Month: January 2018

There are no racial barriers in God’s church

I don’t think we fully appreciate the significance of what happened when the Holy Spirit fell upon a group of gentiles as Peter was preaching in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48). It took a vision for Peter, where God declared a number of animals clean, and an angelic visit for Cornelius to get these two groups together. After the Holy Spirit fell, it caused such a controversy in the early church they called a meeting to figure out what do to with the hundreds of gentiles becoming Christians. But a few Bible verses and even archaeology provide a hint of what a radical change this was for the early church that was initially made up of solely Jews. In 1871 a stone slab from the Jewish Temple that existed in Jesus day was discovered by archaeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau. On the slab written in Greek was: “No foreigner is allowed to enter the courtyard and enclosure surrounding the temple. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue.” Greek was …

Andrea Bocelli singing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2015 Credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Singing sensation Andrea Bocelli nearly aborted

The Grammy Awards are held annually by The Recording Academy to honor singing achievements primarily in the English-speaking world. This year’s awards were held in New York’s Madison Square Gardens on January 28th and some described it as more political than musical. This may explain why its ratings are down 24% over the last year. Aside from the singing awards, one of the highlights of these type of events are the dresses and suits worn by celebrities. This year was no different. But the one that seems to have gained the spot light, was an anti-abortion dress worn by American singer and song writer Joy Villa. On her dress she painted an image of a baby in the womb and her handbag had the word “choose life” written on it. In an interview with Foxnews, Villa said she was honoring her decision to give up a child for adoption when she was 21, during a crisis pregnancy. Villa added that the image was “a painting of my daughter when I was eight months pregnant.” When …

Crossing a river in Kerala State, India Credit: Michel Coutty/Flickr/Creative Commons

Hindus, Muslims, and Human Evolution

Something is happening in the world, and it’s like storm clouds gathering. On January 20, India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mr. Satyapal Singh made statements that were critical of Darwinian Evolution, including has belief that the subject should not be taught in schools in India. RELATED: India’s Education Minister Slammed After Claiming That Evolution Is ‘Scientifically Wrong’ About six months before that, the government of Turkey made similar statements. RELATED: Evolution Will No Longer Be Taught in Turkish Schools India is governed by religious Hindus, and Turkey is governed by religious Muslims. They don’t have the same religious beliefs, but something about Darwinian Evolution really bothers both groups. It’s one thing they agree on. It’s easy for English-speaking westerners to think they are the leaders in human progress, but there are other voices. Darwin’s theory for the origin of the species, evolution, is a logic escalator. In a department store, you don’t need to climb the stairs, you only need to make one small step and the machine will carry you to …

Credit: Chasing Donguri/Flckr/Creative Commons

What happened to the forests of Arabia?

Maybe the activists aren’t wrong, maybe man is to blame for Climate Change. But maybe we can’t finger CO2 emissions as the reason. There is a lot of fear mongering going on about what will happen if we don’t reduce CO2 emissions and one of the dire consequences is drought such as suggested by an article, Global Warming Will Intensify Drought, Says New Study, in the very left-leaning English newspaper, The Guardian. Of course, other articles claim the exact opposite saying that man-made global warming will cause flooding because of increased rain. An article in the Montreal Gazette laid the blame for the flooding that hit the Canadian province Quebec last year on man-made Global Warming. For global warming elitists it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Global warming causes every type of weather event under the sun, who cares if they end up contradicting themselves. Even the recent cold snap in the southern US was blamed on man-made Global warming. Of course, some have realized the irony and are trying to rename Global Warming as …

Old watermill in Mabry Mill, North Carolina Credit: Scott Sanford/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Wheel of Gratitude

