Month: August 2017

Watch Gospel music ring out at Hurricane Harvey rescue shelter

Gospel singer Victoria White and others entertained people taking shelter from Hurricane Harvey in the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center in Conroe, Texas, north of Houston. The song was videoed by volunteer Joni Villemez-Commeaux. White works as an admission counselor at Sam Houston State University. She was ministering with Outreach Missions who was raising support for the victims of Harvey. White’s powerful voice emanated in the hall as others joined the singing. So far the video posted on Facebook has been viewed over 12 million times. The death toll for the storm is now nearing 40 and includes the rescue of 13,000 people trapped by the rapidly rising waters that hit Houston and area. Sources: Lifting spirits: Texas woman breaks out into incredible gospel performance inside Hurricane Harvey shelter: Daily Mail Watch: Spontaneous Gospel singing fills Harvey evacuation shelter: Breitbart Advertisements

Ahvaz, Iran Credit: HOSSEIN MTP/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

129F (53.7C) — setting a heat record in Iran

I may have to eat my words, a quaint way of saying I was wrong. In a post a few months back, I was talking about some hot weather the earth experienced this past June, when locations in both the US and England were experiencing near record temperatures. I found it interesting because in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John saw extreme heat as one of the judgments that God would pour in the earth in the end times: The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9 NASV) In my earlier post, Turning up the Heat, I noted that though it was extremely hot in these areas of the world in June, they were not temperatures records and because of that I stated: “I do not believe the …

Louis Farrakhan at a press conference in Iran. Credit: Tasnim News Agency/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Has Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan become a Christian?

Christian Post (CP) recently reported on a curious video posted to Youtube last week by Louis Farrakhan, the former leader of the Nation of Islam. It suggests the controversial leader may have become a Christian. Farrakhan, 87, gave up leadership of the 50,000 Black Muslim group in 2006 due to ill-health. He was suffering the after effects of prostate cancer. William Fard started the Nation of Islam in 1934 and during the 1970s it had upwards of two million members. The organization holds to the tenants of Islam and believers that Allah is the only god. Some believe Fard was the Muslim Mahdi, the Islamic equivalent of a messiah. Farrakhan became involved with the Nation of Islam after a brief career as a professional musician. In the mid-70s, he even served as a Sunni Muslim Imam for about three years. As early as 2015, a video shows Farrakhan talking about Jesus as the Redeemer though at the time he said Jesus was a Muslim. However, in the video posted recently Farrakhan seems to have a …

Bodian Castle, East Sussex, England Credit: Antony McCallum/Wikipedia

Territorial Spirits: Plundering the strongman’s house

In our series on Territorial spirits, we are discussing how satan has a hierarchical structure in the satanic realm and has put evil spirits over countries (Daniel 10:13) and I suspect provinces or states within those countries and even over major cities. These evil spirits often align themselves with natural political divisions as they seek to influence the political agenda throughout the nation. Both Mark (Mark 1:21-27) and Luke (Luke 4:31-37) talked about Jesus delivering a man of an evil spirit in a synagogue in Capernaum, a major administrative center for the District of Galilee, a state within Palestine. It was an unusual encounter because it was only one of a handful of times that an evil spirit spoke to Christ during a deliverance. I suspect this ability to speak represented its power in the demonic realm. I am also convinced that evil spirits represent higher ranking fallen angels while demons represent the foot soldiers. But the word demon is also a generic term that describes the satanic realm, much in the same way the …

Eye of the hurricane Isabel as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia

Living in the eye of the storm

In the midst of a raging hurricane that can have winds upwards of 250 kms an hour (Category 5) it has an eye that is typically between 30 km to 50 km wide. It is a place of calm. There are often no clouds allowing you to see the sun and blues skies. The wind is light. A person would never know there is a brutal storm raging beyond the horizon. This is the ‘eye of the storm.’ The world is in utter chaos today and as Christians we must live in the eye of the hurricane. So how do we do this? In Matthew, Jesus talks about having a single eye and this is the key to living in the ‘eye of the storm:’ “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22) In this verse Jesus says if we have a single eye, our whole body will be full of light. It can have blue skies in the …

