All posts filed under: Bible

The Big Leagues

I like to think of myself as a full service preacher. I like to preach and nobody has fallen asleep since that time when I got everybody to quietly just leave their shoes and jackets on their seats. We all snuck in the back room and blew a trumpet really loud. Poor guy! Thought he missed the rapture! Okay, I didn’t do that but if anybody actually does fall asleep… Sometimes I can get pretty happy in my role. You know I start feeling good and confident. And then someone says it’s prayer time. I can prayer with the best of them. For about five minutes. The other day I was invited to an intercessory prayer meeting. For those of you who don’t know, this is not for the faint of heart or the simple-minded. This is the equivalent of being asked to try out for your favorite professional sports team! My wife, Stella, and I head out to the meeting. I entered the room with confidence. After all not only was I a preacher, …

For An Opportunist, There is No Truth

You might know the story of Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, sometimes called the father of modern astronomy. He discovered ‘Heliocentrism’ which means the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way around. For this, he was tried and condemned by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church, forced to repent of his sin, and placed under house arrest for life. RELATED: Galileo Galilei: Wikipedia It turns out he was correct, but his research interfered with the powers of his time and place. Truth was less important than the opportunity to gain and hold power. This happened at the time of the Protestant Reformation, and it’s one of the reasons why we have Protestants today. Clever people moved north to Protestant regions, and initially research and industry were mostly in the northern parts of Europe, in countries like Germany and Sweden; the wealthy countries, today. That was a big mistake for the Catholic Church, and they are still embarrassed. The story of Galileo is also a warning to us today, especially religious believers …

From deep water to joy

When I work with people who have gone through deep waters – whose life experience includes trauma that overwhelmed their resilience and robbed them of their ability to cope – I sometimes recall my own traumatic journey and the path I took to wellness. From that journey, I learned to embrace joy – not the faux emotion we sometimes confuse with happiness, but the deep, abiding awareness that even in the midst of the worst of life experience, it is possible to align your spirit with the God who is the source of all that is good and glorious in the universe. Joy is to happiness as celebration is to gratitude. And it is in that realization that I gained an insight into one of the most essential and consequential truths of mental wellness – a realization that has made me a far more effective therapist. It has long been a mainstay of mental health treatment to encourage those suffering from depression to cultivate and foster an “attitude of gratitude” – to identify those things …

God Spoke To Me The Other Day

I truly believe that the great voice of God, in this world, is in the Bible. That’s where we find a clear message, giving us direction for our lives. That source has always been good for me. It’s also true that God can send things into our lives with a clear message. In my experience, these ‘experience’ messages are easy to ignore, or dismiss, but they point us to something important, if we are willing to listen. So, I have a new job, in a new city. Everything is new for me, and for the people I work with. I do driver evaluations and those who are successful move forward to something new that makes them happy. They shake my hand and thank me, or cry. I really enjoy my new circumstances, and so do the clients. It’s happiness and a new chapter in life, for everyone. I like living in all this new and positive energy. The other day, I started work by evaluating a route. It’s important to ensure that the route will …

Why am I so anxious?

“Do not be anxious for anything,” the Bible says (Philippians 4:6). As a psychotherapist, I regularly deal with people with serious and debilitating anxiety. And I know that simply deciding to not be anxious doesn’t work. Anxiety is the product of changes in one’s brain and autonomic nervous system as a result of trauma. And trauma is a life event that overwhelms a person’s emotional capacity and understanding. Traumatic response is marked by these characteristics: Submerged memory as the brain blocks you from again being overwhelmed; Emotional dysregulation as the brain blocks access to executive brain functions responsible for regulating how we feel and respond to stress; and Difficulty forming attachments and, sometimes, disassociation. Anxiety is what a person experiences when these characteristics are inadequate to deal with traumatic memories or new stress experiences. Anxiety is experienced emotionally, psychologically, and somatically (in the body). It is a state of readiness to either respond with aggression (fight) or by fleeing or avoiding the situation (flight). Anxiety is living in the expectation that the immediate future is …

Should we pray for President Donald Trump?