Somewhere along the way the wheel of my life got stuck. What was I not getting?  I was feeling pretty rough and everyone in our house knew it. I was being pulled under and drowning in self-doubt. False perceptions of myself hung like strings of seaweed on the waterwheel of my life as it lurched and jolted  to a stop. I wondered, what if I am not good enough to accomplish what is at hand for me to do? And even if I do start something, what if I’m not sure what to do next? Lana Vawser prophesied recently that one of the main strategies of the enemy is to whisper in your ear that ‘there’s something wrong with you.’ “One of the strategies of the enemy, is he is coming in as a slithering snake, whispering”there’s something wrong with you.  “God has withdrawn,” God is far away” and the opposite  is true. The Lord is close, and the Lord is inviting you to a deeper place than you have been before.”   (Prophetic word January …

Credit: Thiago Santos/Flickr/Creative Commons

God wants to move on governments, but it’s a battle

Last summer, CBN reported on a Bible study taking place on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC specifically for the US government’s cabinet ministers. It Is being led by Ralph Drollinger who heads Capitol Ministries, a group that ministers to politicians. It not only has a Bible study for Cabinet Secretaries but also for members of the US Senate and House of Representative. The group also has studies taking place in nearly 40 state capitols, and even 60 capitols internationally. Bible studies are also taking place on a municipal level in hundreds of cities. According to Drollinger, the goal of these studies is to give political leaders a Biblical world view. Drollinger, 63, has an interesting resume. Standing 7’ 2”, he was a star center for UCLA and was actually drafted three times by the NBA. Instead of playing professional basketball, Drollinger decided to play for Athletes in Action, a Christian organization, that has traveling basketball teams that play exhibition games and share their faith at half time. But Drollinger eventually did turn pro. In 1980 …

Stockholm, Sweden Credit: Pedro Szekely/Flickr/Creative Commons

Despite death threats, former Iranian woman leads hundreds of Muslims to Christ in Sweden

Annahita Parsan, 47, now lives in Sweden where she pastors two churches. A former Muslim herself, she actively reaches out to Muslim refugees in her adopted country and trains other churches on how to reach those of the Islamic faith. Over the last 15 years, Parsan estimates she has led 1,500 Muslims to Christ. In an interview with Foxnews, Parsan tells how she was born into a Muslim family in Iran and was married at age 16, Two years later, her husband died in a car accident shortly after she gave birth to their son. According to Iranian law, on the death of a husband, the husband’s father becomes responsible for raising any boys. This required Parsan to take legal action to win her son back. During what is referred to as the Islamic Revolution, in 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran. The country dramatically changed over night. Parsan remarried and in 1984, her husband decided they needed to flee to Turkey where they were arrested for illegally entering the country. On their release, …

Credit: Dennis/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christians and Human Sacrifice

Don’t be fooled by my extreme title, Christians don’t drag some poor victim to the top of a pyramid and lay him on an altar; we are more subtle. Picture a group of children who got caught doing something wrong. The most important thing to report to the adults is ‘who takes the blame for this one.’ If we can heap the blame on someone else, we are free and clear. Our sacrificial victim is more like a scape goat. Among adults, this blame shifting can damage one person’s reputation, and it can damage families and churches. The destruction can last a life time. In my family, I am ashamed to admit, I fell for this a few months ago. My Dad is very old, and Mom is gone, so we are all concerned about our old father. A few months ago we learned that something wrong had been done with Dad’s money, maybe. I easily believed what I was told and I started to panic. I can remember at least one phone call that …

Canada's House of Commons in Ottawa Credit: Onasill~Bill Badzo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Canadian Government’s Assault on ‘Freedom of Speech’

With the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015, Canada has taken a hard left turn against free speech. Last year, the Liberal government announced that it will no longer be handing out grants under its Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program to organizations that do not agree with abortion. Under the program, the government provides funding for about 70,000 students to be hired by religious groups that run day cares, summer camps and drop in centers. The problem started when an organization called the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada complained that the federal government was funding pro-life groups through such mechanisms as CSJ. The federal government publicly responded by saying that it will not longer fund anti-abortion groups. In order to prevent funding, last year the Canadian government chose to only hand out the CSJ grants to ridings that had Liberal MPs who could make sure the money only went to pro-abortion groups. Apparently, Liberal MPs are not allowed to think abortion is wrong. However, three pro-life groups who did not receive funding last …

Credit: J. Stephen Conn/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does the Bible speak of ‘social justice’?

