Month: November 2016

Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine, not a mosque. Credit: Monidas De Mon/Flickr/Creative Commons

More trouble on the Temple Mount

WND.com is reporting a confrontation with Muslim authorities that happened November 17, 2016 on the Temple Mount. WND.com editor Joseph Farrah along with Jonathan Cahn — a Messianic rabbi most famous for his New York Times‘ best seller, The Harbinger — were co-leading a group of 406 people on a visit to Israel. Part of this trip included a visit to the 40-acre Temple Mount located in the heart of Jerusalem. It was the original site of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The Romans destroyed the second temple used in Jesus’ day in 70AD. Today, the site is home to two Muslim buildings — the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Though Israeli government controls  the site, it has given the Jordanian Waqf, essentially an Islamic police force, considerable leeway on controlling the Temple Mount. Among other things, the Waqf monitors dress and ensures that Jews and Christians don’t pray on the site. That latter provision has forced the Jews to pray at the Western Wall down below. As part of the trip to …

Stave Church in Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri

My Prophetic Journey Part 9: How to minister in North Dakota and not even be there!

[This is the ninth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Years ago, while a member of a senior prophetic team in a large church, I ran into a continual problem. The team would be invited to minister out-of-town on weekends, and I rarely could go. I ran a small retail business, and it was almost impossible to get Saturdays off, even for God’s work! It drove me crazy. It came to a head one time when our team was invited to minister at a church in Minot, North Dakota. I really, really wanted to go, but my boss said no, and I decided I would spend the weekend in a major pity party. A few days before the trip our team leader had a planning/prayer meeting regarding the weekend. She came to me, expressing how badly she felt that I was unable to go. She shared that she felt under attack from the enemy, and knowing how I felt, asked if I could keep her in …

Left to Right:  Explorers Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), Ernest-henry Shackleton (1874-1922) and Robert Edwin Peary (1856-1920). Credit: Wikipedia

The first man-made global warming deniers — Scott and Shackleton?

Those in the man-made global warming camp have repeatedly tried to slag those who don’t agree with them as deniers, equating them with people who deny the Jewish holocaust. It is not about the issue of warming, because the earth has been regularly warming and cooling for centuries as part of its natural cycles, it is whether or not man is causing it. Just recently researchers from England’s University of Reading went through the log books of turn of the 19th-century Antarctic explores Earnest Shackleton and Robert Scott. They made a horrifying discovery for those embedded in the man-made global warming camp. Scott and Shackleton’s 100 year-old log books revealed that the Antarctic ice bed was basically the same size then, as it is today. This means despite the cries of ‘wolf,’ the Antarctic ice bed has not shrunk because of human activity. For those in the man-made global warming camp, melting of the polar ice caps because of CO2 is at the very core of their beliefs. This will cause sea levels to rise, …

Credit: Scott Fiddelke/Flickr/Creative Commons

What should we tell our kids about Santa?

My son was about five or six years old when he motioned for me to come to our front window. It was December and our front yard was blanketed with a fresh layer of snow. We lived on the edge of the city and wild life made regular forays into our front yard. As I went to the window I saw a trail of rabbit tracks wandering through the snow. My son then explained those were the tracks of Santa’s reindeer. He must have been in our yard the night before. My wife and I had decided to tell our children that Santa was not real, with the proviso that they were not to say anything about it to the other kids. But my son saw Santa in the malls and on TV. At his Christian pre-school, many of the kids were talking about Santa and my son wanted to believe in Santa as well and now he was trying to convince me those tracks were evidence Santa existed. I told him that those were …

Credit: rpphotos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Liberty Counsel’s ‘Naughty’ or ‘Nice’ list

We are all readying ourselves for the hectic Christmas season. One of things we do is buy gifts for family and friends — a tradition handed down through the centuries from the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh the magi gave Jesus shortly after the Lord’s birth (Matthew 2:11-12). Christmas is retailers biggest sales quarter with many selling as much merchandise in this period as they did the rest of the year. Just before Christmas, US-based Liberty Counsel publishes its ‘Naughty or Nice List”, that they have put out annually since 2002. The list is in response to the politically-correct climate that in recent years has tried to pressure companies and governments to remove any religious references in their Christmas messaging. Though Christmas Day is undoubtedly not Jesus’ true birthday, nevertheless the fact December 25 rose to prominence as a Christian religious holiday is undisputed. To determine a company’s response to Christmas, Liberty analyses how many times they use the word ‘Christmas’ on their advertising, merchandise descriptions and website compared to the politically-correct term ‘holiday.’  …

