All posts filed under: Bible

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But We Can’t Afford That

A few days ago, a young woman who lives near me overdosed on Fentanyl. Her family drove her to a hospital and I think someone did CPR during the ride. She almost died, but the hospital staff were able to save her. Something bothered me about that story, and then I noticed that they drove her in the family car; they didn’t call an ambulance. I don’t know the family but I guess they can’t afford a five-hundred-dollar ambulance ride every time their addict overdoses. Transporting critically ill patients in a private vehicle is something we should never do; the ambulance crew might save a life before arriving at the hospital. But that ride has a cost, the whole system costs millions, with dispatchers, EMTs, vehicles and equipment, and sometimes helicopters. And life-threatening problems like drug addiction are becoming epidemics. And another story; I keep the tickets from McDonald’s coffee cups. Where I live, each cup has a peel-and-stick ticket and a detachable card. Seven tickets will buy one cup of coffee. I don’t need …

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 …

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Gird your loins with truth

In Ephesians 6:10-17, the Apostle Paul talks about the need for Christians to put on their spiritual armour. He starts off this passage by stating we need to be strong in the “strength of His might.” Our strength doesn’t rest in our own natural ability, but in how connected we are with God’s strength. The reason for this is because our true enemy is not “flesh and blood” but spiritual: “world forces of this darkness” and “spiritual forces of wickedness.” This connection with God’s strength to resist the satanic realm lies in our spiritual armour. Intriguingly, Paul lists the loin armour as the believer’s first piece of equipment, which he likens to ‘truth:’ 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth (Ephesians 6:14 NASV) The loin armour or girdle was constructed of plating, metal or leather, and fit around the hips protecting the soldier on every side. Because it was designed to keep the upper body armour in place, it was considered the foundational piece in the Roman armour. What kind of truth would function as the girdle? …

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Moving in time with heaven

The Holy Spirit will  give very specific words to me at times – words that I do not normally use in everyday conversation.  I love it when He does this, as it always sends me on a Kingdom treasure hunt. A week ago, Holy Spirit brought the word RECALIBRATE to me in a dream, and I believe He is revealing to us His work within the Body of Christ at this time.  To RECALIBRATE means, basically to CALIBRATE AGAIN.  Here are some definitions I’d like to share with you to deepen your understanding: Calibrate:  to adjust precisely for a particular function; to measure precisely, especially against a standard (merriam-webster.com). Additionally, here are some definitions of the word RECALIBRATE: Recalibrate:  to calibrate something again, or differently. (google.ca).  To make small changes to an instrument so that it measures accurately; to change the way you do or think about something (dictionary.cambridge.org). Many of God’s people are experiencing a season of transition at this time, or are otherwise recognizing that there is a shift in the Spirit.  I …

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem Credit: Fernando+Merced/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the church actually the continuation of Israel?

It’s an age-old question. Is the church the continuation of Israel or something completely new that God started after Israel failed to fulfill God’s will? The church under this latter scenario is God’s second choice, an afterthought. To bring some perspective on this I was intrigued by an article on Breaking Israel News about a sermon recently preached by a famous Hasidic Jewish Rabbi Alon Anava. He was speaking at the 23rd anniversary of the death of another renown orthodox Rabbi, Menachem Schneerson. In his sermon Anava spoke of the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Though the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, orthodox Jews still believe in a promised Messiah. In fact, many believe signs suggest that the Jewish Messiah will be revealed very soon. But Anaya said in order for the Messiah to come, the Jews must first preach the Torah to the gentiles: “You know what is missing? The nations of the world. Now all we need to do is involve a couple billion people from the other nations to be part of the redemption.” …

