Month: October 2013

Another Divine appointment? Buffalo bus driver saves suicidal woman

His co-workers call him “Big Country” because he is a “big man with a big heart.”  Darnell Barton is a bus driver in Buffalo, New York. On August 18, 2013, he was transporting a couple dozen teenagers from McKinley High School. While crossing a bridge on the Scajaquada Expressway, Darnell noticed a woman had climbed over the guard rail on the overpass and was standing on a small ledge leaning out over the highway below. Darnell, 37, knew the woman in her 20s was contemplating suicide. He immediately stopped his bus in the middle of traffic, opened his bus door and called out the woman: “Miss you all right? Ma’am are you ok? Are you ok?” You can watch the rescue recorded on the bus video camera at the end of the article.  Advertisements

Is it really a “fossil” fuel?

The phrase “fossil fuel” implies oil is a product of hundreds of millions of years of vegetation and animal decay. Oil becomes proof of the theory of evolution. It is further argued that since oil is a fossil fuel, there is a limited amount and once it’s gone, it is gone. However, this theory took a major hit on January 14, 2005. That was the day, the Cassini-Huygens satellite scanned Titan, a moon of Saturn, and found massive quantities methane — literally lakes of methane. 

Tehran, Iran Credit: rasool abbasi17/Wikipedia

Iranian Christians sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine

On October 6, four Iranian men were sentenced to 80 lashes each for drinking ceremonial wine as part of a communion service in their local house church. Alcohol is forbidden under Iran’s sharia law which governs the justice system and the death penalty is an option for any Muslim who converts to Christianity. Last December, Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Rez Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were attending a house church in Rasht, Iran, when the meeting was raided by Iranian police. According to sources, the portion of their name in brackets represents their Biblical names. 

Duck Dynasty men encounter the sexual temptations packaged with fame

The men of Duck Dynasty were recently interviewed in the October issue of Men’s Journal. In the interview, they shared some of the temptations associated with their sudden rise to fame. A&E’s Duck Dynasty is the hottest reality show in the U.S. This past spring, its third season debut show had 8.6 million viewers, the largest in A&E’s history. Phil Robertson and his wife Kay started Duck Commander — a duck call manufacturer — that is the theme of the show. The business is now run by Phil’s sons. All the Robertsons, save one, sport full blown beards. And all are God-fearing men, born-again and very family oriented. But the sudden fame associated with the show has brought with it temptation. 

Was it a Unicorn or a frolicking Elasmotherium?

“He makes them also to skip like a calf: Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.” Psalm 29:6 KJV The unicorn is a horse-like creature with a single long horn protruding from its forehead. It is  a myth, yet here it is mentioned in the King James Bible, not only once but nine times in five different books. Even God spoke about unicorns in  Job 39:10. Atheists use these verses to mock the Bible. But when you look at the Biblical references to unicorn, a completely different impression of the animal emerges: God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce [them] through with his arrows. Numbers 24:8 KJ The unicorn metaphorically portrays power (see also Numbers 23:22 and Psalms 22:21). It was a powerful beast capable of breaking bones and destroying enemies. However, if an ancient king used our modern unicorn to depict his strength, at best it would produce a …

Marriage helps beat colon cancer

A study conducted in 2011 showed marriage helps individuals beat colon cancer. Colon Cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer in the U.S. Researchers from Penn State’s College of Medicine and Brigham Young University followed 127,753 patients with colon cancer and discovered a married person had 14% better survival rate. Researchers calculated out any other factors that could contribute to better results such as earlier diagnostic and more aggressive treatment that would lead to better results.

Forgiveness is not a contradiction

In many ways, the Bible seems like a book of opposites. In the Old Testament law it was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But in the New Testament, Jesus said we must forgive those who do you wrong. These two views are so extreme, they seem almost irreconciable. Yet the sad story of the senseless murder of Brian Muha best explains this paradox. Brian was attending school at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where he planned to become a doctor. He had returned home to briefly to visit Rachel, his mother, and was heading back for summer classes. 

Did the Shroud of Turin add radiation to its list of mysteries?

UPDATED (Feb 24, 2014): I have followed the Shroud of Turin controversy with interest. But recently came across a scripture that reveals the Shroud is in fact a forgery. In fact, it was reformer John Calvin (1509 – 1564) who first pointed out the problem. While the Shroud of Turin involves one piece of cloth, John Calvin says Christ’s burial cloth was made up of multiple pieces of linen. The Gospel of John reads: And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. (John 20: 6-7 NASV) So Jesus’ head was wrapped in a separate piece of linen. It was not one piece like the Shroud of Turin. Calvin said so “either St. John is a liar” or those promoting the shroud as the burial cloth of Christ are.

