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Paga: The intercessor claims territory for God

A look at the different meanings of the Hebrew word 'Paga' which is translated intercessor.

Understanding Times and Seasons: Men of Isaachar

Changing times. Photo: Two months off/Foter/CC BY-NC-ND

Changing times. Photo: Two months off/Foter/CC BY-NC-ND

[Myrna Petersen] I Chronicles 12:23 – 40 gives us a record of David’s great army which was assembled at Hebron.  We read of the thousands of warriors who came from every tribe.  There were 6,800 from the tribe of Judah bearing shield and spear and from the tribe of  Simeon, 7,100 mighty men of valor fit for war.  The tribe of Zebulun is recorded to have 50,000 warriors who were expert in all weapons of war and who could keep ranks.

Amidst that list of thousands of mighty men, we read of the small number of chiefs from Isaachar.  Only 200 men, but they had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do.  A great number of warriors is not needed for a battle if there are those who have understanding the times and seasons.  These are the ones who carry the “strategy” within them that will defeat the enemy. (more…)

Haunting 800-year old Icelandic Hymn

[by Dean Smith] The 800-year old Icelandic Hymn “Heyr himna smiður” sung as the back drop on the opening credits for a documentary on the 1973 volcanic eruption on Iceland.

Kolbeinn Tumason (1173-1208) wrote the words to the hymn. A devout Christian, he spoke about hope in times of hunger, sickness and fear. The music was written by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013).

Kolbeinn was a powerful chieftain or goði on the island in the 12th century. He reportedly wrote this poem on his death-bed after he was injured during a battle. Part of the hymn includes a plea for healing, perhaps his own.

The words in English are: (more…)

Science continues to advance – sort of

The right water for life... Image Aristocrats-hat/Foter/CC BY-NC

The right water for life… Image Aristocrats-hat/Foter/CC BY-NC

[By Earl Blacklock] Have you ever wondered why countries spend hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars on non-military space exploration? Many of the usual explanations – our instinct for exploration, the advancement of science – seem to be suspect since the cost is so astronomical (pun intended). Surely we can find less expensive ways to satiate our instincts and increase our knowledge.

In fact, the news media explanation that space exploration is to “discover the origins of life and the universe” is likely the most accurate. Not satisfied with any explanation that does not preclude a divine origin to – well, everything – the scientific industrial complex works apace to fill in all the holes in the narrative of how we came to be. And there are a lot of holes.

One that is most troubling is the explanation of how our life-sustaining oceans came about. Simple, we have been told. Comets contain water and when they impacted the earth, they acted as a water delivery method. Over centuries and eons, they delivered enough water to cover three quarters of the Earth with oceans. (more…)

The heart — is it more than a muscle?

Why do people feel a connection with the individual who donated a heart? Image: shimelle/Foter/ CC BY

Why do many heart transplant recipients feel an emotional connection with the person who donated the heart? Image: shimelle/Foter/ CC BY

[by Dean Smith] Many look at the heart as little more than a muscle used to pump blood through our body, but evidence suggests it may have a bigger impact than we realize.

An article in the National Post looks at an interesting phenomena that happens when people have heart transplants. They actually sense the person who donated their heart.

Though it doesn’t happen to everyone, it occurs enough that medical researchers are taking note of the phenomena. As well, it doesn’t seem to show up with people who receive other types of transplants such as kidneys. (more…)

Road Rage

Road rage Image: creativedomainphotography.com/foter/CC BY

Road rage Image: creativedomainphotography.com/foter/CC BY

[by Earl Blacklock] I was driving down the street, almost oblivious to anything other than my plans for the day. Going down the street in front of my destination bookstore, I spotted the only parking spot, an angled spot directly in front. Life was good!

After I parked, as I was about to open my door, I heard, then saw an outraged man shouting – nay, screaming at me. He was almost incoherent, but I managed to hear the words “You cut me off!”

The man was raging at me with all the venom he could summon, demanding that I open the car door – something I quickly decided would be imprudent. Talking through the closed window, watching his clenched fists, I wondered whether he would break the window to get at me. Thankfully, after sharing with me the full extent of his expletive-filled vocabulary, he finally departed, likely thinking me properly rebuked. (more…)

A woman’s perspective: Why do I feel guilty every time I say ‘No?’

Don't feel guilty when you say NO! Image: Marc Falardeau/Foter/ CC BY

Don’t feel guilty when you say NO! Image: Marc Falardeau/Foter/ CC BY

[by Barb Smith] About a year ago, I came to a new understanding of the biblical term “dying to yourself.”  It seemed every time I said “no” to a request for help or an outing, I felt guilty if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time and deny myself for the sake of someone else.

Often, I over commit and say “yes” even when my body is screaming “don’t do it!”  The reason I say “yes” is because I feel so guilty when I say “no.”  This is an ongoing struggle and I am in a constant process of finding a balance that is right, not out of selfishness, but out of the need to function as an emotionally healthy woman.

I realized my sense of worth was determined by what I did for others. The verse “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” as I understood it, meant I must die to everything, all the time, as a spiritual sacrifice to God. (more…)

Does clean, unclean describe bacteria?

Microscopic image of S. Aureus bacteria escaping from human white blood cells: Photo Microbe World | Foter | CC BY-NC-SA

Microscopic image of S. Aureus bacteria escaping from human white blood cells: Photo Microbe World | Foter | CC BY-NC-SA

[by Dean Smith] Bacteria wasn’t discovered until 1676, when using a single-lens microscope he had built, Anton van Leeuwenhoek saw the world of microscopic creatures.

At the time, some wondered if these invisible creatures could be responsible for disease transmission. This theory was not fully developed until Italian Agostino Bassi conducted a series of tests between 1808 and 1813 that showed these invisible creatures or bacteria were directly responsible for disease.

However, centuries earlier when you look at the Old Testament we see an understanding of Leeuwenhoek’s discovery in practice through clean and unclean. (more…)

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