All posts filed under: Bible

Credit: Ron de Boom/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will you complete the transformation?

In Romans 12:1,2, the Apostle Paul makes a life-changing statement that believers are “transformed by the renewing of our mind.”  Though we are saved by faith, the transformation for the Christian takes place as we change the way we think. That word transformed is the Greek word ‘metamorphou’ from which we get the English word metamorphosis that describes the transformation that takes place when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. This transformation is a gradual process for a caterpillar. First it spins a cocoon and then in the safety of this container, the insect dissolves and the mixture of enzymes reform into a new creature – a butterfly. The two insects are so different they can no longer eat the same thing because its digestive system has completely changed — one chews on leaves and the other sucks nectar. Paul says the Christian must undergo a similar transformation. Unfortunately, we can’t spend a few days in a cocoon to complete this change. We are forced to learn on the job. Further, Paul tells us that …

A woman prays near the Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Credit: Jelle Drok/Flickr/Creative Commons

About Jerusalem

In recent years, I have been blessed to spend several weeks in the eternal city of Jerusalem. This is the only city on the earth which the LORD God of Israel declared, “In Jerusalem, I will put my name forever” (2 Kings 21:4-7). During my time in Israel, Psalm 122:6 was constantly before my eyes;  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” Jerusalem is the most prayed for city in the universe.  At every meal, Jews pray the blessing, “Blessed are you, O LORD, who will build up Jerusalem in mercy.” Every Monday the Jews recite Psalm 48 from their Prayer Book; “Walk about Zion and go all around her” (verse 12). Jerusalem is a spiritual city (not sinless), set apart for a Holy God. Many days I spent just walking around Jerusalem and was constantly reminded of the  blessings connected with Israel that can only come from the true LORD God.  Indeed the peace of Jesus Christ is evident in the streets and there are places where one can …

Message in a bottle Credit: Kev Lewis/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has the church lost its message?

I was on a Christian website reading an article on Disney’s recent release of Beauty and the Beast that portrayed overtly homosexual scenes in a movie intended for children.  One person commented deriding and mocking the church’s failure to boycott the movie that was a box office success. Baited, several Christians responded some with vulgar comments condemning the person. One used the term “bum holer,” a comment that was later removed. To be honest, I felt a similar resentment towards this pro-gay commenter. I have been a Christians for years but a verse from the Gospel of John cited in a devotional I received recently caught my attention. I wondered if someone had just added this verse to the Bible in the last couple of years, because it seems so contrary to current Christian practice. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn (Greek krino) the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NIV) The Greek word ‘krino’ means to judge as the NASV translated it or to …

Credit: mar is sea Y/Flickr/Creative Commons

Being centered: A personal struggle to belong

Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters. After studying his life for the past year, I have developed a love/hate relationship with this Old Testament hero, both for the same reasons. He stood faithful in God, no matter what happened. No matter who lied or betrayed him, no matter how far down in the pit life pushed him, he kept serving and looking to God. He stayed centered on God when most of us would have given up on God and our dreams. But I want to look at one aspect of Joseph’s life that is often not discussed but is both encouraging and challenging. Most people agree that Joseph came from a very dysfunctional home: 9 older jealous brothers, 3 step-moms, and a doting father who was clued-out as to the effect that his favoritism was having on his family. After studying Joseph’s life, what I see is a loner. He was a loner but never alone. He was too Egyptian for his family and too Jewish for the Egyptians. At the end …

Credit: Luther Bailey/Flickr/Creative Commons

Hearing the prophetic sound

If radio and television sound can be transmitted through receivers, can human beings transmit sounds that are not ordinarily heard by the human ear? If a short-wave radio can receive communication from across the ocean, is it possible for a human to pick up that same information? The prophet Isaiah spoke of supernatural hearing assistance when he wrote: “He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away” (Is. 50:4b-5). On July 6, 2004, while playing my piano and worshiping the LORD, I heard the cries of young children.  As I continued to worship I discerned the cries of the children were from Australia and a burden came upon me. I began to pace my living room and cry out, “Why are the children crying?” After some time the answer came, “Because they have no one to show them the Father’s Love”. That answer disturbed me as I know there are some very …

