Month: February 2014

Baptist pastor Oleksandr Turchynov now Ukraine’s acting President as country faces revolution

The Ukraine is on the brink of civil war and separation as the country’s east and west face off. The man put in charge of holding the country together is Baptist pastor Oleksandr Turchynov, 49. He was recently elected interim president by the Ukraine government. His appointment came after the sudden departure of former President Viktor Yanukovych who was under increasing pressure from Ukrainian citizens opposed to the country’s growing ties with Russia.

womancaughtinadultery1200

Was there a sinister plot behind the woman caught in adultery?

Many are familiar with the adulterous woman dragged before Jesus at the temple by the pharisees and scribes (John 8). When the pharisees asked if the woman should be stoned according to the law of Moses (v 5), Jesus replied, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v 7). Then Jesus wrote on the ground. It is not known what He wrote, but some suspect it listed the sins of those in the crowd and it diffused the situation. Then John makes this interesting statement. He says the purpose of this confrontation was so the Pharisees “might have grounds for accusing Him” (v 6). But we are not clear at this point what these accusations involved. Though the account seems straight forward, there may have been another reason for this confrontation and it had little to do with judging the adulterous woman. The real reason for the confrontation That reason involved Jesus’ mother Mary and the suspicion Jesus was illegitimate. If Jesus had commented …

Why did she do it?

She was 85-years-old, financially well off and healthy — both mentally and physically. So why did Oriella Cazzanello travel from her home in Arzignano, Italy to a right-to-die clinic in Basel, Switzerland in February 2014 where she committed suicide with the clinic’s help. Her family had no idea she was planning this. They only found out about her decision after they received her ashes and death certificate from the clinic.

How come there are no examples of a people's teeth being knocked out to fulfill the law a tooth for a tooth. Photo Wikipedia/David Shankbone

There is something strangely missing in the Old Testament!

A judge from Saudi Arabia, Turki Al Qarni, recently ordered a man’s tooth broken. The problem started when the man’s mother contacted the police saying her son had attacked her, breaking a tooth. The elderly woman who was battered and bruised by the assault received hospital treatment. The unnamed man in his 30s pleaded guilty and the judge ordered his same tooth broken as his mother’s. The judge’s ruling was based on a verse in the Koran that reads “And we ordained therein for them; A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth.” 

Tim Horton donuts Photo Flickr/LexnGer

The Project of Life: Put down the donut!

Any important project requires an investment of you, and that is why so many great ideas die. What makes us stuck so that our projects die? We all get stuck and there is a small industry explaining our failures. There are books, including a Christian study guide called “Stuck” to explain the inertia problem that kills our projects. They identify negative things that we need to deal with so we can keep moving forward. But the problem is not a problem; it’s positive and good, not negative and bad. Can you find a problem in the list below? Are you a dietician? Mixed Berry Smoothie, Chocolate Danish, Double Berry Muffin, Walnut Crunch Doughnut, Timbit Dutchie, Gingerbread Man Cookies, Ice Cream all flavors, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Blueberry Fritters

Brian Miller died, went to heaven and then was sent back

In an interview with Megyn Kelly of FoxNews, Brian Miller, 41, a truck driver from Beachwood, Ohio told his story of what happened after he died. Brian had ended up in the ICU of University Hospital’s Ahuja Medical Center after a heart attack. On his arrival, the medical staff were able to stabilize him and he seemed to improve. However, the next night Brian’s heart suddenly stopped. He suffered from Ventricular Fibrillation, which happens when the heart quits pumping and just quivers. Without treatment, it is almost 100% fatal. The staff tried to revive Brain, but after 45 minutes they were unable to restart his heart. 

Do camel bones really disprove the Bible?

Claims that a study by an archaeologist from the University of Tel Aviv on camels disproves the Bible’s accuracy has certainly caught the media’s attention. Stories are appearing all over the web about the report. Professors Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen were studying camel bones found in Israel that showed the animals had carried heavy loads indicating domestication. Carbon dating of the bones revealed the camels were from the 10th century B.C. The Bible on the other hand records Abraham using camels eight centuries earlier dating to around 2000 B.C. as recorded in the Book of Genesis. As a result, it is suggested someone tampered with the Genesis account adding camels at a later date believing they were used back then because camels were in common usage during that person’s time.

Why do you believe God is always angry with you?

