Month: April 2016

Photo: ndsunewsdept/Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolina State University requires permit to talk about Jesus

Grace Christian Life (GCL) is a Christian organization registered with North Carolina State University. The organization recently launched a lawsuit against the university alleging they need a permit if they wanted to talk to anyone about Jesus at the university or even invite them to attend religious events. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization that takes on free speech issues for Christians, is representing the GCL. According to the group, they received a permit from the university to set up a table displaying materials about their organization. However, they were not allowed to leave their table or distribute materials. ADF believes under the US constitution, the university is not allowed to limit free speech of any group or person, Christian or not. However, in this case it alleges the university even went further and specifically limited the free speech of the Christian organization, while giving other groups freedom to hand out their materials. On its website, ADF alleges: “The group obtained a permit to set up a table in the student union in January …

Inheriting sin?

Generational Curses: Part 1 — Inheriting sin?

In her article in the Globe and Mail entitled “The Bad Seed,” Carolyn Abraham tells the story of Dan S. (a pseudonym). In 2003, when she wrote this article, the man was sitting on death row in a state prison in the southern US. The court sentenced him to death for the cold-blooded murder of a pizza store manager in a 1991 robbery. When he entered the pizza store, the 24-year-old manager quickly complied with Dan’s demands and handed over all the money in the till. Then Dan forced the manager to his knees and in a gangland style murder, callously shot the employee point-blank in the back of the head. “You should have seen the fat slob begging for his life,” Dan later gloated. He was on a rampage. Prior to this incident, he had committed a number of armed robberies, plus a string of car and credit-card thefts. After the pizza-store hold-up, he robbed six more restaurants and dry cleaning businesses before the police finally captured him after a high-speed chase through downtown …

Miracle on a football field? Photo: ishutterthethought/Flickr/Creative Commons

Miracle on a football field?

Some have gone so far to claim he faked his death even accusing him of taking a pill before hand so the symptoms would seem real. On May 5, 2015, Zack Clements, 17, was participating in football training at his Christian school, Victory Life Academy, in Brownwood, Texas when he collapsed to the ground. Nobody, knew what had happened. While  others prayed, people immediately started performing CPR. When the ambulance showed up, Zack, who had just had a heart attack, was rushed to a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. When he arrived, It took hospital emergency personnel 20 minutes to get his heart restarted. Medical staff prepared Zack’s parents, Bill and Teresa, to brace themselves for the worst. In an interview with People.com, the attending cardiologist at Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Lisa Roten, was concerned if Zack did survive there would be irreversible brain damage. Roten told People: “For 20 minutes, he was legally dead. We were worried he may have suffered irreversible brain damage.” Once the hospital team stabilized Zack’s heart, they put him …

Photo: docenjoyce/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is a help meet?

When God created woman, He used a strange Hebrew word to describe her role in marriage. She would be a “help meet.” 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18 King James) Other Bible versions, like the NASV, describe her as a “helper.” It leaves the impression that God intended women to help men and some go so far as to interpret this as perhaps even a servant. In fact, a closer look at the two Hebrew words involved leaves a slightly different impression. The Hebrew word for “help” (ezer) is derived from two Hebrew words that mean “to rescue” and “to save.” The word eventually came to mean “to be strong” to “save in strength.” The same word is used in Deuteronomy, to describe God’s help: “There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help [ezer], And through the skies in His majesty. (Deuteronomy 33:26 NASV) So how was woman …

Photo: DrOjOhn/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Big Money in Hallelujah

“Let me hear a hallelujah. Can I get an amen?” Those are popular words with some people right now. I’m no music critic, but I keep hearing a country song on the radio “My Church” with those words. The song is a huge hit and it has a powerful lesson. When I first noticed this song on the radio, I thought I was hearing a gospel song, and I liked it, without knowing the words. Who listens to lyrics on the radio? I liked it enough to learn more, and it really is a song about not going to church. A young woman,  Maren Morris, finds freedom from her sins and spiritual revival by driving her old car on back roads, and listening to country songs on the radio. Back road therapy is a big thing in country music. So it’s a feel-good popular song that is slightly offensive to Christians. That makes it like most songs on the radio. In seventies talk, the powerful lesson is in the vibes and the ripoff, which is …

Marriage offers protection. Photo: angelo23/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Marriage increases cancer survival rates