When US President Donald Trump showed up unannounced at McLean Bible Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia this past weekend, David Platt, who pastors the mega church took the opportunity lay hands on the President and pray for him. Trump was visiting the community because of the recent shootings that resulted in the death of 12 people and came to the church on Sunday morning. Before he prayed, Pratt cited the passage in 1 Timothy where Paul exhorts believers to pray for those in authority including Kings. 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (2 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV) Platt prayed for Trump for over two minutes and in his article, Todd Starnes provides a written record of what Platt prayed, saying in part: And we know, we need Your mercy. We need Your grace, we need Your help, we need Your wisdom …

"And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'” (Luke 3:22 NASV) Credit: David Campbell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Tongue Tied?

The Holy Spirit is an active member of the Trinity and is known by many names– each one an attribute or symbolic of a gift or activity. This article looks at when and how to receive the Holy Spirit. On the surface this seems simple enough right? I mean we all know when we receive the Holy Spirit just like we all know when we are saved.  But as in most things simple, there can be controversy. You know we can all have an opinion about anything. But as Christians we have to look at the Bible as our truth.  Even when we are right, we need to base our truth on the Word. So what does the Bible say when you receive the Holy Spirit? Some people believe you receive the Holy Spirit the instant you believe in Jesus Christ. Here are some Bible verses for that perspective. Roman 8:9 and Ephesians 1: 13-14 are used to back the idea that we receive the Holy Spirit when we first believe. Perhaps Acts 10:44 can …

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: David Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Quería Dios que el rey David construyera un templo?

English: Did God want King David to build a temple? En su sermón que en última instancia condujo a su martirio, Estevan sabía que estaba hablando a una multitud hostil, y justo antes de su muerte el questionó la construcción del templo: 46 Y David[a] halló gracia delante de Dios, y pidió el favor de hallar una morada para el Dios[b] de Jacob. 47 Pero fue Salomón quien le edificó una casa. 48 “Sin embargo, el Altísimo no habita en casas hechas por manos de hombres; como dice el profeta: (Hechos 7: 46-48 NBLH) Estevan dijo que el templo estaba hecho de manos humanas y no era donde Dios habitaba. Estevan se refería al hecho de que el templo en los días de Jesús fue pagado y construido por el reprobado rey Herodes? O estaba hablando Estevan sobre el hecho del Arca de la Alianza en la que vivía la presencia de Dios había desaparecido siglos atrás y el Santo de los Santos en el templo de Herodes estaba vacio? O estaba hablando de otra cosa? Había tres estructuras …

I saw a warrior charging on his horse

“The Lord will go forth like a mighty man, He will rouse up His zealous indignation and vengeance like a warrior; He will cry, yes, He will shout aloud, He will do mightily against His enemies.” (Isaiah 42:13) I have been hesitant to share what I experienced during a time of intercession recently. Over the years my friend, Linda, and I have gone to the park surrounding our provincial legislature to pray and intercede for the things the Lord has impressed upon us. Prophetic acts have become a part of these times of intercession for our city, province and nation. We have planted seeds of faith, struck a sword in the ground, worshiped with flags and music and more. The beautiful park that surrounds the legislative buildings also includes a lake at its center.  The park also has monuments, fountains and beautiful flowers landscaping the area. We have prayed in this park many times over the years, when we have felt a call to pray into a season or events with scripture verses and declarations. …

The difference between guilt and shame

As a mental health professional, I’m often asked the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is “I did something wrong.” Shame is “I am what is wrong.” Guilt is “I violated a norm, a societal expectation, or a requirement set out by God.” Shame is “I am at my core without any worth.” Guilt originates from selfishness or self-centredness. Shame originates from trauma, from life experiences that overwhelm one’s emotional and mental capacity. Guilt requires forgiveness, restitution to those who have been harmed, and a decision of your will to change the guilty behaviour. Shame requires a reorientation of one’s brain to align itself with what is true. Guilt wears a person down. Shame destroys what it means to be a unique person who can enter into the joy of their relationship with a loving God. Guilt points a person to what needs to change in his/her life. Shame prevents a person from wanting to change because of a core belief that s/he doesn’t deserve wellness and normalcy. I deal daily with people who are …

