Sunday, June 30, 2013

Expatriates - Part Seven: A Family Following in Christ’s Footsteps

Joseph Herrin (06-30-2013)

Some weeks back it was my privilege to receive a visit from a young family who exemplifies the life of the sojourner upon the earth. Tom and Rachel, along with their young daughter Sela, were returning home to the upper midwest after spending some time in Florida. Since I am in Georgia, it was not far out of their way to stop by and visit. We had an enjoyable, albeit brief, time of fellowship, and they were off to continue their journey following the Spirit of Yahshua.

Tom is trained as a chiropractor and could be pursuing a comfortable career path in the United States. Instead, he has surrendered to follow Christ wherever He would lead, and to do whatever his Abba Father asks him to do. Rachel is similarly committed to living a life of surrender to the Spirit. It is a blessing that they began their union together as man and wife with a firm commitment to walk according to the Spirit, rather than pursuing a course of material accumulation that is so typical among professing Christians today.

The path the Father has led this young family down has been much more humble than that which they could have elected to pursue. It has been fraught with many perils, trials, and experiences where they have depended upon Yahweh to guide, empower, provide, and deliver them. Though they have been walking together in this journey for a brief period of five years, their testimony of Yahweh’s faithfulness, and their examples of divine intervention, are already plentiful. I believe those who read their account will be both challenged and encouraged. I invited Tom to write up an account of his experiences. Here is the account he has set forth.

Five Years Ago

We are strangers and sojourners on this earth, but not traveling without a purpose. In the natural, the life that we have lived the past five years has been one that does not make full sense. We've been poor, yet rich; in sorrows, yet rejoicing; enduring trials while achieving triumphs. The world, and sadly, other Christians, often look at us and seek to correct us and the way of life we have been called to as if we somehow didn't understand and missed the obvious. The choice was there for us to go the way of worldly standards and expectations. Both my wife and I made a decision to walk the straight and narrow, not being mindful of what man thinks.

It wasn't easy and both of us have experienced great persecution and suffering from family and close friends. This fiery trial during our most formative years often left us standing alone upon our convictions. It was here that we discovered great solace in the outstretched arms of the One who knew us before the foundations of the world. He also knew the depth of isolation that testing can bring. There isn't any doubt in our minds that His hand was guiding our path and directing our steps, both as individuals, and now as a couple.

Shortly before we were married, the Spirit began to move in our hearts preparing us for great transition. Central America had been brought to each of our minds as a place that Yahweh was prompting us to go. It wasn't a prompting that we both had at the same time, but rather one that was gradual and without influence from others. This gave us the confidence and confirmation needed since we would soon be married and the usual questions of where to locate, what to do, etc., were being tossed about. It was important that we would be agreed upon this path prior to walking it together.

Soon after Yahweh confirmed our course, we were married. Due to the many life changes resulting from being newly married and anticipating moving to a new country, it was our desire to wait a year before having any children. We quickly found out that Yahweh deals in specifics not generalities. Three months into our marriage we discovered we were expecting and, almost as if to prove a point, our daughter was born the week of our anniversary.

We originally found out that we were expecting about seven weeks prior to leaving for Central America. We were caught off guard with the news and found ourselves scrambling to acquire items that would be needed for a newborn since they were not on our packing list. This wasn't a little deal at the time as we quickly realized that this would be the third major life changing event we would be facing in the upcoming year. A combination of marriage, first child, and adapting to life in a third world country appeared daunting at times, but Abba is good. Throughout these days He gave us the peace needed as we prepared.

Central America Part 1

Heading to Central America our minds were filled with many different thoughts and plans of what to expect and how we would benefit from our time there. We didn't realize it in the beginning, but our path was going to be changed from one of walking by our own understanding to one that is directed primarily by His purpose and intent. Our initial plan was to relocate for an indeterminate length of time, to establish ourselves in third world life, and to pursue opportunities for income. We also desired to serve, and anticipated getting involved with local ministry in some capacity. To us this seemed a rational and normal plan, since we would soon be a young family.

Through many circumstances Yahweh began to show us that He didn't want us getting comfortable with a routine life, nor did He want us to establish and focus on business. Culture shock, language barriers, and challenges with building honest relationships and business dealings, all began to bring stress to our lives. Yahweh had begun to draw His sharp knife across the strings of our hearts desires. Several attempts at business opportunities, and some potential investments going sour, quickly began to drain the little money we did have with us.

To further challenge us we were given a test in connection with a local family. We often found ourselves spending money to help them buy food, clothes and books for their kids schooling since they seemed to always be in a financial crisis. It didn't take too much wisdom to realize that this situation was an unending money pit and sure to drain us. Yet the Holy Spirit would often prick our hearts to continue giving them help as they had need. We were able to share with them spiritually during this time and in particular the wife really held onto what we were sharing. We could see her heart opening and being drawn closer to the Savior and she always watched in amazement as we would be there to help in times of need.

Time moved quickly and we soon found ourselves at the three month point. It is a time when many who live in a third world country will “make it or break it,” and head for home. We had faced a number of significant trials up to this point and now the added stresses of managing a pregnancy in third world conditions were beginning to increase the mental and emotional strain. We found ourselves in a quandary since we didn't feel led to pack up and move back to the States, but we also weren't being given a clear direction and understanding of where our path was leading. It was a difficult place to be in, and one that we weren't familiar with.

To increase the pressure, one of the couples that we were house sitting with decided to return to the States for good, and the house we were staying in was to be reoccupied by the original family that had asked us to house sit. In a nutshell this meant that our expenses would soon be going up as our finances and business opportunities continued down. Our finances were low. In fact we were down to less then $100 dollars in hand. Not a very peaceful position to be in, considering our situation.

We had been praying and crying out for some time. It was at this point that we were released to look for tickets back to the States. We were stirred in our hearts that this would be a time to regroup, help my family on their farm with the harvest, and then we would return back for the long haul, but in a new dwelling place. We searched and found a budget airline that had very cheap tickets back to the States and added them to the credit card total.

We were carrying a balance on our card prior to coming down and though we weren't specifically instructed to pay off the balance I would later wonder if we had used our cash to pay off the credit card prior to coming down whether this lesson would have to be learned so dramatically. Instead we found ourselves with enough money to buy bus tickets to the airport, pay for a taxi, and have roughly about forty dollars left. We figured we would use that for food on the trip home, but, since we didn't counsel with Yahweh about our idea, we didn't realize He had another plan.

A few days later, a friend of the local family that we had been helping stopped by and asked if we would be able to buy them a phone card since they were out of minutes. Of course our hearts and minds screamed out NO Way, but the Spirit prompted otherwise. We knew it was a test so we used twenty dollars to buy a phone card for this individual. We now had a week to go before heading back to the States and we were pretty much without any money at this point.

Because our faith hadn't reached the level necessary to trust Yah completely, I made a desperate move. This became the only time that I ever asked to borrow money from someone. We needed to find a new place to live upon returning and time was running out so I sent off the email. We then looked at several places. On our way back my wife wanted to show me one more place that she had previously seen without me. Upon seeing the house I knew it was the one. Though it was too big for just the two (soon to be three) of us, I had a Word given to me. “Rent this house and use it for gatherings to worship, and for housing others who would be coming down to look around for relocating here.