Washington DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

¿Cómo el espíritu de Jezabel capta una nación

English Version: How the Spirit of Jezebel captures a nation Al principio de su visión de los últimos tiempos registrados en el libro de Apocalipsis, el apóstol Juan proporciona mensajes a siete iglesias de Asia -Ephesus, Esmirna, Pérgamo, Tiatira, Sardis, Filadelfia y Laodicea. Sabemos iglesias existían en estas ciudades durante los días de Juan y en cierto modo parece que está frente a situaciones que tienen lugar cuando escribió este libro mientras desterrado en la isla de Patmos. Pero el Libro de la Revelación era una visión profética del tiempo del fin – de los acontecimientos futuros que culminarían en el regreso de Cristo. Debido a esto, muchos creen que las advertencias que Juan envió a las siete iglesias también son proféticos y revelan los ataques demoníacos las iglesias de los últimos tiempos se enfrentarán. Uno de ellos consiste en un ataque por el Espíritu de Jezabel. En el capítulo dos, Juan describe una situación que tiene lugar en la iglesia de Tiatira que implica una mujer llamada Jezabel. 20 Pero tengo esto contra ti: que …

Credit: Richard Cassan/Flickr/Creative Commons

¿Le han disparado últimamente?

English version: Have you been triggered lately ¿Le han disparado últimamente? El diccionario urbano define esto como “Getting lleno de odio después de ver, oír o experimentar algo que no se puede soportar.” En mi experiencia, una persona disparada no es responsable de su ira. culpa de otra persona abrió la puerta de su rabia y ahora podía pasar cualquier cosa. Recientemente, un comediante Kathy Griffin posó con una cabeza cortada falsa del presidente Donald Trump, Bill Maher usó la palabra “n” en una entrevista, y Stephen Colbert ha sido criticado por algo crudo. Kathy Griffin, al menos ha recibido graves amenazas de muerte por su delito. Relacionados : Maher, Griffin, Colbert: cómicos Anti-Trump están teniendo un muy mal momento: Washington Post Entonces, ¿cómo la cultura popular descender a la violencia cruda y amenazas de muerte? se desencadenaron personas. Son molesto, por lo general por Donald Trump, por lo que no hay límites a su conducta, y ahora el otro lado se activa y amenazas de muerte hacia ellos. Si esto parece una locura para …

Zoroaster temple in Iran Credit: Bastian/Flickr/Creative Commons

Entonces, ¿quién es Zoroastro?

English Version: So Who is Zoroaster? Hace unos tres mil años, probablemente en los tiempos de David y Salomón en la Biblia, un hombre llamado Zoroastro o Zaratustra comenzó a predicar acerca de un Dios, y una gran fuerza del mal en el mundo. Su hogar era probablemente cerca de Afganistán y su enseñanza llegó a dominar todas las personas iraníes, desde el norte de la India a Grecia, en Europa. Información sobre los tiempos y lugares se han perdido, pero los estudiosos coinciden en que alguien trató de convertir a la gente a Dios, en el centro de Asia, hace muchos siglos. De acuerdo con Tabari, un musulmán sunita que vivió hace unos mil años, Zoroastro el antiguo profeta de Irán era de Israel y discípulo de Jeremías, o viajaba con un profeta Hebreo. Sabemos que los Persas eran a menudo amables con Israel y su templo en Jerusalén. El Rey de Persia (Irán) ordenó la reconstrucción del templo de Jerusalén: Entonces el rey Darío proclamó un decreto, y buscaron en los archivos donde se …

Scottish Highlander cattle Credit: Lloyd/Flickr/Creative Commons

Darwin y las vacas escocesas

English Version: Darwin and the Scottish cows Charles Darwin desarrolló su teoría de la evolución para el origen de la especie cuando se dio la vuelta al mundo en un barco llamado el Beagle. En ese viaje, en 1834, exploró el valle erosionado del río Santa Cruz, en Argentina y él comentó sobre el curso de los siglos y la erosión gradual que produjo el valle. Ahora sabemos que un GLOFs (glaciar de los lagos de valles de inundación) se produjo cuando un glaciar de hielo bloqueó el río cerca de las montañas y represado una enorme reserva. Cuando el agua entró por el hielo, la GLOFs erosionado el valle de forma rápida, probablemente en día. Cuando era un niño, viajé con mi familia en el estado de Washington, y me di cuenta que el interior seco tenía cientos de canales de agua erosionadas, todo seco, y vi probablemente la caída de agua más grandes del mundo, Dry Falls, cuatro veces las el tamaño de las cataratas, en un valle erosionado profunda. Entonces supe que …