Church in Iceland Credit: washingtonnydc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Survey shows believing the Bible the key to church growth

According to survey by researchers in Ontario, Canada, churches with Conservative, Bible-based theology are the fastest growing of Christian churches. In fact, the membership numbers for churches that have rejected a literal interpretation of the Bible are in a free fall. According to the English newspaper, The Guardian, attendance at liberal mainline churches in Canada has dropped by 50% since the 1960s and in England Sunday attendance at the largely liberal Church of England has fallen by a similar percentage since the 1980s. The research team led by David Haskell described those with a “conservative Protestant theology” as the “clear winner.” In their report entitled “Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Churches” the group surveyed 2,225 people attending churches in Ontario and conducted more in-depth interviews with 195 church attendees and 29 clergy. According to The Guardian, while studies in the past concluded that theology had no impact on church growth, this survey showed it clearly did. Haskell noted that growing churches “held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Intercessors: Engaging the enemy

I consider myself an intercessor and it has taken the full length and breadth of 30 years to understand what intercession is and who I am in this gifting and calling. Intercessors, in their various roles, stand in the gap for people in prayer and worship to enhance God’s presence, draw people in and bring them into a more intimate experience and connection with God. Not everyone is called to intercede in this way.  There are many roles that intercessors play and one person does not do it all. I am a dancer and along with other women, I dance in church during worship with ribbons, scarves and flags. As intercessors we need to be sensitive to shifts in the spiritual realm.  We often find ourselves pressing into these shifts to enhance the worship and/or step into warfare to exercise authority over the enemy and his strongholds. There are moments in worship on Sunday mornings when I grab a flag and begin to intercede with the flag during the height of worship. At other times, …

Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 8: The Challenge of the Roller Coaster

[This is the eighth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In the last few articles in this series we looked at four lessons God taught me in my journey in the prophetic. This one is also an unavoidable lesson. Lesson 5 – The Challenge of the Roller Coaster At times having a prophetic gift can be like living on a roller coaster. When your word hits the mark and saves the day, you’re a super hero – on top of the world! But when you get it wrong or it’s a challenging word that just gets strange stares, and the worship leader is encouraged to sing something, anything – then what? The roller coaster descends full speed to the bottom! But you are not alone, and there is hope! I have heard from a number of prophets that God often chooses the weak to show His strength, and that many who are called to the prophetic struggle with insecurity. His plan is to change us, to …

Temple of Bel (Baa)l at Palymira, Syria prior to its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Spirit of Baal in the end times

A strange thing happened in 2016, a company manufactured full-scale 3-d replicas of the gates of a Temple of Baal that once stood in Palmyra, Syria. ISIS destroyed the 2,000 year old temple in 2015. They installed arches this past spring in Trafalgar Square in London, England and later on September 19, 2016 at Times Square in New York City. The 48′ foot arch from the Baal temple has certainly proved controversial. Some wonder if it provided an opening or portal for the spirit of Baal in these two countries, much in the same way the building of temples for Baal and Asherah would have done in ancient Israel when Queen Jezebel set them up. In his article proposing this on Charisma News, author Michael Snyder suggests the setting up of the arch may have contributed to the rise in violence in America that we are recently seeing. Or maybe it is all just one big coincidence. Or, perhaps it is just a sign of the times — an indication of what is already happening …

People walking the streets of Shanghai, China Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

Respected scientist believes in the existence of the soul

Sir Roger Penrose, 85, is a respected and award-winning mathematical physicist in England. He serves as the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at University of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute. His awards include the Wolf Prize won in 1988 that he shared with Stephen Hawkings. His most recent awards include the De Morgan medal (2004) that is handed out every three years by the London Mathematics Society and the Copley Medal (2006) awarded by London’s Royal Society for outstanding research achievements in any branch of science. It is considered the world’s oldest scientific award. Penrose ranks among the greats — Einstein and Hawkings. He has also developed many theories during his lifetime, but perhaps his most intriguing is his belief in a human soul that continues to exist after a person dies. According to an article in The Sun, he describes the soul as a “packet of information stored at a quantum – or sub-atomic level.” When a person dies this information is released intact into the universe but will return to the human body if …

