Author: Dean Smith

Cairo, Egypt where God speaks to Muslims through dreams Credit: Gwenael Plaser/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why dreams work?

Open Doors USA is reporting on another remarkable conversion of a Muslim because of a dream. This one involved a young man in Egypt who was actually planning to kill his cousin after hearing he had converted to Christianity. Mostafa traveled to Cairo, where his cousin Mohammad lived, and when he found out his cousin was at church. Mostafa went to the service secretly sitting behind him. However as he sat through the service, the worship particularly impacted him. After the service, Mostafa approached his cousin and having now confirmed he was Christian, Mostafa said he should turn his cousin in to the family, but admitted the singing had affected him. For the next few hours, Mohammad shared the gospel with Mostafa, but in Egypt converting to Christianity is a dangerous decision. Not only do you face expulsion from the family, but Islamic extremists hearing about Muslims becoming Christians will murder them, as Mostafa was planning to do. Because of this Open Doors has Egypt listed as the 16th most dangerous country for Christian persecution. …

Ottawa Credit: Padraic Ryan/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Why an Ottawa city councilor opposed Michael Olsen’s volunteer appointment

It was a bizarre move, and some would argue a sign of the times, but a city of Ottawa councilor recently opposed the appointment of Michael Olsen to a volunteer position on the Ottawa’s transit board. With a population of nearly a million, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and the city’s transit board has set aside one position for a member of the public. Over 92 people applied for the position on the board and it had been narrowed down to three and according to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, he understood that Olsen was the transit commission’s top choice. So why did city Councillor Shawn Menard oppose Olsen’s appointment? Menard opposed it because Olsen, a retired Federal employee, is actively pro-life. A shocked Olsen told Lifesitenews, “What does this have to do with transit?” Nothing. Fortunately when Menard tried to thwart Olsen’s appointment, the city clerk, who also happened to be a lawyer, told city council that it couldn’t reject Olsen’s appointment because of his belief on abortion because it is protected under …

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New research concludes divorce rates are much lower than commonly believed

Marriage can be tough at times and most of us just presumed that the stats being thrown around that half of marriages end in divorce is basically true. Some have even suggested the divorce rate is the same in the church. Yet in my sphere, both secular and religious, there were divorces but it was nowhere near half even among those who don’t consider themselves Christian. Now recent research by Shaunti Feldhahn has come to the same conclusion. After studying the contradictory realm of research on divorce, in here book entitled The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn concluded the actual divorce rate is closer to 20% to 25% for first time marriages.  (Note the divorce rates for those who have divorced and remarried is higher, which skewers the results but still does not push the overall average to 50%.) She did extensive research for her book and actually interviewed academics and researchers who were releasing often contradictory data. She re-examined their statistics, often with their help. For example, when she looked at the 2009 US …

Credit: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is so mysterious about an Egyptian Guard?: PODCAST

  Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode entitled, What is so mysterious about an Egyptian guard?, I will talk about the strangest passages in the Bible. Now I need to mention, I am the master of hyperbole and it is the strangest passage today. Next week another passage could be the strangest verse in the Bible. But this passage answers one of the major questions in the Bible namely: Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus? If you have watched any movies such as the 1956 blockbuster hit, The Ten Commandments, we see that the Pharaoh, played by actor Yules Bryner, was Ramses. Even the 2014 version: Exodus: Gods and Kings, has Ramses as the Pharaoh. But was Ramses actually the Pharaoh of Exodus? That strange passage in Genesis suggests No. But before we discuss that strange passage, we need a bit of background on Joseph who eventually ended up second in charge in Egypt. Joseph was the youngest and favoured son of Jacob and he came with an attitude. Joseph told …

Eastern side of Uganda with the highest percentage of Muslims. Credit: hribisko/Flickr/Creative commons

Uganda Muslim extremists are now offended when Christians call Jesus the Son of God