La agonía del rechazo

English Version: The agony of rejection Un estudio realizado en 2003 por investigadores de la Universidad de California y publicado en la revista Science reveló rechazo tiene el mismo impacto en el cerebro como el dolor físico. Los científicos crearon un programa informático que simula una pelota de juego que lanza entre un participante en vivo y dos simulaciones por ordenador. Los 13 sujetos de prueba (cuatro hombres y nueve mujeres) fueron conectados a una resonancia magnética y se les invita a jugar el juego. Se les dijo a los otros dos jugadores (operados por el ordenador) estaban efectivamente controlada por personas vivas. La simulación por ordenador involucrado un simple juego de capturas entre los tres jugadores. La resonancia magnética rastreado las respuestas del cerebro durante el juego. Inicialmente, el equipo siguió el juego, pero cuando el sujeto había atrapó el balón siete veces, el equipo ignora el sujeto vivo y sólo lanzó la pelota hacia atrás y adelante entre las animaciones. Sin embargo, los sujetos de prueba creían que estaban siendo ignoradas deliberadamente por …

Nambia desert Credit: John Adams/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sanar nuestro rechazo

English Version: Healing our rejection Usando una resonancia magnética, los investigadores universitarios descubrieron que el dolor emocional asociado con el rechazo es tan real como el dolor físico. En 2011, el grupo liderado por el profesor asociado de la Universidad de Michigan, Ethan Kross, estudió a 40 personas que recientemente habían pasado por una ruptura romántica en los seis meses anteriores. Todos los participantes elegidos mencionaron haber sentido sentimientos intensos de rechazo debido al final de la relación. Las 40 personas fueron sometidas a dos pruebas relacionadas con el dolor emocional que sentían por el rechazo y el otro dolor físico real. En la primera prueba, los sujetos del estudio vieron una imagen de su ex y se les pidió que pensaran en la ruptura. En la segunda etapa, los dispositivos térmicos se unieron a sus brazos que crearon calor el equivalente de café caliente. Cuando las 40 personas pasaron por estas y otras pruebas comparativas, los investigadores monitorearon su actividad cerebral usando MRIs. Los investigadores descubrieron que los sentimientos de rechazo provocaban actividad neuronal …

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How strong is God’s love for you?

What picture would help us grasp the magnitude of this love? There is a verse in the Song of Solomon that describes the love between the bride and bridegroom — a picture of the love relationship between Jesus and His Church, the people of God. “Set me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as hard and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame (the very flame of the Lord)! (Song of Solomon 8:6) It provides several metaphors revealing God’s unquenchable love for us: the seal, death, fire and jealousy. The Seal In Biblical times, the seal was a stamp of ownership and authenticity put on an object. In the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman is asking her lover to put this stamp of ownership on her heart so she can be completely and only his. Brown’s Bible Commentary describes it this way: “She was ‘leaning’ on Him, that is, her …

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Help, I can’t get promoted!

For part of my career I worked in a large university. I also trained to be a Christian minister but jobs were just not available in churches, so I taught in a university. I was promoted to be the coordinator of the department, like a vice-principal in a school for adults. This promotion was a surprise to me, and I was supposed to be interim; our Director was going to quit and someone had to hold things together until the new Director arrived. When he finally came, he needed people like me, so he extended my tenure as coordinator. That’s when my friends started hating me and senior managers started looking at me as a liability instead of an asset. They needed to save money and I was a cost, and my friends wanted my job. On the success side, I schemed and politicked my way into a large window office, in a place where most of us worked in cubicles, with no outside light. I am ashamed to tell you that now. God never …

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Your helmet of salvation

In Apostle Paul’s description of the spiritual armor that Christians need to wear found in Ephesians 6:10-17, he refers to the helmet of salvation. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17 NASV) It is generally believed that Paul wrote Ephesians around 62 AD as he sat in a Roman jail waiting his execution. His Roman guards were undoubtedly the models for this passage. The Roman helmet was made of leather and usually covered with brass. Many times it was crowned with a plume or some type of ornament. The purpose of the helmet was to protect the head from blows from a war club or sword. Obviously, believers are required to wear such protection because Satan, like soldiers of old, went for the head for the telling blow. But he doesn’t attack it physically, rather he attacks us mentally. As Paul sat in his dark jail can you imagine the thoughts that were running through his mind. Had he made a huge …

¿Otra confirmación del éxodo de los judíos de Egipto?