“Social justice” is a favorite term of the left, and recently I have been finding the phrase creeping its way into Evangelical Churches. The concept is defined this way: Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. “individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice” “Social justice” involves a redistribution of wealth and notice in the last line that the rights of the individual are set aside in favor of the rights of the collective or group. This is nothing more than cultural Marxism pervading our society similar to the political Marxism found in the old Soviet Union or Maoist China. “Social justice” is made up of an adjective “social” and the noun “justice.” By definition an adjective is added to a noun to either “modify or describe it.” Since one of the intents of an adjective is to “modify” or change, it can literally be used to redefine a word. So when you add the adjective “social” to “justice,” you no longer have justice, but some form of …

Forest near Oslo, Norway Credit: Thorbjorn Sigberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Surviving a winter season

As I enter the last half of January, I find myself bracing for the emotional challenges these months have brought in past years. It involves a slow descent into darkness. I often feel trapped, restless and revisit old issues that I thought were healed. Depression and feelings of worthlessness can overtake me as the days get shorter and the cold settles in. But not this year! I am putting  my best foot forward as we descend into the shadows of winter. I am like the groundhog who hibernates and waits for the right conditions to resurface. Actually, in a spiritual sense, it’s the perfect season to ‘exercise grace’. What does ‘exercising grace’ mean?  For me, it’s the  full release of my ‘doing mentality’ that has been known to drive me and others in my family to utter insanity. In other words cease trying to make things happen. It means that over these next couple months I choose to embrace knowing that it is ok to ‘just be’ and that ‘I am enough.’ It’s about accepting …

Even the doctor called it a miracle

In an incredible testimony reported by CBN, teenager Juan Spence was tagging along in a car ride with a friend on May 22, 2017. His parents pastor a church in Williamsburg, VA. The road was wet, the friend was speeding and Juan did not have his seat belt on. The car spun out of control, hitting a post causing it to tumble. When Juan was thrown out of the vehicle through the sun roof, the car landed on his head. Suffering traumatic brain injury, he was rushed to the nearby MCV Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. When he arrived, the doctors were forced to cut away a part of Juan’s brain to release the pressure. When officials contacted Juan’s mother, Elizabeth, about the accident, she immediately began praying for her son. Not knowing the full extend of the injury, the Holy Spirit told her, “He shall live and not die.” Juan’s father Alex had also received a similar word from God that his son would survive. When his parents arrived at the hospital, the doctors said …

Credit: Ross Thomson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Joshua’s Longest Day

Many people want to understand the  Bible but have difficulty answering questions about some of the seemingly unbelievable miracles that God has performed. But Peter exhorts us to be ready always to give an answer to every man (1 Peter 3:15). I would like to offer just such an answer as we analyze the miracle of the long day in Joshua chapter 10. The Israelites had just defeated Jericho and Ai in their initial invasion of the Promised Land. Five Amorite Kings — fearing they would be next — formed an alliance to repel the Israelite invasion. In the ensuing battle, Joshua quickly gained the upper hand, but he also realized that he was running out of daylight to fully route this unholy alliance. With nightfall looming, the Amorites would be able to safely withdraw from the battlefield and regroup for a later attack. To stop this from happening, Joshua called upon God to stop the sun from setting. 12 “He said in the sight of Israel, ‘O sun,  stand still at Gibeon, And O …

Is comedian Russell Brand turning to Christ for help?