Apparently, we are supposed to be different

My wife and I had a good laugh at the pharmacy recently. We own a 14-year-old cock-a-poo called Sugar. Convenient for her, Sugar is mostly deaf in her old age, so when we yell at her to get out of the garbage, she is blissfully unaware and continues to chomp down. Her deafness gives her at least a few more seconds to continue whatever annoying thing she is doing. Don’t get me wrong, Sugar has been a great dog, but in the end she is still a dog and will do what dogs do. But recently she has been having some health problems, an unusually persistent cough. Though my wife disagrees, I think we spent more money at the vet than we should have, and Sugar was diagnosed with an inflammation in her throat. The dog doctor prescribed a bout of Prednisone, an anti-inflammatory, and as well medication to stop the coughing. The vet told my wife that we would need to pick up that second drug at a human pharmacy, as she emailed the …

What’s Your Problem?

From a Christian perspective the number one problem in the world is sin. But what does that mean? If this is true should the world be worried? How do I know if sin is in my life? It is at this point that most Christians give a pat answer as we explain all about Adam and Eve and the first sin and God’s grand design that culminates in Jesus’ victory at the cross and resurrection. But here’s the problem with that. It’s true. It is true but not heard because it is a hard message to receive. When I tell someone they are a sinner, but they believe they are essentially good and can point to all the good things they do, it does not compute for them. How unfair it would be, they reason, for God to have me born with original sin. Would a loving God actually have innocent babies born with sin? This doesn’t make sense. Much of what God does, does not make sense to us Christians so how much more …

Does God Do Parking Lots?

A few days ago, we went to Costco on a busy shopping day. That store can be busy and parking is often two blocks away on an industrial road, if the lot is full. Just when I was about to drive away, some people walked to their car and drove away. Right in front of me, they left the best parking lot on the site, the one closest to the door. I snagged that valuable real estate quickly, before any other vultures could slide in. That made my shopping trip so much better. Did God do that for me? Does God do parking lots? In that same week, we had a failed tea kettle. It was one of those glass sided appliances with glowing lights; and we use it every day. It started leaking water, so I looked for a new one. The best deals were on the Internet, and they were not good deals. If I paid a high price and waited about a week, I could eventually get a new appliance to boil …

The struggle to choose the right path. Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why do I second guess myself?

Dear Andy Every time I make a decision I doubt myself.  I have very little confidence in myself and many decisions I made have been disastrous.  What can I do to feel more confident and to make better decisions? There are many reasons why someone lacks confidence in their decisions. First I would look at the evidence. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Perhaps you are focusing on the ones that had less than stellar results. Perhaps there is a history of poor decision making. Many people can be very adept at making decisions in some areas of their lives but not in other areas. For example, a business person might make wise decisions regarding finances or planning for the future but make poor ones regarding dating or relationships. If you are like this, then your focus needs to change from the poor decisions and towards the good decisions you made. Look at the difference between the two. Try to find common themes with the good ones. For example, perhaps they …

Be different not divisive

I lived in many places and I traveled a fair bit. Divisions are everywhere. Rural people are different than urban people. Rich people are different than poor people. West coast people are different than prairie people. Add in different ethnics and you have a whole lot of differences. Now what do we do? We’re not all the same. Or are we? Ever notice your neighbors? They’re not like you! Some of our neighbors look like us and act like us, but we’re all different. I lived in some areas in which everybody looked and acted the same. I now live in a more diverse area in which people act different from one another. Here is the famous Andy life equation that you never heard about because I just made it up. Difference does not equal division. This changes everything! Think about your own family. Not too many of your brothers and sisters are the same are they? The same with your kids. One might have light hair or be taller or thinner than the others. …

Be angry and sin not, but….