Located in East Central Africa, Uganda has a population of 42 million people of which 85% are Christian and only 14% (5.88 million) are Muslim. Most of the Muslims live in the Eastern side of Uganda. Yet according to an article in the Washington Times, Muslim extremists have declared open war on Christians if they preach one of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian Faith, that Jesus is the Son of God. When Jesus said “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), the pharisees knew exactly what Christ was saying: 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:33 NASV) The Pharisees were offended by Christ’s claims. Now two thousand years later, the same things seems to be happening today. We first need to understand that the Muslims believe in Jesus. In fact, there is considerably more written about Christ in the Koran than even Muhammad. The Koran calls Jesus a prophet (Surah …

Credit: OnceAndFutureLaura/Flickr/Creative Commons

Toddler says bear protected him while he was lost in the wilderness

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the family of Casey Hathaway reported the three-year-old boy as missing. Casey had wandered away from their North Carolina home into the woods surrounding the home. By the time search teams had organized that evening, the temperature was already below freezing. For two days they searched for the boys with volunteer and professional search teams. By Thursday the weather had become so bad that they stopped the volunteers from searching and continued on with just the professionals. The area is described as “treacherous” covered in sinkholes and flooded areas. Incredibly, that night they found Casey about a half a mile inside the woods after a woman walking her dog heard him calling for help. The sheriffs had to wade through waist deep water to recuse Casey and though cold, hungry and scratched up, he was safe. Then Casey told them a story about what happened. He said that bear looked after him while he was lost. Casey’s aunt posted on Facebook: “He said he hung out with a bear for …

Some of the damage from the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Chile on February 27, 2010. Credit: Claudio Saavedra/Flickr/Creative Commons

Geologists confirm Amos 1:1

Though secularist love to castigate the Bible as being little more that a book filled with myths and fairy tales, according to the Israeli news site Haaretz, geologists working in Israel have found paleo-geological signals that confirms earthquake recorded in Amos and Zechariah. There has also been significant archaeological evidence confirming the earthquake mentioned by these Old Testament prophets that hit northern Israel around 760 BC. This included collapsed buildings indicated by the dozens of artifacts found beneath ceilings that had smashed onto the floor. They have also found standing walls that were leaning. As well, the massive stones in the walls that surrounded the city of Gezer were actually cracked and while the large carved stones on the lower part of the wall had shifted outward off the foundation by several inches, the upper part of the wall had fallen inside the city. Based on their study, scientists estimate the earthquake that hit Israel at that time was around 8 in magnitude, making it a major earthquake. Josephus (37 to 100 AD), an early …

Snow is such a rare and exciting event. 2014 snow storm Credit: Michael Kappel/Flickr/Creative Commons

American radical-leftist politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, warns we have just 12 years to stop man-made global warming

When US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected radical leftist and rising star in the Democratic party, recently issued a warning that the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t stop man-made global warming she was just parroting the propaganda being released by UN climate change report in October 2018. The report was part of the UN’s Paris climate accord. In order to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030, we would need to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% below 2010 levels and then by have our emissions reach zero by 2050 in order for there to be a 66% chance of holding it to just a 1.5 Celsius degree temperature rise. With temperatures scheduled to reach -30 Celsius in the next three days where I live, I would be delighted if it was a balmy -28.5 Celsius instead. Of course this is not the first time we have received such dire warnings. In his 2007, Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech, Al Gore predicted that the arctic would be ice …

Caleb Hanna/Twitter/delegatehanna

Youngest black legislator in the US is a Christian

It was really encouraging to see that the youngest, black legislator in the United States has openly declared himself  a “Christian conservative.” With 60.3% of the vote, Caleb Hanna easily won a seat in West Virginia’s state legislature, also called the House of Delegates, defeating Dana Lynch, the Democratic incumbent. Hanna actually won the Republican nomination when he was just 18 years old while still in high school and then won his seat in the legislature at age 19. As a legislator he plans to continue his schooling as he works towards a degree in economics. He is unabashedly pro-life, supporting the unborn and was endorsed by West Virginia for Life, the state’s pro-life group. He attends Little Laurel Baptist Church and was an active part of his high school’s Christian youth group. During his campaign, Hanna told voters that not only did he support the 2nd amendment and the right to arms he said: “I will be a passionate, effective and conservative fighter for limited government, economic growth and the Constitution.” What really caught …

Fira the largest town on the Island of Santorini in the Mediterranean Se. The Island, formerly called Thera, was site of the largest volcanic explosion in history. Credit: Edal Anton Lefterov/Wickipedia/Creative Commons

The Minoan eruption: The Ninth plague of Egypt?

