Month: February 2018

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So, what is a blessing in the real world?

“Bless you” is something you might hear from your grandmother, or if you sneeze. The very old superstition is that you sneeze your soul leaves your body when you sneeze and it must be blessed back in. My sneezes can wake up babies and make them cry, they are so loud, and by that standard I have no soul. The concept of blessing is getting outdated in our modern world. A blessing is just something good, usually from God, or from someone who is close to God and acts as His agent. Some Christians still say “God bless you.” I believe the problem with blessing is us. The way God sees people is very different from the way we see, and we don’t appreciate good things from humble people; make that ‘unimportant’ people. A few years ago, I worked in a large university, surrounded by people who were trying to be important in the world. I wrote about this a few days ago. When I reached early retirement age, I was retired against my will. …

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: David Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God want King David to build a temple?

In his sermon that ultimately led to his martyrdom, Stephen knew he was speaking to a hostile crowd, and just before his death he called into question the construction of the temple: 46 David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: (Acts 7:46-48 NASV) Stephen said the Temple was made of human hands and it was not where God dwells. Was Stephen referring to the fact, that the Temple in Jesus’s day was paid for and constructed by the reprobate King Herod? Or was Stephen talking about the fact the Ark of the Covenant on which the presence of God dwelt had disappeared centuries earlier and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was empty? Or was he talking about something else? There were three religious structures that ancient Israel built to house the …

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Bodies by Design

In Psalm 95:6 David opens his heart and declares “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord God our Maker, for He is our God…” David had the revelation that we were created, intricately crafted by the masters hand. Three thousand years have now past and scientists are continually amazed at the complexity in the design of our bodies. When you consider our brain consists of approximately 12 billion cells, with 120 trillion interconnections allowing us to see and do amazing things. And when you also consider the human eye with its 10 million photoreceptor cells in the retina that are so complex, it would take a Cray supercomputer a minimum of 100 years to simulate what takes place in the eye several times per second. Not to mention the 20 feet of blood vessels intricately woven into every square inch of skin and the 72 feet of nerve fiber in each square inch of our hands. The list of masterful design goes on and on. The blueprints that map …

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Who were the imprisoned spirits?

In what some consider to be one of the most puzzling passages in the Bible, the Apostle Peter talks about how between His death and resurrection, Jesus preached to the spirits that were imprisoned in the days of Noah. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:18-20 NASV) It is a difficult passage to understand. Some believe it refers to Christ preaching to the souls of those who died during the Noahic flood. Certainly this is a plausible explanation. Others believe it refers to Noah preaching to the people while he …

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Deep Calls to Deep

There are times when ‘life happens’ for all of us. We find ourselves stranded in deep waters where waves of trouble and trials crash over us again and again. Our emotions are in turmoil. Many times, I have found myself in a place where words could not be spoken. The heart cry of my sadness and grief echoed out over the waters of my despair. But during these times God reaches out to us: “Deep calleth unto deep at the voice of thy waterspouts; all thy waves and billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindess in the day time and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock why has thou forgotten me? (Psalm 42:7 KJV) This is also the only place in the Bible that refers to waterspouts. Waterspouts are created during ocean storms when funnels touch the water connecting the ocean with the heavens. It speaks of the connection that God …

Billy Graham speaking in Oslo, Norway in 1955. Credit: foto.digitalarkivet.no/Wikipedia

Billy Graham’s ‘Valley of Decision’

Billy Graham died Feb. 21, 2018 at his home in North Carolina. Born Nov. 7, 1918, he was 99 years old. Graham was arguably the most famous Christian preacher of the last 100 years. It is estimated that he spoke to nearly 215 million people in 185 countries and probably 100’s of millions more watched him on TV. And his TV ministry had as much of an impact as his live preaching. He differed from many modern TV evangelists in that Graham’s TV ministry reached non Christians. When I was going to seminary, there were two twin brothers, both who went into full-time ministry, who were saved watching Billy Graham on TV. The former pastor of the church I attend was also saved watching Billy Graham on TV. In 1934, at the age of 15, he was led to the Lord by a traveling evangelist Mordecai Ham who was holding revival meetings in Graham’s hometown of Charlotte, NC. So much is being said about Billy Graham, that I really don’t know what I can add.  …

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What does it mean to be a prayer warrior?