Why do I have a wrong perception of God?

A 1994 study reported in the Journal of Scientific Study of Religion revealed children perceive God in much the same way they perceive their parents. The researchers studied 49 children from a middle to upper-middle class Christian Reformed church and 94 children attending a nursery school, a Head Start day care program and two elementary schools. Each of these 143 children were presented with a set of characteristics such as patience, kindness and warmth and asked to rank how much these attributes applied to both their parents and to God.

Did a snake charmer test God and lose?

It’s a sad story. Pastor Jamie Coots who gained notoriety as a church snake handler on National Geographic’s reality show Snake Salvation died Saturday February 15, 2014 after being bitten by a snake in a church service. Coots practiced snake handling as part of the worship service at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name based in Middlesboro, Kentucky. He along with Tennessee Pastor Andrew Hamblin were featured on the TV show. According to reports, the Middlesboro police received a call of someone being bitten by a snake at a church service on Saturday night. 

How one murderer justified his crime.

A small footnote on grace

In my vast experience as a human being, I’ve noticed what appears to be a universal problem.  This humanistic tendency cuts across all economic lines, cultural barriers, age, and societies’ sub-cultures.  Have I piqued your interest? This is the problem: we all try to justify ourselves by comparing our good and bad qualities with others in our peer group. 

African group singing Kuo — ‘the devil is a liar’

A men’s group from Liberia singing a native African song — Kuo.  It means “The devil is a liar.” I love their voices and incredible sound without the benefits of the best in modern electronics. Liberia’s population of 3.7 million is made up largely of Christians 85.5%, followed by Muslims at 12.5% with the remaining 2% made up of a mix of tribal religions, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh . The country considers itself a Christian nation. Stores are closed on Sunday and Christian holidays. Public schools offer Bible classes, though these are not mandatory. Located on the West Coat of Africa, Liberia is unique in that it was the only African country colonized by the United States of America.

When your dentist says there is no God because of suffering in the world!

I couldn’t tell you how many times I have heard people say they can’t believe in God because He allows suffering and evil on the earth such as wars and famines. Much of this is caused by a misunderstanding of earth’s ownership which this video by cvcnow.com portrays. In Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Satan made a curious offer to Jesus. If the Lord worshiped Satan, he would give Jesus the nations of the world. 

Will North America’s Great Lakes completely freeze over this year?

Jay Austin believes they will. Austin is an associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn. Many consider him an expert on Great Lakes’ freezing. In an interview with CNSNews.com, Austin says Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, will completely freeze over this winter due  to the “extraordinary cold weather.” At 31,700 square-miles in size, Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and the slowest of the five lakes to ice over. The previous record freeze over for Lake Superior was set February 5, 1994 when ice coverage reached 91%.  As of February 10, 2014, ice coverage on Lake Superior was 87.1%. 

BloodMoon Phot: Luis Rasilvi/Foter/CC BY-NC-SA

Blood moons, a sign of the times?

“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke The sun will be turned to darkness And the moon to blood Before the great and awesome Day of The Lord comes (Joel 2:30, 31 NASV) [by Dean Smith] In the Book of Joel, the prophet, peering into the future about the coming Day of The Lord or end times, saw it would be marked by three unusual events. One of those involves the moon turning to blood, commonly called a blood moon. The others seem to be an eclipse of the sun and an earthly event marked by ‘blood (death), fire and columns of smoke’.

The Project of Life: Risky behavior

Do you know much about the prosperity gospel? Prosperity teaching doesn’t allow for risks, or threats, or setbacks, and it influences most of us. Jim and Tammy Bakker were rumored to have an air conditioned dog house when they led a Christian ministry, but later Jim wrote a book “I was Wrong.” In Edmonton Alberta a real estate speculator was active for a few years named Kevyn Frederick, or Kevyn Sheldon Frederick, or Kevin Ronald Frederick, or possibly Portia Frederick. When he moved on, he left behind a ruined condo complex in Leduc (pictured), one of Edmonton’s premium hotels in receivership, and a large church without its land or building. Mr Frederick is rumored to be living in Las Vegas, or possibly Ethiopia. So how did this disaster happen to a large prosperous church? 

