husbands and twelve grandchildren) to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

I am grateful for you all.


Diane from Oregon

Scott said...

It is exciting indeed. I cannot living in this age and not having the realization of what is really happening and why. The fear and uncertainty would be unbearable IMO. Don't forget, the apostle Paul said that we should use the scriptures about Jesus coming as encouragement to each other, and to build each other up with this information. And, he said that it should give us hope.

So I think we're on the right track :)

Tasarwen said...

Thank you so much, Sue. I guess I knew there were others out there with the same troubles, but to actually hear about them gives me comfort.

I never really considered that that verse in Proverbs about "raising up a child in the way he should go and he won't depart from it" as meaning that the child would find his way back. I think it is hard for all of us who actually DID raise up our children in the way they should go, and they depart from it. Thanks for that, GG.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome TAS :)

One message I have seen around me from TV ministries to church is this is the time the children are coming home. I am not sure in which sense to tell you the truth. We have had 4-deaths of family and friends in 4-months. I have to say all who have been very sick. I find peace in this as I think that maybe God is slowly calling his children home too.

As for what I have heard around me with these TV and church ministry messages seems to pertain to the children, our children, grown children. They are so Holy Spirit filled in their messages. The confidence is simply amazing to be on the look our because our children are coming back home. Just like prodigal son in a way :) How exciting!! We shall pray and watch for them all to return home to our loving arms.

Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)

The other messages being spoken a lot is about the widows. I find that to be a nice connection as well.

God Bless!!


Anonymous said...

Side note....

When asking when, how and why with regard to the children returning. I heard the funniest statement made, "Do not worry for they are out getting their testimonies on in life the same way we got ours" (ha ha) I think they will come home just fine when life really starts pressing down on them. Your fine teachings haven't gone un-noticed. Just seeds planted in their garden of life. The Holy Spirit shall keep them watered.

God Bless!!