Español: ¿Qué significa ser un guerrero de oración? In the book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul talks about Epaphras a person who was now traveling with Paul. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:12-13 NASV) In this verse, Paul describes Epaphras as being from the Colossae church and tells how Epaphras was “wrestling in prayer” for those in his home congregation. Other Bible versions translate it a bit differently, with some saying he was “laboring fervently” in prayer. The word translated “wrestling” by the NIV is the Greek word “agonizomai.” Thayers Greek Lexicon describes the word this way: “to enter a contest, contend in the light of gymnastic games. To contend with adversaries, fight.” The word “agonizomai” is derived from another Greek word “agone,” that …

Taylor James from "Samson" YouTube Capture

Is the Nazirite vow for today?

I read an interesting interview with actor Taylor James, a Christian, who plays the role of Samson in the full-feature movie “Samson” released earlier this month. In an interview with “Pure Talk,” Taylor talked about a vision he had a few years earlier that actually prepared him for the lead role in the movie. Taylor said: “I had a vision as an actor and a person a few years ago to grow my hair and to maintain a certain physical appearance. It was my guiding light.” After this vision, another Christian provided further revelation on what lay ahead for Taylor.  The person added that at some point Taylor would be returning home to South Africa and leading “his people.” Taylor had actually been born in South Africa and lived there for six years. When the role of Samson came up, Taylor auditioned for the lead role and was surprised when reading the script that much of the movie would be shot in South Africa. Then, when he noticed the movie’s subtitle “A man who leads …

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Is God Real? or Donuts in the Snow

So, is God real? If yes, why is there suffering in this world? Why doesn’t God fix our problems, if He loves us? This is an old argument, and I learned the answer a few days ago. Here is some background. Right now, where I live in Canada, we are in “Roll up the Rim to Win” season at Tim Hortons. Timmies is a cultural thing here, we all go there for coffee or tea and conversations. We also eat too many donuts there. In season, we roll up the rims of our paper cups and learn what we have won. I usually win a chance to play again; they are very kind when they say “no.” When I win a free donut I tear off that statement from the rim, and keep the ticket. One thing I really don’t need is a free donut and I can think of something worse, two free donuts. I had two winning tickets that I carried with me like a guilty pleasure. I do contract work, and some …

Nagasaki, Japan located on Kyushu Island Credit: 663highland/Wikipedia

Fourth super volcano discovered off coast of Japan

There are three super volcanoes in the world. One is found underneath Yellowstone park in the United States, another near Mexico city and the third in Italy. But according to a report in the Dailymail, a fourth has been discovered off the coast of  Japan’s Kyushu Island and there are indications it’s active. Japan is made up of four main islands and Kyushu is the third largest and most southern of the four. It has a population of 12 million and perhaps its most famous city is Nagasaki that was hit with an atomic bomb in World War II. The volcano discovered off the island’s coast clearly falls into the “super” designation. Its dome is 10 kms wide (6.2 miles) and is 600 meter high (1,968 feet). They estimate the cauldron located beneath contains about 32 cubic km (7.68 cubic miles) of lava. According to the Kobe Ocean-Bottom Exploration Center (KOBEC), the group that made the discovery, a new dome is building in the crater of Kikai volcano that is about 19 kms (12 miles) …

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It’s time to re-calibrate! You don’t have to save the world

