[by Dean Smith] During the day, Edgar Nernberg is a backhoe operator in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but at night he promotes his favorite pastime — Creationism. He even helped build the Big Valley Creation Science Museum in Big Valley, Alberta and sits on the museum’s board. The museum was set up to counter Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, that promotes evolution. Edgar even wants to have creationism included in the curriculum of Alberta schools. Contrary to evolutionary theory, Edgar believes the world is about 6,000 years old. Nernberg was excavating a basement in a northwest Calgary subdivision when a sandstone with odd markings caught his attention. It is now being heralded as one of the greatest fossil finds in Alberta in recent decades — a significant claim considering Alberta is renowned for its fossils.
[by Dean Smith] A game exploded on the internet on Monday, circulating through popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, encouraging teens to play a game patterned off a Ouija board. It involves conjuring up a Mexican demon called Charlie. According to reports 100s of thousands of teens are taking up the challenge referred to on Twitter as the “CharlieCharlieChallenge.” The ritual involves writing the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the corners of a piece of paper. A pencil is laid down vertically along the center of the page and a second pencil is then balanced horizontally on top forming a cross.
[by Dean Smith] In September, 2013, while Rob Hughes, 34, was street preaching in Basildon, Essex, England, when a woman approached him. She described herself as “gay and proud,” and immediately confronted Hughes. There was a brief, but heated discussion filled with colorful blue language — none of it expressed by Hughes. After the woman left, she called the police and accused Hughes of making homophobic comments. Hughes works with a Christian group called Operation 513, which specializes in street evangelism. After he finished preaching, his group was handing out tracts, when two police officers approached Hughes and arrested him.
[by Dean Smith] It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does we need to talk about it. Creationists and evolutionists are in agreement on some facts about snakes. As I read this story on the evolution of snakes there was the usual rhetoric of snakes being a 110 million years old — a point of contention for creationists considering scientists are now finding organic, non-fossilized cartilage and blood in dinosaur bones. It is hard to fathom how there could be non-fossilized material in any bones supposedly 70 million years old. Scientists from Yale University in the US initiated a study of snakes to discover their origins. Looking at modern snake DNA and anatomy plus recent fossil finds, they concluded that at one time snakes had hind legs and front legs. Basically snakes walked.
[by Earl Blacklock] Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas was established in 1885 by the Methodist Episcopal Church to provide students with a liberal arts education. In 1951, the school took pride in its athletic program, and in its coach Harold Hunt. It was a difficult time for the school. The year before, a major fire had ravaged its administration center. With only 350 students, the school’s football team was always up against larger schools, and Coach Hunt had only 27 in his entire squad. College football was in trouble throughout the United States because of news stories about bribes and dirty play. The opening game against Central Missouri State College was one Southwestern badly wanted to win. Before a crowd of 2,000 fans, the team didn’t give an inch on defence for the entire first half, and the half ended with no score from either team.
[by Sandy McIntosh] I’m a fan of DIY projects, where people make things instead of just buying something off the shelf. The problem with new ideas is that they show our wrong thinking. And it turns out, we are set in our ways and we don’t know what the truth is. One odd trend is reverse steering bicycles. It’s a new fad. Reverse steering means the handle bars turn one way, and the wheel turns the other. There are many Internet videos about these experiments. Search “reverse steering bicycle” to see what I mean.
[by Dean Smith] Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been president of Turkey for 13 years. In a recent speech to admiring supporters in the Turkish city of Erzincan, Erdogan called for Muslims to invade and conquer Jerusalem. In his speech, reported by the Anadolu Agency, Erdogan said: “We Muslims have lost our way toward Jerusalem. The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that are destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.” In the last part of the statement, he was referring to the bitter rivalry between Shia and Sunni Muslims who have warred with each other for decades. Instead of fighting each other, Erdogan said the two groups must unite against their common enemy Israel.
[by Dean Smith] I love castles. One of my bucket list goals is to visit England and explore at least a couple ancient fortresses. However, there is one, Bodiam Castle, that I may take a pass on. Located in Kent, it is a popular castle and because of its huge moat very photogenic. You may have already seen pictures of it. But there is something strange about this castle. It is not all that it seems. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was given permission to build the castle in 1385. He had been a faithful servant to King Richard II fighting for the English king in the Hundred Years War. It seems back then, like a car, you had to have a license or “crenellate” as it was called then to build a castle. I guess Kings wanted to control who built castles because they could be used for you or against you.