We told the landlady that we were very interested, but she was asking more than we wanted to pay. She told us she had several others looking at the house. We told her to please consider us and we would call her the next day. The next day didn't produce any response from my email and with time running out we decided to call the landlady and see if she would rent us the house and be willing to wait for payment until we returned. We went to visit her and felt that we should take her to lunch. She agreed. We used the time to tell her more about us, our reason for being down there, and possible future plans. She thanked us for the lunch and again mentioned another couple that was very interested in the house and that they were ready to give her the money for it. As we parted she said that she would think about it and let us know.

That night another check of email didn't reveal any response with regard to money. We did receive a call from the landlady though and she asked to meet us the next day. I felt at this point that I had to come clean on our financial situation. Again I asked her if she would be willing to wait for the money. She told us no and that she would need the money now and would most likely go ahead and rent to the other couple. We felt deflated and tried to encourage each other with the thought that we would find something when we returned. After all, we were leaving in two days. What more could we do?

Our prayers seemed to go unnoticed and we couldn't really understand the whole situation, but we were committed to wait upon His ways. Before going to bed again that night I did one more check on emails and this time there was a response. The way the day had gone for us I was expecting the worst. I was still looking at things using my own logic and understanding, however our faith was to receive a much needed boost that night. It became a turning point in our hearts with regard to the miracles of Yah. I read the email and was quite shocked and delighted to see that not only was my wonderful sister going to loan us money, but she had already found a way to deposit it into my account in the States. We rejoiced and gave thanks to the Almighty One that night as we lay in bed. We cried tears of joy, but also of repentance for our failing to trust in His Word, His promises, and His character.

All of this time He was grabbing at our hearts and prompting us to let go of everything and just trust. His knife was cutting deeper and deeper. His cross was beginning its work. His path was slowly being uncovered before us. Our eyes were being opened to His ways. The next day we were packing and getting ready to leave, having made arrangements to keep our stuff where we were staying until our return, when we received a phone call from the landlady. She told us that she really wanted to rent the house to us and not the other couple, but she would need half of the money and then she would hold the house for us until we returned. With great enthusiasm I told her that we would be able to do that and so the house became ours.

Central America Part 2

Coming back from the States began our second foray to Central America. We had less then two months to go with the pregnancy and getting a little nest ready was our focus. As usual Abba had other thoughts and plans for us. Upon moving into the house we had secured in Central America, we ended up renting two of the four bedrooms to people we knew that came down from the States on a semi-permanent basis. It was good to have the company, but also tense at times since we were a relatively newly married couple and preparing for our first baby. The trials and tests we were now facing seemed to deal mostly with interpersonal relationships and spiritual warfare.

It was quite a challenge at times but in the end our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father grew sweet and deep. The life of Christ was manifest as we saw how forgiveness and blessings need to fill our hearts rather then anger and irritation. We learned to deal with little idiosyncrasies, while discovering how judgmental we could be toward other believers and people in general. We found ourselves entering into protective mode. Instead of letting the knife continue to cut us deeper, we pushed it towards others. When we realized that the fruit of the Holy Spirit was not maturing and coming to fruition, we sought the Almighty to grant us wisdom in the matter.

It came to mind we had received a word of direction when we rented this particular house. Now it was time to uphold our promise, regardless of our circumstances. Several weeks before giving birth, we had received a request from a man who wanted to come down and look around to see what was available. He was going to come with a friend. This man knew a friend of ours and inquired if it would be possible to stay with us. “Well, we may be having a baby, but come on down,” we told him. It turned out that the baby came a little late, so their visit was uninterrupted by the cries of a newborn. We had much on our minds at this point, obviously, but we did begin to open the house to meetings and gatherings as requested. It was small in the beginning, but grew over the next six months.

A week after our guests had left we had a six hour home birth to a beautiful, healthy, alert little girl. What a blessing entered our lives, but we weren't prepared for the lack of sleep. I'm sure we looked like dead people walking for the first month as our daughter just didn't like to sleep. Too many things to experience, I guess. She quit napping altogether at two years, so we could have seen it coming. It is at the times of greatest stress, or testing, that Yahweh likes to push us beyond what we think we are able to bear.

Several more families had contacted us about coming down to look around for places to stay. We couldn't say no since we agreed with Abba to do this when we rented the house. So a few weeks later we had eighteen people staying at the house for two weeks. It was a beautiful sight to see these bodies sprawled on any couch, chair, bed or even spaces on the floor that they could find each night. They didn't seem to mind the cries of our daughter, and we all grew to know a closeness that can only come from close quarter living. To have eighteen people, two dogs, and a newborn all together praising Yahweh and living the lives of selfless servants was such an incredible reward to our hearts and a testimony of Yeshua. Once again the fruit of the Holy Spirit was manifesting its sweetness.

These families soon moved on and located nearby. Thus began the times of sweet fellowship. Over time we experienced many wonderful gatherings and seasons of early morning prayer. Other families came and went, but the closeness we experienced, as well as the inspiration and revelation of Yahweh, still live on today. Many of the lessons we learned during those times of spiritual intimacy continue to be brought forward in clarity and understanding. It was a wonderful time that we dearly miss.

We all know that our ways are often not the same as His. Yahweh used our initial reasons for going to Central America to get us up and moving on our wilderness journey. We can look back and see His hand in all of it, moving us from our purpose to His, with the result of our faith growing and our understanding of what is important being clarified. We had already been downsizing in our life, but now we were beginning to realize that we could get by without much of what is available to most. We had to learn to trust in Him for all things on a daily basis, including fellowship and growth in our spiritual walk. The depth of the words written in proverbs began to come to life in new ways.

Pro 3:5 Trust in YHWH with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Our learning to make our requests known to Him, crying out to Him for all needs, has given our faith a much needed dimension. Living on necessities rather then luxuries taught us to live day by day and to never question His desire for our good. There were many challenges, but everyone was in the same boat and we all learned to deal with adversity as He directed. We also began to see that many people in the world do have it better than people in the United States for the simple fact that they aren't burdened by so many things. We had become sojourners in this present world and had to learn to live light and stay mobile.

The Call to Israel

Nearly two years of living in Central America stripped us down and taught us how to press in and seek His face while looking to the author and perfecter of our faith. We had learned many lessons and had much revealed to us with regard to how much we could take without breaking mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. As we learned to take our eyes off of us and look upward in prayer, and most importantly, in praise, we were able to endure and strengthen much in the way of our resolve to endure faithfully to the end.

It was at this point that we had our highest and lowest moments occur in the same day. As is often the case, when great victory is acquired, the adversary is quick to attempt to steal, kill or destroy. This was to be a pattern that we became familiar with over the next few years, yet we have learned how to defuse these attempts by the enemy of our souls, most of the time. I won't mention the low point, but the high point was getting an invitation to go to Israel for an extended period of time to serve alongside an established christian kibbutz. We were invited by some dear friends of ours, who had been bringing groups of people over to this kibbutz in Israel, to not only experience the Land of Israel, but also to learn about community living while blessing the people of the kibbutz and the people of Israel by serving wherever they needed help.

