Author: Guest Post

Has God failed you?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown If God of the Bible is who the Bible says He is, then, by His very nature, it’s impossible for Him to fail. Then why ask the question, “Has God failed you?” It’s because, for all too many people, it feels as if God failed them. Perhaps you are one of those people? Maybe you suffered a devastating loss, something that was almost impossible to bear. But what made things even worse was that you felt abandoned by God. With tears of anguish you cried out, “God, where are You!?” To this day, you still wonder, “Where was God when I was hurting? Why didn’t He let me feel His presence? Why didn’t He speak to me or send help my way when I needed Him the most? What kind of God is that – if He even exists? Or was there something wrong with me?” Some of you wonder why your prayers for healing or provision or deliverance were not answered. As a result, you concluded that the Bible …

Revival: When God Steps Down from Heaven

By Dr. Michael L. Brown In a certain sense, God’s presence fills the universe. Yet there are times in history when God manifests His presence in a particular place or in a particular way that is unique and distinct and powerful and transformative. We call those times “revival.” During such times in the past, children would say, “Did you hear that Jesus came to my village?” Preachers would say, “God stepped down from heaven.” Something had changed, and everyone knew it. As I explained in the definition I have used for revival for many years, “Revival is a season of unusual divine visitation resulting in deep repentance, supernatural renewal, and sweeping reformation in the Church, along with the radical conversion of sinners in the world, often producing moral, social, and even economic change in the local or national communities.” Note in particular those words “a season of unusual divine visitation.” That is the very essence of revival. There are passages in the Bible that describe God’s presence as being everywhere (see Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:23-24). …

The Bad News in the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Behalf of Religious Liberty

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It was good to see the Supreme Court rule yet again in favor of religious liberty in the latest California case to reach the nation’s highest court. Yet the fact that the ruling was only 5-4, not to mention some of the reasoning in the dissenting opinion, gives real cause for concern. This should not have been a close vote at all. Instead, it should have been a slam dunk for religious freedoms. As reported on Forbes, “The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin late Friday that California’s coronavirus-related restrictions on gathering in private homes violated constitutional rights on the free exercise of religion, the latest ruling from the high court that prohibits authorities from enforcing limits on religious services.” Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the three liberal justices, and the dissenting opinion was written by Justice Elana Kagan. As for the majority opinion, the reasoning was as follows. “First, California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, …

Debating an evangelical turned atheist, Muslim apologist, and more

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Earlier on Tuesday (April 6), I had the distinct joy and privilege of recording four TV shows for a new series I’m hosting called “That’s Debatable with Dr. Brown.” It will air on the new AWKNG TV network, hopefully starting sometime next month. The debates we recorded covered four different subjects: 1) Has the Church Replaced Israel? 2) Are There Valid Reasons to Leave Christianity? 3) Does the God of the Bible Exist? 4) The Quran or the Bible: Which Is the Word of God? The guests included an Anglican vicar, a former Charismatic Christian turned agnostic, a former evangelical turned atheist, and a Muslim apologist. On Wednesday (April 7), I’m scheduled to do four more debates, one with a gay pastor on Jesus and LGBTQ+ people, one with a transgender pastor on affirming trans identities, one with a progressive Christian on abortion, and one with a questioning Christian on divine healing. This means that, aside from one or two of the shows, none of the other guests share my …

How the Death of a 20th-Century Rabbi Helps Demonstrate the Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus

By Dr. Michael L. Brown For many years, scholars and skeptics and psychologists and sociologists have told us that the disciples experienced a form of cognitive dissonance after Jesus died. It so rocked their world and crushed their expectations that they went into deep denial to the point of believing that Jesus really rose from the dead. To be sure, other scholars have attacked this theory from a number of powerful and persuasive angles, but my book Resurrection tackles it from a different angle. Specifically, I focus on a modern-day, parallel test case that completely demolishes this argument. To give the relevant background, in 1994, a leading rabbi, one of the most influential Jews of the 20th century, died at the age of 92. His name was Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and he was known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe. But this rabbi had become so influential that, before his death, his followers began to proclaim that he was the long-awaited Messiah. Redemption had come for Israel! Toward the end of his life, however, he suffered two …

Have the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation Been Opened?

