Author: Guest Post

Credit: Markku Sandberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple Incense Spices

Incense and Intercession [by Helene Rudolph] Alongside the fragrant precious anointing oil was the Temple Incense.  Incense is associated with intercession in scripture. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; thee shall be an equal part of each.  And with it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure (and) holy.  And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I shall meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.  And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD”. Whoever shall make (any) like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people”. (Exodus 30:34-38) Pleasant Smells Revive the Soul The priesthood of old burned incense daily as a fragrant offering unto the LORD.  The Jewish Talmud records that women, as far …

Grandpa as a young man in the Canadian army and a photo a month and a half before he died.

What I learned from my grandfather

[by Ian Smith] Yesterday, the world lost a strong, brave and caring gentleman. Raymond Smith was my grandfather and I  respected him tremendously. He was a World War II veteran and assisted in the liberation of Holland. Another notable instance from the war was his participation in The Battle of The Bulge. This was the last major offense by the Nazi German forces. It took place from December 16, 1944 till January 25, 1945.   Meaning he spent Christmas cold, tired and faced with the possibility of losing his friends or his very life. Nobody should have to spend Christmas like that and he fought to make sure that no one else would.  A couple of years ago he needed to have surgery to remove a large portion of his large intestine due to cancer. Unfortunately this was around Christmas again. Since this was major surgery on a man in his early 90’s it was fairly serious. As many family as possible came and visited with him while he was confined to the hospital. One …

The Cassia plant source of one of the ingredients of the Holy anointing oil. Source: sylvan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Holy Anointing Oil

[by Helene Rudolph] Exodus 30:23-33 sets forth the instructions given by God to Moses concerning the making of the Holy Anointing Oil, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Vessels were set apart unto God for sacred purposes, by anointing them with oil. With the mixture mentioned in this passage, Priests, Prophets and Kings were also consecrated for service to God, during the Old Covenant days.  (See I Sam. 10: 1- 6). “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” (I Sam. 16:13) The Recipe There were four fragrant ingredients added to the extra virgin olive oil namely myrrh, cinnamon, sweet cane (calamus) and cassia, to compound this oil.  Each of these fragrances carries a unique symbolic. Put together this oil carries a powerful message in and of itself.  The Holy anointing oil’s message speaks of sacrificial living, about walking righteously and upright according to God’s righteous standards and about judgments in humility. A Warning “And you …

Ritsumazijl, Frise, Netherlands Credit: Hindrik Sijens/Flickr/Creative Commons

How far is far enough?

[by Keith Hazell] “Don’t go too far dear.”  These were frequent words that I heard from Mother when I was growing up. Usually, it was a warning that there was an unmarked perimeter that I should not pass. However, once on a beach in the UK during the Second World War, the warning was to remind me not to go under the barbed wire onto the sand where land-mines were buried. Thus to hear such a warning, is to realize that going beyond certain limits where things appear ok, can actually put us in mortal danger. One of the currents going through the church to-day questions the value and purpose of church as we have known it in the past. It is said that the church has no relevance and its meetings are no longer a place where believers can actively and meaningfully interact and express the life of Christ. There is a legitimate need to get back to a simpler form of Christian Life and to re-discover the lifestyle and benefits of a closer …

How God sees us. Credit: Jeremy Brooks/Creative Commons

You are who God says you are

[by Céline Giguère] Despite the turmoil in my life, this morning I woke up happy and praising God that I was alive and able to still serve Him. I was content to be loved by my heavenly Father (daddy) while sipping my coffee and watching my favorite program on TV. I caught the tail-end of a testimony of a young lady, who did not believe that she would succeed in life. Yet, after becoming a Christian, she graduated from Harvard and is now working toward a doctorate in Theology. Like many before, her purpose in life was to declare that God did not exist. People like Frank Morrison (lawyer) and C. S. Lewis (philosopher and writer) and Voltaire (philosopher and writer) did not believe in God. Among these, only the latter did not turn to God.  But on his death-bed, Voltaire admitted that he could not disprove God’s existence. But for the woman, it was the understanding of how God saw her that broke and brought her to a place of rest and transformation in …