It is considered one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Known as the Minoan eruption, it took place on the Island of Thera (known today as Santorini), in the Aegean sea off the coast of Greece. They estimate the ash plume was 19 to 22 miles high (30 to 35 km) and on the island of Santorini, the ash is over 200′ thick and the layered ash indicates there were multiple explosions in a short-range of time. And since no human remains were found on the island, the volcanoes early and smaller explosions were enough of a warning for people to flee. It is believed the volcano erupted sometime between 1642 BC and 1500 BC. suggesting it could have erupted during the reigns of two Egyptian pharaohs Ahmose and his son Amenhotep. Traditionally many believe that Ramses (1279 -1213 BC) was the Pharaoh of the Exodus but archaeological and Biblical evidence says Israel’s exit from Egypt took place earlier than Ramses. Many now believe Joseph arrived in Egypt around 1800 BC coinciding with …

Is divorce a violent act? Credit: --christophe--/Flickr/Creative Commons

Major study says divorce has a negative impact on children, particularly boys

According to an article in the Daily Mail, a major study conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education (UCL) has concluded that divorce can have a major negative impact on children. This research confirms many earlier studies that have revealed that divorce has the potential to harm children. Studies have shown that divorce leads to higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse among children, increased difficulties at school, greater chance of emotional and mental problems, increased difficulties with the law, higher rates of poverty and difficulties holding down a job and these problems followed the children when they became adults. Related: 1) Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce, 2) Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children, 3) Impact of divorce on teens,  4) The impact of divorce on adult children, 5) The long-term effects of divorce on children The study conducted by UCL was quite extensive as it looked at the impact of divorce on 6,245 students between the ages of three to 14. Researchers repeatedly monitored their behavior between 2000 and 2002. …

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Study: Why conservatives are happier than those on the political left

In his interesting article posted on the Daily Wire, author Jeremy Frankel cited a study in the Elsevier Journal of Research in Personality, that stated a person’s political leanings determines how happy they are. The study entitled, “Conservatives are happier than Liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality and life satisfaction,” concluded that people who lean to the political right are happier than those on the left of the political spectrum. The authors of the study, Barry Schlenker, John Chambers and Bonnie Le, said in their abstract: “Political conservatives are happier than liberals. We proposed that this happiness gap is accounted for by specific attitude and personality differences associated with positive adjustment and mental health.” They concluded that there are several reasons why Conservatives are happier. First Conservatives take personal responsibility for what is happening to them. It is not somebody else’s job to make your life better. They believe it is up to the individuals to take responsibility for what is happening to them, even if they were taken advantage by others. In contrast, those …

Credit: Tara Severns/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes God speaks with a still small voice and sometimes with one word

An agnostic is a person who believes in God, but are unsure who He is and don’t believe people can personally know Him. Jerry Davich, 56, who is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, describes himself as an agnostic. But he was shocked by what he described as a “God Friended Me” moment. It is based on a CBS TV series of the same name, “God Friended Me,” about an atheist who has God add him as a friend on Facebook. According to the story line, profoundly impacted by this, the man goes on to impact people’s lives and events around him. So what was Davich’s “God Friended Me” moment? Davich says he was standing in the bathroom texting his fiancé about emergency surgery happening to a loved one, when he dropped his Iphone on the floor. Hoping the screen hadn’t broke, he reached down to pick it up and noticed that the phone had typed the single word “God” and sent it to his fiancé, who replied with two praying hands emoji asking him …

Photo of Super Wolf Blood Moon that took place of January 20, 2019 Credit: Larah McElroy/Flickr/Credit Commons

Bizarre incident that took place during recent Super Wolf Blood Moon, coincidence or warning?