Nambia desert Credit: John Adams/Flickr/Creative Commons

Healing our rejection

Using a MRI scan university researchers discovered that emotional pain associated with rejection is as real as physical pain. In 2011, the group led by University of Michigan associate professor Ethan Kross studied 40 people who had recently gone through a romantic break-up within the previous six months. All the participants chosen mentioned having felt intense feelings of rejection due to the ending of the relationship. The 40 people were then put through two tests one related to the emotional pain they felt over the rejection and the other actual physical pain. In the first test, the study subjects viewed an image of their ex and were asked to think about the break up.  In the second stage, thermal devices were attached to their arms that created heat the equivalent of hot coffee. As the 40 people went through these and other comparative tests, the researchers monitored their brain activity using MRIs. The researchers found that feelings of rejection sparked neural activity in the same area of the brain where people felt physical pain. In …

Credit: Iamnotunique/Flickr/Creative Commons

Centered Like Clay

One of the best definitions of intercession I have heard goes something like this: “Intercession is not about defeating the devil in a particular battle; it is about getting into the face of God, with the defeat of the devil as the by-product.” Reading the many accounts of Jesus’ ministry to desperate people reveals something wonderful about God’s character. It seems that the more irreverent and noisy, and the more into Jesus’ face and space someone was, the more Jesus liked it. He even went so far as to touch a leper before He had healed him. Yuck! (Mark 1:40-45) What a wonderful Lord we serve, who beckons society’s “lepers” to come to Him, and get into God’s face and be redeemed! My question is, how centered on God can you get? Centered Like Clay The term “centered” means different things to people of different backgrounds. From doctors setting bones to machinists working on a lathe, being centered and focused is critical to the success of any endeavor. I want to look at two Old …

Pray for those who mistreat you. Credit: MissTessmacher/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: prayer calms the angry heart

A 2011 study conducted by researchers from universities in America and Europe concluded that prayer helps a person calm their anger. The study conducted by Brad Bushman a psychology and communications professor from Ohio State University, Sander Koole of Holland’s VU University of Amsterdam and University of Michigan’s Ryan Bremner found that prayer quelled a person’s anger even if they were not particularly religious. There were various stages to this study. In one session, the researchers asked the participants in the study to to write a paper that was then evaluated by a partner who purposely and aggressively criticized the paper. They were extremely negative about what the participant had wrote. They then had some participants of the study group think about what their partner had said and others spend five minutes praying for them. Once they had gone through this process, the participants then played a game with their partner. If the participant won, they were allowed to blast their partner with loud music. The participant also determined how loud the music was and …

Singapore Credit: William Cho/Flickr/Creative Commons

When did Satan take over the world?

During the temptation in the wilderness, the devil showed Jesus all the “kingdoms of the world” (Luke 4:5) and offered the Lord a deal no man could refuse: “I will give you all this domain and its glory, for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:6 NASV) As we study this passage, we noticed that Jesus never challenged Satan’s claim the world had been handed over to him and several times the Lord acknowledged Satan was the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30). The apostle Paul pushed the theological barrier to the edge when he described Satan as the god of the world (2 Corinthians 4:4). In no way, did the apostle believe Satan was divine, as Paul clearly states there is only one God, but as far as humanity was concerned, the evil one functioned as a god. The title-deed for planet earth was firmly in Satan’s grip. So when did Satan take over the world? Most instinctively think it took place when …

Denzel Washington Credit: GabboT/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

An old woman’s prophecy over actor Denzel Washington said he would speak to millions

Denzel Washington, 62, is a popular American Actor, playing major roles in such movies as Remembering the Titans, Training Day and one of my favorites — The Book of Eli. He has won two Academy awards and three Golden Globes. In an interview with Parade Magazine, Denzel spoke of his strong spiritual roots, including his father who was Pentecostal preacher for nearly five decades. Denzel added that he reads the Bible daily and has read it through completely three times. God had a call and a purpose for Denzel and he tells of a prophetic word given him by an older woman at their church who many considered a prophet. She told Denzel that one day he would speak to millions of people. Denzel was 21 years old and had just flunked out of college. He was sitting in his mother’s beauty shop, when the old woman approached him. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Denzel recounts what happened next: It was March 27, 1975. I started acting four months later. She said, “You know …

Painting by Adolf Northern (1828-1876)

Have you been raided?

