Author: Dean Smith

Credit: SAITOR/Flickr/Creative Commons

What Christians need today — courage

YouVersion Bible App was created in 2008, since then over 295 million people have downloaded the app for use on their phone, Ipads and computers. According to this year’s stats, so far this year the app is being downloaded 1.4 times every second of the day. In the same time frame, people are also sharing ten verses with friends. But YouVersion also provides the most read verse of the year and in some ways this provides an insight into what believers are facing around the world. Outside of North America, the most read verse is: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASV) In America, the most read verse is similar but with a slightly different twist: 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) The verses portray how things are changing …

Jerusalem, Israel's capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

Uproar as America decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem

It has been a very unusual situation. Since Israel was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948, Jerusalem has been its capital city. Yet no foreign embassies are found in Israel’s capital like they typically are with other nations. Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, 67 kms away. It was a move done to try to appease the Palestinians and hopefully have them sign a peace treaty with Israel. Of course that never happened and will never happen, because how can you appease an enemy that in its own charter calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. In its covenant or charter written in 1998, the terrorist group Hamas which helps control Palestine states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” With this as one of its stated goals, Hamas is not interested in peace. So when President Trump announced Wednesday morning that he would be moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were outraged. But they were outraged …

They shall know us by our love

Football is a tough sport, emotions can become heated. Tempers flare. It is a competitive environment. Sometimes we forget it is just a sport and there are more important things in life such as many witnessed during last Monday night’s NFL game (Dec 4, 2017) featuring the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers won 23-20. During Cincinnati’s first offensive series, Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier, 25, was hurt as he was trying to make a tackle. As he lay on the ground, Shazier was pointing to his back and the announcers noted that Shazier’s legs were not moving. There was a lot of concern as medical staff strapped Shazier to a backboard and transported him to a Cincinnati hospital. However, something happened at the end of the game that caught people’s attention. After the game was over, some of the Pittsburgh players knelt to pray for Shazier. They were joined by Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton who held hands with the Steelers’ players as they prayed for their fallen teammate. Andy Dalton, 30, the starting …

¿Tenía Jesús barba?

English: Did Jesus have a beard? ¡Nuestra respuesta inmediata a la pregunta que plantea el título es SÍ! Sin embargo, un plato de vidrio del siglo IV muestra una cosa muy singular: Muestra a Jesús sin barba. El descubrimiento se considera una de las primeras representaciones de Jesús. Fue encontrado por arqueólogos en Andalucía, España. Formaron parte del proyecto FORVM MMX excavando en el sitio de un edificio religioso en el antiguo pueblo de Cástulo, fechado alrededor del año 350 D.C. El plato de vidrio probablemente contenía pan para la Eucaristía. La imagen grabada en el vidrio también era diferente en otros aspectos. El artista retrata a Jesús con el pelo corto y rizado y con una toga. En la foto al lado de Jesús están los apóstoles Pedro y Pablo, que también están sin barba. Los tres tienen halos sobre su cabeza. No tenemos idea de si esta representación se basó en imágenes aún más antiguas de Jesús, pero obviamente la gente de esta era aceptó a un Jesús sin barba como realidad. Sudario …

Cómo interactúa el reino espiritual con nuestro mundo físico

English: How the spiritual realm interacts interacts with the physical world Estaba cortando el césped en nuestro patio trasero, cuando un recuerdo apareció en mi mente de una cosa estúpida que había hecho años atras. Antes ya le había pedido a Dios que me perdonara, pero aquí estaba de nuevo viva y me condenandome. ¿De dónde vienen estos pensamientos? Para una visión más clara, necesitamos estudiar un incidente que ocurrió a lo largo de las orillas del río Tigris en el antiguo reino de Persia alrededor de 600 a.c. : Cómo interactúa el mundo espiritual con el mundo físico El libro de Daniel proporciona una visión cautivadora sobre la interacción entre el reino espiritual y el físico. En el capítulo 10, un Ángel de Dios fue enviado a Daniel en respuesta a una oración que había hecho en los versículos 1 – 3. Cuando el ángel llegó, Daniel – junto con algunos otros israelitas se relajaba a lo largo de las orillas del río Tigris. La visita angelical provocó una visión a través de la …

