Month: September 2017

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Neither do I condemn you

In an article for Foxnews, Angel Hatfield shared a powerful story on forgiveness. Hatfield, who serves as executive producer for a movie “Because of Gracia” grew up in a Christian home. In fact, her father pastored a church. As she left her teen years, Hatfield became rebellious: “I skated in sin believing the big lie that there was more pleasure to be found in this world than in God.” Hatfield became pregnant and after hiding her pregnancy for five months, she finally decided to come clean with her father on what had happened. She was expecting her father to react and judge her for what she had done. Instead, he hung his head and when he finally spoke, her dad expressed his disappointment for what had happened but then he added: “And you have made poor choices which now have consequences. It won’t be easy — and there will be struggles and a hard path ahead of you. But I love you — and now I figure I have been given more to love.” Then …

The complexity of a simple little multi-winged dragonfly that can reach speeds of 60 miles an hour (97 km) Credit: Wayne Hodgkinson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cracks in the evolutionary foundation

In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul makes a very audacious statement. He says in the end people will be without excuse about their belief in God because of creation. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NASV) It is interesting because I have run into Christians who are having doubts about their faith because of the theory of evolution. At times, it has caused them to question the Bible and God However, aside from the massive gaps in the fossil record that don’t show the gradual evolution of life, science has never explained how living, breathing and consuming life first sprang from non organic material. These gaps are a huge problem. In an article published in Evolution, the late Oklahoma University paleontologist David B. Kitts wrote there are “some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the …

Brooke Simpson Blind audition Credit: Youtube Caputer/The Voice

Church youth leader wows ‘The Voice’

It was a four-chair turn for church youth leader Brooke Simpson on ‘The Voice’ as she sang a song by Demi Lovato called Stone Cold. Entering is sixteenth season, the winner of ‘The Voice’ receive $100,000 and a recording deal. Simpson is a graduate of Lee University, a Church of God University based in Cleveland Indiana. She works for Potential church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In a YouTube video uploaded earlier this year, Brooke said that she and her husband Ray started a program called ‘Youth in Revolt’ encouraging youth to live as rebels for God in a society that is increasing becoming anti-Christian. Before she was done all four coaches were standing applauding her performance. Pop Singer Miley Cyrus said “You know you’re good because I am a little speechless and that never happens.” Adam Levine called her “one in a million.” I find it more than a coincidence that Simpson is following in the footsteps of another Lee graduate Jordan Smith who won ‘The Voice’ in 2016. All four judges turned their chairs …

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Noah’s Flood, Atlantis, and the Okotok

People who don’t like the Bible, or believe that it is not true, like to point out the story of Noah’s flood as proof that they are correct. How can any reasonable person believe that the whole world was covered with water and animals marched two by two into a large wooden boat? Where is the scientific evidence for that? You might be surprised. Noah’s flood, in the Bible, is dated at about the same time as other flood stories from almost every ancient culture. Stories about a huge and deadly flood are found in the Australian outback, the mountains of Ecuador in South America, in China, in the stories of Gilgamesh and Noah’s flood from the ancient Middle East, and in the Greek story of Atlantis. Plato and other Greek writers told us about an ancient land of Atlantis that was flooded, and apparently the Atlanteans invaded other places, in desperation. Ancient flood stories are everywhere, from people who did not speak to each other. They made their own versions in isolation. We now …

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Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce

An article in the National Post came to the stunning conclusion that one of the big reasons for child poverty in Canada is not capitalism run amuck or the one percent hording all the money, the real reason is divorce. In his article Surprise! Child poverty in Canada comes from divorce, not capitalism, William Watson dived into the finances of Canadian families provided by Statistics Canada, a government-run organization. According to the Statistics Canada, there are 1.2 million kids living in poverty. They define poverty as children living in families that earn less than half of Canada’s median income which for a mixed-sex couple is $87,688. Statistics Canada showed in 2015, the number of children under the age of five living in poverty was 17.8%.  For children between the ages of six to 15, 17% were living in poverty. But as you delve further into the statistics another disturbing trend begins to emerge. Single families are by far the biggest group where children live in poverty. Of course, not all single parent families are the …

(Left to Right) Chris Pratt Credit: Mingle Media TV/Wikipedia; Justin Bieber Credit: Lou Stejskal/Wikipedia; Kourteny Kardashian credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

What do Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber and Kourteny Kardashian have in common?

