Month: November 2015

God wants to make appointments for you.

Divine appointments still going on today

The Holy Spirit wants to make Divine appointments for us. If we are willing to listen, He will send us to them. Other times, the Holy Spirit brings the appointments to us or it can be a bit of both. The Apostle Philip was preaching the Gospel in Samaria when the Holy Spirit fell (Acts 8:25-40). People were being saved, healed and delivered. Hearing what was happening, Peter and John joined Philip in Samaria to help in this work. After they were done, the three men decided to return to Jerusalem. But the Angel of the Lord spoke to Philip about going down a specific road — the Desert Road. Philip obeyed and ran into an Ethiopian — an eunuch who headed the treasury for Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. Philip led the man to the Lord and even water baptized him. Many believe this Divine appointment led to the early introduction of Christianity in Ethiopia. In other instances, God brings appointments to you. After Esther was selected as the next wife of the King …

The Ommayad Mosque in Damascus, Syria was originally a church. Photo: reway2007/Flickr

Were drug fueled superhuman ISIS fighters foreseen in the Book Revelation?

Washington Post columnist Peter Holley recently wrote about the super powers of ISIS fighters that makes them fearless in ISIS’s battle to set up a Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East. He says the reason is a small pill called “Captagon.” The highly addictive drug is illegal in the West. It was initially produced as a cure for such things as depression or hyperactivity. However, because of its severe negative side affects and addictive qualities the drug was banned in 1986 in most Western nations. Some of the side effects included hallucinations, psychosis and even brain damage. While banned in the rest of the world, the easily manufactured drug remained in production in the Middle East. Today, Syria and Saudi Arabia are the main producers of the drug which over the years has become increasingly toxic. According to Holley, ISIS leaders are giving their fighters the drug because it produces an euphoric state in the person, causing them to lose any sense of fear. It also results in the person being able to go for …

Photo source: Clark Atlanta University

ISIS: Do they really plan to win?

Fighters from ISIS have shot and bombed and beheaded thousands in the last two years. We all know they attacked many innocent people in Paris France, and Russia has joined the fight in Syria. Now China is involved, because ISIS beheaded one of their citizens. The mess is starting to look like a small world war. So do a few devout religious people in the desert imagine they can win against the whole world? The question is like a joke. But they are winning, and they know it. A recent article in the BBC asked the question, “Do terrorists really think they’re going to win?” The analysis includes ISIS, and yes terrorists can win. ISIS can win because it is a religious movement. The trick is as old as the Bible; score a bull’s eye every time, just move the target. Every religion has values. It wouldn’t be a religion if it didn’t. ISIS can win by wanting what they want, and not wanting what we want them to want. In better English, they can …

Photo of Atlantic ocean off of Brazil by Tiago Fioreze/Wikipedia

Where did all the water come from?

For years, scientists have struggled to explain waters existence on earth. Their best theory is that it was alien — that comets laden with ice hit the earth filling our oceans. However, there is a new theory gaining ground that confirms the Biblical account. Geologists last year found a diamond that suggested deep beneath the earth’s surface there are massive oceans of water. This is exactly what the Bible says. We are told in Genesis 1, that when God formed the earth he created waters above and below (Genesis 1:7). In fact, the water below was a major source of the water used to fill the earth during Noah’s flood when the fountains of the deep exploded gushing water to the earth’s surface. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. (Genesis 7:11 NASV) In 2014, scientists from the University of Alberta were …

Archbishop Justin Welby with Korean prelate Kim Geun-Sang in Seoul: Wikipedia/Ellif

Are you struggling with doubt?

An article in The Independent, a British Newspaper, states that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, confessed to having moments of doubt about God. He is the senior bishop of the Church of England and considered the symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican church including the Episcopalian Church in the US. Welby made these statements on BBC’s Songs of Praise, a program featuring hymns and inspirational stories. Justin said when he heard about terrorists killing nearly 130 people, he went out to pray the next morning. He asked God where He was at when all this was happening. Responding to a question whether these attacks caused any doubts Welby said, “Oh gosh, yes” and then added they put a “chink in my armor.” Though the Church of England is largely Liberal in its view on God and the Bible, Welby comes from the Evangelical persuasion inside the Anglican church. It shows that even the best of us can struggle with doubts. I appreciate his honesty and I don’t believe Justin is alone in this struggle. …