The little German woman who stood up to Islam

On November 10, 2013, an interfaith musical was held at the “Memorial Church of the Reformation” in Speyer, Germany. The church serves as a memorial to Martin Luther, who started the reformation in Germany in 1517. His protest against the corruption in the Roman Catholic church at that time led to the formation of the breakaway protestant church. The organizers had invited a Muslim imam to issue a call to prayer during the concert as part of this interfaith effort to unite Christians and Muslims. When the little German woman Heidi Mund heard about the event, she felt she needed to do something and decided to attend the service even though it was an hour and half away. Heidi brought with her a German flag with the words, “Jesus Christ is Lord”  written on it.

Why James' Ossuary is good news for parents with children who have walked away from God. Photo James' Ossuary: Wikipedia/Paradiso

James’ Ossuary, Deer, and Being a Witness to Our Families

These three things may seem like totally unrelated subjects, but let me try to connect them.  Over the last few months I’ve talked to many Christian friends who are deeply grieved over family members, especially adult children who have turned from God and seemingly are on a self-destructive one-way journey out of God’s kingdom. I have seen the deep pain and self-blaming in the lives of good people grieving over kids gone wrong.  Let me start by stating the obvious – you can’t make someone do something that they do not want to do.  God created us with a free will. Our children may have all kinds of reasons or excuses for being mad at mom and dad and God, but the real reason is a heart one.  Arguing with them often results in angry words and a slammed door.  This scenario plays out in too many homes.  So, what is to be done? 

Was Justin Bieber looking to get water baptized?

At times, Justin Bieber, 19, must feel his life is spiralling out of control as  he bounces from one conflict with police to another. There are hints Justin is becoming concerned and may be trying to change his life. A blog post on the New York Post’s Page Six reported Justin Bieber was recently looking to get water baptized. The unsuccessful attempt apparently took place on Saturday, February 1, 2014. 

Bizarre court case in England involving the Mormon church and accusations of fraudulent teaching

There is a strange court case unfolding in England involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly called the Mormon church. Two former Mormons using a rarely used legal maneuver have convinced a British judge to issue a summons for Thomas Monson — President of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City, Utah — to appear before London’s Magistrate Court for a hearing on March 14, 2014. The two men allege the Mormon church committed fraud by convincing them to give money to the organization based on false or fraudulent teaching. In the process, the two allege the organization broke England’s Fraud Act of 2006. That Act prohibits the use of false information to gain financial benefit. One suit alleges the Mormon church collected $257 million from members in England since 2007.

Oscar winner blasts Academy’s decision to revoke Oscar nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’

The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a letter written by acclaimed Hollywood producer Gerald Moen criticizing the Academy Award’s decision to revoke the Oscar nomination for best original song for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone.’  The song was written for the faith-based movie that goes by the same name. It is based on the true story of  the Leininger family in 1700’s Pennsylvania. A Christian family, their faith was tested when Delaware warriors captured their two daughters, Regina and Barbara, in 1755 during the French Indian war. The Academy Awards withdrew its nomination two weeks later after a backlash from many in the Hollywood community, much of it due to the film’s faith message.

Phoenician woman pleads for Jesus to deliver her daughter from and evil spirit (Mark 7:24-30)

Reported case of demon possession in Gary, Indiana parallels Biblical accounts

The case of demonic possession reported in Gary, Indiana seems like it was a long, lost script from the Exorcist, except in this case the demonic actions were witnessed by secular members of society — police officers, medical staff (including a doctor) and welfare officials. Some of the strange happenings included a child walking up the wall backwards which was seen by a Registered Nurse and a manager for Indiana’s Department of Child Services (DCS). The case involves Latoya Ammons and her three children, a girl 12, and two boys aged 9 and 7 all of whom were reportedly possessed by evil spirits. 

Inscription reveals ancient wine jug belonged to King Solomon. Photo courtesy Dr. Eilat Mazar by Ouria Tadmor

Is an ancient jug for “inferior wine” evidence of King Solomon’s reign?

The remnants of a jug found in July 2013 near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem provides evidence of King Solomon’s kingdom. Excavators discovered two shards of the rim beneath the floor of  an ancient building dated to the 10th century BC. There were seven letters etched on the two pieces. The text was written in an ancient script called Ophel — a 3,000 year old alphabetical text. Professor Gershon Galil of Israel’s University of Haifa believes this is an early form of “southern Hebrew” that used two letters (yods) to spell wine instead of the current one. The first four letters referred to either the 20th or 13th year of Solomon’s reign.