A study conducted by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada concluded that anger causes more serious health problems in old age than sadness or loneliness. The researchers stated that anger causes inflammation in the body, and though it can have beneficial results in the short term, long-term inflammation can lead to serious health consequences. The team studied 226 older adults broken up by age into two groups, 59 years to 79 and those 80 years and older. The researchers then asked them a series of questions daily for a week about the levels of anger and sadness they were experiencing. They then used blood tests to determine the levels of inflammation in their body and as well asked them about any chronic illnesses they were going through. From their study, the researchers concluded that for those over the age of 80, there was a link between levels of anger and poor health: Speaking on behalf of the research team, Carsten Wrosch said: “We found that experiencing anger daily was related to higher levels of inflammation and …

Miraculously saved at sea by ‘The Amen’

Two high school seniors, Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, from Christ Church Academy in Jacksonville, Florida were walking along the beach with friends when Smith and Brown decided to walk into the ocean. A few minutes later, they were caught up in a rip current that swiftly dragged them out into the Atlantic Ocean. In a matter of a few minutes, the two were nearly two miles out, being pummeled by rough seas and unable to break free from the current. Instead of fighting it, they decided to float in the water and were in the ocean for about two hours when their rescue came from a very unexpected source. As this drama was unfolding, Eric Wagner from Delray, Florida was deciding whether or not to head out to sea for a trip to New Jersey. On his Facebook page, he was questioning the decision, because the seas were rough due to the 18 to 24 miles per hour winds. But in the end he decided to make the trip. They were about two miles …

Yakkity Yak

Several years back I worked with a counseling ministry and was in a session when the woman blurted out: “You haven’t heard a word I said!” I thought that’s a weird way to start a conversation. But just in case I was actually supposed to listen I nodded and grunted. “I knew it!” I should have shook instead of nodded. This reminds me of a certain counselor colleague of mine. He had a client that believed she was boring and half through her session, he fell asleep! Men are just not wired into conversation as much as women. I know there are some men who yak up a storm and there are some women who hardly ever talk at all. Both are rare. Most men I know only talk about their favorite sport. Most women talk about anything except that man’s favorite sport.    A woman talking to you it is a gift. Unless they are mad at you. Then it’s a bit less of a gift. So back to the woman mad at me. …

Ninja Jesus: Fight the Good Fight

Using the word “Ninja” and the name “Jesus” in the same sentence might seem wrong to some people, but don’t judge too quickly. There is a lesson to learn here. I was talking to a friend today, and I told him how I once had a stressful job, and I got the impression that I should find a new job. I found one, and a few days after I moved, senior management called a meeting and fired my old department. I learned about this months later. My friend was amazed, and he told me that someone must have been watching over me. I realized when he said it, that he was right. Some power kept me from the termination of my career, unlike many of my friends. Some power. Years ago, I read a news article from Belarus, where the government was evicting and closing a Pentecostal church. Someone wrote a comment in Russian, and I put the words in Google Translate, and I read this story; ‘Don’t close that church. When my little boy …

I am Superman!

I am Superman. It’s true. I have proof of it and you can even ask my wife. I have a Superman key chain and Superman pyjamas, and even a Superman t-shirt. But I did stop short of the Superman onesie. Okay so maybe I don’t stop runaway trains and maybe a bullet could speed faster than me. Some would say I don’t even fly. Never let reality get in the way of the truth! God changed me into a Superman. Here’s how he did that. First of all do you remember the story of Superman? He was an alien sent to earth from a dying planet. Something about earth gave him super human powers and he could do all sorts of things like flying and stopping bullets with his chest. But rather than live the life of a superhero he created an alter ego called Clark Kent. Clark Kent was not the type of alter ego I would chose. He was wimpy, nervous, and unsure of himself. Basically the exact opposite of Superman. I guess …

My Prophetic Journey Part 16: From the Hand or the Heart

You can always spot the fridge of a proud parent or grandparent, covered with photos and artwork of children. My wife and I are no different. The great value in our granddaughter’s art is not that it’s from the hand of a great artist, but that it is 100% from the heart. The heart trumps the hand! Matthew 19:14 says, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Our response to our heavenly Father must be one focused on His heart, not just what comes from His hand. Two brothers in the Bible illustrate this perfectly – Jacob and Esau. Romans 9:13 says, “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated.” Without getting into Calvinism vs. Arminianism, I just want to look at what these two very different men focused on. Jacob, for all his grasping for things and other faults, had a heart for God. On the other hand, we see in Genesis 25 that Esau not only sold his birthright …