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

Espíritus territoriales: guerras fronterizas en Brasil

English: Territorial Spirits: Border wars in Brazil He estado mirando cómo espiritus diabolicos territoriales tratan de controlar países e incluso regiones dentro de un país como una provincia / estado o incluso una ciudad. En los días de Jesús, Poncio Pilato fue el quinto prefecto de Palestina, una región que hoy constituye gran parte del moderno Israel. A su vez, Palestina se dividió en tres distritos gobernados por un Tetrarca: Samaria, Galilea e Ituraea. En mi artículo anterior, estudié una liberación que tuvo lugar en una sinagoga en Capernaum, un importante centro administrativo en el Distrito de Galilea controlado por el Tetrarca Herodes Antipas, el hijo de Herodes el Grande. Después de arrojar un espíritu malvado a un hombre en una sinagoga de Capernaum, Marcos dice que el hombre fuerte o el espíritu maligno que controlaba esa área fue derribado (Marcos 3: 22-27). Después de eso, Marcos registra lo que siguió rápidamente (Marcos 1:28 – 2:15). Hubo sanidades (Marcos 1: 40-43; Marcos 2: 1-11), muchos demonios fueron expulsados ​​(Marcos 1: 32-34) y varias personas salvadas (Marcos …

Palm Trees in Israel Credit: fabcom/flickr/Creative Commons

Ancient gates of Solomon discovered at Biblical Tamar Park?

According to Breaking Israel News, a group working in Biblical Tamar Park have found what they believe are the gates to an ancient fortress built by King Solomon. The 55-acre, Biblical Tamar Park in Southern Israel is considered one of the most unusual archaeological sites in Israel. Because of its fresh spring waters, it was a popular spot in this desert climate. The word “Tamar” means “Palm Trees” that grew in the area because of the springs. It was also an important stop for camel caravans along the major trading route known as the Silk Road as they journeyed into the far east. They have found evidence of Phoenicians, Canaanite and Arabs who also inhabited the area at various times through the centuries. But most importantly, the site has an archaeological record of the Hebrews through all their historical periods dating back to Abraham, through the Mosaic era, into the formation of Israel and then through the Roman and Christian periods to modern times. In Numbers, we read that Israelis camped at a placed called …

Credit: Thomas Guignard/Flickr/Creative Commons

The real problem in the black community: We’ve allowed women to “marry the government”

Actor Denzel Washington stepped on a few toes recently when he said that black people need to quit blaming the system for the high rates of incarceration among black men. He made the statement at the première of his most recent movie, “Roman J. Israel, Esq,” where he plays a young lawyer fighting the system. Denzel said: “It starts at the home. It starts at home. It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure. So you know I can’t blame the system. It’s unfortunate, that we make it such easy work for them.” In an earlier interview with Reuters, Denzel, who grew up in a Christian home with a father who was a pastor, said that people are not “born a criminal.” He had friends who started going down a certain path at ages 13 or 14 and while he stopped, his friends continued and today many are in prison. It was the same message being shared by another Black …

Credit: Fred Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Heightened spiritual warfare in the 21st century?