It is time to cancel the debt. Photo: Taxrebate.org.uk

How offenses become a debtors’ prison

In Mathew 6, Jesus makes an odd connection. In verse 12 — towards the end of His teaching on prayer — Jesus says “And forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors”. Then two verses later (v 14), the Lord elaborates: “For if you forgive others their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” So what is the odd connection? Well in these two verses Jesus linked the concept of “debt” with “transgression or offense.” How could these two be the same? There are many offenses that have no connection to finances. It could be something someone said, rejection or abuse. In fact most offenses are not related to money. So why did Jesus use the word “debt” to describe “offense?” The reason is simple — there are many similarities between debt and offense. Offenses create a sense of indebtedness! Though an offense does not involve money, it creates a debt in your heart. You were dealt with unfairly or unreasonably. You were mistreated or rejected. When we are offended, we feel someone …

Los Angeles Staples Center photo Luca Zappa/Flickr

‘LA Times’ reviewer says recent Justin Bieber concert reminded him of a church service

LA Times concert reviewer Mikael Wood attended Justin Bieber’s recent concert held in Los Angeles on Friday, November 13th. In his review Wood wrote: “What the vaguely billed event at Staples Center felt most like was a church service.” Wood went so far as to title one of his articles on the concert: Review how Justin Bieber turned Staples Center into a megachurch. The sold out concert coincided with the release of Bieber’s latest CD “Purposes.” I recently reported on the transformation taking place in Justin’s life which he attributes to a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ. A big part of this change also involves a friendship with Judah Smith, a pastor based in Seattle. Smith was even at the concert on stage with Justin. Wood said the two sat on stools for part of the 90-minute performance where they discussed “the importance of maintaining a positive spirit and surrounding oneself with encouraging people…” Wood said during this session “Bieber …. more or less preached.” Wearing a black hoodie, Justin also took some pre-selected questions …

Muslim woman in Mumbai, India Photo: Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

Forgiving Muslims, for their terrorists

After the Paris terrorist attacks, like many, I was angered by what happened even though I was over 5,000 kms away. How would I react if I had personally been attacked by a Muslim? The closest I came was at a local grocery store in our community a couple of years back. Though a very minor incident, it still bothered me. I was slowly driving through the lot looking for a parking spot, when a van turned into the aisle I was driving down and came towards me. Though there was plenty of room for both of us to pass, a few yards out the older, blue van veered into my lane stopping right in front of me. I slammed on my brakes. Our two vehicles were now nose to nose. Inside the van, I saw a  young, bearded man at the wheel, staring and smiling. He was enjoying what he had done. A woman presumably his wife, dressed head to toe in a hajib, opened the van door, quickly stepped out of the vehicle …

Children playing in Thailand Photo: Khanh Hmoong/Flickr

What is the most important thing you can do for your child?

The Bible is full of advice on child-rearing. Experts in the field have written hundreds of books and I hate to even delve into this area. Admittedly what I will be sharing doesn’t receive the same press as many popular theories, nevertheless it may help your child develop a proper Biblical view of our Heavenly Father – that God loves us and only has our best interests at heart. To understand this principle, we must look at Genesis 1: 26, where God says, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” The word ‘image’ (Hebrew tselem) means to be a representative figure. It is used throughout the Old Testament to describe idols or as the King James version quaintly called them ‘graven images’ (cf. Isaiah 45:20). This means humans functioned as idols of God, not those cut from stone or hewed from wood. But the choice of “tselem” is curious because it begs the question — who were men and women supposed to represent God to? If we are all created in …

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Another Christian on ‘The Voice?’

Shy, unassuming Korin Bukowski was in battle with Mark Hood on The Voice tonight (November 17, 2015) for the last spot in the show’s Top 11. She and Mark had finished last in the audience voting and were forced in to a sing off where the viewing audience would vote live using Twitter. Mark sang an energetic version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” After he was finished, I thought Korin was in tough to move on. But her haunting version of “Don’t Know Why” clearly impressed the judges. Korin was still in the running. After counting the Twitter votes, Korin was declared the winner. Korin is pre-med student and during blind audition only one judge, Gwen, turned around to choose Korin to be part of a team. During the discussion after her initial tryout, judge Adam Levine said to Korin “You are so cool” and immediately Korin blurted out laughing “I’m not cool.” Of all the contestants, Korin seems to be the most awkward and lacking confidence. After tonight’s sing off, both Mark and Korin …

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Jordan Smith stuns ‘The Voice’ with “Great is thy Faithfulness”