Our friends wanted to start a pilot project of having others come and stay longer than the normal allotted time for such groups in the past. If it could work out to be beneficial to all involved then perhaps this would develop into a more permanent position for us. Our friends wanted us to be there to see how the dynamics and logistics would work out since we were not going to be joined to the kibbutz, but rather helping them from the outside in. If successful, then it would be expanded for others to join us and we would oversee their interaction with the kibbutz. Our hearts jumped for joy at this opportunity since we both have loved our previous times in Israel and really desired to go back. If it worked out that we would be able to spend the rest of our lives in Israel, or at least until Messiah returned, it would be a dream come true for both of us.

By this time our finances were really dwindling again since we didn't have opportunities to make income. Prior to the phone call from our friends we were not sure what lay before us since it was soon going to be financially impossible for us to stay much longer in Central America. Our enthusiasm was dampened by the realization that, with our current financial situation, it would not be possible to buy tickets to Israel, let alone live there. We had to fly to the States first where we would then spend some brief time with family, but the costs of travel to the States would use up most of the cash we had left. On our knees we went. We lifted up our needs though we still didn't understand the ways of the All Sufficient One.

We did have a credit card, but it was still carrying a balance from the time of our wedding and it wouldn't have the credit limit available for buying tickets to Israel. We continued to pray. We also began to share our exciting opportunity with some of our close friends so they could pray with us though we never told them of our financial situation at the time. As we shared our opportunity with two of our dearest friends, one of them an older lady who doesn't have much in the material sense, but has much in the spiritual, who lives daily by faith, told us that she was led to pay our fee required by the group going to Israel. Another dear sister in the faith told us that she was led of the spirit to make it her priority to get us over to Israel. She told us that she was going to buy our tickets and wanted to know what dates to have the return on. I told her that the tickets should be one way only, as this was impressed in my spirit.

It is very unusual to purchase one way tickets when going to Israel since they are very strict about length of stay in that country and often check for return tickets upon arrival. We knew that we wouldn't have opportunities to make money while over there, so I wasn't sure how we would leave Israel when the time came. Nevertheless, we went ahead with purchasing one way tickets. Our friend that was so generous with us regarding tickets took us to the airport on the day we were to leave and handed us a handful of cash as we got out of the car, indicating to us that this was for our journey. It was a much needed boost to our finances at the most opportune time and we continue to pray bountiful blessings back upon her.

Our time in Israel was filled with wonderful examples of how faithful Yahweh is to provide even the smallest of items. With little money to buy our food, we kept our meals very basic. One day when the kibbutz moved us to an apartment that we were to occupy for the length of our stay, my wife was thinking that it would be nice to have some good butter. For some reason dairy is a very expensive item in Israel, so it was not an option for us. As we looked around our small apartment for the first time, my wife was taking inventory of what was there. To her great delight when she looked in the refrigerator she saw there was only one item in the entire refrigerator, a large square of sweet cream butter. We are embarrassed to say that it didn't last us very long.

The next day the couple who had invited us to be a part of this in the first place called us and said they were coming over and bringing dinner with them. Looking at the fresh Israeli food sitting on the table, a bottle of wine to share on the next Sabbath meal, some utensils for the kitchen, a few items for the cupboards and a new plastic tub to bathe our daughter in, we felt truly blessed. Our apartment was small and had only the very basic necessities since it was used occasionally by members of the kibbutz in case they had family staying at the hospital nearby. That night our friends shared more good news with us. They had decided that they were going to pay the rent of the apartment for us during our time there. This was a great relief to us since our finances weren't going to let us get past the first month considering the expense of buying food and paying utilities.

Abba began to open our eyes and we began to see many little miracles that in the past would have normally slipped past our eyes. One example was the time we began to teach our daughter potty training. There were stores nearby that offered small potty chairs, but they were cheaply made and rather expensive for what you would get. We really didn't have the luxury to just drop the money they wanted for it at the store, so we added it to our prayer request list. About a week later we decided to go for a walk after dinner and for some reason headed up a street that we had never walked on before. In Israel, people will set their trash out and if there is something that they don't want and it is still in working condition, they will often set it on the sidewalk beside the trash container. At the first house we came to we both glanced down and there staring up at us was a nice potty chair in rather good condition. It was a double blessing as the need for diapers decreased, which can be quite expensive as well.

Another example of Abba’s provision occurred later that week. As we were having an evening meal consisting of the usual lentils, vegetables, and rice, my wife mentioned that it sure would be nice to eat some pizza for a change. About 15 minutes later we had a knock on the door and my wife left to answer it. When she returned she was carrying something and had a funny grin on her face. I asked her what she had and she told me that the elderly German woman who occasionally stayed on the top floor, and who only spent one weekend a month in the building, decided to stop by to welcome us to the place. She told my wife that she wanted to bring us a housewarming gift, but all she had to give us was an extra pizza that she had made for dinner. It was a German style pizza with a strange combination of toppings. We laughed as we ate it and remembered to be very specific in our requests from now on.

After our first month of helping the kibbutz, I found myself mostly serving in the agricultural areas. It was hot, hard work, with long hours. I would often be gone from the apartment for twelve hours coming home exhausted. It was a test for me physically as well as learning how to serve under others who have a different language and culture. After a time I was called in to meet with the leaders. I didn't know what to expect and was very surprised at the outcome. Good reports had come in from those that I had been serving with, and the kibbutz wanted to reward me in some way. Since we weren't members of the community, they couldn't offer me the same as those who had sacrificed so much, but they decided to offer us a portion of the food that the community grew, plus the use of their vehicles, and a small monthly stipend to help buy things that they weren't able to provide us with. They also decided not to charge us for utilities and they were dropping the requirement of rent which our friends were paying.

It had been a challenge to serve anywhere, everywhere, and however people needed, so this was a blessing and great turn around in our situation. This wasn't going to allow us accumulate wealth, but it gave us some breathing room. Throughout this time we hadn't told anyone our financial situation including our close friends. Over the course of our stay there, we had numerous situations occur where people known and unknown to us gave us money. Some gave it to us directly as a result of a movement of the Spirit, others left it anonymously under our door mat or in an envelope. One gentleman offered us an extra Nokia cell phone to use while we were there. Another couple bought us some kitchen appliances.

When we had originally arrived at the Kibbutz we had made the commitment that if anybody needed help we would say yes and serve them with a cheerful heart. We found ourselves doing many things including washing windows, picking up trash, landscaping, sweeping the balconies, helping at the children’s school, picking and peeling fruit, helping out in many of the departments of the kibbutz businesses, as well as working in the fields. We really saw the hand of the Father blessing our decision to answer the call of “Will you go and serve no matter what? Will you lay down your life and be willing to sacrifice all for rewards that may not come until later?” Simply put, we were learning how to be servants of the Most High, and at times suffering servants of men.

Overall we loved our time in Israel, not realizing this was an advanced level of training for us as well. Everything is accentuated in Israel spiritually, both in the good and the bad. Ancient principalities still lurk in those corners of the world and are quite capable of challenging the strongest understandings of spiritual warfare. Scriptures teach that in our weakness, He is strong. It was a promise hard to understand until He alone was the One who brought us through the swirling, powerful spiritual attacks that came in the early morning hours. They were attacks designed to bring us to destruction in many ways and it was at this same time we were being called to do our greatest level of prayer and intercession. It wasn't unusual for us to be woken up at three or four A.M. to fight off an attack from the enemy, or to have Abba call us to prayer and intercession.