For many they are household names. All three have fame and money in movies, singing and TV respectively. Chris Pratt, 38, is a movie star with leading roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and one of my favorites Jurassic World that earned $1.6 billion world wide. He is also starring in the soon to be released Avengers: Infinity War Canadian born Justin Bieber, 23, is one of the most popular pop singers in the world. He has 102 million followers on Twitter, nearly 92 million followers on Instagram. and his Facebook page has close to 79 million likes. TV reality star Kourteny Kardashian, 38, stars in Keeping Up with the Kardashians — one of the longest running reality shows in the US. She and her sisters have also started successful clothing and perfume lines. And though fame is certainly one common denominator, according to the Daily Mail, they have one more thing in common, all three were recently seen attending the same church service at Hillsong in Los Angeles. Originating in Australia, Hillsong is renown …

Asteroid collision artist's representation Credit: NASA/Wikipedia

Oh no, not again — prediction made world will end September 23

Up to this week, I had never heard of Jason Meade. But over the last couple weeks he has certainly gotten his 15 minutes of fame when under the banner of a Christian numerologist he claimed that the countdown for the world’s end will start tomorrow — September 23, 2017. Several secular media outlets have picked up the story including Foxnews and the Washington Post. Unfortunately, when Meade’s prediction doesn’t come true tomorrow, it will be another stab in the back for Christians. I know Meade is wrong, because the Bible says he is wrong. Jesus speaking to his disciples about the end-times said: 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36 NASV) The Lord says very clearly that we will not know the day when Jesus will return. What does this mean? Well I could guess the day. I could pick a date out of a hat and predict Christ will return on say February 18, 2034 and …

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The crime of climate-change denial

North America had a solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, followed by a string of hurricanes and earthquakes in Mexico. Also, we have been warned that the world will end, or begin to end, on September 23, 2017. RELATED: Will the World End on Saturday, September 23, 2017? This is ammunition for people who believe in global warming, or climate change caused by all the carbon dioxide we are putting in the atmosphere. Some of them are saying that “denial”, disagreement with their ideas is criminal because it will lead to human suffering. We need to take action to prevent a disaster. They have an opposing side that believes climate change is caused by radiation pulses from the the sun, and volcanoes produce more carbon dioxide than humans do. RELATED: Sorry, But With Global Warming It’s The Sun, Stupid In Canada, the solar people advertised on buses that the sun causes climate change, and the atmosphere people convinced the government to start an investigation for criminal charges. The investigation was suspended after 14 months, but it …

The Philippines Credit: Patrick Del Rosario/Flickr/Creative Commons

Territorial Spirits: Defining the spiritual characteristic of the area

I have been doing a study on territorial spirits, revealing that satan has structured his kingdom putting evil spirits over countries, provinces or states and even cities within that country. And in order to spiritually plunder territory for God, Jesus taught that we must first bind the strong man, the satanic spirit over the area (Mark 3:22-27). As I discussed in my earlier articles, Pontius Pilate ruled Palestine, the equivalent of modern-day Israel. In turn Palestine was broken up into three states or provinces ruled by a Tetrarch. The Tetrarch Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great who ruled Palestine at Jesus’ birth, headed the District of Galilee. When Jesus delivered the man of an evil spirit in the synagogue in Capernaum, the Lord dealt with the demonic strong man of that region and God moved mightily with salvations, healings and deliverances (Mark 1:28 – 2:15).. However, in the neighboring province of Samaria the strongman had not been dealt with. And when Jesus visited Nazareth, we are told that Jesus could only do a few …

Groom, Texas Credit: maciek/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: Persecution of American Christians up 133% between 2001 and 2016

A report recently released by First Liberty Institute (FLI) entitled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” outlines the growing number of attacks on religious liberty in America. Founded in 1972, First Liberty Institute fights for religious liberty in the US through advocacy and litigation by providing pro-bono legal defense to those being persecuted or discriminated against for their faith. According to the organization’s report, the number attacks on Christians jumped by 15% between 2015 and 2016. Since FLI started tracking attacks on religious liberty in 2001, the number has increased by 133% over the following five years. In 2011, FLI reported 600 attacks on religious liberty and by 2016 the number had reached 1,400. FLI’s CEO Kelly Shackelford noted that the cases they cited are just the ones that were published. She described them as just the “tip of the iceberg” as many cases of faith persecution and discrimination are simply not reported. This is not even referring to the number of attacks on Christians that now routinely take place in the …

