The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

November 2002

Sniper Terror

The series of apparently random deadly sniper attacks in the Washington D.C. area is causing frustration on the part of police and fear in the populace. As of this writing the latest shooting was on Saturday night, Oct. 19, near Richmond, Virginia. The Associated Press is reporting:

"School officials in the Ashland and Richmond areas of Virginia decided to close Monday, keeping more than 200,000 public students out of class ‘based on the volume of parent and community concern’" ("1 Taken Into Custody in Sniper Hunt," The Wire (the Associated Press online), Oct. 21, 2002).

In a previous article dateline Bethesda, Maryland, it was reported:

"From restaurant rows and city parks to pumpkin patches and outdoor arts festivals, the sniper's shadow has cast a chill on weekend activities in the Washington area, with dozens of events canceled or postponed.

"Fear of the roaming sharpshooter has dampened traditionally joyous autumn traditions in the nation's capital and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs" ("Sniper’s Shadow Casts a Chill," The Wire (the Associated Press online), Oct. 18, 2002).

So far ten people have been killed and three wounded each by a single shot fired from a distance. At this writing, news reports say the sniper is both demanding money and threatening children.

Inspired Commentary

The apostle Paul wrote of the last days:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

Although time has lingered, this message written in the early 1900’s is even more apropos today:

"The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails" (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 11).

Disease in Meat

The largest meat recall in US history occurred in October when Wampler Foods called back more than 27-million pounds of turkey and chicken products, according to the Associated Press. The meat was implicated in a listeria disease outbreak that resulted in at least seven deaths and 39 illnesses in the U.S. Northeast since early summer.

"A strain of the potentially fatal bacteria that was found in a drain at the Wampler Foods plant in Franconia, Pa., is a genetic match of the strain that caused the outbreak, said Tom Skinner, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention".

"On Oct. 2, food inspectors were led to the plant after people sickened in the listeria outbreak had said they had eaten its products — including turkey pastrami, turkey ham and chicken breasts. Tests for listeria came back positive in food processed at the plant on Aug. 14 that was distributed nationwide to retail stores, restaurants and school cafeterias" ("Listeria Traced to Pa. Meat Plant," The Wire (the Associated Press online), Oct. 16, 2002).

Inspired Commentary

Radio commentator Paul Harvey reported in his noon broadcast on Oct. 14:

"A massive recall of cooked sandwich meat which may be contaminated with listeria bacteria – potentially deadly. Twenty-seven million pounds of chicken and turkey sandwich meat processed by Pilgrim’s Pride, sold under the brand name Wampler. This is not the first meat recall of course. It may have been the largest. Ellen White 150 years ago foresaw contamination of meat supplies. She said it would come close to the time of the end."

Written near the turn of the twentieth century, the counsel continues to be applicable:

"Disease is accumulating rapidly. The curse of God is upon the earth, because man has cursed it. The habits and practices of men have brought the earth into such a condition that some other food than animal food must be substituted for the human family. We do not need flesh food at all. God can give us something else" (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 384).

Stock Market and Greed

Corporate dishonesty and greed at the highest levels has been reported several times in recent months. Insider trading, falsified accounting, and other tricks have led to the loss of millions of dollars by investors and in some cases, loss of retirement funds by employees. Corporate leaders of some major corporations have been reported to be indulging themselves in luxurious lifestyles while apparently showing little regard for employees and investors. A recent Associated Press item noted:

"A former top energy trader, considered the mastermind of Enron Corp.'s scheme to drive up California's energy prices, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal conspiracy charge.

"Timothy Belden, the former head of trading in Enron's Portland, Ore., office, admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and promised to cooperate with state and federal prosecutors as well as any non-criminal effort to investigate the energy industry

"‘I did it because I was trying to maximize profit for Enron,’ Belden told U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins" ("Key Enron Trader Pleads Guilty," The Wire, October 17, 2002).

The article indicated that revenues from Belden’s trading unit rose from $80 million in 1999 to $800 million in 2001 when California was experiencing energy shortages, rolling blackouts, and higher energy charges to consumers and utilities.

Inspired Commentary

Jesus once mentioned something about what it would be like before His return:

"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;" (Luke 17:26-28).

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:5-8).

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