I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming. But is something spiritual happening to outlandish English comedian Russell Brand? I am not sure how to describe Brand. He has worked as an actor, writer, stand-up comedian, MTV and reality TV host. He is or was an atheist, borderline communist and activist. He is renown for his outrageous and often vulgar behavior. He was also briefly married for 14 months to pop-star Katie Perry. But recently in an interview with Relevant magazine, Brand revealed that he may be going through a spiritual awakening. He said, “My personal feeling is the teachings of Christ are more relevant now than they’ve ever been.” He continued: “If Christ consciousness is not accessible to us, then what is the point of the story of Jesus, you know? He’s just a sort of a scriptural rock start, just an icon. Unless Christ is right here, right now, in your heart, in your consciousness, then what is Christ?” So what happened? Brand said that his divorce with Katie was the starting …

Mototaxi on the border of Bolivia and Peru. Credit: Tobias Mayr/Flickr/Creative Commons

Whose law will we obey?

Believers in Bolivia may soon be facing a difficult decision. According to a report on Evangelical Focus, the left-leaning Bolivian government of President Evo Morales recently passed a law that could make it illegal for Christians to share their faith. Article 88.11 of Bolivia’s penal code reads: “Whoever recruits, transports, deprives of freedom or host people with the aim of recruiting them to take part in armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations will be penalized five to 12 years of imprisonment.” The way it’s worded, the law suggests that recruiting (sharing your faith) with another person could be considered illegal. Transporting a person to church or even to a religious camp could also be interpreted as an illegal act warranting jail time. The law also equates sharing the Christian faith with armed rebellion. Because of its vague wording, many are concerned Morales could use the law to clamp down on evangelicals. Bolivia has a population of about 11 million of which 78% are considered Roman Catholic, 19% (two million) Protestants and 3% non religious. …

Credit: Drew XXX/Flickr/Creative Commons

Human Evolution in 2017

“It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a religious believer. I don’t point to the Bible to prove this, but rather to the universe.” — Mick Mooney, Why I’d Still Believe In God Did you know, our picture of the world changed in the year 2017, in a big way? I am writing this in early 2018, and some science writers are looking back in shock and awe. For example, when I was a boy, public schools and libraries and publications like “Scientific American” and “National Geographic” gave one orthodox picture of humans who are apes that climbed down from trees and walked on the planes of Africa, and evolved into us. This was science, and there was no other way, and for sure there was no God. I was a Christian who went to church every Sunday, and I also studied and worked in a large university. My first degree was in Anthropology, the driver of human evolution ideas. I learned to keep my head down …

Credit: Howard Jefferson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Clouds of Emotion

Is there a message in the madness when our emotions are out of control and things are not going the way you hoped? Of course it’s about them, the other people, who don’t understand or ‘get it’. It becomes so frustrating as we repeatedly circle the situation with increasing intensity. The light dims as we are encompassed by thickening clouds that become darker and more controlling. We start to lose our reason and perspective. I must admit that I was being swallowed up by clouds of emotion that were surfacing in my life. My elderly parents are resisting the inevitable changes that are coming for them. I have been trying to help them navigate this transition and they have been fighting it. This has been emotionally draining as I watch them struggle in this season of life.  Anger, tears and overwhelming concern for them caught me up in whirling and intensifying emotions.  It was a brewing storm cloud in my life. Often in these difficult times, we want to blame others and I was blaming …

Credit: annstheciaf/Flickr/Creative Commons

Six Sigma and Jesus

If you are a Christian, are you also on the shelf? And is it comfortable? I am writing this in January, which is a good time to think about the new year we are in and about an hour ago I saw something that made me sad. I was waiting for a friend at a Tim Hortons and a young family came in; mother, father and two little boys. They were ragged and poor, but polite to everyone. Their order was a large coffee, probably for the parents to share, and a very small box of Timbits donut holes. That was their family break time. I guess they were probably Christians, and I know people come to Alberta, where I live, to find work. One nickname for this province is “tomorrow’s country” and I see struggling start-ups all the time. My parents did that. Today, I wish I had moved faster to buy cookies for the kids in that little family, but they walked away too fast into the cold and the snow, probably back …

Alabama Crimson Tide home field Credit: Mike C/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God anoint Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa?