Court orders Christians to quit using Allah to refer to Jehovah

On October 14, 2013, a Malaysian court ordered Christians and other non muslims to quit using Allah when referring to God. For Christians this included its usage in church services, worship songs and even scripture. The court added that only Muslims would be allowed to use Allah. Islam is the predominate religion in Malaysia making up 61% of the population. It is also the country’s official religion. The court case involved a Catholic publication called The Herald that used Allah to reference God in its articles — a policy Muslims aggressively opposed. In 2009, The Herald was taken to court to force it to stop using Allah. The Herald won that court challenge. However, the case was appealed and recently overturned. The Herald says it will probably appeal. Most western Christians are shocked believers would use Allah to describe our Biblical God. But the issue is not as simple as it appears on the surface. 

What is going on in the U.S. military?

Fox News columnist Todd Starnes wrote a disturbing column about a phone call he received from a soldier attending a briefing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi during the first week of October. Those attending were told by the instructor the American Family Association (AFA) — a respected Christian ministry which believes in family values — is in fact a hate group similar to the KKK and Neo-Nazis. The soldier, who is an evangelical, even forwarded Starnes a photo of one of the slides which labelled the AFA a “domestic hate group.”

Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD. Painting by Pelagio Palagi Fillippo (1643-1727)

Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD

Most know Sir Isaac Newton as the father of modern science. Newton who died in 1727 is considered among the world’s most influential scientists. He formulated the law of gravity and the law of motion thereby explaining the movement of the planets, moons and stars due to gravitational pull of larger bodies. It radically transformed man’s approach to astronomy. But Newton was also an ardent Christian and had a tremendous interest in end-times theology. He spent hours researching the Bible on the second coming of Jesus Christ. This curious side of Newton was unveiled in a display of Newton’s writings at the University of Jerusalem entitled “Newton’s Secrets.” It was an odd combination — Hebrew scholars analyzing Christian prophecy. A truckload of Newton’s writings and letters — located in the house of the Earl of Portsmouth one of Newton’s heirs — was auctioned off in 1936. English economist John Maynard Keynes purchased the document and then willed them to King’s college in England and to Abraham Shalom Yahuda, a Jewish Oriental studies scholar. The later bequeathed …

Mennonite couple suing for religious freedom in the U.S.

Dick and Betty Odgaard own Gortz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. Their business — located in an old Lutheran church — contains a bistro, floral and framing shop and as well a wedding chapel that has proven popular for marriage ceremonies. Unfortunately, the two were recently forced to launch a lawsuit to preserve their religious freedom — a bizarre action considering the U.S. was founded by people seeking religious freedom. In August 2013, Lee Stafford and his partner Jarrod approached the Odgaards about renting their wedding facilty for a same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages were legalized in Iowa in 2009. The Odgaards are committed Mennonites and the couple refused citing their religious beliefs.

God is booking appointments for you

Antoinette Tuff had an appointment and so did Esther. Both had an appointment where God allowed their paths to cross with people in desperate situations. In the book of Esther, we read about a young Jewish woman God raised up to save the Israelites from genocide during their captivity in Persia. After the Persian King’s first wife fell out of favour, Esther was selected the next Queen because of her beauty. When a plot to exterminate the Jews was uncovered, Queen Esther was in a unique position to do something to stop it. But she was terrified, as approaching the King unannounced could result in her execution. 

Did City of Toronto taxpayers pay for Jihadi mural?

TORONTO, CANADA: City taxpayers in Toronto are up in arms after discovering their taxes paid for a mural which even muslims say depicts a Jihadi war cry. Jihad is a holy war which is considered the sacred duty of muslims and is the basis of much of the conflict with Muslim extremists today. The two-storey mural is located on a building housing a mosque. Toronto city hall contributed $17,000 to the project initiated by a woman’s immigration group in the city. The controversy surrounds the large Arabic words which quote a verse from the Qur’an (chapter 61:13). The verse speaks of Allah’s blessing and promise of victory over the infidels. 