People in Pyongyang, North Korea watching Kim Jong-un on a TV broadcast in 2015. Credit: Uwe Brodrecht/Wikipedia

Pray that God will bring down North Korea’s strongman

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASV) In his classic passage on spiritual warfare, Paul says a Christian’s battle is not against flesh and blood but rather rulers and powers that rule in darkness and the heavenly places. One of the world’s flesh and blood strongmen is North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, 33. His brutal treatment of North Koreans including purging his own family, have made him one of the most evil despots on earth. But as we look at territorial spirits that rule over countries, we know their primary goal is to control political leaders. Strongmen like Kim Jong-un are being propped up and manipulated by satanic forces. His brutality is a reflection of satanic origins. That is the real force controlling North Korea. Kim Jong-un rules through fear and intimidation and is threatening the world with nuclear attacks and for the second time recently fired …

Swan Quarter, North Carolina Credit: Ingrid Lemme/Wikipedia

Moved by the Hand of God

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV) We live in a fallen world where sin and natural disasters run rampant. This was not the world God intended for us, but it is the one man chose. People ask how could God allow this to happen, my answer it is the life we wanted. Though the world is no longer good, there is a promise in Romans that God will work things together for good in difficult times for those called by God. Perhaps this story out of a hurricane that hit North Carolina in 1876 involving the Providence Methodist Church in Swan Quarter best illustrates this verse. Today, it still has as its motto: “Moved by the Hand of God.” The story vetted by Snopes started two years earlier in 1874 when the congregation wanted to build a church on land owned by a man named Samuel Slader. The land was high …

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Letting go of your unrealistic expectations of others

For three days I battled with the expectations I had put on a particular person in our church. I would relinquish the expectation and then take it back. I fought with this expectation for three days and equally long nights. I was practically foaming at the mouth. By the end I was frazzled and worn out. My expectations were a weight on my mind and I was unable to release them.  A heaviness fell on me making it almost impossible to relinquish them. It was a tug-a-war of letting go and then pulling back, over and over in my mind. I had to put an end to this struggle and the hopes, fears and expectations that had become tangled up in my mind. I had become a prisoner of the expectations I had put on someone else. Selena C. Snow, a Clinical psychologist in Rockvileed, MD, says expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure. She adds that “unrealistic expectations assume a level of control, that we don’t actually have …

Tampa Bay filled with water Credit: tarobot/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did hurricane Irma confirm Exodus 14:21?

Tampa Bay’s bay is normally filled with ocean and fish, but on Sunday morning, September 10, 2017, some residents of Tampa were seen walking out into the bay. It was so dry people weren’t even sinking into the mud. It is a result of a rare phenomena called a bulge that can occur in the eye of a hurricane. The low pressure in the center essentially acts as a suction sucking up the water and along with its winds converging into the center, the water begins to pile up at the core of the hurricane. This results in dry land in areas around the storm. And  it didn’t just happen in Tampa Bay, a similar event took place in the Bahamas where water was essentially sucked away exposing miles of beach once covered with water. Bahamas-based Twitter user, @Kaydi_K, reported:  “‘I am in disbelief right now… This is Long Island, Bahamas and the ocean water is missing!!! That’s as far as they see #HurricaneIrma”. Washington Post meteorologist Angela Fitz explained what happened this way: “In …

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Foot prints in the sand disrupting evolutionary theory

The discovery of human footprints embedded in sedimentary rock on the island of Crete a couple of weeks back is causing major problems for those promoting evolutionary theory. Somebody was basically taking a leisurely walk on a beach that later hardened into rock. According to those who have studied the 50 feet of tracks, these footprints basically match today’s human foot print with a large big toe and the ball found on the heel. Both of which are not found in apes that have distinctly different feet. But here is the problem. Based on the fossils discovered in nearby sediment, evolutionists believe the human footprints are 5.7 million years old. This is disrupting the theory that man evolved from apes somewhere in Africa. As the National Post noted the discovery suggests “human ancestors may have existed in Crete at the same time as they evolved in Africa.” Of course, Crete is closer to the Biblical origins of humanity, the Middle East. The discovery also has humans existing with much older animals, again this is not …