English version: Yet another confirmation of the Jews exodus out of Egypt Cuando usted lee sobre la liberación de Israel de Egipto en el Libro del Éxodo, la Biblia registra el país sufriendo diez plagas significativas o juicios antes de que el faraón egipcio finalmente permitiera que los judíos se fueran. Las plagas fueron catastróficas y algunos han sugerido que algo de esta magnitud debería ser mencionado en los registros egipcios. Y de hecho hay. Primero tenemos el papiro Leiden I 344 en exhibición en el Museo Nacional Holandés de Antigüedades en Leiden, Holanda. Presenta las plagas del Éxodo desde una perspectiva egipcia. Se refiere a seis de las plagas incluyendo el agua que se convierte en sangre y una oscuridad masiva en la tierra. Sin embargo, todavía hay otro artefacto que apoya la cuenta de Éxodo. Las piedras rotas de la estela fueron descubiertas entre 1947 y 1951. Una estela es una losa vertical de roca utilizada para recordar o conmemorar acontecimientos significativos en la historia de una nación. En su artículo, Prueba para …

A prayer walk

A month ago a few ladies from our Church gathered at Government House Gardens here in Regina, Saskatchewan for a prayer walk. We usually gather once a month at a park, historical site or Government building to pray for our city, country and nation. This year we decided to produce a video about our walk to show you what we do. It is our first video and it is not perfect. It is dark in spots and at other points our videoing could be better, but we hope to improve as we create more videos for our YouTube channel — Bashful & Bold. It was a bright, sunny day. The flowers and bushes were just beginning to bloom. We started to walk when we noticed a fragrance in the air and were drawn to the Cherry Blossom trees with their full pink blooms at the end of the lane. We were reminded of the verse in  2 Corinthians about the aroma of Christ and prayed into this verse that the fragrance of Christ in us …

St. George Monastery (Orthodox Church) was constructed at a cave thought to be the place where the Prophet Elijah hid after fleeing Jezebel. Credit: Catholic Church of England/Flickr/Creative Commons

Under the wing of a prophet — schools of the prophets

A few years back, a person who functions in the prophetic told me how he moved into that ministry. A prophet was speaking at the church he attended and gave a prophetic word to the man stating he was called to the ministry of a prophet. This senior prophet had also been invited to minister at another church in the same city, so he asked the young man to tag along. He didn’t throw the young man into prophetic with the old sink or swim attitude. As the prophet ministered, he told the young man to sit, listen and try to discern a word for the people being prophesied over. Later the prophet asked young man if he received words similar to what the prophet gave when he ministered to the people. The young man said yes. This was the Holy Spirit training him to have confidence in the ministry God had given him. I think the prophet Amos referred to this when he said: “The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos …

¿Un antiguo papiro habla de las plagas del Éxodo desde una perspectiva egipcia?

English version: Does an ancient papyrus speak of the Exodus plagues from an Egyptian perspective? Hay un antiguo papiro egipcio que algunos creen dice de las plagas que Dios envió a Egipto durante la liberación de Israel de esa tierra bajo Moisés. Curiosamente, el antiguo documento no ha captado la atención de muchos cristianos simplemente porque no encaja en su calendario de quien fue el Faraón del Éxodo en realidad. La mayoría cree que el Éxodo ocurrió bajo Tutmosis III o Ramsés II, pero este documento lo pone mucho antes que estos faraones. Pero encaja perfectamente con mi teoría de cuándo tuvo lugar el Éxodo y creo que este papiro, escrito desde la perspectiva egipcia, describe los días caóticos y las plagas asociadas con la liberación de Israel. El documento oficialmente llamado Leiden I 344 está en exhibición en el Museo Nacional Holandés de Antigüedades en Leiden, Holanda. Fue descubierto en 1828, pero no fue traducido hasta 1909, cuando el profesor Alan Gardner descubrió que era un lamento hablando de un momento muy caótico en la …