Tehran, Iran Credit: rasool abbasi17/Wikipedia

Iran: Despite persecution mass conversions to Christ continue

The Iranian police have been busy these past few months arresting Christians. According to the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), in September the police arrested 25 Iranians attending a church service in the city of Kerman. Other agencies reported similar raids in August when armed police arrested 11 Christians and confiscated Christian literature in Isfahan and nine more attending a house church meeting in Western Iran. Police also arrested five Christians in Firouz-Kouth County where according to Morning Star News, believers fear this arrest was intended to extract information on leaders of the house church movement in that area. Iran has one of worst records of Christian persecution in the world.  NCRI reported the Iranian government executed seven Christians on Christmas Day 2015. The death penalty can come into effect when a Muslim converts to Christianity. Just recently, the country’s sharia court sentenced three men to 80 lashes each for drinking communion wine at a house church meeting in Rasht. The three, that includes the group’s pastor, are also facing charges involving “action …

Harvest time is hard work Credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Kill a Church – Part 3

The U.S.A. just had an election and the whole world is talking about it. I live in Canada, so I don’t want to add to the discussion; Americans know how to manage their own country. Before we forget though, Donald Trump surprised the world by winning, and Hillary Clinton shocked her loyal followers by losing. Before the vote, he labored to convince the doubters to vote for him, and she convinced her friends to love her more. We had the same pattern where I live in 1992; Nancy Betkowski was an educated, sophisticated woman who was going to be our provincial leader. Her rival was Ralph Klein, a journalist who drank too much. At the leadership convention Nancy went to bed knowing she had the majority vote the next day. Ralph stayed up all night working the crowd and trying to convince his enemies to vote for him. Nancy appeared for her coronation the next morning, and we were all stunned when Ralph won the vote. He missed some sleep and worked very hard, and …

Radar Valley, Goldstone, California Credit: Jason Major/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 7: Learning the Radar

[This is the seventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] As described in the previous article, God continues to teach us as we move into the deep end.   He stretches us, and is always faithful to give us what we need. Lesson 4 – Learning the Radar At times I have gotten a vague word just walking into a situation. I learned the hard way that not every prophetic impression was to be shared publicly. Sometimes it was a matter of being within radar range – that many who are within radar range will be hearing the same thing. On these occasions, if God’s Spirit is saying, “John 3:16,” before a meeting even starts, then “all who have an ear to hear” will pick up on that. If someone speaks that verse out, it may be the role of another who sensed the same thing to affirm it with an “Amen!” or to affirm it with that person to encourage them. As I have shared before, …

Michael Buble in concert Credit: jeaneeem/Flickr/Creative Commons

Michael Bublé’s family share a statement of faith about son Noah

I have a confession to make. One of my favorite performers is Canadian Jazz singer Michael Bublé, 41. I haven’t got a bucket list, but if I did — attending a Bublé concert would be on it. So, like many, I was shocked to hear Michael’s sad announcement that doctors diagnosed his son Noah, 3, with cancer. Michael and his wife, who also have a son Elias born earlier this year, initially thought Noah had the mumps. However, a visit to a doctor in Buenos Aires — later confirmed by a doctor in Los Angeles — presented the grim diagnosis of cancer. On his Facebook page, Michael and his wife Luisana Lopilato asked for prayers. “Luisana and I have put our careers on hold in order to devote all our time and attention to helping Noah get well. At this difficult time, we ask only for your prayers and respect for our privacy. We have a long journey in front of us and hope that with the support of family, friends and fans around the …

Credit: Shutter Runner/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has your church offended you?