Credit: Mikhail Noel/Flickr/Creative Commons

The white pebble

In his exhortation to the Church at Pergamum in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John warns that they were dwelling in the place where Satan had his throne (Revelation 2:13), but urges them to overcome. But then the Apostle makes the odd statement that those who overcome will receive secret manna and a “white pebble” with a new name written on it. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ (Revelation 2:17 NASV) Many of us are familiar with the story of God providing Israel manna in the wilderness and the “hidden manna” may describe the manna put inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:33–34). But what does the white stone refer too? There are many opinions on this. Some wonder if it refers to the semi …

London Bridge tower highlighted Credit: Wikipedia/cmglee

Who do British Jews consider their biggest threats?

Using YouGov, a survey company, the British organization Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has conducted an annual survey of English attitudes towards Jews since 2015. Perhaps the most disturbing fact to come out of this year’s survey is that over the past two years a third of the Jews living in England had considered leaving due to the growing antisemitism in that country. The survey also found that 25% do not believe Jews have a long-term future in England with a further 21% stating they were uncertain. However, this was still better than what they see going on across the English Channel when 35% said they did not believe Jews have a long-term future in Europe and 24% stating they were unsure. This is certainly paving the way for further Jewish migration to Israel, an event prophesied in the Old Testament centuries earlier: 3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture… (Jeremiah 23:3 NASV) Perhaps not surprisingly …

Ruins of the Great Synagogue of Capernaum Credit: UNESCO/Wikipedia

Territorial spirits: D-day in Capernaum

In a previous article in this series, we discussed the Book of Daniel that talks about evil spirits over nations — Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece. But if satan has a hierarchy would it stop here. Could evil spirits be installed over states or provinces and even major cities within a country? In Mark 1:21-27, Jesus entered a synagogue in Capernaum to teach. Located on the western edge of the sea of Galilee, the city was in the District of Galilee (v 28). 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee. (Mark 1:28 NASV) Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of Palestine, a region the equivalent of modern Israel. He succeeded Herod the Great, a brutal man and the one who ordered the murder of all boys 2 years and younger around Nazareth in an effort to kill the Messiah. Palestine in turn was divided into three regions each ruled by a Tetrarch. The word Tetrarch meant a division of four but referred to any number …

Charlottesville, Virginia protest August 2017 Credit: Evan Nesterak/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Riots in Charlottesville … and Darwinian Evolution?

We know about the demonstration in Charlottesville Virginia. Groups described as Right Wing gathered and demonstrated for their beliefs. The trigger was a threat to remove monuments to leaders of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, more than a century and a half ago. That war was fought with muskets and sabres and horses, and the good guys won. The demonstrations were ugly, with symbols and language that related to Hitler and the Nazis, and the Klu Klux Klan. Counter demonstrators gathered, including some dangerous violent people. It all ended when allegedly a car driven by a man with a history of mental illness rammed into a crowd of counter demonstrators, killing a woman and injuring 19 others. Two police officers also died when their helicopter crashed as they monitored the demonstrations. It was a terrible day. To understand what was happening, some researchers brought up Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Really. A survey was sent to members of the alt-right supporters asking for their opinions about human evolution. Related: Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right …

Partial eclipse of the sun that took place on May 20, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah Credit: Thephatphilmz/Wikipedia

Total eclipse — sign or coincidence?