I don’t know what to make of all this, and sometimes I wonder if I am making more of it than I should. But a strange thing happened during the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” that took place  overnight on January 20 and 21, 2019. It was seen in the Western Hemisphere and parts of Europe. It is referred to as a wolf moon because it took place in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and as a super blood moon, because it happened at the point in the moon’s trajectory when it is at its closet point to the earth, resulting in the moon being 14% larger and appearing 30% brighter. A blood moon takes place when the earth blocks the sun causing the suns rays to reflect through the earth’s atmosphere. The red appearance is similar to the red in the sunrise and sunsets we experience on earth. In the Bible, blood moons were considered warning signs of the end times. But we need to realize that blood moons are a regular occurrence and not every …

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury World Economic Forum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Church of England Archbishop Justin Welby says he speaks with the gift of tongues every day

It was a shocking admission by the head of one of the largest liberal denominations not only in England, but the world. In an interview with the Christian radio station, Premier Radio, Justin Welby, who as the Archbishop of Canterbury heads the Church of England and world-wide Anglican Church, stated that he prays in Tongues everyday. Welby said: “In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline, I pray in tongues every day — not an occasional thing, but as part of my daily prayer.” Welby is part of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England that believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God. (Note: Not everyone in the Church of England holds this view.) Because of this belief, Welby also believes that the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible are for today and available to all who believe in Christ. According to an interview Welby had with The Guardian, he received the Gift of Tongues at 19 after being filled with the Holy Spirit. …

Credit: YouTube capture/The Last Reformation

Did Danish mainline media hit piece on evangelist Torben Søndergaard distort the truth?

In my previous life, I worked for an organization that often waded into political issues as it believed in smaller government and lower taxes. Shortly after I began working for them, I started getting harassing phone calls from an older gentlemen who believed the exact opposite. But the main gist of his conversation revolved around the accusation, that the organization I was working for was a front for another group that held a similar opinion. Now I completely respected this other non-profit organization. In fact, it wouldn’t have bothered me if we were associated with them. But we weren’t. After he called me three or four more times repeating this accusation, I finally got tired of it and in what would ultimately be my last conversation with him, he said that despite my denials he knew it was true. I answered: “Sir, the last thing you are interested in is the truth.” There was stunned silence on the other end of the phone and it was obvious by the brief conversation that followed I had …

Cottonwood tree Credit: Vincent Parsons/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? — Podcast

  PODCAST NOTES Hi my name is Deans Smith and in this episode, I ask the question does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? Throughout the Bible we see that God desires often communicated with people through dreams and visions. Of course, many make fun of such notions but it we know it still happens today, because a few years back God spoke to a young girl through a vision and then confirmed it with a miracle. We are all familiar with dreams and the Bible describes a vision as “waking dream” or a dream that takes place when your eyes are wide open, meaning you are awake. The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open: (Numbers 24:4) It seems the two are clearly connected. And throughout the Bible, we see that God used both dreams and visions to not only communicate with people, but also to warn them. The ancient Patriarch Joseph not only received …

For the first time, India, the second largest country in the world, has entered the top ten list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. Credit: Piviso/Flickr/Public Domain

‘Shocking’ jump in number of Christians facing persecution in 2018

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of  Christians took a massive jump last year stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017. Open Doors described this year-over-year increase in persecution as “shocking.” But it is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11. Part of the 2018 jump is due to increased persecution of Christians in two of the world’s largest countries, China and India. In fact this past year India joined the top ten list of most dangerous countries for Christians for the first time. This was primarily due to the rise of persecution of Christians by radical Hindus, who believe it is non-Indian to join other religions. The change in China has been equally dramatic as it jumped from 43 spot in 2017 to 27th in 2018 as …

China's communist revival Credit: Jeroen Elfferich/Flickr/Creative Commons

You shall have no other gods except Xi Jinping?