Dr Karl Payne serves as pastor of Leadership Development and Christian Education at Antioch Bible Church in Seattle, Washington. He was also the former chaplain of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. But he is also gaining recognition as a an expert on spiritual warfare and recently wrote a book entitled Spiritual Warfare: Demonization, and Deliverance. Payne believes that Christians and the church are entering a time of heightened battle with demonic forces. He says whether we believe it or not, the spiritual battle is as real today as we see in the Gospels. But he is also convinced that the spiritual forces attacking Christians will become more blatant. In an interview with WND.com, Payne said: “The growing fascination North Americans and Europeans seem to have with horror movies, spiritism, supernaturalism, the occult and Satanism is softening up the sense and consciences of the people watching and involving themselves in this nonsense. It’s helping them to function as predators or prey when Satan begins his ultimate reign over planet earth through his coming Antichrist and false prophet.” …

United Nations headquarters in New York City Credit: Neptull/Wikipedia

Ancient gods revival?

The same company responsible for building a full-scale model of the Arches of Baal last year has produced a full-sized replica of the ancient Roman goddess Athena. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) used the group, the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), to make a 3-D replica of Athena and recently had it on display at the United Nations headquarter in New York City. Similar to what happened to the Baal arches, in 2015 ISIS destroyed the original statue of the goddess in a museum in Palmyra, Syria. According to UAE, this ancient goddess was “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all the same values on which the historic institution was built.” However, this is only part of the story. Athena was also the Roman goddess of war and was valued for providing warfare strategy. The recreated idol actually portrays the goddess holding a spear, representative of her warrior symbolism. Many believe Athena was simply the Roman version of the ancient Canaanite goddess Asherah, that went by various names in different cultures — …

Notice the star as part of street Christmas decorations in Lillehammer, Norway. Credit: Peta Chow/Flickr/Creative Commons

Islamization of Christmas in Norway?

A strange story posted by Norwegian blogger, Hanne Tolg, which she describes as “pretty bizarre” is that a Christmas program being performed by an elementary school in Skien, Norway, will now include verses from the Koran, Islam’s main religious text. Though Europe is very liberal in its beliefs and traditions, and most do not attend church, Christmas is still a huge celebration and acknowledged as a Christian holiday. Homes and streets are typically decorated with Christmas themes and it is traditionally one of the big celebrations of the year. According to Bruce Bawer of Gatestone Institute who helped break this story in the English-speaking world, other national holidays in Norway also coincide with Christian celebrations such as Pentecost and Ascension Day. But it appears that efforts are now underway to add an Islamic element to the Christian, Christmas celebration in Norway. According to Tolg, this year’s program at Stigeråsen School will include two verses from the Koran. Christmas is certainly not a holy day for Islam, so why would any school, as Tolg explains, want …

Camels crossing a desert in Iran Credit: my life, the Universe and everything/Flickr

Similar to Evangelicals, Roman Catholics are reporting Muslims converting to Christianity

According to World Watch Monitor, on November 12, an Iranian who had converted to Christianity, lost his appeal of a ten-year prison sentence for sharing his faith. In May, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, along with three men from Azerbaijan were sentenced to ten years for missionary activity along with trumped-up charges of “actions against national security.” The secret police arrested the four men when they attended a wedding in June 2016. Shortly after their arrest, the Iranians allowed the three Azerbaijans to leave Iran while on bail and then sentenced them in abstention. It is doubtful they will return to complete their sentence. But unfortunately, Naser must fulfill his sentence in the brutal Iranian prison system renown for its torture. Since early spring, human rights groups have noticed Iranian courts are handing out unusually long sentences to Christians for simply sharing their faith. Yet despite Iran’s crackdown on Christianity, or maybe because of it, reports are coming in about the large numbers of Muslims abandoning Islam and embracing Christianity in Iran and other Islamic countries. Even …

Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Credit: GatorEG/Wikipedia

Strong reaction to Wilfrid Laurier’s ATTACK on free speech

Some suggest that Canadians recently got an inside look at the cultural Marxism that is dominating many universities across Canada and the US where students and those in authority are trying to stop any views that dissent with the prevailing left-wing agenda. Lindsay Shepherd is a 22-year-old graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She also teaches a class at the university but was called before a tribunal because she shared a dissenting opinion in her class. Fortunately, Lindsay had the presence of mind to tape this interview so Canadians could have a first-hand look on what is becoming common place on university campuses that seem less concerned with teaching students how to think and more interested in telling them what to think. In her class, Shepherd was talking about the use of non-gendered pronouns that is becoming a controversial topic on university campuses. The discussion is often centered around people who are transitioning from one sex to another. As an example, some are insisting they should no longer be referred to as …