Greg Gordon has operated sermonindex.net for 14 years. He also has a YouTube channel with over 5,000 sermons that people have viewed over 35 million times. Thousands of these sermons are embedded in websites around the world. He was shocked to find out that YouTube had recently shutdown his channel for violating community standards and specifically cited “deceptive practices.” Gordon had no idea what they were talking about, but obviously someone had complained. Though YouTube eventually restored the service, Gordon believes the shutdown was an attack of the enemy. In an article on Charisma News Gordon said: “I started to consider this a direct attack from the enemy. That same night, I fainted and fell and ended up at the ER. This has never happened to me with a flu or sickness. We have curried the prayer support of thousands of prayer (warriors.)” There is an interesting verse in the Gospels where Jesus talks about violent people raiding the Kingdom of God. The problem started when King Herod was visiting his brother Philip and became …

Morgan Freeman Credit: Nathan Congleton/Flickr/Creative Commons

Morgan Freeman on the Gift of Tongues

The Christian Broadcasting Network published an article on comments actor Morgan Freeman recently made on his encounter with the Gift of Tongues at Newlife Pentecostal Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was part of a documentary series Freeman is doing called “The Story of God.” In a recent episode he describes this charismatic gift as “powerful.” Freeman said: “All around me people have been swept up by an invisible force. And now they speak what they believe is the language of Heaven. I can see on their faces that they are genuinely somewhere else. “Now, whatever it is, they felt that power; they are not the same. Experience changes them, how they see themselves, how they relate to others, how they change their lives. “That was a powerful experience. I could feel the energy in that space. Normal people suddenly transformed by some power and then just suddenly return to normal. But Pentecostals believe they are bringing heaven down to earth.” These are interesting statements as the experience seems to have genuinely impacted Freeman. The …

Beware the roaring lion. Credit: chris jd/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beware the roaring lion

In several verses, the Bible warns about the devil’s attack. The Apostle Paul tells us to be wary of the snares of the devil (1 Timothy 3:7), deceiving or seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1) and the devils schemes or mind games (2 Corinthians 2:11). But it is the Apostle Peter who urges believers to be on the “alert” for the “roaring lion,” who seeks out those he can devour. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NASV) It’s interesting how the apostle throws in the term “roaring” to describe the lion. For years, scientists have been puzzled by the unusual affect the lion’s roar has on its prey. When the lion gives a deep, guttural roar, animals — instead of instantly fleeing — are momentarily paralyzed giving the lion a brief opportunity to strike. Researchers have now discovered the reason for this. Along with its roar, the lion utters what is called “infrasound.” This is a …

Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon) Viet Nam. Credit: Colin Key/Flickr/Creative Commons

Original sin

Studies show that the average person lies about 100 times a day. As one writer tactfully noted, this was not talking about you specifically, but the average person. In the study, published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology, University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman recruited 121 pairs of men and women attending classes at the university to take part in the study. They had no idea what it involved at this point. They were then brought together and asked to have conversations with the other participants. Most of them did not know each other. They were unaware that the conversations were being recorded and researchers received the required permission after, before moving to the next stage. The students were then asked to view the video and to pick out the lies — from the most innocent to the most blatant. They found that over 60% of the participants lied within the first ten minutes of their conversation and told an average of 2.92 lies. They found men and women lied the same amount, …

Huli Wigmen tribesmen, Papau, New Guinea Credit: Didrik Johnck/Flickr/Creative Commons

The ten-foot angel said “I am not going to let you kill her”

It was February 24, 2009, when Canadian missionary Sue Ambrose heard the sound of someone running up behind her. She turned and saw a madman coming at her with an upraised machete. She remembers screaming “No” and the crazed man yelling “Yeah, you” then the blade deflected off her skull, chipping bone, and slicing off skin and hair. Stunned Sue fell to the ground, but continued to fight back. When the man thrust the large knife into her hip, she grabbed the blade to stop him from striking her again severing several tendons in her hand. From Salmon Arm, BC, Sue and her husband Mark serve as Wycliffe missionaries in Papua, New Guinea. She was returning to the missionary compound after buying food at the local market for the students at the Bible and literacy school where she and her husband minister. She used these walks as a time of meditative prayer and that morning she was contemplating a verse she had spoken to people about that morning: “Whoever desires to save his life will …

Credit: shutter-fotos.com/Flickr/Creative Commons

But Satan hindered us

It was a cold winter night in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada as my wife, then fiancé, and I drove a lonely highway to visit my parents. We had started late afternoon for the six-hour drive. Other than a car following behind us, there wasn’t much traffic. But two flickering lights off in the dark distance warned of an approaching vehicle. As the car got closer, it suddenly veered into our lane. Panicked my wife who was driving wrenched the steering wheel to the right and our car plunged into the ditch. We hit the ditch at full speed and the deep snow gripped our front wheels and our car rolled. Not sideways, but end over end — back over front. Suddenly my wife and I were hanging upside down in our car. I remember fumbling with the keys and turning off the vehicle. We released our seat belts and collapsed on the ceiling of the car. Other than being in total shock about what had just happened, we were unhurt. But the deep snow, that had …

Credit: Josh & Karen Tanenbarum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Baby Sinners?

