Washington State Wildfires Reach Historic Levels

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The Okanogan Complex of fires in Washington State is now the biggest wildfire in the state’s history.

The blaze grew 14,000 more acres on Tuesday bringing the fire to a total of 258,339 acres, or just over 403 square miles. That is larger than all but 9 cities in the continental U.S.

The flames have killed three firefighters, wounded four others and more than 200 homes have been destroyed since the fire began August 15th. The fire is so intense that firefighters from around the world are being called and even California crews are being called off fires in that state to rush to fight the Okanogan blaze.

“We’ve had the opportunity to be on some large fires in California of this magnitude. We expect much of the same that we’re used to,” said Battalion Chief Mark Brunton, who is leading a crew of 44 firefighters. Brunton told NBC that they are ready to be there for the long haul.

The scene in the fire’s aftermath has been described as being “like a moonscape” with everything in the fire’s path destroyed.

The battle against the fire is being hampered by the fact supplies, equipment and manpower is running low.

“You can imagine how stretched thin everybody is,” said Dan Dallas, deputy incident commander of the Okanogan fire. “We’re all working without the resources that in a normal year — which I don’t think there is such a thing anymore — that we might have.”

National Guard troops are now being called in from neighboring states to help provide some relief to the overburdened fire crews.

Pastor Zachary Drew – Always Go Back to the Word of God

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Thursday night’s Evening Service at the Ready Now Expo was a special one for those at Morningside. Our very own Pastor Zachary Drew was the teacher and we were his eager students. This is the first time that Pastor Drew has led one of our expo evening services since being ordained a few months ago. He has been teaching Revelation now for 3 years. There is something about Zach that is contagious; He LOVES God’s Word. He not only loves it but lives in every word, every verse and every chapter. He encourages old and young to open their Bible and seek what God is telling them, reminding all that it is written from the most amazing love there can be.

“I want people to get into the Word! There are hidden treasures in every chapter; mysteries we have to uncover! Don’t just believe what someone tells you is true. Something can sound spiritual and of God but if it isn’t in his Word don’t believe it! Don’t even believe what I tell you! Fall in love with the Word of God and listen to Him!”

Pastor Zach shared many amazing insights from the Bible with us, warning that we cannot believe some of the half truths that are out there and are spoken all the time.

“We have all been told, ‘God won’t give us more than we can handle.’ In 1 Corinthians 10:13 God says ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’ God is saying that you will go through things. Of course we will go through things that will be more than we can bear. If we didn’t, why would we need God? He is saying I will help you get through it, whatever it is. We can get through it together.”

The evening service continued with many teachings on faith and the book of Revelation and concluded with those in the audience filled with the knowledge that only God’s Word can provide. We all look forward to the future and many more lessons, insights and inspiration from Pastor Zachary Drew!

China’s Currency Impacts World Markets for Second Day

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China’s Central Bank cut the guiding rate for their national currency for the second day in a row, impacting world markets as the Chinese government attempts to boost exports.

Officials with the Central Bank tried to dampen the shockwaves being sent through world markets by saying the day’s move was not part of a sustained devaluation of the Chinese currency.

“Looking at the international and domestic economic situation, currently there is no basis for a sustained depreciation trend for the yuan,” it said in a statement.

The Yuan was down 1% Wednesday after a 1.9% devaluation Tuesday. The total overall decline is the largest in two decades and comes after Chinese government reports showed exports from the nation fell 8% during July.

The currency is now going to be set based on market forces where it previously had been set solely by the People’s Bank of China alone.

“Greater exchange rate flexibility is important for China as it strives to give market-forces a decisive role in the economy and is rapidly integrating into global financial markets,” the International Monetary Fund said in a statement regarding the Chinese action.

Some U.S. officials were harsh in their comments toward China’s action.

“For years, China has rigged the rules and played games with its currency. Rather than changing their ways, the Chinese government seems to be doubling down,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer told the BBC.

The U.S. Treasury’s response was more neutral.

“We will continue to monitor how these changes are implemented and continue to press China on the pace of its reforms, including additional measures to transition to a market-oriented exchange rate and its stated desire to move towards an economy that is more dependent on domestic demand, which is in China and America’s best interests. Any reversal in reforms would be a troubling development.”

As of noon EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 160 points and all major markets around the world were lower.