NF (rapper) Credit: YouTube Capture/Napster

Christian Rapper tops the US Billboard chart in October

Going by the stage name NF, Nathan John Feuerstein, 26, is a Christian rapper and hip-hop artist who topped the Billboard Chart in October. For an entire week, his album, Perception, was the top selling album in America, Christian or secular. Since his debut in 2010, Nathan has released four albums. His first entitled Moments was released in 2012 under the name Nathan Feuerstein. Since then, he has released three more albums under the stage-name NF that included Mansion in 2015. He released Therapy Session in 2016 which won a Dove Award for top hip hop album of the year. It was also the top-selling Christian Album and top US rap album in 2016 and overall it was the 12th best-selling album in the US that year. A song from the album, “Oh Lord,” (which you can hear below) won the 2017 Dove Award for top Hip Hop song. It has had quite an impact. Here is just a sampling of the YouTube comments from the song: It’s Just Kayla This song pushes me to tears …

East Coweta football team gathering for prayer before a game. Credit: Fox News Youtube capture

Victory: Youth take ownership of their faith at East Coweta high school

It was an amazing story, and despite legal threats from an atheist group, students at East Coweta High School in Coweta County, Georgia have taken ownership of their faith in a big way. At the end of October, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to the Coweta school district that its high school football head coach, John Small, was leading a team prayer before games and demanded that this stop. FFRF argued that this violated the constitution of separation of church and state and they included an image of Small standing with his head bowed during a team prayer. In response, the Coweta school division sent a letter to all staff that they were no longer to take part in any prayer or worship while working in an “official capacity” with the school. It was expected that the team’s prayer sessions would come to an end. However, instead something incredible happened. The players took the initiative to pray before the game and instead of 100 players gathering to pray as …

Ruins of the ancient city of Capernaum, the home town of Jesus. Photo: Bon Adrien/Foter/CC-BY

¿Tenía Jesús un hogar en Capernaum?

English: Did Jesus own a home in Capernaum? Muchos tienen la impresión de que Jesús fue un predicador itinerante, viajando de un lugar a otro alrededor de Galilea predicando el Evangelio. Sin embargo, hay una pista que Jesús tenía su propia casa. En Marcos 2, tenemos el relato de que Jesús estaba en una casa en Capernaum. Tantas personas se habían juntado que un grupo de hombres se vio obligado a abrir un agujero en el techo para bajar a su amigo paralítico para que Jesus le sanara. Pero note lo que dice Marcos en el versículo 1: 2 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[a] la palabra. (NBLH) Habla de que esta casa es la casa de Jesús. Por el tamaño de la multitud era obvio que Jesús era un poco famoso en la ciudad. Este versículo también sugiere que no era la primera vez que la gente …

Don't let fear dominate your life. Street art in Dublin, Ireland. Credit: Giuseppe Milo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Alcanzando todo tu potencial: enfréntate al miedo

English version: Achieving your full potential — deal with your fear Hay una interesante parábola en los Evangelios que creo que Jesús dijo a propósito para preparar a los discípulos para la eventual partida de Cristo. Sería un presagio de lo que vendría. Me estoy refiriendo a la enseñanza sobre talentos encontrada varias veces en los Evangelios. Aparece en diferentes formas y en diferentes momentos, y parece que Jesús contó esta parábola varias veces, porque era un mensaje que sus discípulos necesitaban escuchar. En la parabola en Mateo 25: 14-30, un gobernante emprende un largo viaje y decide dejar sus riquezas o talentos para invertir en manos de sus esclavos hasta que el regrese. Esto es paralelo a la partida de Jesús de la tierra, el otorgamiento del Espíritu Santo y sus dones (Lucas 24:49, Hechos 1: 8) y luego la segunda venida de Cristo. ¿Cuáles son los talentos? Creo que el reino de Dios, existen los dones (espirituales y naturales) y los llamamientos que Dios ha otorgado a cada creyente. El Señor tiene tareas …

Credit: shutter-fotos.com/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pero Satanás nos impidió

English version: But Satan hindered us Fue una fría noche de invierno en el norte de Saskatchewan, Canadá, con mi novia en ese momento y después esposa.  Estabamos conduciendo en una carretera solitaria en la via a visitar a mis padres. Habíamos comenzado este largo viaje de seis horas en las últimas horas de la tarde. Habia solamente un automóvil que nos seguía detrás de nosotros dos. No había mucho tráfico. Pero dos luces parpadeantes a la distancia viniendo por la otra via oscura advertían de un vehículo que se acercaba. Cuando el auto se acercó, de repente se desvió hacia nuestro carril. Mi esposa que estaba conduciendo se asusto mucho y tiró el volante hacia la derecha hundiendo nuestro auto en una zanja. Llegamos a la zanja a toda velocidad y la nieve profunda agarró nuestras ruedas delanteras y nuestro automóvil empezó a rodar no de costado, sino de extremo a extremo: de atrás para adelante. De repente, mi esposa y yo estábamos colgando boca abajo en nuestro auto. Recuerdo tratando de agarrar las …

Alberta Legislature Wikipedia/GPL

Alberta government starts a range war against Christians

The government of the Canadian province of Alberta has allegedly turned down an Edmonton couple for adoption because of their Christian faith. The unnamed couple who go by the initials C.D. and N.D are Evangelical Christians. The couple was even willing to adopt an older child who typically become stuck in the foster system with little hope of adoption. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is representing C.D. and N.D. in a court case against the Alberta government to have its decision overturned. The married couple, who are unable to conceive, applied for an adoption in October 2016 and were initially approved by the Catholic Social Services (CSS) a representative of the government’s Child and Family Services (CFS). Then in March 2017, the couple were told the government needed them to answer additional questions on how they would handle their potential child’s sexuality. In its news release, JCCF said the couple responded that they would treat any child “with unconditional love, respect and compassion regardless of what the child chose to do, and regardless …

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

British Survey: Majority believe only six of 10 commandments still important today

A YouGov poll of people living in England released this past October discovered the majority felt only six of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) are relevant today. Commandments such as ‘though shall not murder’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ still did well with both receiving 94% and 93% support respectively. Note the survey properly referred to the sixth commandment as forbidding murder, not killing that was sometimes justified in cases of self-defense. It is difficult to understand why there wasn’t 100% support for the two. However, it can possibly be explained by the growing extreme left-wing beliefs particularly on university campuses where some feel there is justification in certain instances for murder and stealing. Perhaps in a less extreme agreement with this later sentiment only 61% believed “thou shalt not covet” was relevant today.  This meant nearly 40% of those surveyed felt it was alright to covet a neighbor’s goods. At times, our hearts can justify theft because its unfair that some have wealth and others don’t. There were …

The Mespotamia Valley where Abraham and Sarah lived before God called them on their journey of faith: Credit: Hassan Janall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikipedia

Faith through doubt: 4,000 year old marriage contract confirms story of Ishmael

Though the patriarch Abraham and wife Sarah ended up in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ (Hebrews 11:8-11), their lives were far from a perfect display of faith. God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son out of which would come a great nation (Genesis 17). Though they clung to this promise, there were times when they doubted God and took matters into their own hands. One of these moments involved Hagar, Sarah’s personal maid: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16: 1-2 NASV) Sarah told Abraham to impregnate her slave who would serve as a surrogate and have a child that Sarah would claim as her own. The couple went through with this plan with both believing it would fulfill the promise that …

Stephen Willeford Credit: Steven Crowder Youtube show

Did the Holy Spirit fall upon a man to stop a mass murderer?

It may challenge the theology of some. But Stephen Willeford, 55, said the Holy Spirit came upon him to help stop Devin Kelley the man responsible for killing 28 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 In an interview with Steven Crowder the day after the shooting, Willeford, a Christian, explained what happened. After hearing shots being fired, Willeford who lives a block away, grabbed his AR-15 rifle and ran barefoot to find out what was going on. When he arrived Kelley was leaving the church and Willeford ducked behind a truck parked in a neighbor’s driveway and the two began exchanging fire. Willeford told Crowder: “I’m a Christian, and I believe at that point, and maybe this sounds a little off to some of your viewers that aren’t Christians, [but] I believe the Holy Spirit was on me because I had the presence of mind to look at what was going on.” During the shooting, Crowder noticed that Kelley was prepared for a fight and was …

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes. Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting. First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.” It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it. Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton …

Moscow's Red Square Credit: viktor/Flickr

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the birthing of the first Communist state

I remember as a university student walking the halls crowded with tables of various communist groups peddling their wares. We had the Leninists, Maoists, Marxists and Stalinists. Each with their table full of booklets, leaflets and books promoting their particular brand of the ‘glorious’ revolution. Of course, communism in its various forms was birthed in the heart of German Karl Marx (1818–1883) who along with Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto that became the staple for modern communism. November 7, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution that paved the way for the world’s first communist state. It was the first of many countries that would eventually fall to this evil philosophy. Ironically, the communist revolution that claimed to be the savior of the people resulted in the slaughter of over 100 million people world-wide. This was the estimate presented in book published by Harvard University Press, The Black Book of Communism. Published in 1997, its numbers are a bit outdated. The Black Book records there were 20 million killed during Stalin’s bloody …

Kim Clement (1956-2016): YouTube Capture

God’s prophetic voice needed today

As I read about the massacre of 26 people (ages five to 72) in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during their Sunday morning service, it struck me how we need God to speak and warn us. Sutherland Springs located 30 miles southeast of San Antonia is a small town of just 400 people. yet somehow evil found its way there. Twenty were also injured in the attack by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. A former member of the air force, a self-proclaimed atheist and loner, Kelley apparently killed himself after careening off the road in a chase after the shooting. Two days earlier — Friday, November 3, 2017 — a neighbor attacked Christian politician Senator Paul Rand as he returned home. Rand suffered five broken ribs and lung contusions. According to a report on the Daily Caller, another person who lives on the same block alleges the attacker is an “avowed socialist” who fought with other neighbors over politics. Despite this underlying issue, recent media reports suggest that conflicts over landscaping issues …

Dennis Prager speaking a CPAC 2016. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Conservative organization suing Google and YouTube for censorship

Popular Conservative columnist and radio-host Dennis Prager recently announced his nonprofit organization, Prager University (PragerU), is taking YouTube and its owners Google to court alleging that it has imposed a “political gag mechanism” on some of PragerU’s information and news videos. PragerU, that is being represented in part by Liberty Counsel, alleges YouTube is using a number of mechanism to restrict PragerU’s videos from being viewed. This includes a filtering mode intended to restrict access to certain videos that YouTube believes could potentially harm and offend younger and sensitive viewers. It has also demonetized some videos not allowing his PragerU to earn ad revenues. The organization first noticed the problem in July 2016. The lawsuit alleges that the restricted mode has been put on videos talking about such themes as North Korea, Israel and Supreme Court decisions.  In some instances, YouTube has restricted access to PragerU videos because they use such words as “genocide,” “hate” and “terrorism.” Liberty Counsel said in its news release: “While PragerU videos have been censored, the same subject matters posted …

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus. The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader. However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews. Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah. Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America. Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report: “These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not …

Roman Catholic officials confronted Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms to force him to recant of his heresies Painting by Anton Werner (1843-1915)/Wikipedia

Martin Luther not only believed in salvation by faith but also divine healing

When Martin Luther pounded his 95 theses on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, he was trying to reform the corrupt Roman Catholic church. The impotence for this decision 500 years ago was the arrival of Johann Tetzel who was selling indulgences on behalf of the Pope who was raising money to renovate St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. The purchase allowed people to buy their way into heaven. They could even buy it for a deceased friend or relative. Tetzel said, “Once the coin into the coffer clings, a soul from purgatory springs.” In his 95 theses. Luther wrote that the Bible, not the Pope or traditions of the church, was the final authority for the believer. It stated that a person could not buy his way into heaven, salvation was based on faith alone. Luther who had his doctorate in theology and was teaching a the University of Wittenberg was struck by a passage in Romans that righteousness could only come through faith, not money: 17 For …

A school in Madagascar Credit: lemurbaby/Wikipedia

‘Something different’ about this Bubonic plague says health official

It always concerns me when health experts use phrases like “something different” and “health officials couldn’t explain it.” These were the words expressed by a World Health Organization (WHO) official describing a recent outbreak of the Bubonic plague on the island nation of Madagascar. Located off the southeastern coast of Africa, it has a population of 25 million. Also referred to as the Black Death, the Bubonic plague gained its fame when it ravaged Europe during the 1300s and 1400s killing 75 million to 100 million people, decimating a third of the population. The outbreak on Madagascar was not so serious. It infected 1,300 people killing 125. But nevertheless it was over double the number who normally catch the plague on the island nation each year. The Bubonic plague is a very serious bacterial infection that results in death upwards of 60% of the time if untreated. Its symptoms include headache, fever, stomach pains and chills. But it’s best known for the painful swelling of the lymph nodes that can break open resulting in bleeding. …

The Milky Way viewed from Chile. Credit: Bruno Gilli/ESO/Wikipedia

CERN scientist admits universe should not exist

A physicist with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, recently admitted in an interview with Newsweek that the universe is defying the laws of physics. CERN physicist Christian Smorra said, “The universe should not exactly exist.” With an annual budget of $1.24 billion, CERN, located in Switzerland, has a particle accelerator deep underground. They use this 17-mile long circular accelerator to have particles traveling at nearly the speed of light collide. They have also been trying to find an imbalance between matter and antimatter. Since the matter and antimatter annihilate each other on contact, such an imbalance would be necessary for the universe to exist. According to the Big Bang Theory the universe originally existed in pure energy the size of a thimble (literally the size of a thimble), this exploded in a “one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second” to create all the matter that makes up the universe today. However, if there was an equal amount of matter and antimatter, the universe should have self annihilated back into …

Painting of Nero's torches also referred to as Christian candlesticks by Henruk Siemiradzki (1843-1902) /Wikipedia

The fiery trials of North Korea described as a ‘life of hell’

In an interview with Fox News, Choi Kwanghyuk said he had never heard of underground churches until he managed to flee North Korea and its brutal dictator Kim Jung-un. After his escape, Choi was granted asylum in the US in 2013 and now lives in Los Angeles. While in North Korea, Choi was a member of  the country’s underground church. Though on paper, North Korea says religion is legal in the country, in reality the only god they are allowed to worship is its president Kim Jung-un. Choi who lived in North Korea’s cold North Hamgyon province told Fox News there were nine members in their church and they were very reluctant to share their faith for fear of being found out because it would result in imprisonment and probably death. Choi added that they had one Bible that they shared between them and they often held church services in a hole that they had dug in the ground as a storage place for kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage that is considered a national food in …

Considered to be the location of the Garden Gethsemane located at the foot of Mount Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus sweated blood Credit: tango7174/Wikipedia