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A tale of two worlds

There are two worlds in Christianity. One where the Holy Spirit leads and guides believers through spiritual gifts and the other that has basically rejected the Holy Spirit playing such an active role in a person’s life. I recently read a story involving the wife of a Southern Baptist minister who had publicly rejected the ministry of Beth Moore. Beth Moore is a Charismatic teacher popular not only among women of a Pentecostal persuasion but apparently even Southern Baptist women who are less enamored with the Holy Spirit and His gifts today. In her testimony provided to Pulpit & Pen, Lauran, who leads a woman’s Bible study at her husband’s church, admitted that Beth Moore had been a favorite teacher for years. She used Beth’s materials for her Bible studies and even attended conferences where Beth was speaking. But that changed about five years ago, when Lauran became concerned that Beth believed God spoke to her — that the Holy Spirit was giving her direction. She cited one revelation that Beth received where she prophetically …

El misterio del guar egipcio

English Version: Mystery of the Egyptian Guard Hay muchas teorías sobre quién fue el Faraón del Éxodo. Mientras que algunos buscan a la arqueología para la respuesta, la Biblia proporciona pistas muy claras sobre su identidad. Para determinar quién era el Faraón, primero debemos descifrar un misterioso pasaje en Génesis: Cuando José fue llevado a Egipto, Potifar, un oficial Egipcio de Faraón, capitán de la guardia, lo compró a los Ismaelitas que lo habían llevado allá. 2 Pero el Señor estaba con José, que llegó a ser un hombre próspero, y vivía en la casa de su amo el Egipcio. 3 Vio su amo que el Señor estaba con él y que el Señor hacía prosperar en su mano todo lo que él hacía. 4 Así José halló gracia ante sus ojos y llegó a ser su siervo personal, lo hizo mayordomo sobre su casa y entregó en su mano todo lo que poseía. 5 Y sucedió que desde el tiempo que lo hizo mayordomo sobre su casa y sobre todo lo que poseía, el Señor bendijo la casa …

Cell phone gods?

According to a 2011 BBC documentary, popular electronic devices such as cell phones can potentially be a religious experience for some owners. In their documentary – Secrets of the Superbrands — Alex Riley and Adam Boome were struck by the intense brand loyalty of some users towards their Apple products. In London, England, the two witnessed massive line-ups outside Apple stores when its latest and greatest gadget was released. Some even lined up hours before opening to guarantee a spot at the front of the line. Riley and Boome were curious what caused such intense brand loyalty. They were surprised by what they found. In their documentary, they had neuroscientists use a MRI scan to study the brain of a devoted Apple user while using his Apple device. “The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same part of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith,” wrote Riley and Boome. In a nutshell, for some using an Apple product was akin to a religious experience. Idols in the heart? Throughout the …

Blind leading the blind by Francesco Pieter Brueghel the elder (1525-1569) Credit: Choo Yut Shing/Flickr/Creative Commons

Insight into Riddles

Webster’s Dictionary defines riddle as,  “Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.”

Encyclopedia Britannica describes a riddle as a, “deliberately enigmatic or ambiguous question requiring a thoughtful and often witty answer. The riddle is a form of guessing game that has been a part of the folklore of most cultures from ancient times. Western scholars generally recognize two main kinds of riddle: the descriptive riddle and the shrewd or witty question.”

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary calls a riddle, “a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed.” Hebrew Definition The Hebrew word ‘hdyx’ (chiyah) is the original word translated to ‘riddle’ in the Old Testament.  ‘Hdyx’ is also translated in some scriptures as, ‘dark sayings’ and ‘difficult questions’. The Hebrew word ‘hdyx’ is  translated into English as, “riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question”. Form of Entertainment In today’s society it is common for family members to watch television and play video …

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Have you been triggered lately?