“First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That is what happened tonight.” Those were the words spoken by Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, 19, in a TV interview after his team the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the College National Football Championship in Atlanta on January 8, 2018. Alabama was losing 13-0 at halftime in arguably the most important college football game of the year. With the team’s starting QB struggling, Alabama head coach Nick Saban sent in rookie back-up QB, who up to this point had no significant playing time other than a few reps in games with the score well in hand. Tagovailoa led Alabama to what some have described as a miraculous 26-23 overtime victory. With 28.4 million viewers, ESPN reported that it was the second most watched college game since the NCAA instituted the playoff format four years ago. According to AOL, Tagovailoa was born in Hawaii, where he attended his uncle’s church, Navali Ole Filemu …

Selena Gomez Credit: Mikey Hennessy/Wikipedia

What does it mean to be a child of God?

I was reading an interesting testimony given by pop star and actress Selena Gomez, 25, at a Hillsong conference recently held in Los Angeles, California in 2017. She shared her testimony in the form of a letter to herself. She spoke of the day that she finally understood God’s love for her and realized she was a child of God. “On your 23rd birthday, Jesus will become real to you. More than a nightly prayer, more than the strength of your friends, more than the name in a devotional, He will become real. “Selena, you are enough! Not because you’ve tried hard, not because you have loved hard or put on your best face. Not because you have been given a large platform and not because others tell you ‘you are enough,’” she declared. “You are enough because you are a child of God who has been pursued from the very beginning. You are enough because His grace has saved you and covered you.” From her testimony, Selena seems to have grasped that she is …

Wailing wall in Jerusalem Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

Small, 2,700-year-old clay seal punches above its weight in Jerusalem

A small artifact has made a huge impact on the history of Jerusalem. While working in an area referred to as the Western Wall Plaza in Old Jerusalem, archaeologists discovered a small clay seal that belonged to a former governor of the city. The seal, the size of a small coin, is 2,700 years old and depicts two men wearing striped robes facing each other. Its inscription reads “Belonging to the Governor of the City.” According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the seal was either distributed by the governor of Jerusalem as a souvenir or it was included with a shipment of goods. Whatever the case, it establishes that Jerusalem as Israel’s capital well into the First Temple period and reveals a strong administrative center that was already producing what was essentially a souvenir item. Speaking on behalf of IAA, Dr. Shlomit Wekler-Bdolah director of the dig said: “This is the first time that such an impression was found in an authorized excavation. It supports the Biblical rendering of the existence of a governor …

Roof of booths set up in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles Credit: Yoninah/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Converging end times prophecies of Orthodox Jews and Christians

Breaking Israel News (BIN) has always been a source of interesting articles. Published by a group of Orthodox Jews, I find that they have much in common with Christians. They believe the Old Testament is the inspired Word of God and though they reject Jesus as the Messiah, they nevertheless are looking ahead to the coming Jewish Messiah. And while we look at events taking place on earth as a sign of Jesus second return, they interpret many of those same signs as evidence of the Jewish Messiah’s coming. Recently BIN published an article listing five Biblical prophecies fulfilled in 2017 that pointed to the soon arrival of the Jewish Messiah. In her article, Eliana Rudee the first one she discusses is: “Jerusalem as a place of assembly for non-Jews.” There were a number of Old Testament prophecies that spoke of the gentiles pouring into Israel at the end of the age. In her article, Rudee cites a verse out of Zechariah: 16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the …

Credit: Justine Sanderson/Flickr/Creative Commons

What impact will skyrocketing unwed pregnancies have on society?