Guru Jesus: It’s Not About You

Is it possible to learn from Jesus, without being Christian? Yes. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu who admired the teachings of Jesus, but never became a Christian. Gandhi’s ideas about ‘passive resistance’ come directly from the Bible, and that wisdom brought almost a billion people, in South Asia to independence, without a destructive civil war. Today, the nations of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and probably Burma, owe a great debt to Gandhi, the peaceful liberator; and his ideas came from Jesus. Gandhi the Hindu treated Jesus like a guru, and that changed to history of the world, in a good way. In Webster’s dictionary, a “Guru” is “a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism.” Jesus was Jewish and not a Hindu, but we apply the definition to Him, easily. You might have heard of “WWJD” for Protestants and “Imitatio Christi” for Catholics, and similar ideas for Orthodox Churches. “What Would Jesus Do?” dates back to 1896, from a novel by an American writer Charles Sheldon. The Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox …

Why did it take five centuries for the cross to be embraced as a symbol of Christianity?

You may have seen the images circulating of how Notre Dame’s alter and cross survived the devastating fire that destroyed much of the church on Monday, April 15, 2019. Though this cross is making history, it is interesting to note that the cross was not fully embraced as a symbol of Christianity until around the fifth century. In his article, Jesus and the Cross, historian Steven Shisley states that the first sign that the cross had finally gained public acceptance as a symbol of Christianity was in its appearance on the doors of the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome in the fifth century. Until then, the cross had for the most part been down played and the reason for this Shisley claims is because of societal views on the cross. For the Romans, that cross was associated with the deaths of criminals and slaves, the despised of society. They used the cross as a form of execution because it was particularly brutal and painful. And it was also favored because it often took days …

Ultrasound of dangerous Mo-Mo pregnancy reveals two sisters fighting in the womb

A video out of China has caught the attention of millions of people worldwide. According to an article in the Daily Mail, Mr. Tao, 28, provided a video that showed his identical daughters fighting with each other in the womb. The couple, from the city of Yinchuam, were at the doctor’s office for the wife’s prenatal check and Mr. Tao took a video of the ultrasound that showed the two babies in their fourth month seemingly kicking and hitting each other. When Tao uploaded the footage it went viral and within days had 2.5 million likes. The two identical girls had a very rare and dangerous pregnancy. They were sharing the same placenta and amniotic sack. In these type of births, referred to as Monoamniotic-Monochorionic or more commonly Mo-Mo pregnancy, there is a 50% chance one of the babies will die after 26 weeks because of the increased risk their umbilical cords will become entangled causing the mother’s blood supply to be cut off for at least one of the babies. In this instance both …

Three Crosses

On Easter we focus on Jesus and the cross. This is awesome and good. However there were three crosses that Good Friday. The middle cross has Jesus on it and you can’t do what he did on that cross. No one can. But the one on the right and the one of the left each one had a thief hanging on it. The Bible doesn’t say much more about them. If you were there, you’d just think three men were being executed. The reality is much different. Jesus was paying the price for us all. He chose to hang there and to die out of love. He became the sacrifice so we could be set free from the consequences of our sins. So this wasn’t just a bad guy dying. This was the only person who never sinned dying so everybody who did sin could live! The two thieves represent us. It’s hard to believe our lives can be summed up by two thieves I know but hear me out. The guy on the left …

Is Che Guevara Like Jesus?