By Dr. Michael L. BrownOriginally posted May 13, 2020 The same, unusual subject came up three times on the same day, this past Monday, May 11. Was God sending a message to me about the end of the world, taken straight from the pages of the Book of Revelation? First, a caller to my radio show asked if we might be in the first phase of the breaking of the seven seals in the Book of Revelation and therefore in the beginning of “the tribulation.” Then, a friend left a message on my cell phone asking what he should make of a respected Christian leader in another country telling him that the first of the seven seals was being opened? Then, I spotted this headline featured on Drudge Report: “‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken…” As the article explained, “Bible scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the …

Sorting Out the Israeli Elections

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Do you have your scorecards ready? We’re going to do our best to sort out the results of this week’s elections in Israel, the fourth in a period of just two years (can you imagine that?). But first, a disclaimer: by the time you read this article, the outcome may have changed. That’s how inconclusive the final voting turned out to be. A shift in affiliation by one of the many parties receiving votes could change things overnight. Plus, on Friday, 450,000 double-sealed votes will be counted (including military votes, votes from abroad, and votes sent in because of COVID). That could shift things as well. Let’s start with an overview of how a government is formed in Israel. The Knesset (Parliament) has 120 seats, and so, to form a government, you need 61 seats. The problem is that there are many parties in Israel, quite the opposite of our two party system in America, in which smaller parties are virtually meaningless. And in Israel, although the parties are led …

The Difference Between the Political Spirit and the Christian Spirit

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Writing for The Atlantic on March 10, Shadi Hamid opined that in America today, “As Christianity’s hold, in particular, has weakened, ideological intensity and fragmentation have risen. American faith, it turns out, is as fervent as ever; it’s just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief” (his emphasis). While this is certainly true, it is also true that religious belief has been merged with political belief. Yet, in many ways, the Christian spirit is very different than the political spirit. The two often make a very bad mix. But before I explain what I mean, allow me to add the standard caveats. I do believe that followers of Jesus should vote and be politically informed. I do believe we should have a positive impact, as salt and light, on every aspect of American life, including politics. I do believe there are godly and ethical politicians. I do believe that some Christians are called to be heavily involved in politics or even run for office. I do believe that …

Prophecies Are Not Simply Newspaper Headlines in Advance

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Now that the New York Times, Politico, and other, major secular outlets have covered the failed presidential prophecies, why don’t we make this a teachable moment and ask a basic question about prophecy? Specifically, when prophecy is predictive (and therefore foretelling rather than forthtelling), is it equivalent to headline news in advance? The reason I ask this question is because the recent presidential prophecies were presented like news headlines in advance, informing us of specific dates and details, none of which came to pass. Yet millions of Christians were urged to believe these specific words and were rebuked when they saw fit to question them. But is prophecy normally that specific, especially in terms of dates? Is this the biblical pattern? To be sure, many events are predicted in the Bible with specificity, and on rare occasion, there are specific times and dates put on the prophecies. But that is certainly not the norm. Instead, future prophecies are frequently spoken in such a way that there is some level of …

Now Is the Time to Let Your Light Shine

By Dr. Michael L. Brown For many years now, I’ve said that I’m not as much concerned with the presence of darkness in America as I am with the absence of light. Darkness will always be present, but light can drive it out. That’s why our greatest need is to get our light shining brightly again. Otherwise, darkness will prevail. As Jesus said in a different context, “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23b) We all know the saying that you can’t put the horse before the cart. But before you can hitch the cart to the horse, the horse needs to be healthy. Without that, no one is going anywhere. And that’s where we stand today in America: the greatest need is a healthy Church. Then, with a healthy Church, the “cart” of cultural and moral and political change will follow as a natural consequence. But it’s not a matter of either-or, as if we must focus either on spiritual life or on cultural life. Instead, …