Have you been triggered lately? The urban dictionary defines this as “Getting filled with hate after seeing, hearing or experiencing something you can’t stand.” In my experience, a triggered person is not responsible for their anger. Someone else’s fault opened the door to their rage and now anything could happen. Recently, a comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a faked severed head of President Donald Trump, Bill Maher used the “n” word in an interview, and Stephen Colbert has been criticized for something crude. Kathy Griffin, at least has received serious death threats for her offense. Related: Maher, Griffin, Colbert: Anti-Trump comedians are having a really bad moment: Washington Post So how did popular culture descend to crude violence and death threats? People were triggered. They are annoyed, usually by Donald Trump, so there are no limits on their behaviour, and now the other side is triggered and issuing death threats back at them. If this seems crazy to you, good. This is collective insanity, and it seems to be a thing these days. But Christians …

Temple of Baal in Palmra, Syria. Photo: oriana.italy/Flickr/Creative Commons

¿Está llegando un Templo de Baal a una ciudad cercana a ti?

English version: Is a Temple of Baal coming to a city near you? Según un artículo publicado en el New York Post, el Instituto de Arqueología Digital (IDA) presentará el mes próximo una réplica de tamaño completo del Templo de Baal en la ciudad de Nueva York y Londres, con planes para construir 1.000 más en otras ciudades. El IDA es un proyecto patrocinado por la Universidad de Oxford, la Universidad de Harvard y el Museo del Futuro de Dubai. Según el Post, el templo de Nueva York será instalado como parte de un evento del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO en abril. De pie 48 ‘de altura, estos arcos Baal se están construyendo en China con impresoras 3-D. Los altares se establecerán en lugares prominentes – Times Square en Nueva York y Trafalgar Square en Londres. Se reproducirán los arcos de un Templo Baal de 2.000 años de antigüedad ubicado en Siria destruido por ISIS en agosto de 2015. Baal era un dios cananeo que Israel encontró varias veces después de que entraron en …

Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD. Painting by Pelagio Palagi Fillippo (1643-1727)

Sir Isaac Newton predijo que el mundo terminaría en 2060

Sir Isaac Newton predijo que el mundo terminaría en 2060. Pintura por Pelagio Palagi Fillippo (1643-1727) English version: Sir Isaac Newton predicted the world would end in 2060 La mayoría conoce a Sir Isaac Newton como el padre de la ciencia moderna. Newton, quien murió en 1727, es considerado uno de los científicos más influyentes del mundo. Él formuló la ley de la gravedad y la ley del movimiento explicando así el movimiento de los planetas, de lunas y de estrellas debido a la atracción gravitacional de cuerpos más grandes. Transformó radicalmente el acercamiento del hombre a la astronomía. Pero Newton también era un cristiano ardiente y tenía un tremendo interés por la teología de los últimos tiempos. Pasó horas investigando la Biblia en la segunda venida de Jesucristo. Este curioso lado de Newton fue desvelado en una exhibición de los escritos de Newton en la Universidad de Jerusalén titulada “Los Secretos de Newton”. Fue una extraña combinación: eruditos hebreos que analizaban la profecía cristiana. Un cargamento de cartas y escritos de Newton, ubicado en …

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Discerning God’s voice from the brain chatter

When it comes to giving prophetic words the Holy Spirit uses the medium of our emotions and thoughts to communicate prophetic words that God wants people to deliver. This is also the same method God uses to guide and direct us individually. This of course is the same medium we use in our regular human communications. To the untrained, a prophetic word can seem like any other thought that pops into your mind over the course of the day. Now, I know that not every thought that pops in to my mind is from God. I sometimes have some very unholy thoughts, particularly of other drivers. So, the Holy Spirit will give a different tinge to the prophetic words that He puts in your mind to separate them from your own thoughts and concoctions. For each of us, it will be different. Your tinge will have a different tinge than mine. Discerning the difference takes training and practice. I remember praying for a woman in our church who had come forward at the end of …