There is a total eclipse of the sun taking place tomorrow in the United States. It will touch down in Oregon around 10 am and make a 70-mile wide swash across America ending in South Carolina at around 2:50 PM. Some of the people living in 12 states will see the total eclipse with every US state witnessing a partial eclipses. We are living in very troubling times both in the US and around the world and many in America have wondered if this eclipse is a sign from God for the US. When God created the heaven and earth, we are told the stars in heaven would serve as signs: 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (Genesis 1:14 NASV) The Hebrew word translated sign  ‘o-tot’ is used a number of times in the Old Testament as an indicator. It described the mark God put on Cain …

Características de un intercesor: Persistencia más importante que la amistad

English version: Characteristics of an intercessor: Persistence more important than friendship ¿Por qué Dios no responde a mi oración? Esta cuestión afecta a muchos cristianos. Oramos y no sólo no hay respuestas, nos preguntamos si Dios incluso nos escuchó. Cuando nos fijamos en los evangelios, leemos una serie de parábolas que Jesús enseñaba en la oración. Quiero mirar específicamente a uno de ellos y extraer un principio clave de la oración exitosa. La cuenta se encuentra en Lucas 11: 5-13. Esta parabola- siguiendo los pasos de la enseñanza de Jesús sobre la oración del Señor -es sobre un hombre que inesperadamente tenía visitantes aparecen en su casa a altas horas de la noche. Sin comida para ofrecerles, el hombre aparece al lado de la casa de un amigo para pedir prestado un poco de pan. Era tarde por la noche y su vecino no estaba interesado en despertar se para satisfacer las necesidades de este hombre, su recino. A pesar de que el vecino estaba obviamente molesto por la intrusión tarde en la noche, el hombre …

Características de un intercesor: ¿Como las ‘protestas callejeras’?

English Version: Characteristics of an intercessor: Will you riot in the streets? En un articalo anterior , hablé de la parábola de Jesús sobre la oración. Se trataba de ejecución en el de una mujer con un juez corrupto ( Lucas 18: 2-8 ). Era un pasaje interesante como las palabras griegas retratados intercesión como poco más que una pelea callejera. Como Jesús concluye esta enseñanza, Él quiere separar claramente nuestro Padre Celestial por el carácter de la juez y dice: 7 ¿A caso Dios no hará justicia a sus escogidos, que claman [Boao] a el día y noche? ​​(V 7 NBLH) Cuando el juez de la justicia se vendía al mejor postor, Dios queria llevar a la justicia a aquellos que claman por ayuda. Donde los jueces corruptos retrasan la justicia ya que necesitan un toque sutil de dinero para abrir las puertas, Dios quiere responder rápidamente. La palabra griega para “llorar” usada aquí es “Boao.” Es una palabra llena de emoción – la ira y la frustración. Que significa gritar y elevar una queja. …

Características de un intercesor: ¿Es usted un luchador de la calle?

English version: Characteristics of an Intercessor: Are you a street fighter? Todos luchamos por la oración contestada. A veces nos preguntamos si Dios incluso nos escuchó. Cuando nos fijamos en los Evangelios, Jesús utilizó una variedad de parábolas para enseñar sobre la oración. Uno se encuentra en Lucas 18: 2-8 – implica una viuda que fue aprovechada por una persona sin escrúpulos y se presentó ante un juez para buscar ayuda legal. Se nos dice que el juez no temía a Dios y no respetaba el hombre (2 v). Era una forma sencilla de decir que era corrupto. La justicia estaba a la venta en esta ciudad. La viuda aparentemente no tienen los medios para comprar la justicia que necesitaba, por lo que el juez la desanimaba, pero ella volvía. En esta historia, Jesús muestra una nos muestra que una de las claves para el éxito de oración es orar hasta que prevalecem0s! La viuda regresó una y otra vez en busca de ayuda. La frase “por un tiempo” (v 4) que Jesús utiliza para …