Worn out from lack of sleep, and physically exhausted, we would sometimes try to hit the “snooze” button on the Spirit’s wake up call. It never failed that if we didn't get up to answer the call, our daughter would wake up crying until we finally roused ourselves from bed. This was the beginning of our understanding of what would be required to fellowship in the sufferings of the Messiah. Time after time we were shown places in our hearts where self was still there standing erect as an idol. Though we would often take the ax to the root, it was becoming clear that this was not going to be an easy task.

To compound the situation we also saw and learned how difficult community living can be. We found our love and compassion for others challenged to the point of realizing how much ugliness we still allowed to fester within us. Grumbling, and complaining were often at our door wanting to take over, along with condemnation and accusation. We saw our eyes drifting to the natural rather then seeing the Spirit of Yahweh within others. We saw the challenges of having to serve man without limit, and yet not get consumed with the concerns of life which would pull our eyes off of the path of Christ and cause us to walk by sight rather then by faith.

It got so bad that at one point, both of us received a word from the Spirit telling us that we were close to leaving our First Love. Later as we read and reflected in the scriptures, the verse discussing the issue of “what began in the Spirit was now trying to be perfected in the flesh” came to our attention. We knew that there would have to be a circumcision of our hearts so that we would be willing to follow the Lamb wherever He went, trusting in Him rather then leaning on our own fleshly understandings.

Exit Out of Israel

The Spirit had been intensely dealing with us during this season of life. We were tested and tried in many ways, and found quite lacking in some. At this point our hearts were still desiring to stay in Israel, however that wasn't going to be possible for us in the long term without some miracles. A three month visa is all you get and then you have to leave for a time. We had now completed our first three months, so the Kibbutz paid for us to leave for a few weeks, and then we returned for three more, plus an extension. We were thrilled to be able to stay so long, however during our final three months we began to feel the Spirit prepare us for a time of transition.

Following the path of the Suffering Servant was a very difficult task and often required more than we thought we could give. Our time in Israel was one of great blessings, but also great challenge, introspection, questions, and being pushed to the limit. Towards the end we never seemed to have much time to catch up in our spiritual lives due to the high demands on us physically, mentally and emotionally. We both knew that it was very likely we wouldn't be coming back for any further time of service at the Kibbutz, though they offered to have our visas extended and eventually have them become permanent.

When presented with this option our hearts were torn. Even though there was much to challenge us in this situation, it was a dream come true for us to think that here we had a chance to live in Israel for the rest of our lives, with a community that would give us work, some income, housing, transportation and fellowship like a family. It was a challenge to make the decision against this, and even harder to notify those with whom we had gained great trust and respect. Yet we felt the call of Abba and He had shown us issues that He wanted us to correct in our lives during this next season we would be entering. We knew we must go and most likely wouldn't return, though we did remain hopeful.

We knew that it must be time to transition as we still didn't have much money since the stipend and gifts given to us were small and living in Israel is expensive. As we drew close to our final month of stay, once again I realized that we didn't have the money to buy tickets back to the States. My wife began to prompt me to check on tickets anyway, yet in my spirit I didn't have the release to do so. We continued to pray and seek direction with each passing day and grew more concerned over the timing of our departure. It wouldn't be good for us to overstay our visa, yet we weren't getting any clear answers other than to wait.

Each time I would think about checking on prices, the Spirit would again prompt me to wait, informing me that it wasn't time to look. Finally with about ten days to go on our visas, I was released to look for tickets. My wife had friends that knew someone whose family member worked for an airline. We didn't know her personally and at first I was hesitant to consider this option. Yet as I looked at tickets and their prices, I told my wife to email the contact and see what happened. I wasn't too hopeful and continued to ponder the ticket situation.

Before heading to bed that night we checked emails once more and, with the time difference, our contact had gotten a chance to see our email during her day’s work and responded quickly to us. She was about to go out of town for the weekend, but she would be willing to get us the passes we would need. If we would promptly send her the info requested, she would have them issued and emailed to us. She also had taken time to look at the flight loads and suggested a particular date that wasn't too full as of yet. The date she suggested would take us into our final week on the visas. We quickly sent off the info and began packing.

These tickets would be standby, without guarantee of getting on the flight. If the plane filled, we would have to try again the next night. We were told to get to the airport early as the standby seats would fill up in a first come, first go order. We arrived at the airport four hours ahead of time and quickly got into the line where we would be questioned by security and have our luggage screened. All of this takes place before getting to the ticket counter.

If one has flown into Israel, they will understand this procedure. This line seemed to take forever and we found out later that there was another line feeding into it from the other side. It took over two hours for us to clear this line. We went to the ticket area and waited only to be told that we were in the wrong line and that at the far end of the counter there was a little window and that was where we needed to be. We were told that after seeing that person they would put us on a list and we should return to a particular spot pointed out to us and wait until all counters are closed and they begin to hand out the standby seats.

We glanced at the “particular” spot and noticed that more people were beginning to hang out there. Our brains began to speak the lies of the adversary to get us thinking that we wouldn't get on the plane even though both of us had peace in our spirit that we would get on this plane. When we got to the window, we found out that our contact had pre-listed us from her work place the night before though we didn't know where we would fall on the list. We were about an hour and a half prior to when the plane should take off when we got to our little “spot” to wait, with the lines still quite long at the counters.

As we waited we heard others in our area tell of night after night of not getting on as the planes were full. Zingers to the brain from the father of lies began. Maybe we wouldn't get on after all, and what will we do? Our friends that dropped us off were now in bed and the train was shut down for the night. Would we have to sleep here in the airport with a little child? Would there be seats tomorrow? I have to admit that some of those thoughts did creep in and gain a little foothold. Deep down we still had peace but it was being challenged for the moment. I watched the clock tick to forty minutes prior to departure. The counters were still open for the last travelers with paid tickets who were having their baggage examined.

Finally with thirty minutes to go, a man stood up by the counters and stated that he had a list of those who would get on the plane. If your name wasn't called, then you wouldn't be getting on the plane. If your name was called, then quickly come up to the counter to get your ticket, and quickly get through security upstairs, and be at the gate by the time of departure or the plane would leave without you. At this point we had talked ourselves back into some faith with the knowledge that we had been pre-listed and most likely would be near the top. The man stood up between the counters and called the first name. A family stepped up. The same thing for the second name called. Name three still wasn't us and we glanced at each other with eyes a little larger. Name four was another family of five people.

At this point I knew that Yahweh was going to make us sweat it out, but I didn't realize how much so at the time. Name five was called and it was a couple. Name six was called and it was a single lady. Name seven was the sweetest sound as I heard my name called. We did as the man said and quickly went to the counter. There were now twenty minutes left before departure as I stood waiting for them to print out our boarding passes. Wouldn't you know that our printer ran out of ticket stock as they began to print our passes. Seems that they had a hard time finding more printing stock and the clock kept ticking. Eighteen minutes to go and finally the printer began again. Seems like an hour but it could have been the sweat dripping down my face that obscured the time on my watch. Finally with boarding passes in hand, we ran to the elevators.