As I look back over the past 30 years of our Church life, I realize how much happier my husband and I could have been, if we had only known then what we know now. But like many, we learned the hard way. One of the keys is learning not to be offended by your church. So, how does one protect and guard themselves from getting hurt in church? Reflecting on our spiritual journey this one truth comes back to me over and over again.  Avoid developing unreasonable expectations of the church and its leaders. I am reminded of a time years ago when my husband struggled with personal identity issues in his life.  So much of it was wrapped up in how well he performed at work and he became a workaholic of sorts. I was not perfect during this period and kept heaping unrealistic expectations on him — what he should be doing around the house and even at church. He just couldn’t handle it! These unreasonable expectations were putting distance between him …

Park Rangers destroying one of 6 Marijuana fields found in North Cascades National Park Complex Photo: Park Ranger/Flickr

The second big winner in the US presidential election

There were two big winners in the American election held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Donald Trump was of course elected president in what was clearly a surprising outcome. Maybe not so surprising, the other big winner was marijuana. Three states that voted in favor of Hillary Clinton for president — Massachusetts, California and Nevada — also legalized the use of recreational Marijuana through referendum votes. Another Clinton state, Maine, also appears to have made a similar move in its initiative ballot. Though marijuana activists have declared victory, there were only a few thousand votes separating the ‘no’ and ‘yes’ sides on the ballot which has not yet been fully counted. They join five other jurisdictions that have already legalized recreational marijuana — Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia, Arizona which voted for Trump rejected a similar initiative with 52% of the people voting against legalizing recreational use. In addition three states approved marijuana for medical use — North Dakota, Arkansas and Florida. Currently the federal government prohibits the recreational use of …

Breaking the yoke of insecurity off your neck. Credit: flintlocker/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dealing with Insecurity: The workaholic

If you are insecure, you do things that can break your heart. In 2 Kings 4:8-22, we read the story of an older couple who were prominent in the community (v 8). Undoubtedly, they were wealthy. The man was a farmer and had a number of servants working for him (v 18, 22). They were the rich and famous of Israel. The man’s success defined who he was and he had an image to uphold. They had everything except a child. When the prophet Elijah showed up in the community, the wife cordially invited him to stay at their large home. When Elijah was ready to leave he asked Gehazi — his servant — what type of gift he could give the woman for her generosity. Gehazi said she was without a child. Elijah went to the wife and prophesied she would have a child by this time next year which occurred exactly as Elijah predicted (v 17). Between verses 17 and 18, someone hit the fast forward button. We are not told how much …

Working in God's vineyard. Credit: Shawn Harquail/Flickr/Creative Commons

We are all at different stages in our journey

There is a story in the Gospels that portrays how God views our faith journey. Some of us may feel like we are not keeping up with the spiritual Jones. I see men and women pushing ahead in God, accomplishing great things and wonder if I could have done better. In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells the story of the owner of a vineyard who needed to hire workers for the day. It was a parable describing the principles that govern the Kingdom of God and work in God’s vineyard. It seems there was a spot in the market place where men gathered who were looking for work. The owner showed up early in the morning (probably around 6 am) and found some men who were interested. He offered them a denarius to which they agreed as it represented a typical day’s wage. But the owner still needed more help. He checked again at 9am and hired a few more. Other workers were picked up at noon and 3pm. By the end of the day, some …

Credit: Boris Hajdukovic/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 6: Confirmation

[This is the sixth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In the last article on learning in the prophetic, I discussed the importance of timing. This is the next lesson the Lord made real to me. Lesson 4 – Confirmation Whenever you book a flight, a car rental, a hotel, or order a major appliance, it’s normal to get a confirmation number. When the person at the desk confirms your number, then you know that your booking or purchase is as good as in your hand – it’s done. It seems that it’s harder to trust our Heavenly Father to confirm what He’s given us than it is to trust someone we don’t know behind a desk! How many times have I missed God’s timing because I have wanted seventy times seven confirmations! It seems common to a lot of people being used in the prophetic that there is a definite learning curve in this. In my previous post, I described the pounding heart, dry mouth, …

A church in Egge, Norway. Credit: Gert Andreas Barring/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Kill a Church – Part 2