Two months off /foter/cc_by-nc-nd

Entendiendo Los tiempos y las estaciones: Hombres de Isacar

English version: Understanding times and seasons: Men of Isaachar I Crónicas 12:23 – 40 nos da un registro de gran ejército de David que fue montado en Hebrón. Leemos de los miles de guerreros que vinieron de toda raza. Había 6.800 de la tribu de Judá, que llevaba el escudo y la lanza y de la tribu de Simeón, 7.100 hombres de gran valor apto para la guerra. La tribu de Zabulón se registró a tener 50.000 guerreros que eran expertos en todas las armas de guerra y que podían mantener las filas. En medio de esa lista de miles de hombres poderosos, leemos del pequeño número de jefes de Isacar. Sólo 200 hombres, pero no tenían conocimiento de los tiempos para saber lo que Israel debía hacer.   No era necesario un gran número de guerreros para la batalla si no habia comprensión de los tiempos y las estaciones. Estos son los que llevan la “estrategia” en su interior para derrotar al enemigo. Bereanos nobles El apóstol Pablo encontró una sinagoga de Judios en …

Credit: Michael Mazzamuto/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cada paso que doy

English version: Every step I take 31 Entonces, ¿qué diremos a esto? Si Dios está por nosotros, ¿quién estará contra nosotros? (Romanos 8:31 NBLH) Es tan importante recordarme a mí mismo que Dios está siempre de mi lado y conmigo en todo lo que hago en todo lo que enfrento. Dios lleva el peso más grande y la autoridad en todo lo referente a mi vida. Cuando la balanza de mi vida se desiguala, sé que Dios esta justo a mi lado. Cuento con su presencia y su autoridad para inclinar la balanza a mi favor y resolver todo por mi bien. El rey David entendió esto y toda su vida lavivió por la creencia de lo que Dios era para él. El Señor está a mi favor; no temeré. ¿Qué puede hacerme el hombre? (Salmo 118: 6 NBLH) Estoy aprendiendo a armarme de la misma manera que Josué lo hizo. Consciente de la presencia y la autoridad de Dios que llevaba en cada paso que daba en la tierra que Dios prometió a Israel. Estas …

Credit: arbyreed/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are You living in the present?

“Don’t worry about tomorrow sufficient for the day is the evil [trouble thereof]. (Matthew 6:34) It has become clear the root of my worry stems from trying to plan for what may or may not happen the next day or even the weekend. Every angle is covered. With my worry I try to control the next day and the day after that. Elliot’s Commentary has an interesting spin on this verse, when he interprets “don’t worry about tomorrow” as “make most of the present.” Staying rooted and grounded firmly in the present day and moment will change your life. It allows us to get the most out of today. I remember one author stating that it is important to stay in the present for ourselves. I immediately discarded the thought. It would be so selfish. But after prayerful consideration, I changed my mind. When I am in the present for myself, I am able to discern the voice of God in my life. I am a much better person to live with and able to …

Credit: Markku Sandberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple Incense Spices

Incense and Intercession [by Helene Rudolph] Alongside the fragrant precious anointing oil was the Temple Incense.  Incense is associated with intercession in scripture. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; thee shall be an equal part of each.  And with it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure (and) holy.  And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I shall meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.  And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD”. Whoever shall make (any) like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people”. (Exodus 30:34-38) Pleasant Smells Revive the Soul The priesthood of old burned incense daily as a fragrant offering unto the LORD.  The Jewish Talmud records that women, as far …

Northern Arctic Credit: Chase Dekker/Flickr/Creative Commons

Ice problems north and south

English explorer Pen Hadow was planning to sail from Alaska to the North Pole this year to reveal the impact that man-made global warming has had on reducing ice in Canada’s arctic. In an article in the UK Times, a representative for the group said: “The secondary objective is to sail as far north as the sea ice safely allows us, possibly even to the North Pole.” However, this expedition made up of two sail boats was forced to cancel its trip because of excessive ice surrounding the North Pole. According to the director of America’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (ANSIDC), Professor Mark Serreze, a person could only reach the North Pole with an ice breaker, because it “was still surrounded by nearly 800 miles of solid packed ice as of last week.” ANSIDC reported that this year’s ice bank was the fifth lowest level of ice concentration in the arctic recorded by satellite images. If you read between the lines it shows the ice cap was much lower several times in the …