We caught up with the lady who had been called before us. She held the elevator for us and we began our marathon together. Up and out we quickly proceeded toward the glass doors that would open into the final security section. I was pushing the stroller with my daughter, and half of the carry-on luggage while my wife was carrying the other half plus the car seat. We arrived at the glass doors and there were six people waiting for the security guard to check passports against tickets before allowing them to go through into the security zone.

The lady that was with us said something to another gal who was in charge of the handicap door. I don't know what she said, but the girl agreed to allow us to pass through her area after checking our information. At this point I had forgotten to look at my watch because as we passed through the glass doors, my heart sank. The room was completely full of people waiting to go through two metal detectors at the far end. It was wall to wall, front to back.

I quickly went over to the man who was examining those in wheelchairs to see if we could go through that line as it was much shorter, but I was refused. My heart sunk as we tried to find the shortest of the lines heading toward the far part of the room. For some reason I turned to look back toward the glass doors in the hopes of finding another security personnel. Coming toward me in my line of sight was a young lady that I recognized from downstairs at the counter. Her name was called after us and she was the last person that received a boarding pass that night. As I looked at her, there was an airline worker walking in front of her. They both happened to pass immediately to my right and as they did so, I heard the worker telling the gal to stay very close to her and keep moving. I quickly yelled out to the worker that we were on the same flight and she motioned us to get in line behind this gal.

Here we were about to witness a great miracle. I call it the parting of the Red Sea in reverse. Instead of water parting, it was people. I don't know what was said to the people as we moved forward, but everyone stepped to the side without question or challenge. People in Israel don't do that sort of thing. With me pushing the stroller, holding bags, etc... my wife was behind me and the other lady we had come up with was behind her. We moved forward like a snow plow from the back of the room all the way up to being the next in line for the x-ray machine and metal detector. In record time I pulled my daughter out of the stroller, gave her to my wife, put our bags on the belt, collapsed the stroller and placed it on the belt, told my wife to meet me on the other side of the machine and then emptied my pockets. Thankfully you can still wear your belt and shoes while going through the detector. The airline worker waited until we all made it through, then took us into the next room.

Again my heart sank as we entered the immigration part where our passports needed to be stamped out. Every window had at least ten people waiting. The worker told our little group to wait in the middle of the room for a few minutes. She disappeared out of the room and we all just looked at each other not knowing what to say. Finally after what seemed like a half hour, the worker returned with another woman. This lady collected our passports and went into an empty office. A few minutes later she returned with our passports and a paper both stamped. We were instructed to go around the corner and show the paper and the passports to a man at the door. She then smiled and said.....Good luck.

We didn't wait for the others at this point and took off. I put all of our passports together and open in one hand and the papers right behind them. The man was taking his time with each passenger going through the door and was carefully checking each item. I didn't know what to think at this point but we were next and as I approached him, I held everything up for him to see easily. He glanced at it and waved us through without even touching any of them. We were through the worst, but now it was off to the races.

We entered the passenger section and now it was only time and distance to our gate. We knew we would have to run and we took off. Thankfully the airport on this side was rather empty. We found out later that people had waited in the security line for over two hours to get through it and we had actually beat them to the plane. So as we drew near to the finish line which was our gate, the man who originally had called out our names at the ticket counter was there to encourage us on. He clapped his hands and shouted that it isn't much further and to go straight to the counter. I had a quick mental image of the great cloud of witnesses who must also be clapping and cheering the faithful and determined to finish the course as the end is getting closer.

Arriving at the counter, the girls working there had already figured out which passengers we were by the fact that there were three of us yet only two tickets. They had our seat assignments in hand and quickly exchanged them with us. We had to gate check the car seat and the stroller so that was our next stop, and only after that when we were walking up the ramp did I even think about our seats. One of us would have to hold our daughter the entire trip. Getting seats together was not even a consideration. We were just wondering how far apart we would be in case the other would need a break. My wife asked where we were sitting and I looked down and all I could do was shake my head, smile and say “sweetheart, Abba is so good.” He had given us two middle seats beside each other. Now our daughter could lay on our laps and stretch out, and hopefully sleep. On all of our overseas flights in the past she never slept until the final hour of the flight. Though elated with getting on the plane, we were exhausted so my wife uttered a simple prayer to have our little girl get some sleep so we could too. She slept most of the way back.

To be continued...

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Joseph Herrin
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Birdie Told Me

Joseph Herrin (06-25-2013)

After I posted yesterday’s blog that focused on the subject of government spying I was browsing some news sites and came across some excellent articles on the same subject. The first article I found was located on The New York Times, and was dated June 19, 2013. The information it reveals far exceeds the revelations disclosed by Edward Snowden. This really causes one to wonder what the government agenda is when it will pursue one individual for disclosing information that has been in the public domain for years, while raising no outcry about a New York Times article that shares far more egregious information.

The mainstream media has been giving the Edward Snowden story so much coverage that one has to question what the agenda is of the powers that be. If they did not want the extent of the government’s spying disclosed, they would surely shut down the presses that are reporting on this information.

The New York Times article I read yesterday is a case in point. The New York Times is perhaps the nation’s leading Illuminati propaganda distributor. What is reported in The Times is picked up and repeated by hundreds of other newspapers, periodicals, and various media distributors across the nation and the world.

What I suspect is happening, is the powers of the New World Order are seeking to condition the populace to the idea that being spied upon by the government is normal, necessary, and will not go away. Readers are left with a sense of powerlessness. Protest and you will be branded a terrorist or spy. Accept the government’s intrusive spying and you will be left alone.

Perhaps that is the distinction between Edward Snowden and James Risen and Nick Wingfield, the authors of the news article published by The New York Times. Risen and Wingfield, although disclosing far more damning information about the government’s collusion with technology companies, are reporting the information without protest. Their attitude is one of impartiality, or perhaps indifference. They merely report on the current state of things, but they do not raise any alarm about loss of privacy, or the dramatic expansion of government intrusion into the lives of its citizens. The following excerpts from The New York Times article disclose the interconnectedness of government spying agencies and technology companies.

To get their hands on the latest software technology to manipulate and take advantage of large volumes of data, United States intelligence agencies invest in Silicon Valley start-ups, award classified contracts and recruit technology experts...

Despite the companies’ assertions that they cooperate with the agency only when legally compelled, current and former industry officials say the companies sometimes secretly put together teams of in-house experts to find ways to cooperate more completely with the N.S.A. and to make their customers’ information more accessible to the agency... They are also under subtle but powerful pressure from the N.S.A. to make access easier.

Skype, the Internet-based calling service, began its own secret program, Project Chess, to explore the legal and technical issues in making Skype calls readily available to intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials, according to people briefed on the program who asked not to be named to avoid trouble with the intelligence agencies.

Project Chess, which has never been previously disclosed, was small, limited to fewer than a dozen people inside Skype, and was developed as the company had sometimes contentious talks with the government over legal issues, said one of the people briefed on the project. The project began about five years ago...

A Skype executive denied last year in a blog post that recent changes in the way Skype operated were made at the behest of Microsoft to make snooping easier for law enforcement...

Microsoft executives are no longer willing to affirm statements, made by Skype several years ago, that Skype calls could not be wiretapped...

Many software technology firms involved in data analytics are open about their connections to intelligence agencies. Gary King, a co-founder and chief scientist at Crimson Hexagon, a start-up in Boston, said in an interview that he had given talks at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., about his company’s social media analytics tools.

