Month: September 2014

Could the next American President be a Christian from Calgary, Alberta, Canada?

I was reading a post on NBC.com about Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. According to reports, there is a 90% chance he will seek the Republican nomination for President. Of course, this doesn’t mean he will win the Republican nomination and if he does that he will win the American presidency in elections scheduled for 2016. But he is definitely a Christian and the NBC article focused on some statements Cruz recently made at a Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. Throughout his career, Cruz has been forthright about his Christian faith. In a rare move, Cruz spoke about his troubled life because of the alcoholic lifestyle of both his parents. In his speech, Ted said that faith in Christ rescued his family. When he was three years old, his father abandoned the family. Cruz said:

1. It's turtles all the way down

I. It’s turtles all the way down

According to a 2006 national poll, 42% of Americans have faith – genuine, and heartfelt faith – in the theory that the truth about the 9/11 terrorist attacks has not been told. A large number of these believe the attacks were somehow orchestrated by George Bush, or at least by shadowy elements in the U.S. government. The “9/11 truth” movement has all of the elements of a cult-like belief system. It employs the reverse scientific method whereby one starts with the theory, and then cherry-picks the evidence to fit that theory. Members of the cult drink from the same well, and limit their exposure to mainstream thought. I won’t go into a lengthy description of all of the shortcomings of the argument. Others, particularly Popular Mechanics in its Debunking the 9/11 Myths: A Special Report, have already done so ably and well.

Why is the Christian population exploding in Iran?

Iran is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian, so why does the country have one of the fastest growing Christian populations in the world. Elam Ministries recently announced the release of a new Bible translated into modern Persian, the language of Iran. In its news release, the organization stated that in 1979, there were an estimated 500 Christians in Iran. Today, Christians number in the hundreds of thousands in that country. Speaking on behalf of Elam, David Yeghnazar said: “A very conservative estimate puts the number of Christians in Iran at 100,000.  The generally-accepted estimate is 370,000. Some believe there are 700,000, some over a million.”

Survey reveals growing concern about religion’s declining influence in America

A recent survey by Pew Research Center shows that most Americans believe religion is losing its influence on the public stage including politics and that they are concerned because of this. Pew has asked this question since 2001. That year, 51% of Americans believed religious influence was on the decline. In 2014, this number had jumped by nearly 25%. Today, 72% of Americans believe religious influence on public life is on the decline. However, while they watch this decline of religious influence, a very different culture is forming and most Americans don’t like what they are seeing. Increasingly, Americans are of the opinion the church should play a bigger role in politics and social issues. Pew said in its release, there is a “growing appetite for religion in politics.”

There is no good divorce, for children

A study led by Indiana University’s Dr. Jonathon Beckmeyer has concluded there is no such thing as a good divorce when looking at its impact on children. The study disagrees with a widely held view that divorces where the parents have a friendly relationship are less damaging on children than those where the parents are in conflict. Studies have shown that divorce can have a negative impact on children leading to increased rates of drug use, behavioral problems at home and school and increased problems with depression and anxiety. The study published in Family Relations, an academic journal, looked at the impact of divorce/separation on the children of 270 parents who divorced or separated between 1998 and 2004. Of the families studied, 31% classified the relationship with their ex as “co-operative,” 24% described it as “conflictual” and the rest (45%) described it as somewhere in the middle.

Bono, U2, Billy Graham and Faith

Few of us realize the full impact Billy Graham had on the Kingdom of God. When attending Bible college, I met two identical twin brothers who went to their knees and accepted Christ watching a Billy Graham crusade on TV. Both men are in the ministry. The former pastor of the church I attend was saved through Billy Graham. Now reports are suggesting that Bono, the lead singer for the mega rock group U2, accepted Christ because of Billy Graham’s influence. This conclusion is a result of a poem that Bono wrote for Billy Graham. It suggests that as teenager, Bono became a Christian as a direct result of Graham’s influence. The poem on display at the Billy Graham Library reads:

So Many Wives, So Much Religion

The issue of Mormon plural marriage, or polygamy is a constant embarrassment to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The LDS is the largest Mormon Church, based in Salt lake City, Utah. Some smaller groups require at least three wives for a man who wants to achieve the highest level of priesthood. These groups have been accused of criminal abuse, and legal prosecutions in the U.S. and Canada are ongoing. The LDS wants the world to know they are not associated with fringe groups like the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) who practice polygamy. Outsiders might think any Mormon man can marry more than one woman at a time, but the majority LDS church has banned the practice since 1890. At that time the home region of Utah was permitted to become a state after the Mormons there banned polygamy. The Americans didn’t want the practice to become mainstream.