“Ojo por ojo” significa que amas a tu prójimo como a ti mismo

English version: “Eye for an eye” means you love your neighbour as yourself 24 ojo por ojo, diente por diente, mano por mano, pie por pie, Moisés (Éxodo 21:24 NBLH) “Amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo”, Jesús (Mateo 22:39 NBLH) A primera vista, la Biblia parece un libro de extremos. En el Antiguo Testamento áspero y caído, usted tiene la ley que exige la compensación del “ojo para ojo” si una persona fue dañada. Si arrancó el ojo de una persona, entonces su ojo fue arrancado. Entonces en el Nuevo Testamento usted tiene a Jesús que enseñó “ame a su vecino.” Cualquiera que lea estos pasajes sería muy confuso – “ojo por ojo” no parece muy cariñoso. Pero ¿alguna vez has notado que hay algo extrañamente ausente en el Antiguo Testamento? No hay una cuenta de una persona que tiene su mano cortada o sus ojos arrancados debido a un crimen que cometieron – a pesar de que la ley lo requirió. Jesús entra en la controversia Entonces para empeorar las cosas, Jesús pesa sobre …

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Avoid man’s glory

Years ago, I remember pushing away from my desk, walking down the hallway to a co-worker’s office. Once there, I bluntly asked what he thought of the most recent issue of the publication I worked on. I saw the pained look on his face. It was obvious that I was fishing for a compliment. My coworker knew it, and he awkwardly answered it was great. Later, I hated myself for what I had just done. It also wasn’t the first time I did something like that. Insecure people crave feedback from others to affirm them in their gifting, ministry or job. But these pats on the back are like a drug. Once is never enough and you desire these constant affirmations from others to keep you going. As you begin to minister in spiritual gifts or areas of ministry, this is one area that must be nipped in the bud. Insecure people are constantly tempted to find out if the words they are giving have impacted the people receiving them or if the teaching was …

Pray for those in authority. Credit: thisisbossi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking curses being cast on government leaders

Charisma News recently reported on a bizarre op-ed that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 23, 2017. The author, Diana Wagman, has written several articles for the paper. In her most recent, Wagman wrote about putting a “binding spell” on US President Donald Trump. What makes it even more strange is that Wagman claims not to be a devil worshiper, but decided to do her part joining thousands of like-minded people seeking to put a curse on  President Trump and his associates. Wagman wrote: “I cast a spell on the president. I was not alone. Thousands of witches, believers and people like me all over the world performed “A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him” under the waning crescent moon last month. It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks. Now he’s complaining he’s the object of a “witch hunt.” Maybe the spell is working …” Wagman actually researched “binding spells” before doing it. As part of her ritual, …

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Turn Down the Noise

Recently I learned one of the most important lessons in my life. Why can’t we learn all the important lessons at the age of 12 or 14? A few years ago I knew an older couple, and the wife was a severe critic of everyone. You know the type. The problem for me was our failed relationship. When I visited them I always left angry. Her criticism of me was irritating, but maybe I deserved it and maybe there was some good advice in her cruel words. My breaking point was all the judgmental things said about other people. I didn’t want to join in and sometimes I tried to defend my friends. I can remember my anger as I write this. It’s impossible to correct an old critic. These old people were devout church-going Christians, respected by everyone who knew them, and I am a Christian, so this was one of the biggest defeats in my life. My clinical description above doesn’t show my emotions; those people made some of us crazy. And then …

Don't let fear dominate your life. Street art in Dublin, Ireland. Credit: Giuseppe Milo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Achieving your full potential — deal with the fear