Are You a Fool According to the Bible?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown As defined by the Scriptures, a fool is not someone who is uneducated or a person with a low IQ. Rather, a fool is someone who is deeply deficient spiritually and morally. As summed up in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Are you a fool according to the Bible? Am I? Let’s look at just a few of the characteristics of the fool as laid out in Proverbs. 1) “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). The fool is always right in his (or her eyes), never willing to take correction, never willing to listen to sound advice, never willing to acknowledge error or wrong. Perhaps we are not this extreme in our stubbornness, but is this our general tendency? Can people approach us easily, without fear? Do we receive correction with humility and even appreciation? That’s why Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not rebuke mockers or they will …

And They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hate

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Did you ever hear the song that begins with the words, “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord”? The lyrics are very simple, with the repeated refrain, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Today, we might want to change that refrain to “they’ll know we are Christians by our hate, by our hate.” We have become terribly disfigured in recent years, in many ways, the opposite of God’s intent. How on earth did this happen? If you don’t believe me, visit some of our personal, Bible-affirming, Jesus-believing, social media pages, where we savage each other and attack each other and spread hearsay and even lies about one another with reckless abandon. They are hate-filled pages, pages filled with venom and poison, yet pages that ultimately reflect what is in our own hearts. I ask again: how on earth did this happen? To give one recent, case in point, when my …

Do Not Despise Prophecy

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Did you ever wonder why Paul wrote, “Do not despise prophecies,” or as the New International Version translates, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thess. 5:20)? Why would any Christian be tempted to despise prophetic words? The answer is that prophecy can be obscure. Or confusing. Or complex. Or it can appear to be inaccurate, only to come to pass differently than we expected or have a different application than we understood. Or it can make us uncomfortable, revealing areas we would rather leave covered over. And in the case of New Testament prophecy, when every believer can potentially prophesy, it often needs correction and guidance. It is sometimes flatly wrong, with people claiming inspiration without really having it. That’s why Paul’s full exhortation included these injunctions: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:19-21). Today, when the failed Trump prophecies have gained much notoriety and when prophecy itself is getting a bad …

Separating the question of election fraud from conspiracy madness and the insurrection

Dr. Michael L. Brown As we are now three months out from the elections and almost one month removed from the storming of the Capitol, we can step back, catch our breath, and reassess where we stand. Emotions are calming down, the news cycle is less intense, and fanatical voices are being separated from reasonable voices. Yet one thing remains constant: millions of fair-minded Americans still believe there was serious election fraud. This is an issue that simply will not disappear. These people are not wild-eyed white supremacists (or even non-wild-eyed white supremacists). To the contrary, they are as mortified as anyone over the events of January 6th. They cannot simply be dismissed as cult-like followers of Trump, people whose reasoning powers have atrophied. Nor can they be written off as unhinged conspiracy theorists, as many of them (most of them?) have never read a QAnon post in their lives. Yet they still have serious concerns about the trustworthiness of our electoral process, and the more the mainstream media states that there is zero evidence …

‘Christian’ Antisemitism Raises Its Head Again

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Shortly after I came to faith in late 1971, at my father’s request, I met with the local rabbi. By God’s grace, my life had been radically transformed, going from a heroin-shooting, LSD-using, rebellious, hippie rock drummer to a Jesus-loving, clean-living child of God. And this happened virtually overnight. What a miracle! But as much as my dad was thrilled to see me off drugs, he wasn’t thrilled to see me believing in Jesus. As he said to me, “Michael, we’re Jews. We don’t believe this.” So it was that I met with the local rabbi, who quickly befriended me and took a genuine interest in my well-being. He challenged my beliefs, forced me to dig deeper into the Scriptures, and provoked me to learn Hebrew well. He also challenged me to look at the record of church history, which was a total shock for me. What? Christians hating the Jewish people? Christians persecuting the Jews? Christians killing the Jews? The gave me a book to read, accompanied by a …