It’s easy to lose ourselves in the spinning and twirling events of our daily lives. Often, we burn out when we give all our time and energy for a worthy cause or in meeting the needs of those around us. I am learning that I am not indispensable and that the world can do very well without me for a while. The harsh reality is that we often become “indispensable” in our own eyes. We get lost in the illusion that the world can’t make it without us. We must step away and take a good look at who we have become. My ego loves the attention and the “need to be needed.” I call it my “save the world mentality.” My husband can attest to the many times I have asked him to remind me that “I don’t have to save the world.” Because that mentality has ruined my health, run me into the ground, hurt my most valued relationships (husband and kids) as I ran off to save the world, leaving them and …

South Korean ski resort Credit: Uwe Schwarzbach/Flickr/Creative Commons

The disgusting, but not surprising, behavior of the media at the Winter Olympics

It seems that some in the mainline media have gone absolutely delusional. It involves the fawning headlines pouring out around the world over the appearance of Kim Yo Jong, sister of the North Korea’s sadistic communist despot Kim Jong Un, at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. As a member of the North Korea’s powerful inner cabinet, Kim Yo Jong is a major player in this sadistic regime serving as “vice director of propaganda and agitation.” Many suspect she is more than just complicit in what is taking place behind closed doors in North Korea. North Korea is renown for its many death camps spread around the country where tens of thousands of Koreans are brutalized, raped, tortured and murdered for things as simple as not bowing properly before statues of Kim Jong Un, who people are forced to worship as a god. Even today there are eight Americans in jail in North Korea. And just a few months back, the media reported on the terrible plight of American university student Otto Warmbier who …

Former US President Barak Obama being interviewed on The View on July 28, 2010. From Left to Right: Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza/Wikipedia

US Vice President Mike Pence Declared ‘Mentally Ill’ Because He is a Christian?

Mike Pence, a born-again Christian, is also the Vice President of the United States. Recently the former governor of Indiana was labelled mentally ill on a TV program called The View simply because Pence believes Jesus speaks to him. It all started when The View played a brief clip from another TV program called “Celebrity Big Brother” where Omarosa Newman made a comment about Pence. Prior to her role on reality TV, Newman worked at the White House under President Trump. Newman said: “As bad as you think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence…. everyone that is wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life. I am a Christian, I love Jesus but he [Pence] thinks Jesus tells him to say things.” This began a brief discussion on The View about the US Vice President. Host Sunny Hostin zeroed in on the fact that Jesus was speaking to Pence adding that despite being elected governor of Indiana, Pence was hated in that state. Hostin based that opinion on the fact she attended …

Island jutting out of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Credit: matlacha/Flickr/Creative Commons

Babylon is Imploding

In Australia there is a disagreement among scientists about global warming and the death of the Great Barrier Reef. Now the ‘disagreement’ has produced threats of firing and career termination for university professors, and lawsuits in court. I worked in a large university, in Canada, and I know one thing is true; if you want to understand any controversy in the system, just follow the money. You might believe there is a secular world system that stifles all dissenting opinions, including Christians who believe in Jesus; and you might be correct. But, in my experience, the system is supported with taxpayer money, and it is filled with scared people who are counting the days to retirement. The evil world system is imploding with money problems. In Australia, agriculture and industry and tourism could lose billions, and university professors could lose, or gain millions in grant funding because of the Barrier Reef. That’s the new way to pay for higher education, with funding applications. I understand the fight, even though I have never been to Australia. …

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‘Abba’ may be about family

Family is family. In the end its importance supersedes everything including a job. Some can spend hours at work, but on their death-bed regret that they did not spend more time with their family. The Bible is clear. Salvation comes through faith that Christ died for our sins. But God wants more than just belief, He wants believers to truly identify as a child of God. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:16 NASV) The word Abba, was a term of endearment, probably more closely translated in English as “Daddy.” Though this is the relationship that God desires to have with us, how many Christians truly look upon God as their “Daddy?” This was a relationship that Jesus had with His Heavenly Father. As we see in Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, it was His “Abba” relationship, that helped Jesus endure the crucifixion. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from …