Credit: Johndan Johnson-Eliola/Flickrt/Creative Commons

El río de la vida

English version: River of Life Recuerdo que hace cinco años, elegi de una vez por todas perdonar a los que me había herido a lo largo de los años. Se trataba de personas con las que regularmente comparti en la iglesia y de perronas en el trabajo. Me deshice quemando mis heridas como un montón de basura. Cuando miré hacia atrás ya no quedaba nada más que humo. Cada vez, que recordaba estos incidentes tenia la tentación de mirar hacia atrás, sólo veia la tierra ennegrecida. No había nada que recordar. En mis últimos años, he aprendido que la ofensa me lanza por completo fuera de curso y lejos del propósito y los planes que Dios tiene para mi vida. La falta de perdón, la ira y el resentimiento, crean una corriente en mi vida que me tira hacia atrás y esta corriente va en contra del movimiento del Espíritu Santo. Este era un peso extra en mi barco mientras navegaba por el río de la vida. No estaba ganando terreno espiritual y mi barco …

Credit: Shawn Harquail/Flickr/Creative Commons

La Roca Eterna

English version: Rock of Ages Estas últimas dos semanas, mi esposo y yo pasamos tiempo con mi suegro que estaba a punto de morir de cáncer en cuidados intensivor. Junto con otros miembros de la familia, nos turnamos para pasar la noche con él. No queríamos que estuviera solo. Durante años había sido la roca de nuesta familia y ahora el nos necesitaba. Cuando fue mi turno de cuidaple, oraba por él durante la noche, y cuando me despertaba, no dejaba de hacerlo. Durante el día, a menudo me inclinaba sobre él mientras yacía en la cama del hospital y le decia que estaba a salvo bajo la protección de Cristo. Sur Roca y el agua viva para su vida eterna. Muchas veces, ponia mi mano firmemente sobre sus hombros, y le apretaba y el parpadeaba, y yo le decia: “Jesús tiene un poder sobre ti y no lo dejes ir. El es tu Roca y el ancla de tu alma. Él te está llevando a la eternidad con Él. Él te tiene!” Sentí que …

Do not judge. Credit: skambalu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Matthew 7:1-3?

A study by psychologists at the University of Plymouth in England uncovered an interesting trait in humanity which confirm words that Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago. In the study reported in Scientific American, Sophia Harvey, Simone Schall and Jennifer Benton found that people who considered themselves morally unclean were more apt to judge others as being wrong than those who didn’t feel unclean. In the study, the researchers had people do a number of activities such as watch brief films where people did something wrong such as lying when they created a resume. They also had them watch disturbing segments from movies and then after read “moral vignettes.” An important part of the study was trying to induce a sense of cleanness in the test subjects and they did this by having half of them wash their hands before responding to what they had seen or read. They asked them to wash under the pretense that they would not dirty the room being used by staff. Even in the Old Testament, ritual cleansing was a …

Karachi, Pakistan Credit: Benny Lin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Marilyn Hickey, a Pakistani anomaly

As we read about Christians being persecuted in Muslim countries, a weird anomaly keeps popping up — American televangelist Marilyn Hickey. Aged 86, last November during a eight-day tour she preached the gospel in Karachi, Pakistan before crowds totaling nearly one million people. She did it freely with no resistance from the government or threats from Muslim extremists. According to reports she is known as the ‘mom of Pakistan” and for some reason has even been accepted by imams in the Muslim Pakistani community. The terrorists basically ignore her because she is an old woman. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with 201 million people it is the sixth most populated country in the world. It was formed in 1947 as a home for Muslims living in India and nearly 95% of the country is Muslim. In its revised 1973 constitution, the country declared Islam its state religion and all laws must be in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. At this point, the country has not implemented Sharia law, however polls indicate …

Manila, Philippines Credit: Patrick Del Rosario/Flickr/Creative Commons

Territorial Spirits: The strange case of Clarita Villaneuva

In the early 1950s, the Lester Sumrall (1913-1996), an American evangelist, sensed God prompting him to go to the Philippines on an evangelistic mission. He was impressed by the Holy Spirit that God would move in a powerful way while he was there. During the early days of his ministry attendance was low. At times, the only ones that showed up were Sumrall’s family members and servant girls. After he decided to build a church, Sumrall experienced some growth largely through transfers from other churches, hardly the powerful evangelistic thrust that he anticipated. But that would change almost over night. While he was there the local media broadcast a story of the perplexing phenomena surrounding a new inmate in the Bilibid prison in Manila. In his book, Bitten by the Devil, Sumrall told the strange story of Clarita Villaneuva. The front page headline of the May 13, 1953 edition of the Manila Chronicle read, “Police Medics Probe Case of Girl Bitten by Devils.”  The convict’s name was Clarita Villaneuva. According to reports, some mysterious creature …

Black mustard growing as a weed along the banks of a river in Germany. Credit: anro0002/Wikipedia

The Kingdom of God is like a weed?