A Strong Appeal to Those Who Prophesied Trump’s Reelection

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Jan. 20 is past, and Joe Biden, not Donald Trump, is the president of the United States. To all those who prophesied that Trump would serve a second consecutive term and assured us that he would be inaugurated on Jan. 20, I appeal to you in the strongest possible terms: Admit your error, take full responsibility and do not, under any circumstances, continue to put a false hope into the hearts of God’s people. What you prophesied did not come to pass. There is not an alternative, spiritual reality in which Trump is still functioning as president. Nothing is going to change in a month or a year. It’s over. Even if there was massive electoral fraud, the results of this election will not be overturned. Donald Trump will not serve a second, consecutive term. Face the facts, be accountable before God and man, take the hits that will be coming and humble yourself before the Lord and His people. This is not the time for excuses. This is not …

Drive-by shooting of home of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson

Posted by Bee According to Fox News, the home of Willie Robertson, star of the popular Duck Dynasty series, was subject to a drive-by shooting this past Friday. According to reports the shooting took place in broad daylight and an estimated 8 to ten shots were fired. One of the bullets went through a window lodging in the wall of a bedroom. Several members of the extended family were staying with Willie during the Coronavirus lockdown. Duck Dynasty was a popular reality show on A&E setting several viewership records. The show featured the Robertson clan who were very vocal about their faith in Christ that in turn created lots of controversy for the network. READ: ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Willie Robertson’s estate targeted with gunfire, family says

Buried at the end of a New York Time’s article on COVID-19

Posted by Bee In a sampling of people hospitalized for COVID-19, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 90% of them had at least one underlying problems. From the article: “Approximately 90 percent of those patients had one or more underlying conditions. The most common of those was hypertension (high blood pressure), in 49.7 percent of patients, followed by obesity, chronic metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic lung disease (like asthma) and cardiovascular disease. In terms of age and gender, 74.5 percent of patients were 50 or older, and 54.4 percent were male.” READ: C.D.C. Releases Early Demographic Snapshot of Worst Coronavirus Cases:

What country in its right mind would base its COVID-19 projections on data supplied by China?

April 8, 2020, posted by Bee Canada. China finally admits their COVID-19 stats are completely wrong because it didn’t include people who had the virus but showed no symptoms. Since millions of people were not included, its death rate calculations are totally exaggerated. Some even accuse the Chinese of purposely suppressing the data. READ: Ottawa won’t admit Canada’s COVID-19 plan is made from counterfeit Chinese parts So why has the Canadian government embraced the Chinese stats? In a speech, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, explains why he totally trusts a communist totalitarian dictatorship: RELATED: Netherlands Recalls 600,000 Defective Masks Sent from China AND Coronavirus: Countries reject Chinese-made equipment AND Coronavirus: Government’s testing chief admits none of 3.5m antibody kits work sufficiently

More COVID-19 good news

April 7, 2020, posted by Bee Losing hope about COVID-19, several nations are reporting some good news: Spain reporting decline in new cases of COVID-19 Britain’s new daily infection rate drops by a third Italy, Iran and Holland reporting a decline in new cases of COVID-19. French daily death rate falls by half. Several European countries including Austria, Denmark and Italy making plans to gradually end country lockdown.

COVID-19 Good News on Multiple Fronts

April 6, 2020, posted by Bee There is some good news in the midst of COVID-19 panic-demic: U.K. New Coronavirus Deaths Slow For Second Consecutive Day New York hospitals discharge more coronavirus patients than they bring in for four straight days: Hospitals admitted 574 people sick with Coronavirus and discharged 1,704. Italy death rates declining Spain Reports New Coronavirus Cases at Lowest Since March 22

Vancouver sunrise Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apostles and Prophets Part 3: The Apostolic Explosion

[by Keith Hazell] This is the third in a series on the Apostolic Ministry, a ministry being restored today for building the Kingdom of God. In this article, Keith Hazell deals with problems that hinder apostolic team ministry. Click here and here for the previous articles. “Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.  (Acts 15:37-41 NIV) While this passage is not about Apostles and Prophets it does help to illustrate that relationships between senior members are not always smooth and harmonious. Paul seemed to have a knack for problems with other leaders and we have to confess that they were real problems and that …