[by Dean Smith] In 2011, at the age of 14, Taylor Hale of Waukee, Iowa was with friends when she fell off the hood of a car hitting her head on the pavement. Unconscious, she was rushed to hospital by ambulance. According to an article in USA Today, the doctors medically induced a coma to help heal her brain trauma. Over the next six days medical staff worked on Taylor, but the news wasn’t good. Her head was sinking into her spinal canal, and according to doctors this was irreversible. But the sixth day, September 17, 2011, proved eventful. Early in the morning, Taylor suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. With no brain activity, the doctors recommended to Taylor’s parents, Stacy and Chuck Taylor, that their daughter be taken off life support. The family agreed and began planning for her funeral.
[by Dean Smith] It took nearly ten years, but on May 13th, 2015, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced it will now allow missionaries into its organization who speak in tongues. In 2005, SBC’s missionary arm passed rules stating it would no longer accept any who spoke in tongues to serve in its organization. Speaking in Tongues is a practice commonly found among Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Many believe it is a sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit and is considered one of the spiritual gifts. The gift was prominent in the early church as it was one of the main gifts manifested on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). As the first century closed the gift and filling of the Holy Spirit began to wane and for centuries speaking in tongues was relegated to groups the Catholic Church often considered heretical. However, the Azusa street revival that took place in Los Angeles, California in 1906, thrust the gift into main stream Christianity.
[by Dean Smith] Around the world, people are hearing strange sounds in the sky that oddly sound like trumpet blasts. They have been heard in Germany, Belarus, US, Canada and the Ukraine. England’s Daily Mail, recently did a story on these sounds describing them this way: “Sounding like a trumpet or a collective from a brass section of an orchestra, a selection of videos shot from Canada to Ukraine, via the US, Germany and Belarus show strange goings on above us.” These blasts have been loud. The one heard in Kiev, Ukraine, in August 2011, was recorded by people almost 40 kms apart. That noise was so unusual, it even made nightly news casts.
[by Earl Blacklock] We’ve all seen them – the athlete or celebrity who, by virtue of their endorsement, can boost sales and raise profile for products and ideas. Companies line up for the opportunity to pay millions for the endorsement of a celebrity. Remember the “I’m going to Disneyland!” campaign? Constance Talmadge was one of the champions of the endorsement game. If you’ve never heard of Constance, it’s not surprising. She was a star of the silent film era, a beautiful woman who made some 84 films before her career ended when talkies took over. Together with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and her equally talented sister Norma, she inaugurated the Hollywood tradition of putting her prints in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
[by Dean Smith] Sergeant Leo Major (1921 – 2008) served in the Canadian army during World War II and Korea. He served in the Regiment de la Chaudiere during World War II. Oddly, he accomplished something that in many ways resembles Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites in Judges 6 and 7. In that account, God called Gideon to lead an army and drive the Midianites out of Israel. Gideon who was more coward than warrior, raised up an army of 22,000 men. But God said that was too many, so Gideon gave permission for any who were fearful to leave. Twelve thousand men left that same day.
[by Dean Smith] In my previous post, I talked briefly about America’s changing religious landscape. In 2007, 78.4% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. By 2014 that number had shrunk to 70.6%. The vast majority of the decline occurred in the liberal mainline denominations whose membership numbers are in a free fall and as well the Catholic church. Meanwhile those who classified themselves as having no religious association including agnostics, atheists and any who answered “none” when asked their religious affiliation increased over that same period from 16.1% to 22.8%. However, while pouring through the data, the Daily Beast uncovered an interesting tidbit. They found that nearly 50% of the people who had been raised in a “none” religious homes now associated with a religion.
[by Dean Smith] Rush Ministries (Reaching Unchurched Students for Him) just held a major evangelistic event in Thomaston, Georgia on May 5th, 2015, where according to reports over 950 people accepted Christ. The goal of the organization, that was formed in 2004, is to equip and motivate students to share their faith with other students. Over 7,000 people attended this year’s event that featured Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame and more recently Dancing with the Stars. She apparently even showed off some dance moves. Other speakers included Lecrae, a Grammy winning Christian rapper. His song Anomaly was #1 on Billboard’s top 200. Both Lecrae and Robertson shared their testimony.
[by Dean Smith] An interesting story has emerged about one of the Muslim terrorists killed in the attack on a Mohammad drawing event held in Garland, Texas, Sunday, May 3,2015. The event sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative was offering a $10,000 reward for the best caricature of Muhammad. Elton Simpson, 30, along with his roommate Nadir Soofi, 34 ,were shot by a police officer when the heavily armed duo launched their attack on the event. If the officer had not stopped the two, many of the 200 people attending would have undoubtedly been either killed or injured.
[by Sandy McIntosh] Are you failing? I hope so. A new book “Roadmap” presents a road trip as a life. A real trip has risk, adventure, detours, and new friends and ideas. Traveling on the shortest, fastest route is a business trip, how truck drivers pay their bills. A successful life is the same. We can make all the approved life choices; school, marriage, career, car in the driveway. But a sterile, straight-line, quick march to the grave is a profoundly failed life. In Roadmap “That Leave it to Beaver suburban lifestyle went belly up with the rotary phone” (p12). In the Bible, it’s “the god of this world.”