The Sea of Galilee, Israel Credit: Cajetan Barretto/Flickr/Creative Commons

Territorial Spirits: The bay of pigs

In my series on Territorial spirits, I have been talking about the hierarchical structure in the demonic realm where satan has put evil spirits over countries and even provinces or states within a country and I suspect cities as well. In his classic explanation of spiritual warfare, Mark says to plunder a house you must first bind the spiritual strongman (Mark 3:22-27). As we explained earlier, the region of Palestine ruled by Pontius Pilate was broken up into three provinces or states ruled by a Tetrarch. Having just dealt with the ruling evil spirit in Capernaum (the Tetrarch of Herod), the next encounter with a territorial spirit takes place in Mark 5: 1-20 in a region called the Gerasenes. In a very unusual way, this second encounter shows the demonic’s connection to territory on earth. The story actually starts a few verses earlier. The disciples were on the shore of the sea of Galilee, when Jesus said “Let us go over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). By crossing over, the disciples had actually entered …

Joel Osteen Credit: Faith Church.com/Flickr/Creative Commons

Joel Osteen and the Gimli Glider

On August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas. Houston was badly damaged, and one of the casualties was Lakewood Church and its pastor Joel Osteen. One of the biggest news stories from Hurricane Harvey was the pastor’s refusal to let victims of the storm shelter in the church building. RELATED: Joel Osteen tells Hurricane Harvey victims to not have ‘poor old me mentality’ This may sound strange, but I think I agree with Joel Osteen. If you are wondering, I live very far from Houston, in Canada, and no one asked me to write this. These are some of my reasons: Disaster management includes shelter that is designed for occupation. A huge church is not a dormitory and it may put people at risk. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and people moved into a covered stadium. It was unsanitary, the police lost control, and criminals moved in with guns. People had to be rescued by force from the shelter. Feel-good self-serving charity is always wrong. Victims need useful help; donors don’t need …

Photo from Hurricane Harvey, August 30, 2017 Credit: John Chandler/Flickr/Creative Commons

US solar eclipse: Sign or coincidence? You decide

The total eclipse of the sun that cut a swath across the US on August 21, 2017 from Oregon to South Carolina has certainly garnered more than its share of attention in recent weeks with some wondering if it was a sign from God. The Bible often connects solar eclipses with end times events (Amos 8:9). In the book of Genesis, we are told that the heavens were created to be a sign to people. God would speak to us through solar events: 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) However, eclipses are not an unusual phenomena. They happen regularly. However, the US has not seen a similar total eclipse fully crossing the country for 99 years. Are all eclipses a sign? Probably not. But to suggest none of them are is equally wrong. If this eclipse was God speaking to America, what has happened …

Li River, China Credit: Charlie fong/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

China forbids children from attending church

According to reports coming out of China, several provinces have stepped up their persecution of the Church by prohibiting children from attending religious services. Recently, over 100 churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang received notice that minors can no longer attend any type of religious activity including church and summer camps. In some jurisdictions, parents were required to sign papers saying their children will not be attending religious services. Officials threatened parents with legal action if they disobeyed. This is not the first time Zhejiang officials had taken a hard-line against Christians. In late 2015, officials ordered the removal of all crosses on government-run churches. When Christians protested, some were arrested and several churches destroyed. Related: Chinese Officials Tear Down More Christian Crosses, Beat Protesters: Breitbart It is uncertain how widespread this recent edict is, but Amnesty International reported receiving news on this prohibition from around the country. In Hunan province, politicians stated they will be investigating both government-run churches (both Catholic and protestant) and the underground churches to make sure they are not …

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Are you a people-pleaser?