Mural on the ceiling of Santa Prassede Church, Rome Credit: Jean Louis Mazieres/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apostles and prophets Part 2: Working together in teams

[by Keith Hazell] When I was a young man of 18 and living in England I received a letter in the name of the Queen of England telling me to report for two years of service in the British Military. This was an irresistible request, backed up by the full power of the state. From some points of view this was the worst two years of my life, yet on reflection I learned many lessons in that two years that have stood me well in my life and ministry. We were verbally and sometimes, physically assaulted by drill sergeants who spent their time making us learn how to follow instructions so that we would know how to move together and not simply to respond to our own instincts. One particularly windy day as we marched across the square in the face of a strong wind, our sergeant who was way behind gave an order. Due to the wind, this order was lost to all but those nearest to him and we landed up going in …

Calling of the Apostles by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1448 - 1494) Credit: Perledarte/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apostles and prophets Part I: Five or three

[by Keith Hazell] Some of us have lived through days of exciting change in the Body of Christ.  We have seen God bringing the Church into her own; equipping her in ways that had not been seen for many years in the past. In particular God has been giving us the opportunity to see the resurgence of men and women who carry the Ministry of the Apostle and the Prophet in their lives. Many have had to pioneer the modeling of these ministries without themselves having good role models to follow. In my lifetime I have seen the return and recognition of both the Apostle and the Prophet by New Testament Churches; although it has not come without much confusion and controversy. In 1948 God began to bring a revelation to the church in North America through the Latter Rain Revival which broke out in North Battleford in Northern Canada. The principles released in those days to the Church were to reverberate around the earth and to be catalyst for the release of these ministries …

The 12 Apostles is a collection of 12 limestone stacks jutting out of the ocean on the southern coast of Australia Credit: Pablo Fernandez/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ministry of an Apostle — Part 2

[by David Wells] In the first section of this teaching on the ministry of the Apostle, I taught on the need for church structure to return to the pattern described in the New Testament, including the restoration and full functioning of the apostolic ministry. I examined the purposes, foundational nature and vital necessity of apostolic ministry in church life, as well as the different realms of apostleship and the qualifications of apostles. In this section, we will explore the role and function of apostles more fully, as well as address questions concerning the nature of apostolic authority, with an understanding of the interdependent cooperation between apostles and churches. Function of an Apostle An apostle is one who takes the gospel to unreached areas: “And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man’s foundation”. (Romans 15:20) A true apostle is a traveler not a settler. In Scripture, we see that apostles traveled and planted churches. A sense of timing is important, and we …

St Bartholomew's Church in Berchtesgadener Land, in Bavaria, Germany. As one of the 12 Apostles, Bartholomew is considered the Apostle to Germany as it is believed he was the first to bring the gospel to that country. Credit: Nuno Vilela/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ministry of the Apostle — Part 1

[by Dave Wells] The days in which we are living are not normal times. We are beginning to move into a season of the greatest outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit and the greatest harvest of souls in all of Christian history. The beginning of the last century was characterized by great moves of God. This century will be the same. In light of this, the church of Jesus Christ cannot just continue with “business as usual”. If our church structure does not conform to a New Testament model, we will be blown out of the water by what is coming. “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3:19-21) We have experienced times of refreshing that have …

Credit: Chuan Chew/Flickr/Creative Commons

Fear of the Words

[by Keith Hazell] What are the most fearful words that most people hear? It could be “you have been laid off” or “ I  am leaving you” or perhaps “We are bankrupt”. All of the above are words which strike their own fear into the hearts of the hearers. However one of the most fearful words we hear is “ I am sorry but you have cancer.” These words carry with them fear and unbelief. We cannot believe that we have been “chosen,” singled out for such a horrible thing. To many of us who hear this, it is like we have heard a death sentence and that we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable events that will culminate in our passing. More than 21 years ago I received such information from a urologist. My initial reaction was like most of us… “ I guess my days are numbered”.  In my early 50’s I had not reckoned on a truncated life. However, the devil reminded me that both my siblings died early as a …

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 …