Man walking to church rescues man being beaten by a pack of bikers

MANHATTEN: While Sergio Consuegra was on his way to church Sunday morning, September 29, 2013, he saw a stalled black SUV being swarmed by enraged bikers. Inside was driver Alexian Lien, his wife and baby. The couple were driving in Manhatten on their anniversary when they came upon a large group of motorcyclists. After inadvertently hitting the back tire of one of the bikes — which had slowed down in front of the SUV — Lien’s stopped vehicle was quickly surrounded by angry bikers, some who were off their bikes and approaching the SUV. Terrified, Lien stepped on the gas to escape and ran over some of the bikes, severely hurting one of the bikers. 

Marriage on the rocks in England

Marriage is under attack around the world. Here  are a few facts reflecting marriage and divorce trends in England. These stats are probably similar to those found in many developed nations. Did you know more people were married in the UK in 1862 than were married in 2011. 1862 was the first year records were kept of England’s marriage rates. in 1996, there were 1.6 million people between the ages of 45-62 living alone. By 2012, that number had increased to 2.4 million — an 800,000 increase. 

Study: When Planned Parenthood shut down, teen pregnancies also went down

Planned Parenthood with its explicit sex education program and abortion facilities concerns  many parents. When Planned Parenthood’s sex ed programs are implemented in schools, the sex talk can start as early as kindergarten and are in full swing by the middle years. Many argue that kids are not emotionally ready to handle these type of explicit discussions. Opponents also suggest the material puts inordinate pressure on teens to have sex, whether they want to or not. Those in favour of Planned Parenthood’s agenda toss these concerns aside saying teens are going to have sex anyway. Well a recent study of statistics produced by the Texas Department of State Health Services for its Vital Statistics Annual Report provides a stunning rebuttal to these claims by Planned Parenthood supporters.

The consequences of “time poverty” in single parent families

A study conducted in Sweden in 2002, presented a disturbing picture of the struggle facing single parents. The study — released in a medical journal called The Lancet in January 2003 — reported children in single parent families were: Twice as likely to have “psychiatric disease” Twice as likely to attempt or commit suicide Up to Four times as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs (boys four times, girls three times) The study compared the medical and death records of 65,000 children from single parent families with 920,000 children from two-parent families between 1985 and 1990. 

Shocking number of Americans believe we have entered the end times

In July 2013,  James F. Fitzgerald, author of The 9/11 Prophecy — Startling Evidence of the End Times, commissioned a poll to find out if Americans believe the world has entered the end times. Fitzgerald said he was stunned by the results. According to the poll conducted by the Barna Group, 41% of Americans believe we have entered what Bible teachers have popularized as the “end times” and what the Bible describes as as the “Latter Days” (Hosea 3:5) or the “Day of the Lord” (Ezekiel 30:3). This percentage included the views of all Americans — religious and not.

Gay activists fail to derail evangelistic crusade in Iceland

When gay activists in Iceland discovered Franklin Graham — son of Billy Graham — was planning an evangelistic crusade September 28-29, 2013 in Reykjavik their capital city, the activists rose up in opposition. The Franklin crusade was part of the Festival of Hope sponsored by the Billy Graham Association and 41 Icelandic churches. The activists were disturbed because of Franklin Graham’s position on Gay marriage. When President Obama publicly supported gay marriage in 2012, Franklin Graham issued a release calling it a “sad day for America.”  Gay marriage has been legal in Iceland since 2010. Though the crusade was free, the Festival of Hope committee allowed people to reserve tickets online for the event being held at Reykjavik’s Laugardalsholl arena.

Did a Dutch researcher discover evidence of God’s promise to Abraham?

When God called Abraham to leave the ancient city of Ur to found a new country, it promised to be a perilous journey. Abraham would encounter a wide range of peoples — some who would be friendly, others his foes and many indifferent. God knowing Abraham’s concerns made a promise to His patriarch: And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 NASV) It was an interesting verse as God promised to bless those who blessed Abraham. It’s a promise I believe not only follows the physical descendants of Abraham, but his spiritual ones as well — those grafted into the root (Romans 11: 11-24). 

Marriage fights cancer

According to a study conducted by Harvard University, a person’s chances of surviving cancer increases by 20% simply by being married. The researchers went one step further and stated marriage was more effective than chemotherapy in fighting certain types of cancer —  such as breast and colon cancer. A report of their findings was published in the Journal of Clinical Onoclogy in September 2013. Dr. Ayal Aizer of the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program said “Our data suggests that marriage can have a significant health benefit for patients with cancer, and this was consistent among every cancer we reviewed.”