Marines singing Days of Elijah, YouTube image capture.

American marines singing “Days of Elijah”

Days of Elijah, based on Psalm 91, is one of my favorite worship songs. When I came across it being sung by a group of American marines, I had to post it. It involves marines based at Camp Pendleton in California. The video was posted by Merrie Pardee Baldwin to her Facebook page. Merrie attends Arbor Christian Fellowship in Lake Forest, California. She and her husband Jim volunteer every second Sunday for worship services at Camp Pendleton. The video was taken during the service held Sunday, September 14, 2014. In an interview with Christian Post, Merrie said:

Ammar Hassan YouTube image Capture: MEMRI

Egyptian academic demands Israel return the gold — taken during the Exodus!

It is a bit humorous, but an Egyptian academic is demanding Israel repay all the gold and silver taken, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt. In Exodus 12:35-36, we read after the death of the firstborn, the pharaoh allowed Israel to leave. The Bible says the Egyptian people who had suffered through the plagues gave silver and gold to the departing Israelis. Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of the Moses, for they requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36 NASV) In an interview with Channel 1, an Egyptian TV station, Professor Ammar Ali Hassan said:

Muslims and Terrorists

An English convert to Islam, Lauren Booth, published an article on CNN “Muslims and extremists – we’re not the same.” There are many opinions like this, telling us we are wrong about Islam. It is not a violent religion of terrorists and murderers. This defense of Islam is misguided. People I know think about Islam about as much as they think about Hindus or Jehovah’s Witnesses; and we don’t think all Muslims are terrorists. I met a Muslim at work who was a complete fanatic. He was from Pakistan and every conversation was about his beliefs. I enjoyed talking to him because he taught me so many things I didn’t know. Things about the sport of cricket. He was a sports fanatic and his fondest wish was for Pakistan to defeat India on a cricket pitch. He never talked about religion to me. If you meet a Pakistani, mention cricket and you will not hear much about religion. Most Muslims are ordinary people who follow the religion they were born into. They don’t get to choose, …

JESUS, the Master Winemaker

In recent weeks, I’ve been stirred to do a word study on the making of new wine and the wine of the wrath of God as portrayed throughout the Holy Bible. Since the word ‘wine’ is used more than 200 times in scripture, no doubt it was a subject important to the Biblical Patriarchs. In some religious circles there is much discussion if wine in Biblical days was fermented or just ordinary grape juice. Surely we are instructed not to become intoxicated with strong drink but with the many other teaching resources available on this subject, it is not the author’s intent to discuss whether or not it is appropriate for a Christian to drink wine. This article will focus on the spiritual aspect of ‘new wine’ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

What was on those parchments?

In 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul, imprisoned in Rome, made a strange, but some believe a very significant request of Timothy. He asked the young pastor to bring Paul’s cloak, books and parchments when Timothy visited Paul in Rome. When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. (2 Timothy 4:13 NASV)

Sir Arthur Pearson, GBE

Arthur Pearson was a man of accomplishment, but also a man of service despite a lifelong problem of fading eyesight and eventual blindness. He was born in 1866 to a father who was the Rector of a centuries-old Church of England parish church and a mother who was the granddaughter of hymn-writer and religious poet Henry Francis Lyte, the writer of the well-loved hymn “Abide With Me”. Pearson became a journalist at 18, and the publisher of a periodical journal with a quarter of a million subscribers at 24. He continued to establish and acquire newspapers and magazines, and his greatest accomplishment as a publisher was the founding of the Daily Express newspaper, which is still operating.

Sexually explicit statue of Satan set up in Vancouver, BC

On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, commuters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada were stunned to see a giant statue of Satan on display in Vancouver’s Guelph Park. The park borders a major TransLink boarding area and those riding the sky train had a clear view. The red statute, estimated at 8′ tall, was placed on a pedestal that originally held a statue of Christopher Columbus. The pedestal was empty as the city had moved the Columbus statue to a new location. What was equally disturbing about the statute is the strong sexual inference, as it displayed Satan with a full erection. The statue also has one hand displayed in what some consider a Satanic gesture.

New study shows the addicting power of marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most used drugs in the world. Nearly 80 million Europeans have used the drug and in the US, marijuana usage has been steadily increasing since 2007. Many blame its growing popularity on activists promoting marijuana as a safe drug. This message has been reinforced by two states, Washington and Colorado, that have legalized the drug for recreational use. But a recent study by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows that significant number of Marijuana users are actually addicted to the drug — meaning they are dependent on the drug.