It was bizarre move. But Bitter Winter, an organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, reported on November 1, 2018 approximately 30 Chinese officials entered a church service in the Dongcun city in Henan province and demanded the congregation remove the first of the Ten commandments that the church had displayed on its wall. The commandment in question is of course: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 NIV) The officials were working with the United Front Work Department and were there to inspect the church.  According to Bitter Winter, one of the officials went to the front of the church and actually removed the first commandment leaving just nine. When a member of the church protested stating this was distorting the Bible, the official stated: “[China’s president] Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone disagrees they are fighting against the country. This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.” It is a strange situation when a …

An image from the Morgan Bible (1240AD) of King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant where he set up the Tabernacle of David. Credit: Wikipedia

Have archaeologists found the site where the Ark of the Covenant once sat at Kiriath-Jearim?

The Times of Israel is reporting archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and College de Franc may have found the site where Israel’s Ark of the Covenant once sat at Kiriath-Jearim. Located on a hill near the Israeli-Arab town of Abu Ghosh in central Israel, Kiriath-Jearim was the site where the Ark of the Covenant sat before King David transported it to Jerusalem and set up in what is was referred to as the Tabernacle of David (1 Chronicles 13:5-8, Amos 9:11, Acts 15:16). The Ark of the Covenant initially sat inside the Tabernacle of Moses set up at Shiloh. However, it was lost when the priests carried the ark into battle against the Philistines, who then captured the Ark. After a series of mishaps, the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel allowing it to be carried on a cart pulled by oxen. Unguided, the oxen brought the Ark to Beth Shemesh. However, when 70 residents of the town were killed after opening the chest to look inside, the residents of the town sent a message …

Does meek mean doormat?: PODCAST

  Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode I ask the all-important question, does meek mean doormat? In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the world.” (Matthew 5: 5) Dictionaries define meekness as quiet, docile, an unwillingness to disagree, submissive, gentle and easily imposed on. These definitions would certainly leave the impression that if Christians want to inherit the world, we need to bow our head, submit and take on the role of a doormat. So this would also mean Jack Phillips is wrong. He is a Christian and owned Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver Colorado. In 2012, a homosexual couple entered Masterpiece Cakeshop asking Phillips to make them a cake for their gay wedding. Phillips turned them down citing his Christian beliefs about gay marriage. Now before you suggest Phillips was discriminating against them because they were gay, this wasn’t true. Phillips told the couple, he was willing to make them a cake, but he would not decorate a cake with their gay …

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More warnings about health risks associated with Marijuana usage

In the rush to appear progressive, governments around the world are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.  The millions of dollars they collect in additional tax revenues is also proving very tempting. But the bigger issue for me is not the legalization of the drug, but rather the messaging behind why they are doing it. Politicians and activists are insisting Marijuana is a safe drug. This is happening in the face of a growing body of medical research warning people that Cannabis is not the safe drug many are proclaiming it to be. There are big concerns. Foxnews recently interviewed Dr. Marc Siegel who serves as a professor of medicine at NYU Lagone Medical Center and is also a regular Foxnews contributor. In the interview, he said: “My job is to let you know that there is no free lunch medically with marijuana or any drug. Even if a state or a society decides that it is wise economically and politically to make marijuana legal, at the same time we must be prepared for the …

Auschwitz II, Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. Credit: Ian Mackenzier/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Holocaust survivors lived longer because they were resilient

According to a report in the Daily Mail, a study conducted by researchers with Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) based in Tel Aviv, Israel came to a startling conclusion that Jews who survived the Nazi Holocaust during World War II, lived on average seven years longer than Jews who did not go through the Holocaust. MSH is an Israeli healthcare insurer with over two million members. The researchers studied 83,000 Jews, both male and female, born between 1911 and 1945 who were insured by the Maccabi. This included 38,000 European Jews now living in Israel who survived the Holocaust and 35,000 Jews also living in Israel who had not directly experienced the Nazi genocide. The study revealed that those who survived the Nazi death camps lived to an average age of 84.8 years compared to an average of 77.7 for those who did not directly experience the Nazi genocide. In effect, the mortality rate of those who suffered was 16% lower than those who didn’t. Ironically, the Jews who survived the holocaust tended to have more …

Left to Right: Clemson Tiger Coach Dabo Swineey Credit: LambeauLeap80/Wikipedia and Actor Christian Bale Credit: Siebbi/Wikpedia