There is an interesting parable in the Gospels that I believe Jesus purposefully told to prepare the disciples for Christ’s eventual departure. It would be a harbinger of what was to come. I am referring to the teaching on talents found several times in the Gospels. It appears in different forms and at different times, and it seems Jesus told this parable multiple times, because it was a message His disciples needed to hear. In the account recorded in Mathew 25:14-30, a ruler is going on a long journey and decides to leave his wealth or talents in the hands of his slaves to invest, until he returns. This parallels Jesus departure from earth, the bestowing of the Holy Spirit and His gifts (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) and then Jesus second return. What are the talents? I  believe in God’s kingdom, they are the giftings (spiritual and natural) and callings that God has bestowed on every believer. The Lord has tasks for us to fulfill before He returns. Some of them are spiritual and some …

The Sea of Galilee where Peter "briefly" walked on water. Credit: Asf Antman/Flickr/Creative Commons

The incredible, delayed healing, of Delia Knox

It was Christmas Day, 1987, when a drunk driver slammed into the back of a car that Delia was a passenger in. She along with her sister and brother-in-law were driving home from a church service in Toronto, Canada. Their car ended upside down and though her sister and husband only had minor injuries, Delia, then 23, was paralyzed from the waist down. Delia was also a gospel singer and though she continued to sing from a wheel chair, she dreaded ministering in other churches, because invariably they wanted to pray for her healing. At first, she appreciated their efforts but after a while she began despising these services that invariably focused on her healing. She recounts people dragging her out of a wheel chair and then watching her collapse to the floor. In an interview with CBN, Delia said “I’ve been plopped, dropped and flopped, and flipped to the point where I was like, ‘I just can’t go through this anymore.’” Then she met Bishop Knox, a speaker at a conference, she attended. They …

Wouldn't it be nice if voice spoke from heaven telling us what our spiritual gift was? Credit: The Shiney One/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Holy Spirit wants to be your personal trainer

If you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, you have also received a spiritual gift (I Corinthians 12). Many of us are uncertain what it is. We expect the heavens to open up and a billboard descend stating the Holy Spirit has given you the gift of knowledge or gift of prophecy. It would be nice if it was that simple. But when you have been given a spiritual gift, one of the first things the Holy Spirit wants to do is display that gift personally to you. Like any loving parent, God wants you to unwrap your present and then He wants to train you in your gifting. My first prophetic revealing and training session oddly enough took place in 1986 as I watched a National Hockey League (NHL) game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary flames. For those not fully familiar with the NHL, Calgary and Edmonton are both in the province of Alberta in Canada. Playing in the same division, there is a fierce rivalry between the two teams. Edmonton …

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Don’t Crash and Burn

One could think, “It’s only a dream,” but why does it remain in my mind and spirit days later? I was standing with a few other people when a low-flying plane passed overhead and took a nose-dive into a nearby hill. Its nose broke off from the rest of the plane and caught fire. Our initial reaction was one of fear – if we run toward the plane will we be caught in a blazing inferno that is certain to follow? Our fear is soon overcome by concern for the well-being of those who might still be alive. We rush toward the plane and climb into the passenger section which has remained intact. We don’t know how many people are killed but it doesn’t appear that anyone in the front burning section could have survived. And since the two broken sections are so close, we know it is just a matter of time, minutes or maybe only seconds, that the passenger section will also catch fire and be reduced to a heap of ashes. As …

Captured by sin. Photo: Chris Karr/Flickr

La diferencia entre la iniquidad y el pecado

English version: The Difference between iniquity and sin Hace varios años, una niña de 10 años fue brutalmente asesinada en la ciudad de Toronto. El asesino cortó su cuerpo y lo depositó en bolsas en el cercano lago Ontario. Ella fue secuestrada mientras caminaba las pocas cuadras desde el lugar de su amiga hasta su casa. El hombre de 37 años acusado en este brutal asesinato no tenía antecedentes. Pero se convirtió en un sospechoso cuando la policía – al entrevistar a gente en el barrio – se dio cuenta de que había pintado recientemente su casa e instaló una alfombra nueva. Para el ojo entrenado, esto era un indicador sutil de un individuo que intentaba encubrir un asesinato brutal. Cuando la policía pasó por su casa, encontraron más de 10.000 imágenes pornográficas almacenadas en su computadora, incluyendo algunas con niños. Aunque no había cometido crímenes previos, la repetida visualización de estas imágenes aparentemente construyó un bastión tan potente en su vida que finalmente se manifestó en el brutal asesinato sexual de una niña. Durante …