A study by Dr. Vasudevi Reddy, of the Psychology Department at the University of Portsmouth, showed babies learn to lie before they learn to speak.  Her conclusions were reported in the April 2007 edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Dr. Reddy stated that lying started as early as six months. She says through trial and error, babies gain a better understanding in what situations lies work best and by seven months many infants are skilled in the art of deceit. Reddy’s conclusion flies in the face of many behavioral psychologists who — convinced of man’s eternal goodness — don’t believe children start lying until they are four years of age or older, when their brains are more developed. (By this age some argue lying is a learned behavior not an innate one.) But others, mostly parents, have had nagging suspicions that their sweet, innocent child had a dark side. In the course of her research, Reddy studied 50 children and did extensive interviews with their parents. Through this process, Reddy identified a …

Called to be a superhero with flaws?

My Prophetic Journey Part 15: The Last Word

[This is part of a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] God desires an army of broken and weak supermen and women to change the world. In II Corinthians 12:7-10 we read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Verse 9 says, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” In many ways – pedigree, education and position – Paul was a heavy-weight, a “superman” if you will. But it was Paul’s thorn, his weakness, that drove him closer to God. Being used by God in the prophetic, or in any gift, is not about our greatness, but His grace. Several years ago God gave me a disturbing vision of myself. He showed me a before and after picture of me as a vessel. The first picture was what looked like an empty tin can with a number of nails and nasty looking screws sticking into it from the outside. God told me, this was you. The next …

Michael the Arch Angel battling Satan by Luca Giordano (1632-1705): Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 14: The Angel and the demon

[This is part of a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] As we journey in the prophetic, we are involved in the supernatural realm, and our perceptions can help or hinder us. Fear is something that can definitely hinder. Even as a young Christian I was oppressed with fear, including a fear of the devil.   Somewhere in my family’s past there was a very dark shadow.   As I got older I still had an unhealthy fear of the enemy. Several years ago my wife and I prayed for a friend who had a number of issues in her life. I got a vision while praying for her. I saw a demon sitting on top of a well. God revealed that she had a Christian inheritance in her family, but the enemy was doing all he could to keep her from accessing that godly well. I have only ever had one vision of a demon and this was it. This demon was a small stupid looking imp, and my …

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Credit: Wikipedia/Michael-David Bradford

Coincidence or is this the reason why membership in the Southern Baptist church shrunk?

On May 13, 2016, the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced that it will now allow its missionaries to speak in tongues privately. This ended a policy initiated in November 2005, when the board said it would no longer accept missionaries who spoke in tongues. Originally the board allowed missionaries to speak in tongues in their personal prayer life, but forbid any public expression. On its application form one of the first questions asked was if the person spoke in tongues. The question will remain but will not impact a person’s ability to work as a missionary with SBC. The Southern Baptist church, the largest protestant denomination in North America, believes the gift of tongues, also called glossolalia, ended with the age of the apostles and is no longer valid today. Then the very next year, 2006, in a nearly unanimous vote (36-1) trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary announced they will no longer allow anyone to promote speaking in tongues on campus and will not hire any person who knowingly …

Credit: Mazda Hewitt/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 13: Prophetic props

For several years I helped to teach introductory level classes dealing with the prophetic. These classes were divided into two parts – a teaching session, and a practical application. We often had people come who had little to no prophetic experience, who just felt they should be there. One of my greatest joys was seeing these people come alive in God, realizing that they could hear from God! When I attended Bible college our classes always had opportunity for budding preachers to practice preaching and teaching in a safe environment. Why should it not be the same for those stepping out in the prophetic? In teaching the introductory prophetic classes I enjoyed coming up with practical exercises using props. One of these props was an empty chair. I remember putting our prime minister’s name on a slip of paper, putting it into an envelope, and putting the envelope on the chair. The group gathered around the chair. They were told that the name of a real person was in the envelope, but weren’t told who …