Three of the Gospels, Mark, Luke and Matthew, record Jesus comparing the Kingdom of God to a mustard plant: 31 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32 NASV) Because of the reference to the size of the plant, it appears that Jesus was talking about the Black Mustard that can grow upwards to 10′ tall (and even higher under ideal conditions) from the smallest of seeds (1 mm in size) used for crops and herbs. Similar to today, the ancients valued the ground-up mustard seed as a seasoning (condiment) for meat and for its oil. The leaves are also edible and used in stews and salads. But what was Jesus referring too when He compared the Kingdom of …

King David made Mykytiuk’s list. Fresco of King David bring the ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem by Johann Baptist Wenzel-bergl Credit: Wolfgang Sauber/Wikipedia

53 Bible personalities make the list, more to come

Purdue University Libraries associate professor Lawrence Mykytiuk recently released a report in Biblical Archaeological Review outlining 53 people mentioned by name in the Bible verified by archaeology. His work is part of a growing trend among academics giving more credence to the historical accuracy of Scripture. Mykytiuk’s interest in the Bible’s historical accuracy started in 1992 as he was doing graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was then he stumbled upon a clay insignia of a servant of King Hezekiah, verifying that Hezekiah was a real King in Israeli history. The proof of Hezekiah’s existence has continued to roll in. In 2015, archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered another seal bearing Hezekiah’s name while excavating in Jerusalem. Though Jewish, Mazar is not religious, but admitted on several occasions that she excavated with a shovel in one hand and a Bible in the other. Mykytiuk also points out that it is not just Jewish archaeological sites that  are providing evidence. Israel’s ancient enemies also confirm many of these people existed. He pointed to an ancient …

Credit: @Doug88888/Flickr/Creative Commons

Territorial Spirits: According to the Angels

I remember an interesting discussion in seminary many, many years ago. We were discussing the Book of Daniel, when we reached the passage on how the prophet Daniel sensing a time of conflict was brewing began to pray and fast for thirty days seeking an answer from God (Daniel 10:1). God dispatched an angel with the answer to Daniel’s prayer. When the angel finally shows up, the angel says the “Prince of Persia” had thrown up road blocks hindering the delivery of the message for three weeks, but Michael the Arch angel was sent to help and the two broke through to deliver the message. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:13 NASV) After delivering it, the angel said he was returning to fight the Prince of Persia and Prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20-21). When I mentioned the Prince of Persia was a demonic angel …

Credit: Ram Balmur/Flickr/Creative Commons

Skillful Musicians or Musicians of Snobbery?

While there has been much discussion that  musicians must excel to be part of a worship team, one wonders if Christian leaders often revert to snobbery rather than skilfulness when selecting musical players. Biblical Pattern In the first book of Chronicles we are shown the selection pattern used in David’s tabernacle to determine those who were to have a ministry in music. “And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.  And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then waited on their office according to their order.” (I Chronicles 6:31-32) The musicians selected were Levites, those separated to the work of the LORD. “And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethern to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.” (I Chronicles 15:16) …

A provado la Biblia ser un libro de milagros?