One man in Japan made himself famous for a few days in October. He is probably the most surprised, but a comedian named Piko Taro made a video and millions of people watched it. He is a viral one-hit wonder. There is one thing he did not do; he did not wreck the conversation. Mr Taro did some excellent teaching, even if we learned nothing. The conversation was phatic, the teacher opened the channel of communication and maintained it. You probably watched right to the end. Everything was presented well, from the lighting and camera focus, to his costume and smile, and his dance and song, and his enunciation, and more. Also, I am sure someone did some preparation. The only thing missing is a message. I am sure Mr Taro could have added an important message to his presentation, and the world would have listened. He could have convinced us of something, or asked for money. The video is now filled with other people’s promotions and additions. They will be selfish if he isn’t. …

Carl Lentz during his interview with Oprah. Credit: Youtube capture/Own Channel

Carl Lentz tells Oprah faith is a journey

Recently Oprah Winfrey interviewed Carl Lentz, the popular and well-known pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City. Lentz is often referred to as the ‘rock star pastor’ with a ‘come as you are’ approach. He sometimes preaches in night clubs and theaters. New York’s Hillsong Church is known for its passionate worship that draws people from all genres, particularly the younger generation. Speaking of his church Lentz states, “we’re a cool church preaching an ancient message” and his mission is to transform the way people experience God. His message is about God being interested in us as a work in progress. He firmly believes our faith involves a journey. Justin Bieber’s baptism s a great example of what Lentz is talking about. Lentz along with Judah Smith, Justin’s pastor, baptized the pop star late one night in a friend’s seven-foot bathtub. Lentz is proud of Justin Bieber wanting to be baptized in the middle of everything he was going through at the time. Baptism showed his desire to start fresh and begin pulling himself …

A scene near Hampshire England. Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

Encourage Yourself?

I recall someone saying there are times when you can encourage yourself in the Lord. Well, maybe I remembered that, but I sure didn’t feel like doing it. After being sick for a few weeks, I was more into the ‘please pray for me’ mode. Now there is nothing wrong with asking for prayer or talking to someone when going through a hard time. But I know there are also times when I just need to go to God. The Bible says this is what David did when he went through a very discouraging event. At one time David and his men had returned home to Ziglag, where they found it burned, looted and their wives and children taken away by the Amalekites. Because of this David’s men became embittered against their leader: And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6 …

Muslim quarter of Old Jerusalem. Credit: meghamama/Flickr/Creative Commons

2,700 year-old reference to Jerusalem discovered on a piece of papyri

On October 26, 2016, archaeologists announced they uncovered the earliest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem. This proves once again that the indisputable Jewish connection to Jerusalem predates the Muslim arrival by thousands of years. They discovered the name Jerusalem on an ancient piece of papyri radio carbon dated to 7 BC that antiquity robbers had pillaged from Judean desert caves in the West Bank. This is the oldest extra-Biblical reference to Jerusalem found so far. The 2,700 year-old papyri was uncovered in an operation undertaken by Israel Antiquities Authority who became aware of the theft and mounted an operation to seize back the stolen antiquities before the robbers sold it on the black market. The small piece of papyri written in Hebrew reads “From the king’s maid servant, from Na’arat, jars of wine to Jerusalem.” Because the writer specifically calls herself a servant of the king, archaeologists suspect the document — referring to the transfer of two jars of wine to Jerusalem — was part of a tax payment. It was made during the reign of …

Independence day celebrations at the National Mall in Washington, DC Credit: Mark Andre/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did this Prophetic act in Washington, DC break a curse over the US?

According to an article on Charisma News, some are calling an event that took place on October 21, 2016 a prophetic act that could profoundly impact America. On that day, 1000 Native Americans representing Indian tribes across both the US and Canada gathered in Washington DC to forgive the early Americans who broke treaties they made with Indian tribes decades ago. At the event called the National Day of Prayer for First Nations held at the Washington Mall, representatives of America’s tribal groups spoke declarations forgiving America. Speaking on behalf of the (Euchee) Yuchi tribe, Negiel Bigpond stated he was forgiving “the US, whether it asked for it or not.” Bigpond who organized the prayer event is a fourth generation pastor and serves as a tribal chief. He along with other native leaders and intercessors spoke a number of declarations that are posted at the All Tribes DC website. This included: “We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace …