Author: Dean Smith

Chris Pratt at the San Diego Comic Con in 2016 Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chris Pratt’s nine rules for life?

At this year’s MTV Movie and TV Awards held on Monday, June 18, 2018, actor Chris Pratt won the “Generations” award handed out to actors who have displayed their unique personality in a variety of roles. Pratt, 38, has starred in several major hit movies including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic Park and its sequels. While receiving this year’s award, Pratt took the opportunity to present his nine rules for life ranging from how to properly use the bathroom facilities while at a friend’s place to feeding  a dog medicine (hide it in a piece of hamburger.) But scattered within these nine pieces of wisdom, Pratt provided some spiritual advice to the next generation as the MTV crowd is typically millennials and younger. In earlier interviews, Pratt recounted when he became a Christian a man gave Chris a prophetic word that he would become famous. A short time later while working as a waiter in a Hawaii restaurant, Pratt served a movie director and in a matter of days was flying to California …

Redcliffe City Church worship service at the beach Credit: Leonard J Matthews/Flickr/Creative Commons

Restoring the Tabernacle of David worship in the Church

I have written articles in the past about the Tabernacle that David set up in Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 16:17). This tabernacle or tent existed for less than 40 years and was taken down shortly after the Ark of the covenant was transferred from David’s tabernacle to Solomon’s temple. 31 Now these are those whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and they [a]served in their office according to their order. (1 Chronicles 6: 31-32 NASV) It needs to be pointed out that God did not want David or his son to build a temple, God preferred to stay in the Tabernacle of David. But because of its brief existence, it seems that David’s Tabernacle played a minor role in Israel’s religious life. But that isn’t true. The Book of Psalms, one of the most …

Credit: Kamyta/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study shows that religious people live longer

According to the Daily Mail, a study undertaken by researchers from Ohio State University in the US concluded that religious people live on average four years longer than atheists or non religious. The results of their study were published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal. The group of psychology researchers came to this conclusion after studying the obituaries of over 1,000 people. This included 505 recorded n the Des Moines Register in Iowa in January and February 2012. The study led by doctoral student Laura Wallace concluded that church goers outlived non-religious people by 9.45 years. However, once they factored out other elements that can contribute to longer life including marriage and gender, that difference shrunk to 6.48 years. A second study of 1,096 obituaries published in 42 cites between August 2010 and August 2011 showed religious people lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those who weren’t. Once gender and marital status were factored out that difference dropped to 3.82 years. The researchers said there were several factors that may contribute …

Malaysia Credit: Juha Riissanen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oops, that wasn’t supposed to happen: genetic study unravels evolutionary theory

A study produced by two geneticists Mark Stoeckle from New York’s Rockefeller University and David Thaler from Switzerland’s University of Baler concluded that 90% of animals came into existence at the same time as humans and relatively recently. This conclusion seriously challenges the theory of evolution that requires millions of years for animals to slowly evolve, with man being the climax of the evolutionary cycle. In their study published in the Human Evolution journal, the two geneticists examined the “DNA barcodes” of 100,000 species of animals stored in GenBank, a genetic data base operated by the American government. Based on this study, the two concluded that animals appeared at the same time as humans about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Though there may be some dispute on the dating, their study nevertheless confirms the Biblical account that says humans and animals were created at the same time on the fifth day. In an interview with Christian Headlines, Ken Ham founder of the creationist organization Answers in Genesis suggested the age numbers were inflated by evolutionary …

Credit: Ben Freeman/Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want to know God’s will, start moving

Many of us can struggle trying to decide what God wants us to do. It is clear from Scripture that God has a purpose for each of us. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote: 11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NASV) God has a plan for each of us. He has a future destiny laid out for you. But knowing God’s purpose for our lives can be a struggle and many times we find ourselves sitting and doing nothing waiting for a messenger from heaven to hand deliver our instructions. I think that is a mistake. If you want to know God’s will for your life, get out of your chair and start moving. This is exactly the advice that King Solomon gave: The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NASV) We are told that we can make our plans, but God directs our …

Where is Mt. Sinai?

We don’t know for sure where Mt Sinai is located. The mountain, also called Horeb (Deuteronomy 4:10), was the location where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It’s traditionally believed that Mt. Sinai is Jebel Musa located in Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula. Jews held this belief as early as 100 AD and people were making pilgrimages to the site. Christians accepted this and several monasteries were later built near the mountain. However, in an interview with WND, Pastor Joel Richardson is bucking the trend by suggesting Mt Sinai is actually located in Saudi Arabia. He believes a mountain called Jabal al-Lawz is actually Mt Sinai. In fact, the Apostle Paul describes Mt Sinai as being in Arabia, but it is uncertain what he meant by Arabia. At that time, this vague description could have easily included the Sinai Peninsula: 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (Galatians 4:25 NASV) After personally visiting Jabal al-Lawz, Richardson gave several reasons why he …

Yanghu, Anhui, China Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

China’s communist revival: Is Satan rearing his head again?

There is a communist revival taking place in the world today. We see cultural Marxism rearing its ugly head in universities with the extreme left trying to shut down, sometimes violently, any conservatives who dare to disagree with their extreme left-wing opinions. Put perhaps the clearest example of this swing can be seen in the communist resurgence taking place in China. In an article in the Washington Times, Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid a Christian organization that monitors human right abuses in China, said persecution of Christians in China has reached levels unseen since the days of Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In 2016, ChinaAid reported the persecution of 762 Churches and 48,000 people and by 2017 that had risen to 1,265 churches and 223,000 people. The persecution trend is veering upwards again in 2018 since the passing of a law on Feb. 1 requiring all churches to register with the state.  Earlier this year, the government dynamited the largest church in Shanxi province — the Golden Lampstand Church.  The government has also burned …

Credit: Anna Ghislaine/Flickr/Creative Commons

A ‘light’ does not judge

Some of you may be familiar with Jordan Peterson. He is a Canadian psychologist from the University of Toronto who has become famous in recent months for being a voice of reason in a world careening towards Marxism, totalitarianism and political correctness. In his many lectures available on YouTube, he made this curious statement that has stuck with me. When people look at Nazi Germany, we want to judge the Germans for falling under the spell of the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler and his utter hatred for the Jews. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that we are different and would never have been taken in by Hitler’s lies. Peterson disagrees. He says that if we had grown up in Germany when Hitler was coming to power, we (meaning you and I) would have become Nazis and embraced antisemitism just like the Germans did. Certainly, there were a handful of people in Germany, like Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who opposed Hitler and died because of it. We can try to convince ourselves we would have been Bonhoeffer, but …

The Temple Mount Credit: Ben and Ash/Flickr/Creative Commons

Discovery of three small coins confirms the Jews ancient connection to the Temple Mount

Archaeologists working on the remains from the Temple Mount have discovered five small coins that speak of an incredible time of religious freedom in Israel’s history. Though only three of the coins are legible, they are dated to the fourth century. This puts them at the time when King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return their homeland from their Babylonian captivity and rebuild Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 538 BC. The archaeologists believe the other two similarly sized undecipherable coins are from the same set. Seven millimeters wide, the coins have an image of a barn owl on one side. The Jews basically copied the Athenian Abol, a Greek coin used in ancient times. It is curious that they used the owl because it was considered unclean under Jewish law and it also represented the goddess Athena to the Greeks. Instead of having the Greek letters ΑΘΕ used to signify Athens, the three legible coins had the Aramaic word YHD. According to an article on ynetnews, this is the shortened version of …

US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Credit: Keith Survell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Victory for religious freedom in US as Supreme Court rules in favor of Colorado baker

In 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver Colorado, was approached by a homosexual couple who wanted Phillips to make a custom wedding cake for their gay wedding. Phillips said no stating that it contravened his beliefs as a Christian. However, Phillips was willing to make them a birthday cake or any cake for that matter, but was unwilling to decorate it with a message supporting gay marriage. Citing discrimination, the gay couple took Phillips before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) that eventually ordered Phillips to make the cake and as well required his staff to undergo re-education training. However, Phillips decided to take the case to the courts. Initially, he lost his cases in the Colorado courts who ruled in favor of the CCRC’s decision. After the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear Phillips’ appeal, with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips petitioned the US Supreme Court in July 2016, the highest court in the US. In June 2017, the court agreed to hear the case in and …

Church steeples in Wurzburg, Bavaria Credit: Gertrude K./Flickr/Creative Commons

Bavaria requires a cross be displayed in all government offices

Officially called the Free State of Bavaria, Bavaria is Germany’s largest state making up 20% of Germany’s land mass. With a population of 13 million it is Germany’s second largest state. With its state capital in Munich, Bavaria also has Germany’s second largest economy. Bavarians are very conscious of their identity with many considering themselves Bavarian first and Germans second. With 75% of Bavarians calling themselves Christian (over 50% Catholic), many consider it Germany’s most conservative state. And recently, the Bavarian government passed legislation mandating that all state offices prominently display a cross in their public areas. Before this law was passed, crosses were required in court rooms and schools. The new legislation will not affect municipal governments or Germany’s federal government buildings in the state. It even has an official name “Kreuzpflicht or “cross duty.” According to Christian Social Unions (CSU), the state’s ruling party, the law is intended to recognize the Bavaria’s cultural heritage. Premier Markus Soder said these crosses should not be looked upon as a religious symbol, but a recognition of …

Raising of the cross by Peter Paul Ruben (1577-1640) Credit: Wikipedia

A 2,000 year old skeleton discovered showing evidence of crucifixion

Though the Bible and several other ancient historical documents talk about crucifixion as a brutal form of Roman execution, there has been very little archaeological evidence found of this ancient practice. However, a group of Italian researchers discovered that a skeleton of man uncovered in Northern Italy in 2007 was probably crucified. If this proves correct, it will be only the second example found revealing the brutal form of punishment used by the Romans to execute criminals. The first one was found in 1968 while excavating a Jerusalem cemetery connected  with the second Jewish temple (2 BC t0 70 Ad). In an ossuary used to store the bones of the deceased, they discovered a man with a nail in his heel. There was also a fragment from the olive tree used for the cross attached to the nail. Because the metal nails were so valuable, the Roman typically pulled them out after the person had died. This is part of the reason, it is difficult to determine if a person was crucified. In this case, …

Flags flying at half mast after the killings in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, 2018. Credit: Terry Hammonds/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes Christian heroes die: The story of Christian ‘Riley’ Garcia and the Santa Fe shooting

“Be still and know I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) This powerful verse talks about the sovereignty of God in the midst of utter chaos and destruction. This was the verse that high school student Christian “Riley” Garcia, 15, wrote on a two by four of the house his family was constructing just days before he died. He took a selfie of himself beside the verse. A few days later on May 18, 2018, fellow-student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, allegedly armed with a shotgun and hand gun walked into Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, 30 miles Southwest of Houston, and began shooting. By the time it was over 10 people were dead and 10 others injured. Riley Garcia was one of those brutally murdered. But according to students at the school, Riley died a hero. When the shooting started several students ran into a nearby closet that connected to the arts classroom. When the killer came to the door, …

Credit: Timo Luege/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Spirit of Jezebel rearing its painted face again?

Evan Vickers, a Republican senator from Utah, was staying at a hotel in Washington, DC, when there was a knock on his door. When he opened it, he found a young woman standing in front of him. In an interview with KSTU-TV, Vickers told what happened next: “I opened the door and there was a young lady standing there and she said ‘Hi,’ and I said, ‘Hi,’ who are you?” And she said, ‘I’m your date.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’ She said, ‘Yes, I’m your date.’” The woman would not leave and insisted several times she was his date. When Vickers refused to go along with it, the young woman eventually walked to the elevator still claiming she was his date. Vickers returned to his room, locked the door, and called for an associate to accompany him.  It is uncertain what was going on but there is speculation that the woman was trying to entrap the senator. He warned other politicians to be careful. Several years ago a prominent pastor of a very large …

Palestine Credit: rainwiz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who belongs in Palestine — Jews or Muslims?

When we talk of Palestine, we immediately think of the Palestinians, a group of Muslims, who are fighting to be recognized as a separate nation. Israel has basically opposed this initiative for one simple reason — one of the leading political groups in Palestine, Hamas, stated in its 1988 covenant that one of its goals is the annihilation of Israel: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).” Israel is unwilling to accept Palestine as nation until they are willing to accept Israel as a nation. But what does the word Palestine refer to? Most believe it was a word the Roman developed to describe the ancient Philistines who have have since disappeared. Based on this belief, modern Palestinians have claimed this area as their homeland. However, modern scholarship is challenging this notion. There is strong evidence that the word Palestine was originally used to refer to Israel, not the Philistines. In an article published …

Credit: Tamara Leaver/Flickr/Creative Commons

Unlocking your future

In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul wrote: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:19 NIV) It is a powerful verse when we understand that we are God’s handiwork, literally God’s work of art. But the kicker here is that there are things, good works, that God has prepared and called you to do. The tense of the Greek word prepared (proetoimasen) means that the decision about what God wants you to do was made long before (well in advance of)  your salvation. God has a long-term plan for your life. When you look in the Old Testament, you see examples of this. The prophet Isaiah understood that God had called him to a prophetic ministry while Isaiah was still in the womb: Listen to me, you islands;     hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me;     from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. 2 He made my mouth like a …

Credit: Joe Bustillos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is God beginning to move in the music industry?

A couple of different stories caught my attention this past week, though unrelated, they both have a God connection. The first involved an article on Christian Post (CP) about this year’s American Idol where the final five performers in the singing competition are all Christians. And they are anointed as well and this is not just my opinion, but that of the American Idol judges. Though Michael Woodward did not move on to the final three, his song “Still I Arise” very much affected the judges. Pop superstar Katy Perry who was in tears before Woodward’s song was finished said, “I mean, you’re anointed. I thought I had my emotions removed. It’s so beautiful what I just saw between you and your mother.” Fellow judge Lionel Ritchie echoed the comments added, “You are anointed, my friend.” Woodward comes from a Christian home where his grandmother and mother both impacted him spiritually. According to CP, his mother, Wanda, has a Christian program that she broadcasts weekly live on Facebook.  And his grandmother raised Michael on Gospel …

Freshwind Band at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in March 2008 where the Toronto Revival broke out. Source: andrewgazaneo artwork by Sarah M Gazeno/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Justin Bieber’s mom Pattie Mallette ‘Travailing in the Spirit’?

Pattie Mallette may not be a familiar name to most of us, but her pop star son, Justin Bieber, is a household name in many parts of the world. In earlier articles, I have written about the remarkable spiritual transformation taking place in Justin’s life. Dale Hurd writing for Christ for All Nations tells the story about Pattie’s spiritual journey. Incredibly, it started at the Toronto revival, also called the Toronto Blessing, that broke out in a Vineyard Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in January 1994. The church originally called Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship has since been renamed Catch the Fire Toronto and is pastored by John and Carol Arnott. Pattie shared her journey to faith at the 2018 Light the Fire Again conference held at the same building, the Attwell Center, where the Toronto revival broke out. In the early 1990s, Pattie became a Christian in a hospital room shortly after a failed suicide attempt. She was led to the Lord and mentored by a couple who attended the Vineyard church where the revival …

Volcanic column of smoke on Hawaii's Big Island taken May 7, 2018 Credit: macprohawaii/US Geological Survey/Flickr/Public Domain

A near asteroid hit and volcanic eruption on Hawaii: Apocalyptic shots across the bow?

During the 18th century, if a naval ship was unable to recognize an oncoming vessel it would fire a warning shot in the general direction of the ship. Under the law of the sea, the ship receiving the shot was expected to hoist its flag so it could be recognized and respond with a shot of its own. It was form of rudimentary communication between ships. With modern communications equipment, the shot across the bow has taken on a more ominous tone. When naval vessels, such as the coast guard, are pursuing another vessel, they will perform a shot across the bow typically in front of the ship telling it to stop. The shot demonstrates that the fleeing ship is within range, sighted and more importantly the pursuing ship is willing to go the next step if it does not come to heel. One has to ask if the world just received a shot across the bow. According to the Bible’s apocalyptic literature, the end times will be marked by massive asteroids slamming into the …

Credit: Andrei Niemimäki/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t fear your mistakes

Several years back I was working on a small newspaper. We had just sent our most recent issue to the printer and the finished product had just arrived and someone brought a copy to my office. The typo on the front page was the first thing I saw when it landed on my desk. I don’t know how many times we had proofed that issue, but a mistake had somehow slipped through. And there it was glaring at me. Though it was years back I still remember the distinctive purple color that accentuated this particular cover. The last place you want to see a mistake is on the cover. After looking at it for several minutes, those feelings that had haunted me for years started welling up inside me. I needed to punish myself and say how stupid I was for allowing this mistake to happen. I didn’t think these thoughts, I said them out loud. Typically I yelled at myself how stupid I was when these type of things happened. I wanted to take …

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) Credit: Wikipedia

Are Apostles for today?

We have leaders today who refer to themselves as Apostles. Some even add the term as part of their title. It was part of the five key ministries that Paul listed as necessary for building the church: 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (Ephesians 4:11-12 NASV) Traditionally non charismatic churches or cessationists have opposed the usage of ministries such as apostles and prophets and even spiritual gifts. Also called dispensationalism, those holding this view believed these ministries and spiritual gifts were for another dispensation, and not for today. It has always been a bit puzzling why ministries such as prophets and apostles were rejected while pastors, teachers and evangelists were embraced even though the five are listed together. However, that all changed with the Revival that took place in North Battleford, Saskatchewan Canada in 1948 where they rejected dispensationalism and restored …

Despite living on a planet with 7.6 billion people, many still feel alone. Credit: Xynn Tii/Flickr/Creative Commons

Survey reveals the Gen Z generation is the loneliest group of people on earth

Earlier this month, Cigna, a global health company, released data it received based on a poll it conducted in February and March this year. Cigna wanted to find out how lonely people were and asked 20,000 Americans over the age of 18 a series of questions based on a 20-question loneliness scale developed by UCLA. This included questions asking if they had anyone to turn to or if the respondents felt like they were part of a group of friends. Based on their response, they were ranked between 20 (least lonely) to 80 (most lonely). When analyzing by age groups, Cigna discovered that the loneliest people on the planet were those referred to a Generation Z (between the ages of 18 to 22) who ranked 48. The least lonely were those over the age of 72 who scored 39. As an age-group, Generation Z was on par with another group, single parents, who despite having children similarly scored 48 in terms of loneliness. The average score for all Americans surveyed was 44 and revealed as …

An Israeli sunset Credit: Israel Nature Photographers/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does an ancient archaeological discovery tell us something about ‘spiritual warfare’?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament talking about a battle that took place between Israel and Moab. Found in 2 Kings 3, we are told that Israel had the kingdom of Moab in subjection. As a vassal, the Moabites paid an annual tax to Israel of 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 sheep. The reason was obvious, we are told that Mesha, the King of Moab, was a breeder of sheep (verse 3) and had obviously developed a unique breed that was in demand. By this time, Israel had split apart into two nations, Samaria (Israel) and Judah. King Ahab of Israel had just died and King Mesha decided this was an opportune time to break free from Israel’s domination. Undoubtedly, Israel became aware of the problem when Mesha refused to pay the tribute. So Jehoram, the new King of Israel contacted King Jehoshaphat of Judah and an unnamed King of Edom to help Jehoram bring Moab back into submission. Obviously, it was in everyone’s best interest to keep Moab under …

Credit: Ajith Kumar/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did being caught up to Paul’s ‘Third Heaven’ lead to a miraculous recovery for brain dead teen?

The media describes him as the “Miracle Boy” from Mobile, Alabama. Two months ago, Trenton McKinley, 13, was in a trailer being pulled by a dune buggy when the person driving slammed on the brakes forcing the trailer to flip. They were driving on cement and Trenton was thrown out and the trailer landed on his head. Unconscious, he was rushed to hospital. By the time his mother, Jennifer Reindl, arrived, her son had been dead for 15 minutes. His heart kept stopping and they were rebooting it using adrenaline. According to Fox News, the doctors gave Trenton little hope adding that even if he came out of the coma he would be a vegetable because of oxidation. The only thing keeping him alive was life support. After going several days of registering no brain activity, the doctors finally told Jennifer there was nothing more that could be done. If his heart stopped again, they would not use adrenaline to restart it. One Saturday a few weeks back, the doctors told Jennifer they would keep …

Blind burrowing mole rats find evidence of King David’s reign

With the help of burrowing mole rats, archaeologists have found more evidence of King David’s reign. When the moles dig into the ground, they deposit the unearthed dirt around their hole and archaeologists will sift through this dirt to see what lies deeper down. It was just such mounds that led to the discovery of the ancient city of Eglon, 30 miles south of Jerusalem, by Dr. Faust Yair Sapir of Bar-Ilan University. Mentioned in Joshua, it was one of five Amorite cities that formed a league to resist Israel. The cities were defeated and Eglon was incorporated into the Tribe of Judah. As they began their archaeological dig of the 15 acre site, they discovered evidence of its original Canaanite roots including a pottery bowl the Canaanites offered to their gods to protect their buildings. This along with radio carbon dating of coal and olive pits dated the original building to the 12th century BC. Then they noticed the building was later rebuilt into a design unique to ancient Jews consisting of a courtyard …

Christian NBA star Jeremy Lin Credit: Christian/Flickr/Creative Commons

If God was willing to use Samson, the Lord will use you despite your imperfections

I have thought of writing this story for a while, and when I saw an article on a Christian NBA basketball star Jeremy Lin, I was inspired to write it. For those who don’t know, Jeremy Lin, 29, plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. He has been an all-star basket ball player throughout much of his career and is the first NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He has always floated under the radar. He was undrafted and came out of nowhere during New York Knicks’s 2012 season. The Knicks were having a terrible year and the coach was contemplating cutting Lin who had not seen any significant playing time. But after repeated losses and injuries to players, the coach decided to play Lin who stormed off the bench and many argue single handily turned the Knicks’s 2012 season around. When Jeremy scored 38 points in a game in February 2012, in an interview with ESPN NBA star Kobe Bryant said: “Players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It …

Last winter, Europe experienced a brutally cold winter Photo: Kiev, Ukraine Credit: Trey Ratcliff/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the climate-change fear-mongering starting to waver?

In recent weeks, two major publications have dared to question one of the main tenants of man-made global warming — fear-mongering — predicting one catastrophe after another if we don’t reign in carbon emissions. Of course, we refer it to today as climate change, but it started out as global warming. Many still wonder why the activists wanted this name change? With the man-made climate change agenda largely driven by those on the left of the political spectrum, they have dramatically tried to shout down any dissenters. But recently, scientists and others are showing a bravery to face the barrage of criticism that comes their way when they don’t fall in line with the basic beliefs of the climate-change agenda. First it was an article in Scientific American that advised everyone to chill out because things are not nearly as bad as every one is screaming. The most recent challenge involved two climatologists, Nic Lewis and Judith Curry, who wrote a peer-reviewed study stating the climate models the activists are using to proclaim the coming …

Grave yard in London, England Credit: frattaglia/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is grave soaking?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament that seems to have spawned an equally weird practice among a few Charismatic churches. The prophet Elisha had died and been buried in a tomb, perhaps a cave where people of prominence were often buried. It was a difficult time and the Moabites were regularly raiding Israel. A group of men were burying a friend when they receive word a Moabite raiding party was nearby. The men were probably being mustered to repel the raiders and temporarily decided to put the body in Elisha’s tomb that was nearby, with intent of returning later to bury it. Rather than laying it carefully in the tomb, they quickly threw the body in and it inadvertently touched the bones of Elisha. When it did, the dead man came back to life (2 Kings 13:21). There was obviously some type of residual anointing still on the bones of Elisha that led to this resurrection. And this unusual account has led to a strange practice in some Christian circles called grave …

Credit: Russell Davies/Flickr/Creative Commons

Google rejects ads of Christian publisher

In a statement released on Facebook, Concordia Publishing House (CPH), operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) denomination, stated that Google had rejected  one of its ads because CPH’s website had Biblical content and referred to Jesus. Formed in 1847, LCMS has two million members and is evangelical in doctrine as is its publishing arm. In an article on The Federalist, Bruce Kintz, the CEO of Concordia said that they were wanting to advertise their Vacation Bible School but were rejected by Good AdWords that places ads on participating websites. Kintz said Google rejected their ad “because of the faith we express on our website.” When Concordia asked for specifics, Google referred to the organization’s Vacation Bible School page stating the “Bible Challenge would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads.” The Bible Challenge page referenced several Biblical passages such as: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the …

Hills of Tennessee, as seen from Tiprell, Cumberland Gap Credit: Don Sniegowski/Flickr/Creative Commons

Another unexpected Christian hero at the Waffle House shooting in Antioch, Tennessee?

Though he doesn’t consider himself particularly religious, James Shaw Jr., 29, comes from a Christian family who attends Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church in Antioch, Tennessee. Shortly after having his wounds tended in hospital, Shaw headed to church with his family. Earlier that Sunday morning, Shaw was a hero. He was in the Waffle House restaurant with friends around 3 am when a gunman walked in with an AR-15 rifle and began shooting. The killer was naked except for a green jacket. He apparently shot two people in the parking lot, before moving into the restaurant. He killed four people and wounded four others before Shaw finally stopped the massacre. Shaw remembered seeing the alleged killer, Travis Reinking, sitting in a car as Shaw walked into the restaurant. When Shaw heard the first shots, he thought someone had dropped plates. Police are calling Shaw a hero because unarmed he wrestled the rifle out of the killer’s hands forcing him to flee the restaurant. Undoubtedly more would have died, if Shaw had not intervened. However, Shaw admits …

Part of the earthly treasure of King Bluetooth, the man who Christianized the vikings, discovered

A teenage boy, Luca Malashnitschenko, 13, and his teacher Rene Schon were out with metal detectors on Rügen Island. Located in the Baltic Sea, off the northern coast of Germany, it is the country’s largest island. Then came the bleep on Luca’s detector indicating the presence of metal. When they dug down and found a splash of silver, they suspected it was probably aluminum. But once they dug it out they discovered it was a silver coin from the Viking era. When more relics and coins started appearing, they realized there was more to this find and reported it to the regional archaeology service. A team was eventually dispatched and an excavation of a 4,300 sq foot area uncovered a viking hoard consisting of coins, jewellry —  braided necklace and brooches, as well as a Thor hammer and over 600 coins that ranged in age from AD714 to 983. This included 100 coins dating to the reign of the Danish Viking King Harald Gormsson, otherwise known as Harry Bluetooth. In old Norse, the phrase is …

Southwest Airline jet Credit: David デビッド Deitering/Flickr/Creative Commons

Born again with ‘Nerves of steel’, ‘hero’ pilot Tammie Jo Shults successfully landed stricken Southwest jet

Commercial pilot Tammie Jo Shults, 56, is credited with safely landing a Boeing 737 on Tuesday, April 17, after its engine exploded resulting in shrapnel shattering a window, de-pressurizing the cabin and damaging the jet’s wing and fuselage. It resulted in one death and another seven injured. The woman who died was being sucked out of the plane, but several passengers bravely fought to keep her inside. She died later in hospital. UPDATE: USA Today wrote a story on the stetson-wearing cowboy, Tim McGinty, who along with firefighter Andrew Needum risked their lives to pull the woman back into the plane. In the interview, Tim’s wife Kristin said, “My husband loves God and believes our purpose here is to love fiercely and to serve others. Some heroes wear capes, but mine wears a cowboy hat.” Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was on a regularly scheduled trip from New York’s La Guardia Airport to Dallas Texas, when Shults was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Shults’s journey to the pilot chair with Southwest Airlines was not an …

Chinese Christian tourists displaying the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount on April 11, 2018

Israeli flag displayed on the Temple Mount for the first time in over 50 years

It hasn’t happened for over 50 years, but an Israeli flag was proudly displayed on the Temple Mount on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. The only significant difference is that it wasn’t Jews holding the flag, but a group of Chinese Christian tourists. Though, the Temple Mount is the former home of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and is located in Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, the Muslims basically control the Temple Mount that features the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They even have their own Jordanian Islamic security that works with Israeli police to enforce order on the Mount. For the most part, the Muslims have successfully prevented Jews from praying on the Temple Mount and even displaying symbols of the Jewish religion or Israeli nationalism such as the Israeli flag. The last time an Israeli flag appeared on the Temple Mount was shortly after the 1967 six-day war, when Israel captured East Jerusalem where the Temple Mount is located. The Israelis flew their flag …

Line up outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Credit: Student Association/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘The New Yorker’ magazine writes about Chick-fil-A’s ‘creepy pervasive Christian traditionalism’

According to Technomic, a restaurant consultancy firm, based on current growth, it expects the popular American restaurant, Chick-fil-A, to become the third largest fast food chain in the US, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by a S. Truett Cathy (1921-2014). He was a Baptist, taught Sunday School for nearly 50 years, and calls the Bible his guide-book for life. His family has continued its Christian tradition and to this day still closes Sunday so its employees can go to church if they want. It even cites Bible verses on its cups. His family’s support of traditional marriage has driven the left wild and resulted in restaurants being protested. But it had absolutely no effect on its popularity. In terms of 2017 sales, the chain ranked eighth behind Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts and of course McDonald’s and Star Bucks. However it is quickly closing the gap. What is also impressive is that despite only being open six days a week, a Chick-fil-A franchise averages annual sales of …

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California Credit: Mikel Agirregabiria/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has one of the Menendez brothers, convicted of the brutal murder of his parents, found God?

The Menendez brothers, Lyle, 50 (born January 10, 1968) and Erik, 47 (born November 27, 1970), were sentenced to consecutive, double-life sentences for the brutal murder of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in their Beverly Hill mansion in 1989. The court trials of the two, then 21 and 18, riveted the nation. However, it appears that one of them has since become a Christian. In an interview with ABC, the brother’s aunt, Marta Cano, said that the younger brother Erik became a Christian in prison and is now leading a Bible study with other inmates. Erik even asked his aunt, who is also a Christian, to send him religious material for the study. In the interview, Cano stated “he was really making sure that the prisoners knew that there is a God that loves us. That was marvelous to me because he never got that at home.” At the time of the murders, the two boys alleged they had been sexually, physically and psychologically abused for years by their pedophile father. Their mother was …