Jordan Smith is among the Top 12 on this year’s The Voice. Last night playing at the piano, Jordan stirred the audience with his rendition of “Great is thy Faithfulness.” It not only affected the crowd but even the judges were awed by his performance. Blake Shelton said: “Man, Jordan, you know, coming off the weekend, the horrible things that happened over in Paris, and just having a heavy heart over the last few days, thank you for that. That was beautiful.” Jordan’s coach on The Voice, Adam Levine added: “Sometimes, there’s so much about the world that can be so confusing and sad. Then you come along, and make us feel there’s a lot of hope.” The judges were not the only people moved by Jordan’s performance. Once the video was posted to YouTube, Kimiki Wolf commented: “Jordan Smith sang his song so well that I almost converted.” Jordan is a Christian and attended Lee University, a Liberal arts college operated by the Church of God. Based in Cleveland, Tennessee, Lee University is renowned …

Orthodox Jews Photo: Arnoffoto/Foter.com/ CC BY

Is Paul’s prediction that all of Israel would be saved on the verge of happening?

Sid Roth is an American Messianic Jew. He started a ministry focused on the super natural working of the Holy Spirit. Though he ministers to all ethnic groups, his focus has been to the Jews first (Romans 1:16). He recently reported on a major move of God among the Jewish community in Odessa, Ukraine. With a population of one million, Odessa is the Ukraine’s fourth largest city. Located on the Baltic Sea it is the provincial capital of Odessa Oblast. There are about 12,400 Jews living there today. But historically, Odessa was home to a large Jewish population. Prior to the start of World War II, the city had 201,000 Jews — then about 30% of the population. Thousands died in Nazi concentration camps during the war and after it ended most remaining Odessa Jews immigrated to Israel. According to his website, Roth described the recent one-day event as the most successful outreach he has ever experienced in evangelistic meetings geared towards a Jewish audience. He reported that nearly 1,000 Jews accepted Jesus as their …

Central Java, Indonesia Photo: Piyaphon Phemtaweepon/Flickr

Dealing with fear

In December 2001, Pastor You Yong was praying in his church in Magetan, Indonesia when members of the Laskar Jihad army surrounded the church and kidnapped the Christian pastor. Pastor You had started a small church in 1996 and it grew to over 100 people. The majority of the congregation were converts from Islam. The Muslims were outraged. Indonesia has a population of about 250 million and 85% are Muslim. In a couple of provinces, they have even managed to set up Sharia law. Though Christians only make up 12% of the population, they are the fastest growing religion in Indonesia. Yong’s church was part of that growth. The Muslims complained to local authorities that Yong was causing disharmony. When they were put off, the Islamic leaders called in the Laskar Jihad army to deal with the situation. The Jihadists threw a bag over Yong’s head and dragged him off for interrogation. They beat and threatened Yong. They held a machete to his neck and Yong thought he was going to die. But during this …

Photo: Alesa Dam/Flickr

Is thanksgiving a key to unlocking answered prayer?

This past year I realized I was receiving noticeable answers to prayer and I believe it was tied to thankfulness. I could keep praying, pleading and asking God for what was on my heart but I knew at some point I needed to start thanking Him for the answers as well. Although I did not understand it at the time, I believe the reason for my prayer answers was a result of consciously including thanksgiving in my petitions. Gratitude acknowledged my faith in God for answers I had not yet received. “Who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” (Romans 4:17 NKV) Thankfulness calls into being that which does not yet exist. It gives life to our requests, creating the movement that brings  answered prayer forward to the present. Being thankful for answers yet to come is the springboard to faith, the catalyst that gives life to our prayers. By being thankful, I was believing instead of doubting. An expectancy accompanied me throughout the day.  The spiritual atmosphere …

Wall of a kindergarten class in Nymegen, Holland. Photo: Bruno Casonato/Flickr

The gift of time

One of the big mistakes a parent can make is pushing their children ahead of their years. We want them in kindergarten at an earlier age and as a result they end up in school being the youngest child in their class. In these situations, children can often be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and are prescribed medication to try to control it. However, the problem may simply be their age. Put them back a year, and they would completely fit in. A recent study by Stanford Graduate School of Education says holding a child back one year before entering kindergarten can “dramatically” improve a child’s self-control in later years. In the US, children traditionally enter kindergarten at age 5. The study was co-authored by Professor Thomas Dee of Stanford University and researcher Henrik Sievertsen from the Danish National Center for Social Research. They added that holding a child back one year in kindergarten can show beneficial results for a child up to the age of 11. It could even have positive benefits …

Images of Kristallnacht -- Left to right: Destroyed Jewish owned shop, buring synagogue, Image appearing in a Nazi newspaper depicting Kristallnacht

Is there a connection between the Jewish festival of Purim, Kristallnacht and ‘Umeå Against Nazism?’