A report written for the US Senate, entitled Love, Marriage and the Baby Carriage, states that 40% of births in America today are born out-of-wedlock. This means that a significant percentage of kids are now being raised in single-parent families and in most instances it means they are without a father. According to the report, at one point in American history, couples understood the responsibility of raising children. Stats showed that in the 1960s, 43% of couples married if the woman became pregnant. Today, only 9% are willing to do this. Some of this is due to the unwillingness of men to take responsibility for what has happened, and the other is women thinking it is fine to raise a child alone. You add to this percentage the number of children also living in single-parent homes due to divorce or separation and we must ask ourselves what kind of effect is this having on society. There have been a number of studies over the years that have looked at the impact that single-parent families (either …

Credit: Kifty/Flickr/Creative Commons

Clinging to hope through trials and suffering

Many believe Job is the oldest book of the Bible and he lived in the period before Noah’s flood. The book reveals how we are to deal with suffering, and it is not a message that many of us want to hear. Job was a wealthy and righteous man who lost his children, wealth and even his health. When we encounter trials and suffering believers find themselves standing on a thin balancing beam with a choice to fall one way or another. Job’s wife who for the most part was equally affected by what happened became embittered by the tragedy that engulfed them, telling her husband to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). However, Job chose a different path continuing to hope and believe God through all that was happening to him: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.” (Job 13:15 NASV) Hope was Job’s life line. But if I am honest with myself, I tend to follows his wife’s example, more than I do …

RNA strand Credit: Vossman/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Blinded by a theory?

It has been a problem that has haunted evolutionists for years — how did ribonucleic acid (RNA) evolve? According to the RNA Society, “Ribonucleic acid, or RNA is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life (along with DNA and proteins).” It is a required cog for producing enzymes. However, there was a major evolutionary problem. Since RNA requires its own enzymes to replicate, it was impossible for RNA to evolve without enzymes. It was the old what came first — the chicken or the egg. Since the enzyme could only be created by RNA and it could only replicate with the enzyme, both had to spontaneously appear at exactly the same time for it to evolve. It sounds more like creation than evolution. But in 2016 Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School,  wrote a paper stating he had discovered how RNA replicated without the required enzyme paving the way for its evolution. It was a ground-breaking announcement that fell in …

Franklin Graham Credit: cornstalker/Wikipedia

Politicians demand Franklin Graham be banned from entering England

In September 2018, Franklin Graham, 65, the son of famed American evangelist Billy Graham is scheduled to speak at the Lancashire Festival of Hope in Blackpool, England. The event is being sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and a number of local churches. With a population of 150,000, Blackpool is located on the Northwest coast of England. Shortly after the announcement, some left-leaning MPs began petitioning the government to ban Franklin Graham from attending the rally. This included Labour MP Afzal Khan who stated in an interview with The Guardian that Franklin Graham’s “views are not welcome.” He along with a couple other MPs including one Cabinet Minister wrote letters to England’s home secretary Amber Rudd asking her to not issue a visa to Graham preventing him from entering the country. Franklin Graham has publicly opposed Islamic extremism and gay marriage and expressed concerns about immigration. Graham also supported Donald Trump in his campaign for the American presidency and stated that God had a hand in Trump’s victory. Though Graham’s criticisms are considered …

Snowstorm in Chester, England Dec 8, 2017 Credit: Terry Kearney/Flickr/Creative Commons

Blame the sun, not SUVs

It was -29C when I woke up this morning and that is good news, because it was colder last week. It’s a sign things are warming up. I had to stick a battery charger on my SUV the day before Christmas when it decided not to start. Thankfully we were able to get it going without calling a tow truck. Ironically, many activists love blaming SUVs and oil consumption generally on the global warming hitting the earth. Yet despite claims by man-made global warming alarmists that the science is settled, in 2017 there were 120 research papers written that concluded global warming has very little to do with man’s activity (oil and CO2 emissions) but more to do with the sun. No one is arguing that the earth has recently gone through a warming trend, what is being questioned is the cause. According to Kenneth Richards at NoTrickZone, the 120 papers published in several scientific journals reported there is a correlation between the earth’s heating and cooling trends to two things — sunspot activity and …