Molchanka River turned blood red: Credit YouTube capture

Siberian River turns blood red, just one of many in recent years

It hasn’t reached Biblical proportions yet, but when the Russia’s Molchanka River recently turned blood-red over night citizens, media and even scientists were perplexed and a bit shocked. Many saw a Biblical connection with the plagues of Egypt when God caused the Nile to turn to blood as one of the judgements of God (Exodus 7: 14-24). But there are also three other Biblical references to waters turning blood-red found in the Book of Revelation and similar to what happened in Exodus are considered judgements of God. In his first mention, John says when an angel sounded a trumpet, he saw a large burning mountain crashing into the ocean and a third of the sea turned red: 8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, (Revelation 8:8 NASV) Most suspect a large burning mountain as a reference to a massive asteroid hitting the ocean. John also mentioned in the following verse that a third of the ships …

Flamenco dance, Seville, Spain Credit: Laurence Vagner/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Dance of Life

Español: La Danza de la Vida These past few weeks my eyes have been opened to my need for love, respect and acceptance from others. I tend to accuse others of being uncaring when they dismiss my plans and ideas. I demand from others what I am lacking in myself and make others responsible for the way I feel. When I quit blaming others for the way I am feeling (angry, hurt, rejected), only then can I see what the real problem is — my lack of self-esteem mostly. I needed to ask ‘why’ am I blaming someone else for my lack of self-worth and insecurities. Why do I so badly need to be right? Resentment and anger are dis-empowering. They debilitate and cripple us, yet we unknowingly lean on them like crutches to get the emotional support and love that we so badly need. When we seek love without giving it to ourselves first, (embracing our value and worth in God and believing that) we will never be satisfied with what we get from people.  …

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Free Speech Under Attack: Ken Ham Stopped from Speaking

UPDATE: Since we wrote this article, the University of Central Oklahoma has reversed its decision and will now allow Ken Ham to speak on campus in March. There is a disturbing trend happening on universities across North America and it is starting to creep into society. It is an attack by those on the radical left to stop free speech, the cornerstone of a free society. Spurred on many times by radical professors, the left have protested, often violently, to stop conservatives from speaking on campuses. Predictably, they accuse conservatives of hate speech, which simply isn’t true. The real issue is that the left will no longer allow anyone who disagrees with positions they hold to speak and they will protest violently to stop it. Ben Shapiro, the former editor of Breitbart and current editor of the Daily Wire, was scheduled to speak at the University of Berkley in California in September last year. He had been invited by campus Republicans. Because Shapiro is a well-known conservative, hundreds of radical left protestors, many wearing black …

A Pumkin Pi Credit: Jason Borneman/Flickr/Creative Commons

How about a piece of pi (π)?

“And he made a molten sea,ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line* of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23) In this passage of scripture, we read about Solomon’s Bronze Laver which was a huge basin used for washing all of the temple implements, thus purifying them. This passage has been the topic of much debate. Let’s take a look at why. Solomon’s bronze laver was measured as being 10 cubits across (the diameter) and a line of 30 cubits around (the circumference). This makes the circumference exactly 3 times the diameter. However, mathematically the diameter times three does not make a circle. If you remember your high school math, in order to create a circle you must multiply the diameter by the value of PI (π) which is 3.1415926. This gives you the length of the circumference needed to create a circle. So how do we resolve this problem? Is the Scripture in error as the skeptics …

Nick Foles running for a touchdown in 24-16 victory over the Redskins in 2013. Credit: Mr.Shultz/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

What are the odds? It reveals God is in control!