The future holds the prospect of ever greater cooperation between Silicon Valley and the N.S.A...

Visit the following link and you will get an idea about the scope of the attention The New York Times is giving to this subject. Day after day the populace is being bombarded with articles on government spying. All this attention seems intent on bringing the subject out in the open while controlling the conversation to make it seem reasonable for the government to gather vast amounts of data on its own citizens.

Mainstream media is downplaying any government overreach, and is emphasizing a message that spying on citizens, and gathering vast reams of data on them, is not a cause for concern. This bias is revealed in the heading of the following news article.

Why Surveillance Draws Little Outcry
June 11, 2013By Ben Werschkul, Pedro Rafael Rosado, Alyssa Kim and Marcus Mabry

Is there truly no outcry over the government’s surveillance programs, or is The New York Times attempting to make it appear so? I am convinced that it is the latter. Those raising an alarm are denied a voice in the mainstream media to express their concerns. This is how the powers that be shape public opinion. They marginalize the dissenters, criminalize the whistleblowers, and emphasize the fairy tale view that everything is business as usual, no cause for alarm.

Following are some excerpts from another news article that I came across yesterday after I posted the blog on Big Brother.

Is the Government Spying On You Through Your Own Computer’s Webcam Or Microphone?
June 24, 2013
Source: Washington's Blog

Government – Or Private Individuals – May Be Watching and Listening

We documented earlier today that -  if you are near your smart phone – the NSA or private parties could remotely activate your microphone and camera and spy on you.
This post shows that the same is true for our computer.

Initially, the NSA built backdoors into the world’s most popular software program – Microsoft Windows – by 1999.

And a government expert told the Washington Post that the government “quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type” (confirmed).

Reuters documented last year that the U.S. and Israeli governments can remotely turn on a computer’s microphone:

    “Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010 [i.e. the U.S. and Israel], according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections.

    Kaspersky researchers said they have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission like Stuxnet, and declined to say who they think built it.

    Cyber security experts said the discovery publicly demonstrates what experts privy to classified information have long known: that nations have been using pieces of malicious computer code as weapons to promote their security interests for several years..

    Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on PC microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and log instant messaging chats.

    Kaspersky Lab said Flame and Stuxnet appear to infect machines by exploiting the same flaw in the Windows operating system and that both viruses employ a similar way of spreading...

PC Magazine tech columnist John Dvorak writes:

    From what we know, the NSA has back door access into Apple, Microsoft , and Google...

    Microsoft is the source of the operating system for Windows and Windows cell phones. Apple controls the OS for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Google controls the Chrome OS, Chrome Browser, and Android cell phones. The companies regularly push operating system upgrades and security updates to users on a regular basis.

    Imagine however that the NSA has access to these updates at the source and has the ability to alter these updates in order to install some sort of spyware on your phone, tablet, or computer. The software could turn on your camera or microphone remotely, read all your private data, or erase everything and brick your phone or computer.

Moreover – as documented by Microsoft, Ars Technica, cnet, the Register, Sydney Morning Herald, and many other sources – private parties can turn on your computer’s microphone and camera as well.

Cracked noted in 2010:

    All sorts of programs are available to let you remotely commandeer a webcam, and many of them are free. Simple versions will just take photos or videos when they detect movement, but more complex software will send you an e-mail when the computer you’ve installed the program on is in use, so you can immediately login and control the webcam without the hassle of having to stare at an empty room until the person you’re stalking shows up.

The bottom line is that – as with your phone, OnStar type system or other car microphone, Xbox, and other digital recording devices – you shouldn’t say or do anything near your computer that you don’t want shared with the world.

Postscript: You could obviously try to cover your webcam and microphone when you don’t want to use them.

My purpose in sharing this information is NOT to incite protest, nor to cause alarm. Rather, it is to inform the people of God of the true state of things that they might walk wisely in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

It is quite reasonable to conclude that the mega corporations that dominate all areas of communications technology have been working in collusion with government spy agencies for a long time. If any company proved unwilling to cooperate with the government, there were ways to apply pressure upon them. The same powers that run the government also control banking and the media. Simply cut off a company’s access to financing, or begin a media smear campaign to cause a company to lose favor with the public. If all else fails, a hostile corporate take-over can always be arranged whereby a company that is complicit with the government can take ownership of some less compliant technology company, and bring it into line with the government’s wishes. This is evidently what occurred when Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011.

Shortly after Microsoft purchased Skype, fundamental changes were made in the way Skype routes its communications sessions. Following is an excerpt from an Internet source:

According to CNN, hackers and bloggers are saying the changes, which push some of the video calling process onto Skype’s own computers instead of onto random machines on the Internet, could help the app spy on users’ calls, presumably at the request of a court or government.

“Reportedly, Microsoft is re-engineering these supernodes to make it easier for law enforcement to monitor calls by allowing the supernodes to not only make the introduction but to actually route the voice data of the calls as well,” Tim Verry, from the website ExtremeTech, wrote last week. (Supernodes are third-party computers that act as a sort of directory service for routing calls.)

“In this way, the actual voice data would pass through the monitored servers and the call is no longer secure. It is essentially a man-in-the-middle attack, and it is made all the easier because Microsoft — who owns Skype and knows the keys used for the service’s encryption — is helping.”

It would be well that the saints today take the words of King Solomon to heart.

Ecclesiastes 10:20
Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound, and the winged creature will make the matter known.

Did you ever wonder where the saying, “A little bird told me” originated? Solomon is to be credited with it.

Modern technology has breathed new life into this old proverb. Therefore, be careful what you tweet!

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Word to the Wise - Big Brother IS Watching You!

Joseph Herrin (06-24-2013)

Matthew 10:16-17
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. But beware of men...”

This blog post contains practical information promoting an awareness of the world we live in and how to walk wisely in the midst of it. There are some who would suggest that Christians need not be concerned about issues such as privacy and government spying on the populace. I disagree. Yahshua instructed His disciples to “beware of men.” We are admonished to be “wise as serpents.” Neither ignorance nor naivete are extolled as Christian virtues in the Bible. Tragically, I have found that Christians are some of the least informed, most gullible, and easily deceived members of the human race.

Perhaps some of the problem lies with a misperception of Scripture passages such as the following:

I Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature.

The apostle Paul is NOT advocating that we be ignorant of the fact that there are evil men with evil intentions all around us. Rather, he is counseling the saints to be pure in their thoughts, not pursuing a course of evil. We are to walk blamelessly ourselves, while being aware of the evil and dangers around us. The apostle elsewhere states:

Ephesians 5:15-17
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish...

There has been much in the news of late about government programs of the U.S. and other nations, that engage in spying on the communications of foreigners and their own citizens. Despite all the press, the half has not been told. In the area of government intrusion into the private affairs of citizens, I am persuaded that the majority of Christians do not have an inkling about the true extent to which their lives are monitored. This is an important subject in which to be informed that the saints might walk wisely in a world that is quickly falling into a condition of totalitarian government oversight and persecution of any who march to the beat of a different drummer.

My professional background, prior to being called to a full-time ministry of writing and teaching, provided me with some insight into the capabilities of electronic spying. I was employed at a hospital complex in the field of Microcomputer Management. In this position I was tasked with the oversight of hundreds of computers, printers, and various peripheral devices. I was responsible for maintaining them in working order, and this required some knowledge of both computer hardware and software.