Giving and pleasing look exactly the same on the outside but they both come from a different place or motivation of the heart. They even feel different because giving comes from a positive space and people-pleasing comes from a negative one. Stacey Martino, a relationship expert, refers to people-pleasing as ‘the kiss of death’ because we are giving from a place of insecurity (our need for approval and to be valued).  We are doing it for the wrong reasons and this creates resentment. People-pleasing drains you emotionally because you really didn’t want to do it in the first place. You just did it to please someone. And if we experience rejection it magnifies our resentment. An internal explosion is not to far away. Giving comes from a positive place of optimism hopefulness, passion, gratitude, joy and desire to bless. People-pleasing comes from a place of insecurity, doubt, worry, jealousy, disappointment, blame or boredom. Ultimately, people-pleasing stems from our need to be loved and valued. It is rooted in insecurity.  We don’t know our true worth …

Sao Paulo, Brazil Credit: Leandro Centomo/Flickr/Public Domain

Territorial Spirits: Border wars in Brazil

I have been looking at how demonic territorial spirits try to control countries and even regions within a country such as a province/state or even a city. In Jesus’ day, Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of Palestine, a region that today makes up much of modern Israel. In turn, Palestine was divided into three districts ruled by a Tetrarch — Samaria, Galilee and Ituraea. In my previous article, I looked at a deliverance that took place in a synagogue in Capernaum a  major administrative center in the District of Galilee controlled by the Tetrarch Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great. After casting an evil spirit out of a man in a Capernaum synagogue, Mark says that the strong man or evil spirit controlling that area was pulled down (Mark 3:22-27). After that happened, Mark records what quickly followed (Mark 1:28 – 2:15). There were healings (Mark 1:40-43; Mark 2:1-11), many demons being cast out (Mark 1:32-34) and several people saved (Mark 2:13-14) including Matthew who served as a tax collector for Herod. …

Modern day Corinth Credit: Qweasdqwe/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

The Aedile: Erastus of Corinth

Though the Apostle Paul mentions him twice and Luke once, we don’t know that much about Erastus. But still we know more about him than most of the associates that ministered with Paul. 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. (Acts 19:22 NASV) 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. (2 Timothy 4:20 NASV) 23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. (Romans 16:23 NASV) It was clear from the passage in Acts that Erastus joined Paul on some of his missionary journeys. The passage in 2 Timothy tells us that he was based in Corinth, but the Romans verse provides the most tantalizing clue when Paul says he was a city treasurer (Greek oikonomos which means administrative supervisor, steward, treasurer or manager). Since Paul wrote the book of Romans while at Corinth, and this along with Luke stating Erastus remained  at …

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What is the big deal with Fentanyl?

I did not know this, but I am living in the center of a world crisis of biblical proportions. People around me are dying, and the numbers of deaths are large, in the thousands, and growing rapidly. Governments don’t seem to have an answer, and the crisis is spreading. Have you heard of Fentanyl? It’s a prescription drug that you can buy cheaply and legally, in most places, and it’s an opioid like heroin and morphine. Drug dealers love this stuff. They add it to more expensive and illegal drugs to provoke more addiction in their customers. It grows their business and saves them money, and I live in western Canada, one of the most blighted regions. Who knew? Fentanyl was developed in a lab in 1959, as a legitimate pharmaceutical. Carfentanil was developed soon after and used by veterinarians; as a sedative for elephants. Related: Carfentanil: Wikipedia The potency of morphine is the control measure, and Fentanyl is fifty times more potent; and Carfentanil is 10,000 times more. That number is not a typo. …

Qom, Iran where many of the youth are turning to Christ. Credit: Graeme Wood/Flickr/Creative Commons

Muslim cleric warns of explosive growth of Christianity among Iranian youth

Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, confirmed what many are reporting that there has been an extraordinary number of Iranians coming to Christ. The agency, that monitors Iranian news, said the confirmation came in an unusual way. It reported that an Islamic cleric in the Iranian city of Qom publicly warned about the spread of Christianity in that city particularly among the youth. Qom is one of the most Islamic cities in Iran and if there are concerns about the growth of Christianity in that environment, then what is happening in  the rest of the nation? Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, who works at an Islamic seminary in Qom, stated, “accurate reports indicate that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches.” It was even reported that the son of an Islamic cleric based in Qom became a Christian. According to Mohabat News, this is not the first time an Islamic cleric in Iran warned of Christianity’s growing influence in that country. A year earlier, another Ayatollah, Makarem Shirazi based in Mashhad, said that …