When I was in high school, some of my fellow students were radical leftists, or at least they tried to be. We always knew them because they wore army surplus clothes, and raised their fists and shouted words like “Che, Che, Che!” They were referring to Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary who fought in Cuba, as a comrade of Fidel Castro. Che was a doctor, born in Argentina, who joined the communist guerrillas in Cuba, led by Fidel Castro. After the successful Communist take-over in Cuba, he travelled to several countries to promote Communist revolutions. It all ended when he went to Bolivia and formed a guerrilla force to overthrow the government there. The Bolivians did not support him, including the Bolivian Communist Party, and he was betrayed, and then captured and killed by the Bolivian army. RELATED: Che Guevara: Wikipedia The face of Che Guevara as a popular icon, almost a religious symbol, is still popular on t-shirts and posters, and tattoos. It was the great symbol of youthful rebellion among my friends. Recently, …

Minature Greyhound Credit: Opus Moreschi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dogged Dog

Ever hear that expression: “like a dog with a bone?” It is used to mean focused perseverance. To keep your eye on the prize and to work until you achieve that goal. In my house though it would be more like dog with my shoe! My little guy, Spot, prefers shoes to bones. So if you come over to our place, you will find him walking around with your shoe on his head! I am not making this up! He is an Italian Greyhound and they have long skinny faces. He literally sticks his nose right into the shoe and carries it to his dungeon of destruction. One time a guest had rather smelly feet and shoes. After Spot put his head into the shoe he sat in the middle of the floor and just grinned, drunk on the smell! Not sure if that was his goal but he achieved it. We can learn a lot from dogs. Cats too and I am even more of a cat person but please don’t tell Spot that. …

Church in Germany Credit: Bernard Blanc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bad News for Organized Religion

Where I live, we are a few days away from an election. A few night’s ago, we had a leader’s debate, with all the usual personal attacks and petty bickering. The reaction today is that no-one won the debate, and the voters haven’t changed their minds about how they will vote. It was all a required exercise before the vote, with no results. In all the arguments, there is a story about someone who preached a sermon at a Baptist church. I wasn’t there for the sermon, but apparently he talked about sexuality and morals, and he described some similarities between homosexuals, and pedophiles who molest children. I don’t know what he said, but someone found a record of the sermon, and noted that the preacher is a candidate in the election. That has produced angry demands to fire the candidate, and he has apologized. The debate last night included angry words about “homophobia” but I predict that preacher will win his local election by a landslide. People in his small-town region don’t have a …

Credit: Markus Kniebes/Flickr/Public Domain

What is the most important thing you can do in spiritual warfare?: PODCAST #18

PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I want to talk about the most important thing you can do in a spiritual warfare. So what do you think is the most important thing to do? Some might say putting on the armour of god. Another might say prayer. And certainly these things are important, but I believe there is one fundamental principle that we need to embrace first in spiritual warfare and it will make our prayer and spiritual armour powerful and effective. And make no mistake we are involved in a spiritual battle. A few weeks back I read an interesting story about Greg Gordon. For those of you who don’t know Greg, he runs a website called sermonindex.net which is a collection of thousands of sermons of pastors and Bible teachers from different church backgrounds and nationalities. He also has a YouTube channel with over 145,000 subscribers and 7,000 sermons. These sermons have been viewed in excess of 35 million times. This is a significant ministry. But recently …

Credit: Peter Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

The stones are crying out

One my favorite stories in the Gospels involves what would be Jesus last trip to Jerusalem. A week later, the Romans would crucify Christ. Many churches celebrate Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday. In preparation for the trip, the Lord sent His disciples to Bethany to look for a donkey colt telling the owner that the Lord had need of it. As Jesus slowly rode into Jerusalem, people began throwing their cloaks on the road before Him while others threw down palm branches. This was an act reserved for royalty as we see happening when Jehu was declared King and people put their garments on the ground as he walked down the steps (2 Kings 9:13). Then people began shouting “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38 NASV). The pharisees in the crowd understood what was happening and became very upset by what they were witnessing. They yelled out for Jesus to rebuke His disciples. But Christ answered them: “I tell you, if these become silent, …

Credit: Michael Holler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down!