[by Earl Blacklock] Eddie Rickenbacker. World War I fighter ace, race car driver, survivor. And devout Christian. What a life he led! Working from the time he was 13 after the death of his father, he suffered a severe injury that laid him up in the hospital for weeks. There he chose to devote the next stage of his life to the fledgling automobile industry. He had been smitten by a thrilling ride in a Ford runabout which traveled at more than ten miles per hour. By 1911 he was driving race cars at the Indianapolis Speedway. By 1915 he had a four car racing team, and he developed techniques to reduce time in the pits which saved 30 seconds at a time. In 1916, he won more than half of the major races he entered.
You may have read articles, complete with images, showing whales with legs. Scientists claim they have found the fossilized remains of half whales, half animals that were the halfway point — a transition — as animals moved to the ocean to become whales. If you visit any number of museums such as the Paris Natural History Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature, New York’s American Museum of Natural History and Australia’s Melbourne Museum, you will find drawings or even full-sized plaster replicas of these walking whales on display as evolutionary evidence. At first glance those pictures look convincing, but all is not as it seems.
[by Dean Smith] Even admitting their recommendations could potentially impact the abortion debate, researchers are suggesting the medical community should re-look at the viability age of premature babies. Up to this point, it is generally accepted babies born as young as 24 weeks can survive outside the womb. However, a recent research project, reported in the New York Times, is now suggesting the age of viability should be reduced to 22 weeks because of growing evidence babies that young can survive, particularly with modern neonatal improvements.
[by Dean Smith] Since May 1974, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been tracking CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere. In a recent release, NOAA announced that the month of March of this year had the highest level of CO2 in the atmosphere of any month since the organization started tracking CO2 concentrations. It uses 40 sites to record CO2 levels. Computers then calculate the global average using these measurements. For all 31 days of March, NOAA recorded CO2 levels of 400 parts per million. However, this finding is not good news for those pushing the man-made global warming agenda because of greenhouse gas. The reason: for the 18th year, fifth month in a row, global warming temperatures have not risen as measured by the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) on satellites.
Liberty Counsel has taken on the case of a 16 year-old girl, referred to only as G.L. who as a high school student under a special program was also attending classes at Florida’s Polk State College. According to Liberty, G.L. had a grade point average of 3.9 in high school, but while attending a class taught by college humanities professor Lance Russum had received “0” marks on four assignments. Liberty alleges this happened because the young student would not allow herself to be influenced by the teacher’s strong anti-Christian, pro-marxist, pro-homosexual and pro-feminist beliefs.
[by Dean Smith] The Liesborn Gospel, listed for sale at $6.5 million, contains the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The book, with a cover made of carved oak, was ordered by the Abbess of the Leisborn convent in Germany probably for a wealthy woman who had just taken her vows. These books of the Gospels are extremely rare with only five complete sets known to exist. They were also very sacred and considered mystical as they were thought to be “the physical embodiment of the Word of God.” The books were often elaborately decorated with rare jewels. The one being sold by Les Enluminures Gallery, an ancient manuscript dealer based in Manhattan, dates to around 980 AD and comes with a special added feature — a prayer circle.
[Earl Blacklock] The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most visited tourist sites in the world. Millions come each year to view with awe its remnants. And little wonder. Designed to seat 50 thousand people, it was an architectural masterpiece. But it had a bloody history. The arena was the place where the idle gathered to amuse themselves, and Roman society had many idle, to the extent that the state had to placate them with free food and amusement to keep them out of trouble. By the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.), 159 days of public holidays were in place, of which Claudius devoted 93 days to spectacles in the arenas of the empire, of which the Colosseum was chief. Juvenal, a writer of the day, said of his fellow Romans that they “now long eagerly for just two things: bread and circuses”.
[by Dean Smith] In April, Kansas was the first state in America to ban dismemberment abortion. This procedure, allowed during the second trimester (fourth to sixth month), involves inserting a long bladed scissor type device through the cervix and ripping off the babies arms and legs allowing it to bleed out. Death often does not come immediately, but it is inevitable. It is the most common method of abortion in the second trimester.
“Please don’t be mad I don’t have much. I’m homeless. God bless.” [by Dean Smith] These were the words of a short note written on an offering envelope containing an 18 cent donation deposited in the offering plate at the First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, during a recent Sunday service. Charlotte has a bustling financial center. Bank of America is headquartered there, as is Well Fargo’s east coast headquarters. Located downtown, the church is near the financial district, but is also near a homeless shelter. It is not uncommon for a few homeless people to attend services as the church provides a breakfast Sunday morning for anyone interested in joining them.