Israeli media outlet, Artutz Sheva 7, reports that organizers of Sweden’s Umeå Against Nazism have told Jews not to attend this year’s memorial held last week.  Umeå is the 12th largest city in Sweden and the event is sponsored by its city council. It was intended to remember Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht (in English the Night of the Broken Glass), when Nazi Brown Shirts initiated a coördinated attack against Jews in both Austria and Germany over the night and morning of November 9-10, 1938. Many believe this marked the start of the Nazi holocaust where they exterminated six million Jews in concentration camps. The Swedish event has been celebrated for years to protest antisemitism. However, for the first time this year’s organizers have decided not to invite the Jews. Pro Palestinian groups — Muslim extremists, leftist and union organizations — have hijacked the event and are using it to promote their antisemitic and anti-Israel opinions. Over the years an increasing number of Palestinian flags have showed up at the rallies and last year there was one banner …

Justin Bieber in Oslo, Norway, October 29, 2015 Photo: NRK P3/Flickr

Justin Bieber takes ‘Billboard’ reporter to church

I have been following Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s faith journey over the past few months.  I believe Justin’s faith journey is sincere, but it is filled with foibles, like wearing a a Marilyn Manson t-shirt to Hillsong worship conference in Australia earlier this year. But it is good for the church because we need to lighten up, not on sin, but on the persona that the church and its members are without sin and that somehow we have earned the right to cast the first stone when someone doesn’t immediately meet our expectations. The latest story about the mega rock star involves Justin’s interview with a reporter from Billboard. Justin, 21, actually convinces reporter Chris Martin to join him at church. The two end up at a service at the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where Judah Smith was a guest speaker. Smith pastors The City Church in Seattle, Washington. Justin and the reporter sat in the front row. Though there were only about 400 people in attendance, one …

Are you being sucked into another time dimension because of worry?

Are you a time traveller?

Recently, I came to the realization that I was a bonafide time traveller and spent most of my time in the future. Rarely did I live in the present. I was worrying about  the next day or the day after or even the following week.  Sometimes it was just a barrage of small things that caught me. I would worry about what to wear when I was going to church in a couple of days or to an event in a few weeks. I spent most of my day in another dimension of time — the future. Travelling to the future and then back to the present, over and over again, sent my thoughts spinning out of control.  I was always anticipating the worst.  My “fight or flight” response was  triggering all the time. Worry was creating fear. Fear propelled me into the future. Time travel was ruining my life. Jesus warned us about living in another time dimension. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough …

The real reason atheists and the media mock Christians!

The real reason the media and atheists mock Christians — cowardice

In an interview with CNSNews.com atheist Phil Zukerman expressed his opinion on why the media has so actively mocked Christians while giving Muslims a free ride. Zukerman is a professor at Pitzer College where he teaches secular studies. He also writes a blog where he actively criticizes Christianity and Judaism. The Gospel Herald reported on the interview. According to Zukerman the reason is very simple — cowardice. The media are terrified of Muslim extremists and possible physical retaliation so instead they mock and deride Christians. Zukerman said Muslims treatment of women and gays is much more “problematic,” but the media will not say a word. The professor even admitted as an atheist he criticizes Christianity and ignores Islam for the same reason because he fears for his family. In the interview he stated: “I would never write the same kind of stuff that I do about certain religions — Judaism, Christianity, LDS — that I would about Islam because of straight up fear.” Gospel Herald also pointed to a recent interview host Bill Maher had …

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Survey reveals critical difference between Christianity and other world religions

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014 revealed how different Christianity is from the world’s other main religions. The dramatic difference showed up when Pew asked people if they believed in a personal God or if they considered God an impersonal force or an “it.” The key being a personal God is one you can have a relationship with. According to the survey, 70% of Christians believed in a personal God. Among Christians, Evangelicals scored the highest with 80% believing in a personal God. But in one sense I was shocked that 20% didn’t believe this. Among Catholics only 61% believed in a personal God. Even though they were on the low side for Christianity, the Catholic percentage was double that of the other four main world religions. Pew found that only 25% of the Jews surveyed considered Jehovah a personal God. They were higher than the Buddhists where only 23% believed the same, but lower than Muslims and Hindus where 32% of respondents believed in a personal god. I was surprised by …

Antarctic penguin colony Photo: Ray Muzyka/Flickr

NASA fesses up — the Antarctic ice pack has been increasing in size for the past 33 years