What are the odds that the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the two most important football games in the US and the most important football game in Canada would be Bible-believing Christians. Not just run of the mill Christians, but men serious about their faith. The latest was the Superbowl game played on Sunday, when the Philadelphia Eagles upset the Superbowl-laden New England Patriots 41 – 33. The last time the Eagles won a major championship was in 1960 when they won the NFL league title. They have never won a Superbowl that was initiated in 1966 as a championship game between the AFL and NFL. The most outstanding player of Superbowl LII was the Eagles back-up QB Nick Foles. But for a season ending injury to their starting quarterback Carl Wentz, another sincere believer, Foles would not have played. Over the years, Foles has spoken repeatedly of his faith and recently in an interview with CBN said that he wanted to be a pastor when his football days are over. He is currently taking …

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What does it mean the meek will inherit the earth?

What did Jesus mean when He said the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)? Depending on what dictionary you use, the English word meek leaves different impressions — gentle, submissive, compliant, spineless, humble and maybe even a bit cowardly. But is this what Jesus meant? I am not sure meek is the right English translation for the Greek word “praus” used in this verse which is how the King James translated it. HELPS word studies describes “praus” this way: 4236 praótēs– properly, temperate, displaying the right blend of force and reserve (gentleness). 4236 /praótēs (“strength in gentleness”) avoids unnecessary harshness, yet without compromising or being too slow to use necessary force. The word depicts a person with power, but one who knows when to use it and when not to. It also describes a person who “avoids unnecessary harshness.” But “praus” does not portray a person who is weak or cowardly. Though the word can be translated “gentle” it is not in the sense that we imagine. The word was used to describe war …

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The Curse of Borderline Personality Disorder

Years ago, I needed to buy some small piece of hardware. Since I live in Canada, I went to Canadian Tire, and since I had two small sons, I took them with me. The boys were six and four years old, I think, and they were thrilled. When we walked into the store, they sprinted away from me and disappeared down some shopping aisle. That store had tires, and car parts, and tools, and toys, and more, and I knew I had lost them. I was not happy about this, so I bought the thing I needed and waited by the front door; they had to surface some time. When I finally saw them, I was shocked. The oldest boy had a sick look of panic on his face, and the little one had a blank desperate look as he followed his brother. They thought their father had abandoned them, and the emotions were real to them. Puppy love feels real to the puppy. I still feel guilty about that, and I never did it …

Blame: The Ultimate Cop-out

Lately, I found myself repeating an old pattern in my life. It’s the one where I suddenly don’t feel good enough or I feel shame about something or an unpleasant memory pops up and I blame someone else for the problem. I recognize in those moments, I have chosen to become a victim and end up dumping my emotional garbage on my unsuspecting husband. He gets to take the garbage out! In a moment, my own personal trash is transferred to him and for a few seconds “I feel better.” But, the “rush” does not last long and soon those sick emotions return. I realize now why many of us like to blame others. It provides a temporary rush that numbs our senses and makes us feel better. But like all addictions, drugs, alcohol or gambling, the problem is not solved. It returns with a vengeance and we need to dump our frustration, anger and unchecked feelings again and again. Blaming someone else becomes our temporary fix. We become addicted to it because of the …

Casas colgadas de Cuenca, Spain Credit: Jose Luis Mieza/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spain’s song at Eurovision written by two Evangelical Christians

Eurovision is an international singing contest held annually in Europe. It started in 1973 and features winners from participating European countries who hold national competitions to select their representative. It differs from North American singing competitions like The Voice in that participants must sing an original song. But it doesn’t have to be written by the people singing it. In fact, the major emphasis seems to be the song over the performers, though obviously they need to be talented as well. With a growing Evangelical population, Spain will be represented at this year’s competition with a song written by two Evangelical Christians, Sylvia Santoro and her nephew Raul Gomez. Sylvia wrote the words and Raul supplied the music. The love song entitled, Tu Canción, won the Spanish leg of the event with 43% of the vote, beating out eight competitors. It was sung by a group called Almaia, composed of two singers Amaia and Alfred. So far the song has over 750,000 views on YouTube. Married with two children, Sylvia is a popular gospel singer among …