Two darkly contrasting testimonies: Actor Christian Bale and Clemson Tide coach Dabo Swinney

Monday, January 7, 2019, was a bizarre day for testimonies. You couldn’t find a greater contrast. On one hand you have actor Christian Bale thanking Satan for helping win a Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy or musical. Bale portrayed Vice President Dick Cheney in the movie Vice. In his acceptance speech, Bale said: “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role.” Meanwhile, out on the football field, the Clemson Tigers won the NCAA college football title Monday night beating favored, and number one ranked, Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16. During an interview after the game, Clemson Tigers’ coach Dabo Swinney gave glory to Jesus for the team’s victory. It started when an ESPN reporter stated that few coaches showed as much joy as Swinney and asked him to express his feelings after the victory: “Well that’s been my world all year, and I tried to be intentioned with that, for me personally, joy comes from focusing on Jesus, others and yourself. “There are so many great coaches …

Dedza, Malawi site of the most recent river turning blood red. Credit: Brian Dell/Public Domain/Wikipedia

More blood-red rivers, a sign of the times?

Breaking Israel News (BIN) reported on two curious incidents that occurred the end of December when two rivers turned blood-red, one in Africa and one in Indonesia. According to a report on Malawi 24, the Linthipe River near Dedza, Malawi, Africa, turned blood-red and was first noticed when the women of the town went down to the river to launder their clothes . Dedza is located just 85 km south of the country’s capital Lilonqwe. Malawi 24 quoted one woman in the village who stated: “As usual, we came to this place to wash our clothes besides drawing water for home use. But to our surprise we saw that blood like stuff was flowing in the river. This scared us and we called some people to witness the bizarre circumstances.” It is uncertain at this point what caused the river to turn blood-red on December 24, 2018 and though the river eventually returned to its normal color, according to MWnation, the rivers sudden turning caused a panic among the people in the town quoting one …

When you pray, bring the pain, pray with intensity: PODCAST

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode, I am discussing one of the ways Jesus recommends to get answered prayer. Jesus says we need to bring the pain, and pray with intensity. When we adopted our son from Guatemala, we did it privately working through a missionary and evangelical orphanage. However, things were quite different when we adopted our daughter from Peru where we went through government agencies in both Canada and the Peru. And unlike our son, we did not have a choice in what child we received. Because it was totally out of our hands, I spent most of my lunch breaks asking God to intervene so that we would get the child that God wanted for us. I remember it being a very intense time of prayer. It was emotional and I was praying incessantly and aggressively that God would intervene, if needed. I also remember the day, my wife and I got a call from Peru telling us that they had chosen a girl for …

Festival of the Assumption of Mary being held at a Roman Catholic church in Sicily. Credit: effems/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

¿Por qué María se hizo tan prominente en la Iglesia Católica Romana?

English version: Why did Mary become so prominent in the Roman Catholic Church? Hace varios años, mi esposa y yo adoptamos a nuestra hija de un orfanato católico en Perú. Parte del proceso incluyó estar en el país durante varias semanas mientras trabajábamos en la adopción. Terminamos quedándonos en el orfanato donde vivía nuestra hija. Era un orfanato bien administrado y claramente los hombres y mujeres que trabajaban allí estaban dedicados a ayudar a estos niños. Mi esposa y yo nos hicimos amigos de una joven pareja Peruana que trabajaba en el orfanato y hablaba inglés. Aunque eran católicos comprometidos, también participaban activamente en el movimiento carismático católico romano que ofrecía servicios todos los sábados por la noche en la catedral local, donde enfatizaban el llenado del Espíritu Santo y los dones espirituales. Recuerdo que una noche, mi esposa y yo fuimos a su casa a cenar y comenzamos a hablar sobre la doctrina que invariablemente nos llevó a una discusión sobre María. El esposo que ayudó a liderar el grupo carismático defendió la posición teológica …

A photo of a Gilgal site revealing its distinctive sandal shape. Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

¿De dónde vienen las huellas gigantes de Israel?