To go up in the Kingdom of God, you must first go down. Photo: Daniel Hoherd/Flickr/Creative Commons

Going low to go high

[by Patricia Fraser] Earlier this year, I felt a strong urge to go on an extended fast with an emphasis on God’s love for me and for His people.  It was broken up in to two 16-day fasts. The first involved a liquid fast and the second 16 days a discipline fast where I stayed away from such things as the Internet, TV and computer. My first 16 days of the liquid fast was relatively easy and delightful with much journaling of deeper understanding of various scriptures and God’s love. On the second day, I received this word: “It has always been My will to have righteous judges to govern My people, not kings.  I am raising up many to take their place in My Kingdom to speak truth, decide matters and deliver My verdict in righteousness. “Those who have given themselves to my training and discipline in various situations and have yielded and submitted to My ways are now equipped to speak for Me.  This is not a position with a title, but a function …

Photo of the Heart shaped leaf that fell at Laura's feet as she meditated on God's love for her.

Struggling to believe God’s love?

[by Laura Fauchon] For many years I struggled to understand God’s love. The unsettling events of my life (sexual and physical abuse ) often kept me awake at night. I would cry myself to sleep asking God to help me and take the pain away. How could a loving God be so absent and seemingly distant during these times? Although I grew up being taught that God loved me and died on the cross for my sins and that He heard my prayers, I felt He did not care. I would struggle with being told God is a very present help in times of trouble. If this was true, then where was He? A wise and godly woman years ago helped me on my journey to healing.  It was through her mentoring and fellowship that I began to heal from the hurt and pain I endured. Coming to the realization that this abuse was not my fault was a stepping stone to my healing.  Then, by the grace of God, I was able to forgive …

Becky Klein (Left) and her husband Ron on one of their many biking trips.

Biopsy Cancelled

[by Becky Klein] This past year God implanted in my mind and heart His faithfulness to the generations. I come from a godly heritage and a set of parents who placed their lives and the lives of their children in the Lord’s hands daily. I was keenly aware of their prayers over us with the expectation that God’s hand would extend to their children and even grandchildren. My parents experienced many supernatural healings. In May of 2014, I had a routine physical including a chest x-ray. A few days later I received a call to return to the doctor’s office.  The x-ray showed a black spot on my right lung. The next weeks were filled with appointments.  A visit to the specialist, CT scan and a biopsy were scheduled for the first week of July. I shared my situation with several close friends whom I knew would help me stay strong, pray and support me through this trial. I was a teacher at a Christian School and for the school’s awards night one of the …

Jerusalem Photo: Flickr/Imke Stahlmann

The Miracle of the Lost Passport

[by Julie Holstein] I am a Canadian believer in Jesus Christ and over the last few years have been experiencing the Holy Spirit drawing me to the land of Israel. A few years back, I went on a tour of the Holy Land and this year, knew I had to return. I was happy to be able to hook up with Marlene, a female pastor evangelist from Regina who had the similar goal to attend the Feast of Tabernacles and to share our faith in Jesus. One day we took a bus to the city of Tiberias, rented a car and toured the Galilee region. My passport, ID and some cash were in a pouch which was fastened around my neck. Upon our return to the Jerusalem, we went through a security check at the bus station. Somehow my pouch either fell off or was stolen from me. When I realized all my identification papers were missing, my two traveling companions and I reported their loss to security and the police. As well we searched …

Healings are not about how spiritual I am, but rather on how willing I am to be used by God

[by Ken Zerbin] Sometimes our journey of faith meets some real challenges when we try to measure our faith.  I would like to encourage fellow believers to keep trusting the Lord and His Word, no matter how strong or weak we might feel our faith is.  Remember…it is Who we are putting our trust in that is important…it’s not about the “quality” of our trust. Several summers ago I was at one of my lowest spiritual points of my life.  We had gathered a number of our paid and volunteer staff from the church for a training event.  The instructor did a great job, but as the day’s training progressed, I couldn’t help but notice two things about him.  He made several comments about being in a church doing this kind of training.  His comments seemed to be a cry for spiritual attention.