A new study published by Fremont’s Cancer Prevention Institute of California and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine may have unlocked why married people have a better chance of surviving cancer. Over the years, several studies have shown that married people have higher survival rates than their non married counter parts when it comes to dealing with this disease. In this particular study, researchers looked at 783,167 patients and determined that unmarried men were 27% more likely to die from cancer than their married counterparts and unmarried women 19% more likely. The group then decided to remove other socio-economic factors such as finances that could potentially affect a person’s ability to survive cancer. In America, it can impact the type of health insurance a person can buy. Once these factors were removed, they discovered that an unmarried man’s chances of dying from cancer was still 22% higher than his married counterpart and for unmarried women it was still 15% higher. The researchers concluded that though other socio-economic factors contributed to a person’s …

Mexico's Mt. Popocatepetl came to life earlier this week in spectacular fashion. It is one of the world's three super volcanoes. Photo: LEOHM1/Flickr/Creative Commons

Most dangerous volcano in Mexico comes to life

Mexican news media are reporting that Mt. Popocatépetl (Aztec for smoking mountain) came to life earlier this week spewing ash three kilometers in the air. It is Mexico’s most dangerous volcano and reports are coming in that it blew “incandescent fragments” 1.6 kilometers away. The volcano has been showing signs of activity since late March. According to authorities, the volcano began spewing out ash at 2:32 AM Monday morning (April 18, 2016) covering homes and vehicles in nearby Puebla city (population three million). You can watch the eruption in the video below: Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center has warned people to stay at least 12 kilometers away from the volcano. If Mt. Popocatépetl ever fully erupted, the results would be catastrophic. There are about 25 million people living near the volcano including the 18 million inhabitants of Mexico City only 70 km (43 miles) away.   Concerned experts are keeping a close eye on the developing situation. Mt. Popocatépetl is one of the three super volcanoes that I have referenced in previous articles, the other two …

Full moon peering out behind exploding Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park Photo: Miles Ritter/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did the prophet Joel predict a boiling river near Yellowstone Park?

There are strange things happening in America’s infamous Yellowstone Park and believe it or not, the prophet Joel and maybe even the Apostle John might have predicted it. One involves Yellowstone’s most famous geyser — Old Faithful. It normally erupts about every 74 minutes, but the times can vary from 60 to 100 minutes. It shoots spray and water about 140′ into the air and on a good day it can tower to 180′. Heated by the molten lava deep below, the water is hot. It has been measured at 204F (95.6C) and the steam at 350F. But in the video taken on the night of April 15, 2016, by the Geyser Observatory, Old Faithful is going off repeatedly. Other geysers are also suddenly appearing and shooting off. Though the video that was taken in the middle of the night, it looks like day because the ground is glowing: Commenting on the video, Kat Marin2016 said: This was insane! There are places steaming I have never seen steam before….and also note that the bright ground …

Jameel McGee with the former "dirty cop" Andrew Collins

Former ‘dirty’ cop and the innocent man he framed now preaching redemption and forgiveness

In 2005, Jameel McGee, 35, was arrested and charged with dealing crack cocaine and eventually served four years for the offense. The only problem was McGee who lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan, did not have any drugs on him, but the arresting officer Andrews Collins, 33, falsified the police report accusing McGee. Collins knew the drugs belonged to another person in the car that McGee had been riding in. But no one else knew and the courts sentenced McGee to ten years in prison for a trafficking crime he didn’t commit. Though McGee’s insistence he was innocent is a common enough claim for those arrested for drugs, in this case he was eventually proven right. In an AP story, Collins admitted he was a dirty cop. It began when he worked narcotics with the police department. It started small but escalated to the point he was stealing drugs and even money and planting drugs on people and falsifying reports to get a quick arrest. Meanwhile as he sat in prison, God began working on McGee …

The aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit California on December 22, 2003. Photo: Brian Lopez/Flickr/Creative Commons

Geologists warn mega earthquake looming

Over the past week the earth has been hit with several large earthquakes resulting in hundreds of people being killed. Two major earthquakes hit Japan. The first one occurred on Thursday, April 14. With a magnitude of 6.5, it resulted in nine deaths and 800 injuries. A similar-sized earthquake hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu that same day with no reported deaths. Then a second 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Japan two days later on Saturday, April 16 killing 34 and injuring 1,500. There is even concern that repeated earthquakes could eventually split Japan’s southern island in half. That same day an earthquake with a 7.6 magnitude rocked Ecuador, South America killing over 272 people (update: 570 dead as of April 21, 2016) and injuring 2,500. This group of earthquakes fell in the Ring of Fire, that circulates around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in this region and as well 81% of the major earthquakes, those exceeding 7.0 magnitude. Anyone with an interest in end-times events are probably …