English version: Where did Israel’s giant footprints come from? En el valle del Jordán en Israel, los arqueólogos han descubierto un fenómeno curioso: seis enormes huellas hechas por el hombre. Estas estructuras, donde el muro de piedra exterior inferior tiene una forma distintiva del pie, son bastante grandes. Uno conocido como el-‘Unuq tiene 228 pies de ancho y 816 pies de largo, aproximadamente dos campos de fútbol de tamaño. Quizás el más famoso de estos sitios con forma de sandalia es uno que se encuentra en el monte Ebal descubierto en 1980, su característica más singular es un enorme altar que se encuentra en el centro y mide aproximadamente 23 pies por 30 pies de tamaño. También es una historia alta – 10 ′. Por supuesto, este altar, creado de piedra no tallada, requería una enorme rampa para llegar a la cima. También encontraron huesos de animales carbonizados y cenizas en y alrededor del altar. Aparentemente era un sitio religioso donde la gente hacía sacrificios de animales. Aquí es donde se pone interesante. Adam Zertal, el …

Credit: Shreyans Bhansali/Flickr/Creative Commons

Renueva tu cerebro

English version: Rewire your brain Como mujer cristiana, siempre estaba esperando que Dios cambiara cosas en mi vida. Tenía una mentalidad muy fija sobre cómo deberían funcionar las cosas. Literalmente, estaba dando vueltas en el barro con una mentalidad indefensa siempre diciendo “pobre de mí”. Cambiar de “pobre de mí” a una mentalidad activa y positiva que te impulsa a avanzar es la única manera de seguir creciendo espiritualmente. Debemos querer el crecimiento y el cambio personal. Necesitamos poder mirar hacia atrás durante el año y decir que sí, que crecí. Cambié. Progesé. Se trata de mantenernos firmes y decir “no más” a los pensamientos que nos debilitan. Tomemos decisiones y aprovechemos las oportunidades que están disponibles para ayudarnos a romper con viejos patrones de pensamientos que se han convertido en fortalezas en nuestras vidas; 4 Para destruir las fortalezas del mal, no empleamos armas humanas, sino las armas del poder de Dios. (2 Corintios 10: 4 NBV) Hay dos tipos de fortalezas. Hay fortalezas demoníacas que nos atrapan y deben ser eliminadas en el nombre …

Hillsong Worship Service at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia Credit: Michael Chan/Flickr/Creative Commons

¿Qué significa que Dios está en su trono (Entronado – Habita) en nuestras alabanzas?

English version: What does it mean God is enthroned in (or inhabits) our praises? Es una pregunta que me he hecho durante años. ¿Dios realmente necesita nuestra adoración? ¿O es que tenemos que adorar a Dios, lo que significa que es para nuestro beneficio? Creo que es el último y hay un versículo que proporciona una pista de por qué tenemos que adorar a Dios. 3 Pero tú eres santo, tú eres rey, ¡tú eres la alabanza de Israel!. (Salmo 22: 3 NBV) Este versículo nos dice que Dios está en su trono en nuestras alabanzas. Otras traducciones afirman que Dios “habita” la alabanza de su pueblo. La palabra hebrea “ysb” traducida como “entronizada” por la Nueva Biblia Estándar Americana significa sentarse y permanecer sentado, habitar y morar. Implica la idea de propiedad y control. Vemos la palabra usada como Abraham y Lot habitaron (ysb) en la tierra (Génesis 13: 6, 7, 12) y debido a su tamaño creciente, estaban en conflicto porque ambos estaban tratando de habitar y controlar la misma tierra y había solo espacio …

Russian supporters unveiling massive banner portraying an dangerous bear and the words "Russia Forward" prior to Euro 2008 soccer match against England Credit: Roman Kovrigin/Wikipedia

Is Russia’s first missile attack against Israel and the appearance of a Super Blood Moon a coincidence?