Proportional Russian nesting dolls Credit: Elentari86/Flickr/Creative Commons

Prophesying Proportionally

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy according to the proportion of his faith. (Rom 12:6 NASV) In this verse, Paul gives insight into how we are to function not only in prophecy, but all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He says we should prophesy in proportion to our faith. The word proportion “analogia” used in this verse is a rare word in the New Testament and only used this once. It is a mathematical term and means ratio or proportion. Technically, the term refers to the comparison of one number with another — for example 1:2 is as 2:4. The word is also translated in the secular literature of that day to mean fused indicating an unbreakable connection. In this sense, the ability to prophecy is fused to faith. At first glance, it seems pretty straight forward. We prophesy in direct proportion to our faith in God. But here is the problem. If this is true, then …

Credit: Simon Webster/Flickr/Creative Commons

Shod your feet with VICTORY

In his description of a believer’s spiritual armor, the Apostle Paul oddly refers to shoes. “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15 NASV) Compared to the breast-plate or shield, shoes are certainly not the most prominent piece of armor, but don’t let their insignificance fool you, they are key to a believer’s victory. The Roman soldier was equipped with sandal-like boots covered with brass that extended up to cover part of the shin. The sandals had nails protruding from the bottom giving the soldier extra grip. Though a wound to the foot or lower leg was not necessarily life threatening it was very incapacitating. My son was practicing soccer in our backyard gearing up for a series of big games. He kicked the soccer ball near a, until then unknown, hornet’s nest. He received a single, barely visible bite on his ankle and was off his feet for days. The smallest wound on the foot can hobble a soldier for extended periods of time making him completely …

Credit: Ruby Babson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Forgive for your heart’s sake

When Jesus spoke on forgiveness He was very clear on one thing: if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God would not forgive us. 14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15 NASV) I sometimes wonder if we struggle to forgive ourselves for things that we have done in the past, that it is a sign of spiritual blockages caused by our unwillingness to forgive. These blockages hinder us from fully experiencing God’s forgiveness. But an article on John Hopkins Medicine, Forgiveness: Your Health depends on It, provides one more reason to forgive. We need to do it for the sake of our physical health. Like many of God’s commandments, such as circumcision that improves a man’s health, the need to forgive is another section in God’s user’s manual on proper operation of the human body. According to the John Hopkins’ article, studies show that people who hold grudges and …

King David moving the Ark of the Covenant from Gibeon to the Tabernacle of David in Jerusalem. Painter unknown

¿Por qué el rey David estableció el Tabernáculo de David?

English version: Why Did King David set up the Tabernacle of David? Quizás uno de los artículos más polémicos que he escrito es “el profundo y oscuro secreto del Rey David”. He tenido más comentarios sobre ese artículo que cualquier otro que he escrito y fácilmente he tenido más gente en desacuerdo conmigo. En el artículo sostengo que el rey David era ilegítimo. Cuando dijo en los Salmos que fue concebido en el pecado – lo quiso decir literalmente. Su madre lo concibió en un acto de pecado. He aquí, he sido criado en iniquidad, Y en pecado mi madre me concibió. (Salmos 51: 5 NASV) Esto explica lo que sucedió cuando Dios le dijo a Samuel que fuera a Belén a ungir a uno de los hijos de Isaí como el siguiente rey de Israel, reemplazando a Saúl (1 Samuel 16: 1-13). La Biblia nos dice que los ancianos estaban temblando cuando el profeta apareció (v 4). Samuel aterrorizó a los ancianos, así que cuando el profeta de Dios pidió a todos los hijos, …