NASA's blood-red Nile River Photo: NASA/European Space Agency

NASA’s photo of a blood-red Nile river

With the Jewish Passover scheduled to be celebrated on April 22-30, 2016, NASA released an unusual satellite photo earlier this month of the Nile River pictured completely red just as it happened during Israel’s exodus. Many in the media, such as Foxnews and CBS, noted the photo’s eerie spiritual connection to Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt found in the Old Testament. The water wasn’t really red, but this was how it showed up in a photo taken by NASA’s Sentinel 3-A, launched February 16th, as part of its Earth observation system. The satellite used a Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer which measures the energy radiating from the earth’s surface. It can take photos in multiple bands including infrared. The red is actually the vegetation along the Nile’s banks. The Jewish Passover was part of the last plague God brought against Israel involving the killing of the first-born (Exodus 12). After this plague, the Egyptian Pharaoh allowed the Jews to leave. Turning the Nile water into blood (Exodus 7:20) was the first of ten plagues …

God want to heal our brokeness. Photo: Howard Hall/Flickr/Creative Commons

Circle of Love

It had been a year since I lost my son to suicide and I was invited to join a new women’s group at church. I wanted to stay home and not risk baring my heart to anyone. God knew I needed this group of women and gently pushed me out the door of my comfort zone. To be honest, I was angry with my son for choosing to leave us the way he did. I am a resilient person and found myself able to move forward in my life despite our loss.  My resiliency, though, left me unable to express myself and release my grief. There were five women in this group and each of us had our own pain and grief to deal with. Some of us were angry with God for the circumstances we were facing.  Others, like myself, were angry at our loved one for the choice they had made. We were all here to release the pain and guilt of poor choices made and we began to realize that we needed …

Will the Bible soon be banned in America? Photo: Joseph Li/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bible persecution?

I was saved during the Jesus people movement that swept North America during the late 60s and early 70s. I ended up going to what can only be described as a Hippy church full of flower girls and long-haired boys. The pastor was the oldest person in our church — I think he was 25 at the time. A good friend of mine during those days was a fellow named Duncan. He stood over six-feet and had hair nearly as long. It was right down to his waist, actually even a bit further. Despite all that hair, Duncan went on to have a very distinguished, professional career. I remember a conversation he and I had back then. We discussed buying dozens of Bibles, building a waterproof box for them and then going deep into the woods and burying them. We suspected at some point it would be illegal to own a Bible in North America, but we would still have our secret stash. We had even decided on which version we would hide — the …

What we think of ourselves, affects who we are.

Be nice to yourself

My mind can be my best friend or worst enemy depending on what I choose to believe about myself. In other words, my body responds to messages I send it via my thoughts. Many times, while trying on clothes in a store, I have stood in front of the mirror and criticized myself for being fat. There is, undeniably, a mind-body connection and statements like “I am fat” affect our mental, emotional and physical well-being. I have shut myself down many times because of my negative thinking and the demeaning language that followed. Waking up and feeling gloomy because the sun isn’t shining often sets the mood and tone of my day and this in turn determines how productive it will be as well. The Bible tells us that our thoughts dictate who we become. The mind of a man reflects who he really is, not just his actions or words . “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23) Guarding the heart really means the inner core of …

Three of the pottery shards from Arad Fortress revealing troop movement and costs for fort provisions. Photo credit:PNAS, Faigenbaum-Golovin et al

How words written on 16 pottery shards screwed up Liberal theories, again

Throughout the Old Testament, there are many references to people recording historical events as they were happening. Liberals of course have long disagreed with this. They believe writing was not widely in use during Biblical times and people wrote these stories long after they occurred. They then of course go the next step and insist these historical records and the people named in them were simply made up. This meant Biblical books ranging from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings were written centuries after the events cited in them took place, despite the Bible treating them as eye-witness accounts. Those Liberal views just came crashing down after researchers analyzed writing found on pottery shards discovered in a Jewish frontier fort named Arad, dated to 600 BC. Researchers from Tel Aviv University used computer programs, often employed by forensics to compare writing samples and banks to verify signatures, to find out if the same person wrote them. The research team was made up of a diverse group of people including archaeologists, physicists and mathematicians, After they scanned the …

The Baal arches scheduled to be set up in London's Trafalgar Square have been cancelled. Photo: Trafalgar Square by Hector Rodriguez/Flickr/Creative Commons