When looking at the Bible’s end times prophecy one thing keeps showing up, blood moons. The prophet Joel refers to a blood moon appearing before the great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:31). As well, the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John’s vision of end times events, speaks of a Blood Moon (Revelation 6:12). But Blood Moons are a regular occurrence and take place when the Sun’s light is reflected through the earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse. Some describe it as the red of an earth’s sunset appearing on the moon. So because of that, Blood Moons in themselves are only significant in Biblical end times as they appear along with other events. Joel speaks of columns of smoke (Joel 2:30) that suggests volcanic activity in association with the Blood Moon and the Book of Revelation speaks of a great earthquake and the world being pummeled with either meteors or asteroids along with its Blood Moon. So when an article on Foxnews, announced there will be a rare “super blood moon” appearing …

Franklin Graham speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska as part of his 2016 Decision America tour Credit: Matt A.J./Wikipedia

Facebook apologizes for censoring Franklin Graham’s post

Facebook recently apologized for closing down Evangelist Franklin Graham’s Facebook page for 24 hours. According to a Foxnews report, a moderator (one of 15,000) working for the giant social media company pulled Graham’s page based on a post the evangelist wrote in 2016 defending North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB20 law. The state introduced the law after the city of Charlotte introduced a regulation allowing people to use public washrooms based on the sex that they identified with. This meant, that a person born a biological male, but who now identified as female, would be allowed to use a female washroom and shower. HB2 was intended to modify the Charlotte regulation. After this legislation was introduced, there was an immediate backlash from activists. In an April 9, 2016, post Graham responded to Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in the state because of HB2: Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms …

Edinburgh, Scotland Credit: Ethan Trewhitt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Scottish police’s anti-hate poster actually a bigoted, hate poster?

Barnabas Fund is an organization dedicated to helping Christians being persecuted for their faith around the world. The organization has offices set up in over 50 countries that are typically run by nationals. Though headquartered in England, Barnabas Fund recently made an accusation against the Scottish police for promoting hatred of Christians. This was the first time, Barnabas Fund had ever made such a charge in England where the organization was founded. The charge was the result of a poster campaign the Scottish police ran in October in c0njunction with an organization called One Scotland. The posters had the logo of the Scottish police displayed along the bottom. One of the posters started off with “Dear Bigot” and reads: “Division seems to be what you believe in. We don’t want your religious hate on our buses, on our streets and in our communities. We don’t want you spreading your intolerance. Or making people’s lives a misery because of their religious dress. You may not have faith in respect and love, but we do. That’s why …

De Peer city hall Credit: Royalbroil/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Big court case defends religious freedom in small city

It was an early Christmas present for churches in De Pere, Wisconsin and perhaps across the US. On Friday, December 21, 2018, the Pacific Justice Institute was in court in Green Bay, Wisconsin successfully defending religious freedom. The case revolved around an ordinance passed by De Pere, Wisconsin in November 2017. De Pere is a small city with about 25,000 residents, but the court case was huge and if left unchallenged could have set a precedent across the US. The law that came in effect in March, 2018, decreed that churches were for the most part “places of public accommodation.” Churches were only exempt from this ordinance during church actual services. This meant at all other times, churches, as places of accommodation, were subject to the city’s non discrimination law. This meant churches would be required to hire gay staff and would be restricted from what they could say publicly on sexual ethics including sermons posted on the internet. The law would also force churches to allow their facilities to be used for gay marriage. …

Christmas truce celebration between German and British soldiers on December 24, 1914. Illustrated by A. C. Michael and published in The Illustrated London News on January 9, 2015/Wikipedia

How ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ stopped a brutal war for nearly two days

Silent Night, Holy Night, one of the most popular Christmas hymns, turned 200 this year or 202 if you go by the year the words were written. The verses to this popular Christmas classic were written in 1816 by Joseph Franz Mohr, a Roman Catholic Priest living in Austria. However, it didn’t become the hymn we know today until 1818 when, Franz Xaver Gruber, a music teacher and good friend of Mohr wrote the music for the song. It was all sparked by a broken-down organ. The song was first performed publicly at a Christmas eve service 200 years ago today at a small church in the village of Oberndorf, near Salzburg, Austria. The organ had broken down in St Nicola church (Nicholas in English) and because of this Mohr who was serving as a priest, asked his friend to put music to the words he had written two years earlier that could be accompanied by a guitar so they could sing it that night as part of the Christmas eve service. Gruber agreed. He …