When I first began in this field, most of the personal computers I oversaw were standalone devices. They were not networked, and the Internet was in its infancy. Over time I saw the evolution of the use of personal computers from standalone to networked devices. This brought with it concerns for data security, especially in a healthcare environment where patient information needed to be kept confidential. Yet, the networking together of computers also opened up opportunities for greater ease of management of end-user’s computer systems.

Back when we were using Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME (Millenium Edition) on most of our personal computers, I researched and became familiar with remote administration software that would allow me to sit at my desk in my office and connect to another user’s computer. From my office, I was able to see exactly what they were viewing on their screen. I could take control of their mouse and keyboard remotely. I could pull up a directory of the files on the user’s computer, and view it right next to a directory of files on my computer. If I needed to copy a file from my computer to another user’s system, or from their computer to my own, it was as simple as dragging and dropping the file from one computer to another.

These capabilities were not built into the Windows Operating system at the time, so we had to purchase a third party product. The software could be installed by visiting the individual’s workplace, or installed across the network without needing to personally visit the user’s location. There was a parameter that could be set to cause the remote access software to either pop-up a small message box to indicate when it was running on a user’s desktop, or to be invisible to the end user. Although the purpose of the software was to aid in the administration of the hundreds of computers I was tasked with maintaining, it could be used to spy on an individual, and to observe everything they were doing. These capabilities were available through third party software vendors nearly twenty years ago.

Beginning with Windows XP, which was released by Microsoft in August of 2001, it was no longer necessary to purchase a third party product to have the capability to access a computer remotely, or to take control of its mouse and keyboard. Microsoft included a feature called Remote Assistance in the operating system itself.

You can read about this Microsoft Administration Tool at the following link:

Windows Remote Assistance

This capability to access and take control of a computer has been included in every Windows operating system since XP up through the present release of Windows 8. Nevertheless, the majority of users are unaware of this feature on their computer.

I would interject here something I believe to be true. Every major world corporation, including technology companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Cisco Systems, and Facebook, are permitted to attain their position of ascendancy, and to maintain their viability, only by collusion with the corporate masters of the New World Order. You will find that these corporations were only able to succeed as they received infusions of money from major banks, support from the Illuminati controlled media, and the acquiescence of governments under the dominion of the same rulers. It follows quite logically that these corporations are following an agenda dictated by their global masters. Many of the capabilities of the hardware and software systems that are sold by these major technology companies are there to serve the agenda of the hidden hand that guides them.

If you think this sounds like some far-fetched conspiracy theory, I encourage you to read the series I posted last year titled Dragon Flood. The world is a much darker and deceptive place than most people (including Christians) realize.

I have no doubt that the government of the United States has contributed to the development of the Windows operating system, as well as other popular alternatives. They have guided the development of both hardware and software to insure that they are provided a back door to spy on the citizens of the world whether in their homes, at their places of employment, or in the realm of academia. Such conclusions are not speculative, for the government has passed laws requiring that technology companies assist them in this way.

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation, a watchdog and lobbying organization focused on Internet freedom, has an article posted on a government program referred to as CALEA which was being greatly expanded to require that manufacturers of computer hardware and software make it easier for the government to tap into, and monitor, all computer traffic. Following is an excerpt from the article.

The Perils of Wiretapping the Internet

EFF and a coalition of public interest industry and academic groups filed suit in 2005 challenging the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) unjustified expansion of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). By forcing broadband Internet and interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to become wiretap-friendly the FCC ignored CALEA's plain language and threatened privacy security and innovation.

Congress passed the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in 1994 to make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap digital telephone networks. CALEA forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make wiretapping easier. It expressly did not regulate data traveling over the Internet.

But now federal law enforcement agencies want to change that. On March 10 2004 the Department of Justice (DOJ) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) filed a joint petition with the FCC. The petition requested that CALEA's reach be expanded to cover communications that travel over the Internet. Thus Broadband providers would be required to rebuild their networks to make it easier for law enforcement to tap Internet "phone calls" that use VOIP applications such as Vonage as well as online "conversations" using various kinds of instant messaging (IM) programs like AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Please note that this expansion of CALEA was accomplished in 2004, nearly a decade ago. Nevertheless, the news focused around the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden has struck the world like a bombshell when he has disclosed nothing more than the fact that the American government through agencies such as the NSA has been making use of the wiretapping capability that Congress required technology companies to build into their systems. Why should this be startling news?

That this information is being touted widely now by the mainstream media, as the Edward Snowden case is receiving major public air time, is itself a subtle form of deception. Articles have been posted criticizing government officials who have lied and given perjured testimony to Congress about what their capabilities are, and what they are doing with the data. Some government officials have said they are collecting NO INFORMATION on American citizens. Later they amended this to declare that they are collecting only metadata such as phone numbers called, time of the call, and length of call, while denying that they were monitoring and storing the content of calls. Similar claims were made regarding Internet communications. Now it is being admitted by some that the government is indeed intercepting and storing the contents of phone calls and Internet communications, while it is being claimed that the information can only be accessed by order of a judge. This too is proving to be a lie, as Edward Snowden’s testimony is revealing.

Slide Made Public by Edward Snowden

Slide Made Public By Edward Snowden

As these slides reveal, the government is collecting e-mail, chat sessions, videos, photos, stored data (such as DropBox), voice communications (such as Skype), file transfers, and every other type of communication that passes over the world’s internet and telephony networks. The focus on requests for information from vendors such as Google and Facebook is itself a form of disinformation. The limited number of formal government requests for user data from these companies provides the illusion that the government is gathering only limited content on users. The truth of the matter is that the government is tapping into the internet at the hubs and switches that form the backbone for ALL communication. They are capturing ALL Internet traffic, and storing it for retrieval whenever necessary.

Some of the types of information the government is compiling into huge data depositories will surprise many individuals. You do not even have to be transmitting data for the government to collect it. The government can spy on users proactively by activating the microphone in their cell phone, or turning on the video camera on their cell phone, laptop computer, or tablet computer, without the user knowing it is being done.

Twenty years ago when I was managing computers over an internal company network, we had the capacity to turn on a computer remotely when it was shut off. The network cards we purchased had a feature built into them called Wake On Lan (Lan is an abbreviation for Local area network). I could sit in my office and send a signal to a powered off computer in another building and power it on. I could then log onto the computer, accessing it as if I were sitting in front of the keyboard. Such capabilities have only improved over the passing years.

Fox news reported some months ago on the FBI’s ability to listen in on people’s cell phones even when the individual was not making a phone call. The person could be sitting in a restaurant, chatting with the person across from them, and the FBI could listen to every word, record it, store it, and bring it up for retrieval at will.

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It may shock you as well to know that the government has the capability to turn on the video camera on your computer, or smart phone, whenever they wish. There was some outcry months back when it was discovered that a public school system that gave every high school student a laptop computer was activating the cameras in them to spy on the students. One student was shocked when his camera came on when he was in his bedroom. He could have been undressed while some individual was remotely capturing video. When the student sued the school system it was disclosed that the camera on his computer was activated more than 400 times in a two week period, often late at night when he was at home.