Baal arches scheduled for New York City and London, England — CANCELLED

[UPDATED SEPTEMBER 20, 2016:] It is now being reported that the Baal arch originally planned for New York City and then cancelled is on again. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN) a replica of the 1,800 year old Victory Arch that stood in front of a Baal Temple in Plamyra, Sryia went up in New York City’s Hall Park on September 19th. Roman Emperor Servius constructed the original arch in the third century and installed it in front of an ancient Baal Temple. The arch was destroyed in 2015 by the radical Islamic group ISIS. An organization called the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) announced plans in March this year to create a 15-meter tall 3-D replica of the Arch with plans to install one in both New York City and London, England. Though the New York City installation was cancelled some believe due to public pressure IDA installed the arch in London’s Trafalgar Square on April 19th. ……………………………………………….. I had reported earlier on several media reports stating that an organization called the Institute of …

Mobile Chapel. Photo: Sandy McIntosh

The church that should not be

I am a Christian, but on some Sundays I don’t go to church. A few times a year I go to a truck stop where a group “Transport for Christ” has worship services. If this truck stop chapel is a church, it has some flaws. I remember taking a course called “Church Growth” where we planned to start prosperous and stable suburban churches. We looked for communities with young families and affordable real estate, and planned for the long-term. The truck stop is surrounded by industry, with no houses for miles. The local community is truck drivers who stop for a few hours. The church is a modified semi trailer, with stacking chairs inside. This is not a pretty suburban temple with expensive windows and a pipe organ. There is a window on the door, but not even a guitar for music. That pattern was part of the plan, a chapel for industrial workers, but things have gone wrong. The parking lots have been sold to other businesses and now there is only a fuel …

Boy raised from the dead in California

With 67.5 million members and 384,000 ministers, the Assemblies of God is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination and fourth largest religious organization. It appears one of those pastors, Eric Angeles, who lives in Bellflower, California and pastors New Hope International Christian Church in nearby Norwalk, raised a boy from the dead. Eric was at home one December morning preparing for a board meeting at the church later that evening when a pick up truck hit a boy on the street outside his house. After hearing the noise, Eric and his wife Ruth rushed outside to see a young boy lying lifeless on his back with his mouth and eyes open. The collision had thrown him 50 feet. The Montanez family who lived on the same street had also heard the commotion. Looking out they saw their son lying on the road and the distraught parents were gathered around their son when Eric and his wife got the scene. While others were checking his pulse to see if he was still alive, the Holy Spirit impressed …

Justin Bieber in concert. Photo: Il Fatto Quotidiano/Flickr/Creative Commons

The ‘pop stars’ will cry out?

As Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey on His final trip into the fabled city, thousands of Jews gathered to watch Christ’s entrance and began crying out ‘Hosanna’ (Luke 19:28-40). But there were pharisees in the crowd, and shocked by this display of affection they yelled out to Jesus to tell His disciples to shut up (v 39). There will always be those who will try to shut believers down. They will try to intimidate and cause Christians to keep quiet. Sometimes it may even work. Turning to the pharisees in the crowd that day, Jesus replied: “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 9:40 NASV) Though I know God is quite capable of making rocks cry out Christ’s name, I suspect what Jesus was really saying is that if Christians are silenced, God will have the Gospel proclaimed in unusual, unexpected and even shocking ways. Today many are trying to quiet Christians. Atheists are using the courts to force Christians to take down crosses. They are trying …

Jesus wants to bring emotional healing. Photo: Olaf Meyer/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jesus came to heal the ‘shivering’ heart

According to researchers from Denmark’s Aarhus University, human grief can literally cause heart problems. The research team looked at the medical data for about one million Danes and discovered that people who experience the loss of a partner had a 41% increased chance of an irregular heartbeat. Called atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia, it takes place when there is a breakdown in the heart’s electrical system causing the heart’s chambers to flutter or beat very fast. It can result in increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and even death. The risk was even higher when the death was unexpected resulting in a 57% increased risk of atrial fibrillation. They also discovered this was happening to people who up to this point had never experienced an irregular heart beat. In the study, the researchers found that of the 88,612 who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation for the first time, 17,478 had experienced the loss of a loved one within the previous year. In a Los Angeles Times article, Simon Graff, one of the study leaders, said: “Stress …

The Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem seen from the Mount of Olives. Photo: Boris G./Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want to be a Temple priest in Israel, make sure you weren’t born in a hospital