Italian woman sweats blood confirming Luke 22:44

The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published an article on the case of a 21-year-old Italian woman who has been bleeding blood from her face and hands. Italian doctors reported that over the past three years the woman has gone through episodes were she spontaneously bled blood without any breakage in the skin. According to their report the episodes would last up to five minutes. Though they occurred at any time from sleep to periods of exercise, doctors noted the bleeding intensified when she was under emotional stress. Embarrassed by her condition, the young woman was becoming a loner refusing to leave her home. After ruling out chromhidrosis, a condition that causes discolored sweat, doctors diagnosed the young woman with a rare condition called hematohidrosis – ‘blood sweat’, when people actually sweat blood. Some believe it’s caused by rupturing capillaries near the sweat glands. This can happen during times of extreme fear or stress. An Indian health journal reported ‘blood sweat’ in cases of people about to be executed and even cited an incident that …

Painting by Peter Fendi (1796-1842) Credit: Web Gallery of Art: Wikipedia

Healing the brokenhearted

According to an article in the Daily Mail, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that three traumatic events have the potential to cause heart disease in postmenopausal women. The group led by Dr. Rebecca Thurston presented their findings to the 2017 North American Menopause Society annual meeting held in Philadelphia Oct 11-14. In their study, Thurston and her group were trying to determine if psychological factors had an impact on a woman’s heart. They conducted an indepth survey with 272 women asking the typical questions such as their exercise, smoking and eating habits. But they then went further and asked the women how many traumatic events they had in their lives. This included a wide-range of things such as the the death of a child or spouse, physical assault and experiencing some type of natural disaster. Based on this survey, they concluded that if women experienced just three traumatic events it had the potential to cause heart disease. It showed that these events negatively affected the inner lining of a woman’s blood vessels …

Salvation Mountain, Colorado Credit: slworking2/Flickr/Creative Commons

How are we to respond?

In mid-October, a small Presbyterian church in Mayesville, South Carolina was vandalized with Satanic graffiti that included crosses drawn upside down, pentagrams and  the word “Satan.” There were over 20 pieces of graffiti spray painted on Salem Black River Presbyterian Church and two of its other buildings. One door was also broken open but nothing was stolen from the church. It was simple act of malicious vandalism. But the church had security cameras and caught video of four people vandalizing the church with the satanic imagery. After police distributed images captured from the video, people began to call in names of the suspects.  The Sumter County Sheriff’s department discovered that all four allegedly involved in the vandalism were from the nearby Shaw Air Force Base. The sheriff’s office have charged four people, Kayla Eilerman, Daveion Green, Clayre Savage and Brandon Munoz, with vandalism, trespass and conspiracy. Meanwhile in Canada, this past August, Trinity Baptist Church located in Burlington, Ontario was set on fire. The fire destroyed the old part of its building, but the fire …

Artist rendering of ninth planet hovering on the outer edge of our solar system. The bright light in the centre portrays Neptune orbiting the sun Credit: ESO/Tom Ruen/Nagualdesign -- NASA

NASA discovers evidence of a ninth massive planet in our solar system

There have been some Christians and others predicting the end of the world through a collision between Earth and a mystery planet lurking in our solar system called Nibiru. In mid-September, Jason Meade who claims to be a Christian numerologist stated the countdown for this collision started on September 23, 2017. He certainly received his 15-minutes of fame with media around the world picking up his story. People have been talking about Nibiru since the 1990s and similarly predicting the world’s catastrophic end. I even stated in my post on Meade’s prediction that if this planet existed astronomers would have noticed it through its effects on the trajectory of other planets and celestial objects. I was a bit rash in my judgement because a couple of weeks later, October 4, 2017, NASA released a statement that it had found irrefutable evidence a ninth planet exits in our solar system. It even suggested that this mystery planet was ten times larger than earth. Coincidentally, those promoting Nibiru also state its massive. NASA claims that it has not been …