Mistakes, I’ve made a few.  Sorry Frank but I made those mistakes doing things my way and not the right way. I used to be an athlete. If you saw me you’d be able to see my chiseled abs and bulging muscles. Okay, so the bulges are not in my biceps and the chiseled looks have faded into my memory where they remained exaggerated to this day. After all I am a story teller.  At one time I was a ranked tennis player…but only on those hot summer days. Yet I made mistakes. Yup, I admit that I was not perfect in either my game or my life. During a tennis match one day I was having trouble putting the spare ball in my pocket. You see in tennis for some reason players stash a spare ball in their shorts. Weird.  When I played hockey I was never allowed to carry an extra puck. The same when I played football. The refs would get really mad if you had your own ball. This one day …

Credit: duncan c/Flickr/Creative Commons

Make Yourself Healthy With the Bible

Have you heard of LKM? Me neither, until today. The letters mean “Loving Kindness Meditation” and it’s one of the newest health fads. Apparently it’s right up there with KETO diets and Yoga and fruit smoothies. Who knew? Apparently, this meditation helps with migraines, depression, and possibly aging. LKM is even recommended by the Mayo Clinic: RELATED: Mayo mindfulness: Can sharing kindness help your health? Kindness, or some expression of God’s love, is highly recommended in the Bible. Really, I don’t think it’s recommended; kindness is required. There is no other lifestyle for a Christian. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) These words are instructions, not one more fad to think about. So does that mean the Bible had LKM first? Can the Bible make us healthy? Yes. And this is important for the Christians I know; kindness is an action, not a feeling. Kindness is not warm and fuzzy, and sentimental. You can be kind when you are not in the mood. The …

Dutch tulip field Credit: Cor van der Waal/Flickr/Creative Commons / www.fotografiecor.nl

Nicer Than Me?

I’m excited! No, it’s not because the cinnamon buns are just out of the oven! I’m excited because I just had lunch with a friend. The kind of friend who knows how stupid I am and still loves me. Can you imagine that? This guy, who will remain anonymous lest anyone of you tries to steal him from me, is a genuine loving guy. God put us together as friends before we even knew each other. He is so nice that if he had a twin and both arrived at a door at the same time it would turn into a bad knock-knock joke!  “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Nobody because they still can’t decide who’s going first!”  “After you.” “No, after you.” It would never end! People actually think I’m nice. Except my granddaughter who knows the truth. Being nice is a gift that some of us truly have. Some people who aren’t nice act nice in public. Then they go home and yell at their kids or steal their kid’s candy when they’re not …

Christchurch, New Zealand Jon Sullivan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Guns, Bombs, Muslims and Christians

A few days ago, someone attacked a mosque in New Zealand and killed fifty people, by the most recent count. Now, the entire nation of New Zealand is in shock, and the Prime Minister has vowed to never say the name of the killer. This news moved quickly around the world, and now, a week later, a detailed account is available in Wikipedia: RELATED: Christchurch Mosque Shooting When I heard the news, I waited for the information that we all dreaded. What was the name of the killer? In crude terms ‘One of us or one of them?’ Did a Muslim kill other Muslims, or did the killer have a grudge against that religion? Even worse, what if the killer identified as a Christian and tried to pull the rest of us into the fight? I’m a Christian; is someone dragging me under the bus? Fifty people died in Christchurch New Zealand, including children, and that is very wrong. If this mass killing generates enough payback anger, more wrong will grow from the first incident, …

What in the world are territorial spirits? PODCAST #17

PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith, and in this podcast I ask the question: “What in the world are territorial spirits?” Territorial spirits involves the controversial Biblical concept that Satan has set demonic angels over each country, who the try to influence and control both the political and spiritual life of that nation. Several years ago, I read an unusual story in World Map, a missionary magazine, which caught my attention. It involved a missionary who was ministering in Uruguay near the Brazilian border. He was doing some tract distribution one Saturday morning in a town where the main street sat on the actual border between Uruguay and Brazil. The missionary started out on the Uruguayan side of the border and found people very resistant to the Gospel. They either refused the tract or if they took it after quickly reading it tossed in on the ground. But then something very strange happened! Since the missionary had spent a couple of hours with essentially no response, he decided to cross to the Brazilian …