English version: Did a Bible miracle prove itself? La Biblia es un libro de milagros. Pero hay un milagro que se destaca de la multitud. No está en la lista de cualquiera de los diez milagros de la Biblia. Algunos incluso lo han llamado una sanación fracasada. Pero sigo sosteniendo que este es uno de los grandes milagros de la Biblia, porque esta curiosa sanación demuestra ser realidad. Pero antes de estudiar esta situación tenemos que mirar una intrigante historia contada por el Dr. Oliver Sacks. El Dr. Oliver Sacks es profesor de neurología y psiquiatría del Centro Médico de la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York. En su libro,  ” Un antropólogo en Marte “,explica la intrigante historia de un hombre que recibió la vista después de casi una vida completa de ceguera. En 1991, Sacks recibió una llamada de un ministro retirado. Esta llamada era sobre el prometido de su hija llamado Virgilio quien fue diagnosticado a una edad muy joven con retinitis pigmentosa. Esta es una enfermedad hereditaria que destruye la retina causando ceguera permanente. Este diagnóstico fue …

Phoenician woman's unrelenting faith resulted in her daughter's deliverance. Painting: Author unknown

¿Qué significa tener gran fe?

English version: What does it mean to have great faith? A lo largo de los Evangelios, Jesús se refirió a las personas con “gran fe”. Una de ellas era una mujer Fenicia. El incidente registrado en Mateo 15: 21-28  es de gran controversia.   Cuando Jesús habló de sus grandes megas (en griego) fe, Él estaba hablando de una mujer con enormes cantidades de fe. Pero no es por casualidad,  que hay  18 versos después del paseo de Pedro en el agua donde Jesús advirtió a Su Apostol por su “pequeña” fe. ( Mateo 14: 22-32 ). Mateo contrasta deliberadamente la “pequeña’ fe de Pedro con la”gran” fe de una mujer gentil – un ejercicio humillante para cualquier hombre judío que se preciara. Y aquí es donde se pone interesante, porque sólo se puede entender la “gran”‘ fe de la mujer Fenicia a la luz de la  “pequeña” (en ‘oligos’ el griego) la fe de Pedro. En un artículo anterior , hablé de los diversos significados de ” ligos “. Puede referirse a una pequeña cantidad (Santiago 3: 5) o algo más …

Beware the roaring lion. Credit: chris jd/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cuidado con el león rugiente

English version: Beware the roaring lion En varios versos, la Biblia advierte sobre el ataque del diablo. El apóstol Pablo nos dice que debemos tener cuidado con las trampas del diablo (1 Timoteo 3: 7 ), engañar o seducir a los espíritus ( 1 Timoteo 4: 1 ) y los esquemas de diablos o juegos de la mente ( 2 Corintios 2:11 ). Pero es el apóstol Pedro, que insta a los creyentes a estar en el “alerta” para el “león rugiente”, que busca a los que puede devorar. Sean de espíritu sobrio, estén alerta. Su adversario, el diablo, anda al acechocomo león rugiente, buscando a quien devorar. (1 Peter 5: 8 NBLH) Es interesante ver cómo el apóstol lanza en el término “rugido” para describir el león. Durante años, los científicos se han sorprendido por la inusual afectar el rugido del león tiene sobre su presa. Cuando el león da un rugido gutural profundo, los animales – en lugar de al instante huyendo – están paralizados momentáneamente dando el león una breve oportunidad para atacar. Ahora, los investigadores han descubierto la razón …

Ruins of Capernaum Credit: Stewart Cutler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jesús posee una casa en Capernaum?

English Version: Did Jesus own a home in Capernaum? Muchos tienen la impresión de que Jesús fue un predicador itinerante, viajando de un lugar a otro en torno a Galilea predicando el Evangelio. Sin embargo, hay un indicio de que desde el principio Jesús tenía su propia casa. En Marcos 2, tenemos el relato de Jesús de estar en una casa en Capernaum. Así que muchas personas se habían reunido de que un grupo de hombres se vieron obligados a cortar un agujero en el techo para bajar su amigo paralítico a Jesús para la curación. Pero note lo que Mark dice en el versículo 1: Cuando Jesús entró de nuevo en Capernaúm varios días después, se oyó que estaba en casa. 2 Y se reunieron muchos, tanto que ya no había lugar ni aun a la puerta; y El les explicaba la palabra.. (NBLH) Se habla de esta casa de ser el hogar de Jesús. Por el tamaño de la multitud era obvio que Jesús fue un poco de una celebridad en la ciudad. Este verso también sugiere que no era …