Numerous media articles on this topic state that the user can be warned that they are being viewed remotely if the activity light on their camera comes on unexpectedly. However, many computers and smart phones do not have activity lights. Also, the activation of a light is controlled by software. It is not beyond the capacity of a spy agency with an annual budget of billions of dollars to interfere with the normal function of a camera’s activity light, allowing a video camera to record without the light coming on.

I personally would recommend that anyone with a laptop computer with a built in video camera treat it as if it is on and recording them at all times. The same is true for smartphones, tablet computers, or desktop systems that have cameras attached to them. Not only is there a high probability that the government is recording individuals routinely through such devices, but they are storing the information away permanently to be pulled up as the opportunity, or need warrants.

Perhaps there is a pastor somewhere who has been speaking out against some evil in society and the government wishes to silence him. This same pastor may have at times viewed pornography on his computer. This information could be used to coerce the minister into silence, or agreement with some immoral government agenda. Even as the government has developed sophisticated software to listen in on telephone conversations, and to flag any communication where certain key words are spoken, so too can they develop software to turn on the video camera, or to initiate screen captures on a person’s computer, whenever they visit a pornography site.

Sound far fetched? Not at all. There are software programs that you and I can purchase today that will accomplish basically the same thing.

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Why would the government NOT employ the same capabilities? The U.S. government is spending billions each year for Cyber Warfare. It would be naive to believe that this warfare is aimed only at foreign nationals. The same government agencies that developed the highly sophisticated Stuxnet virus that destroyed hundreds of nuclear centrifuges in Iran is capable of developing stealthy and elegant software tools to spy on American users. An article online reported on a Chinese government website that was spreading a variant of the Hupigon Backdoor virus. The computer security website F-Secure reported that this professionally developed malware, once installed on a computer that visited the site, would provide the following capabilities.

• It allows others to access the computer
• Allows for recording with the user's webcam
• Can make the user's computer to attack various servers
• Send victim’s computer messages
• Has rootkit functionality so it has a stealth component that hides files
• Create logs from keystrokes, steals passwords, and sends this information to remote servers

A government that has passed legislation requiring that hardware and software manufacturers make their products accessible to spying surely intends to exploit these capabilities. Edward Snowden provided an explanation for one possible government motive. When asked why people should care about surveillance, Snowden responded:

Because even if you're not doing anything wrong you're being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.

To put this into a Biblical framework, the book of Revelation describes Satan as “the accuser of the brethren.”

Revelation 12:10-11
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.”

Satan has many agents working for him in this hour to establish a New World Order. These human agents employ the same tactics as the fallen angel they serve. They accuse that they might condemn. To facilitate this work they are storing up massive amounts of data, audio, video, and written evidence to be used against their enemies.

To the Christian out there who has viewed pornography on the computer, there is a very good possibility that this information is filed away, along with screen shots of the images you viewed, and possibly even video capture taken from the webcam of your computer showing you looking at this material. You may have repented of such actions, and Yahweh forgiven you, exercising mercy, but Satan will show no mercy, nor will his disciples.

This should cause any Christian to walk carefully, fearing lest they give the adversary ammunition to be used against them. Your computer camera and microphone can record everything that transpires within their range. If you keep a computer in view of a bedroom, or bathroom, or other area that you have considered private, you have rendered that place a public forum. Everything in view of the camera and hearing of the microphone can be recorded.

The government, and various technology companies in league with them, are working continuously to expand this coverage and to remove all privacy. Both Google Glass and the Microsoft Xbox One represent profound leaps forward in the government’s ability to monitor the lives of people everywhere.

Google Glass (Little Sister is Watching You)

There is an article at the following link that describes some of the privacy issues raised by Google Glass.

Google and Microsoft are leading companies in the employ of the Illuminati. Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, is a cheerleader for everything that the New World Order is pressing toward. He has given millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, and is focused on issues related to decreasing the population of the earth. His company is a tool of the NWO. The new Xbox One entertainment and gaming console is designed to provide the government with an advanced portal into people’s homes. The Xbox One uses the Kinect motion sensing system that has had recent upgrades to allow it to determine the number of people in a room, and to even monitor a person’s heartrate. Following are some comments on this technology.

The patent, submitted on April 26, 2011, and passed on Nov. 1, 2012, essentially allows the company to remotely turn on any cameras, be they mobile or from something like the XBox Kinect, and count the number of 'consumers' watching licensed content.

The terrifying thing about this patent is that it would grant copyright holders virtual access to private dwellings. The patent application suggests that the technology could be applied to head-mounted devices, large screens, computers and even mobile phones.

Microsoft ran into a storm of criticism when they announced that the new Xbox One would have to be connected to the Internet in order to play games, and would have to be connected at least once every day.

The company revealed that its upcoming Xbox One gaming console will be "always on," a startling feature in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency's efforts to collect American citizens' phone and e-mail records. The Xbox One system will require an online connection to allow users to play games they have purchased themselves (the system requires a login to Xbox Live at least once every 24 hours)...

There's more. In addition to the required online tracking system, Xbox One will ship with the second generation of Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor in the box, a connection to which will be required for players to use their consoles. The Kinect 2 is also "always on." It's able to identify individuals based on face and body recognition, works in the dark, records audio and is constantly connected to the Internet and 300,000 Microsoft servers. Even when your Xbox One is off, the Kinect is still listening, watching and waiting. (It's also worth noting that late last year Microsoft filed for a patent that would use the Kinect camera to monitor the number of viewers in a room, checking to see if the number of people in a given room exceeded a particular threshold set by the content provider. Too many occupants, and the user would be prompted to purchase a license for more viewers.)

As a series of bullet points, it's rather grim stuff – a new and seemingly more menacing level of Big Brother oversight.

It is not difficult to read into these requirements some nefarious government motives. This is the ultimate monitoring device. It can listen. It can see (even in the dark). It can count the number of people in a room. It can even identify people individually. That the government would want such a device to remain on at all times is consistent with their goal to know what every person is doing and thinking at all times.

When a storm of protest threatened to abort the acceptance of this new gaming system, Microsoft backed down from some of their stated requirements for this system’s operation. After all, it will not fulfill the desires of its designers if no one buys, or uses it. Nevertheless, I anticipate that Microsoft will return to its previous requirement of a constant Internet connection, and a connection at least once every 24 hours, after the system has been widely adopted. This will permit the government to gain access daily to individual’s lives. It may be possible for it to record data when offline, and then to transmit it each day when it is required to be connected.

With the current emphasis upon cloud computing, more people are keeping their personal data on the Internet where it is accessible to those who control the infrastructure. At the same time, major web presences are getting more sophisticated in tracking what users are doing, and even predicting what you may do in the future. I am not surprised anymore when I search on a product through Google and then find that in the following hours and days I am accosted by advertisements related to the specific search. I experience the same thing through Amazon’s website.

These websites are getting more sophisticated at analyzing people’s Internet viewing habits and predicting what they may want in the future. At times I have found this very helpful. Yet, at the same time it reveals the need for caution. Everything a person does on the Internet is recorded. Some of those doing the monitoring do not have my best interests, or yours, in mind.

Walk wisely, and be innocent of evil. Big Brother is watching you.

Additional Resources:

GPS Tracking Via Cellphone

Garmin NUVI Spy Matrix

NSA Spying

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063