Jerusalem’s Temple Institute has just announced it is accepting applications for priests to serve in a yet to be built Jewish Temple. The Institute, which started in 1987, is dedicated to seeing a third temple built in Jerusalem replacing the Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Over the years, it has completed a number of items in preparation for this third Temple. This includes constructing 70 pieces of temple furniture part of which one is a massive altar, that can be taken apart and moved to the Temple once it is constructed. Everything was meticulously prepared according to Biblical instructions.  They have also ordered the architectural drawings for a third temple. This is a tricky task because it must meet Biblical specifications as well as modern building practices. The Institute is even creating a herd of red cattle using imported embryos from red Angus beef in America. An unblemished red heifer is necessary for some of the Temple sacrifices. Recently the Temple Institute announced it is now accepting applications for positions of Temple …

Student accused of violating university’s ‘safe place’ rules by raising her hand

An article in The Telegraph exposes the bizarre culture permeating universities not only in England but in North America as well. Imogen Wilson is a student at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. She also serves the student council as vice president of academic affairs. She recently spoke of how students on the extreme political left tried to have her kicked out of a council meeting because she dared to raise her hand. The student association has instituted a bizarro rule called the “safe place environment.” This policy sets out to create a ‘safe space’ where people are protected from anyone disagreeing with them, specifically: “refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement,” or “in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made.” People are only allowed to use gestures showing agreement. The problems started shortly after Imogen made a presentation disagreeing with those wanting to institute a policy to boycott Israel. Imogen opposes this because it leads to antisemitism which creates an unsafe place for Jews — note the contradiction. In a column …

Old Jerusalem Photo: Eugene Kaspersky/Flickr/Creative Commons

As the Jewish population returns to pre-holocaust numbers, a Hitler clothing store opens in Cairo

According to a report released by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), in 2015 the number of Jews in the world has nearly returned to population numbers seen in the 1930s before World War II. During World War II, as part of his final solution, Nazi leader Adolph Hitler slaughtered an estimated six million Jews in his death camps –Auschwitz, Auschwitz–Birkenau, Treblinka, Bełżec, Majdanek, Chełmno and Sobibór. The Jewish population in Europe was decimated with 66% of European Jews murdered between 1941 and 1945. By the end of the war, the Jewish population was estimated at about 11 million. According to its annual report, JPPI states the Jewish population has been steadily increasing since the War and today sits at 16.6 million. This includes 14.2 million with two Jewish parents and the remainder made up of people with one Jewish parent, who nevertheless identify themselves as Jewish. The fastest growth spurt took place between 2005 and 2015 which resulted in an 8% increase attributed largely to orthodox families. Averaging three children per family, Jews typically have larger …

Do everything to the glory of God. Photo: Welder/Sorenslim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Secular or Sacred?

If I were to ask average believers what percent of their day would fall under the heading of secular activities vs. sacred, would the answer be 50/50, or 60/40, or even 80/20? If you were a full time pastor, we might expect your sacred time would be higher that if you were, say, a welder. Christian musicians sometimes comment that on Sundays they play sacred music, but on Friday and Saturday they play secular. Although we all understand what they mean, I believe that this division is arbitrary and non-biblical. This topic was brought to my attention while I was reading a book called Know The Truth by Bruce Milne. The author was discussing the modern friction between the natural and the supernatural. I was surprised to learn that the Hebrew vocabulary and thinking from the Old Testament has no equivalent for our word “nature” or “natural”. God is responsible for all; the “natural” world was created by the spiritual. The Old Testament followers saw rain from clouds and water from a rock as both …

Busy street in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Ben Ward/Flickr/Creative Commons

Power of God impacts High Caste Hindu priest

Kosh Dahal was not only a Hindu priest living in Kathmandu, Nepal, he was also was part of the privileged high caste. There are four official castes or classes in the Hindu religion — Brahmins, Kshatriyas,Vaishyas and Shudras. There is a fifth group, not included, which is the lowest of the low — the Dalits often called the untouchables. As a Brahmins, Dahal lived a life of privilege as a veterinarian living in Kathmandu. So when a Christian evangelist approached Dahal with the Gospel, he was not interested because he perceived Christianity as a lower caste religion. Christianity has made major inroads among Indians particularly the Dalits. In his testimony reported on God Reports, Dahal initially put the Christian off, but the man kept coming back. He was taking a great risk doing so because it is illegal to proselytize in Nepal. Finally, in frustration Dahal threw out a challenge stating he would pray 20 minutes to this Jesus each day, ten minutes in the morning and again in the evening, asking this Christian God …