It’s a major confession for an organization that has promoted man-made global warming for the past couple of decades. But confession is good for the soul. A new study released by NASA shows that the Antarctic ice sheet has increased in size each year since 1992. The report appeared in the October 30th issue of Journal of Glaciology. The thawing of the polar ice caps has been one of the major cornerstones of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) push to have country’s sign a climate treaty. It claims if we don’t reign in CO2 emissions, the ice caps will melt causing ocean levels to rise, sinking islands and washing away coastal cities. Unfortunately, the facts are not lining up with the fear mongering as the NASA report shows during the very period the IPCC claimed the Antarctic ice cap was shrinking, it was actually increasing in size. Using satellites, NASA measured the height of the Antarctic ice caps. These measurements revealed between 1992 and 2001, the Antarctic ice cap gained 112 billion tons …

City of Toronto banning Christian music festival in Younge Dundas Square because they sing about Jesus. Photo: Google

Toronto bans Christian music festival in city square because they sing about Jesus

Lifesite News is reporting that the City of Toronto has refused to issue a license giving a Christian organization permission to use the Younge-Dundas Square for its music festival next year. The group called Voices of the Nations (VON) has operated the festival since 2006 and has used the city square located in downtown Toronto since 2010. The refusal did not affect this year’s event, but prevented VON from using the area going forward. The festival features Christian bands and dance groups. This year’s celebration held August 1 had 19 Christian groups participating. For five years, VON has pre-booked the site for the next year’s festival with no problem. When they tried to do that this year, the Square’s Manager of Events Natalie Belman said no. She told the group they were proselytizing at the event which is against City of Toronto policy. When VON events coordinator Leye Oyelani asked who was proselytizing, according to transcripts released to Lifesite, Belman said: “If you’re praising Jesus, praise the Lord and there’s no God like Jehovah, that …

Has persecution come to the schools of America?

God is a ‘myth’ controversy at Texas school heats up

In an earlier post, I reported on Jordan Wooley, a seventh grader who attends West Memorial Junior High School in Katy, Texas. She alleged on Monday, October 26, 2015, her reading teacher gave the class a poll assignment which included a question asking if God was “fact, opinion or myth.” The teacher told the students that the only correct answer to the question was “myth” and that they would lose marks with any other answer. Jordan alleged this resulted in a heated discussion in class as students challenged the answer. The teacher refused to back down and Jordan refused to back down from her faith. Later that evening, Jordan made a presentation about what happened in her class to a school board meeting. The superintendent said the administration would look into the allegations. On Wednesday, the superintendent released a statement on the controversy. Though stating the assignment was “ill-conceived,” the school had interviewed several students and none verified Jordan’s story. He added that there was a question about God in class, but the word myth …

Sidokarto, Indonesia Photo: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa/Flickr

Burning Churches

Recently, Muslim extremists in Indonesia have been burning Christian churches. This is news around the world, and it seems to be another example of Muslim intolerance, but I think there is a hidden story here. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country. It’s interesting that the second largest Muslim population is in India. The mostly Hindu population of India is so large, that close to 200,000,000 Muslims are a minority. Asia is amazing. Indonesia also has close to 200,000,000 Muslims, with large minorities of Christians, Buddhists, Confucianists, and Hindus. Hindus dominate the island of Bali. The country is a democracy, and the government strives for unity. And until recently, Muslims in Indonesia were known as tolerant and inclusive. The most northern province of Indonesia is Aceh, a conservative Muslim region where Sharia law is imposed on everyone, including Christians. That’s where churches are being burned. Religious divisions could lead to civil war. In July a mosque was burned in Papua, which is predominantly Christian, and the nations largest province. In Aceh, Christians defended …

Hugh Jackman speaking at the San Diego Comic Con International in 2013. Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Is Hugh Jackman a Christian?

Hugh Jackman is a popular Hollywood star by anyone’s standards. He is probably best known for his super hero roles in the X-Men series and Wolverine. He also played Jean Valjean in the Hollywood remake of the classic Les Misérables. In an interview with Parade, Jackman came out about his faith stating bluntly: “I am a Christian.” Though I admit Christian can be loosely interpreted, in the interview Jackman spoke about his involvement with Evangelical Christianity when he was younger. He was raised by his Christian father after his mother abandoned the family when Hugh was eight. Jackman stated: “I used to go to different evangelists’ [revival] tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw.” I found it interesting that he referred to a premonition about being on stage. In an earlier post, I wrote about a prophetic word given Hollywood star Chris Pratt by a Christian evangelist who shared his faith with Pratt because God said …