Why your ways are not God’s ways

In Isaiah 55:8, God says that His ways are not man’s way and He explains in the next verse that His ways are higher than man’s. In this second verse, God is referring to His long-term goals and plans that man —  with His finite mind — is incapable of understanding. God is always peering into next week and next year, and is desiring to coordinate our steps in the present to fulfill longer-term goals. Proverb 14:12 has a similar theme:”There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Situations come up in our lives that in the short-term seem the right thing to do. In fact, they could be down-right beneficial. But this decision heads us down a certain path and God says that the “end” or long-term result of this decision — which could be months or even years away — is death or destruction.

God heale Image: Phalinn | Foter | Creative Commons

A miracle: The surgeon found nothing to remove and admits “prayer is good”

I want to share the healing of Adrie-Anne Gamble Saskatchewan, Canada. It is well-documented with ultrasounds. Adrie-Anne had been experiencing lower pelvic pain for several months and finally realized she needed to go to the doctor. Three months later she was in the hospital for surgery, but when the surgeon opened her up, he discovered a miracle had taken place…

Time to pray: The church is under attack on multiple fronts

Fox 91 reports that three churches in Columbus, Indiana were vandalized with verse citations from the Qur’an spray-painted on their walls. They seem to be a direct attack on the Christian faith by Muslim extremists in the area. The three vandalized churches included the St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, the East Columbus Christian Church and the Lakeview Church of Christ. St. Bartholomew’s church had the verse reference “Qur’an 3:151” sprayed on its wall in black paint. The verse reads:

Ancient Christian ‘good luck charm’ discovered

For 100 years, John Ryland’s library at England’s University of Manchester didn’t realize it had a 1,500 year old Egyptian manuscript that was actually a Christian good luck charm. It was recently discovered by Dr. Roberta Mazza as she searched through the library’s collection of ancient manuscripts. Mazza works for a research institute attached to the library. The charm was written on a piece of papyrus that had earlier been used as a tax receipt for a grain purchase.

Video capture of James Foley with his Islamic State captor.

Did the Bible predict beheadings by Muslim extremists?

[by Dean Smith] Years ago, I stumbled upon a verse in the New Testament that puzzled me. Found in the book of Revelation, it was strange, because based on my experience at that time it made no sense. Eventually I forgot about the passage. But recent events brought it back to my memory and I started looking for it. It took a while to find it. At one point, I wondered if I had just imagined seeing it, but eventually I tracked the verse down. The Book of Revelation speaks of a vision by the Apostle John about the apocalyptic events that would occur before the Second Coming of Jesus. At the end of Revelation, John sees a special reward being given to two groups of people who had undergone extreme persecution. They would be raised from the dead before the thousand-year reign of Christ and live with Christ during this period. The rest would be raised from the dead at the end of the thousand years. So who were these two groups?

The Bethseda Pool discovered Image biblewalk.com

Controversial Bethesda pool discovered exactly where John said it was

There is a story in the Gospel of John that proved problematic for liberals who don’t believe the Bible. I am talking about Jesus healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15). In the account, Jesus came across a lame man lying by the pool. According to tradition, when an angel stirred the waters, the first sick person to enter the pool was healed. When Jesus asked the man, who had been lame for 38 years, how he was doing, the man said because he did not have anyone to help him, when the waters stirred someone always stepped in before him. Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk” (v 8) and the man was instantly healed. In the account, the apostle John provides some detail about the pool. First he said it was near the “sheep’s gate” and secondly it had “five porticoes” (verse 2). A portico, similar to a porch, is a covered entrance way. It was a five-sided pool. However, because the healing …

Showing the dramatic increase in the size of the Polar Ice Caps between August 29, 2014 and August 29, 2014. Base image University of Illinois Cryosphere project

The Arctic melt myth: Seven years ago Al Gore predicted the Arctic would be ice free — he was wrong

In 2007 — during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech — Al Gore predicted the ice cap of the Northern arctic would disappear because of man-made global warming. He even went one step further and said the ice would be gone in seven years — by 2014. Ice free according to Gore meant an ice bed of less than 1 million sq kilometers, which means there would be just a fringe of ice along the coast lines. However, in an ironic twist, for a second year in a row the Arctic ice bed has increased in size, not shrunk. This despite record amounts of CO2 being passed into the atmosphere each year, which Gore says is causing the ice melt. The freeze over started in 2012 and in 2013, it caught a number of sailing vessels off guard. They were expecting to sail through the northern Arctic passage way unhindered, but instead were caught in ice forcing them to abandon their ships.