El gran y oscuro secreto del Rey David

English version: King David’s big, dark secret Había un gran y oscuro secreto en la vida de David que pocas personas son conscientes. No es que David trató de mantenerlo en secreto, pero muchos de nosotros simplemente no podemos conectar los puntos. Cuando estudiamos la vida de David, hay una serie de pasajes bíblicos que al principio le parecen bastante desconcertantes. Uno de estos pasajes es 1 Samuel 16: 1-13. Dios acababa de rechazar a Saúl como rey de Israel y comisionó al profeta Samuel a ungir a uno de los hijos de Jessee de Belén como el siguiente rey (v 1). Samuel se acercó a los ancianos de Belén y organizó la reunión. Una vez que Jessee y sus hijos se habían reunido, Samuel rápidamente se dio cuenta de que ninguno de los muchachos que estaban delante de él era el que Dios había elegido. Perplejo, Samuel preguntó si había otros hijos y se le dijo que el más joven, David, estaba asistiendo al rebaño. Samuel ordenó que trajeran a David delante de él …

Antique baggage lock Credit: Michael Kappel/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 12: Using your keys

[This is the twelfth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Years ago I worked doing security in a large corporate hotel. When I came on duty I would sign out the large set of keys that I would carry with me during my shift. I had keys for every part of the hotel except the manager’s office. I had authority from the manager to open or close any door I needed to at any time I chose. With so many keys it took some time to learn which key fit into which locked door, especially in the dark. And, I needed to be sure to never lose the keys – guarding their safe keeping was a huge responsibility. My journey in God has been very much like being given spiritual keys and learning how to use them. In an emergency in the darkness you have to know which key fits which door in order to “save the day.” Over the years God has taught me kingdom …

Anger, bitterness and unforgiveness are linked

Now in their 80s and 90s, many survivors of the Nazi Holocaust were upset when a photo of Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, 81, surfaced earlier this year. It was a photo of Eva embracing Oskar Groening, 94, in a German courtroom in the city of Lunenburg. Groening had been a SS sergeant and chief accountant at Auschwitz concentration camp, the same camp the Nazis sent Eva and her Hungarian Jewish family to die. The courts found Groening guilty and complicit in the slaughter of 300,000 Jews in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Eva and her identical twin sister Miriam were ten when their family arrived at the concentration camp. As the cattle cars emptied, Eva recalls the Nazis scouring the hundred of Jews standing on the train platform. The guards were looking for identical twins. When a guard saw Eva and Miriam, he yanked them out of their mothers arms and took them away. They were of keen interest to Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi surgeon at the camp who used Jews for his brutal experiments. He …

Old well in France Credit: Jean Guillaume Coutard/Flickr

My Prophetic Journey Part 11: You Can’t Draw Water from an Empty Well

[This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] When I was first called to the prophetic ministry I remember the admonition to not only know the Word, but to live it, and have it as a great well to draw out living water to refresh others. In the past number of years, at the beginning of the year I often have gotten “marching orders” for that year for an area to study, a book of the Bible, like Amos, or a person’s life, like Joseph. As examples, here are a few of the lessons that I learned from these studies. Amos was a farmer, and spoke the language of a farmer. God used his rural background to speak repentance to the northern capital of Bethel. God does not always send us to our “own” people. The book of Isaiah is almost like the whole Bible in one book. Isaiah is in some ways the opposite of Amos – he was an educated blue-blooded prophet …

What do you feel about the death penalty? Credit: Carlos Y./Flickr/Creative Commons

Should Christians support the death penalty? — A response

The death penalty is a controversial subject for Christians. Believers fall on both sides of the issue. Some believe the death penalty should be part of the criminal code and others do not. In this article, I want to respond to Katherin Dwyer’s article entitled Should Christians support the death penalty? posted on the Gospel Herald website. In her article, she explains why as a Christian and conservative she opposes the death penalty. Katherine is a Charles Koch Institute Communications Fellow with Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty. Her article was in part sparked by the recent US presidential election, where three states also held referendum votes on the death penalty. Katherine takes a reasoned approach on her opposition to the death penalty and I believe she made some valid points. But I don’t agree with all her conclusions and simply want to discuss why I believe the death penalty is still a legitimate form of justice, even today. Eye for an eye The first thing Katherine delves in to is the “eye for eye” …

View from the pulpit. Credit: Tyrone Warner/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 10: Prophetic Protocol

[This is the tenth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] The title of this next article in this series could be, “The Means Must Justify the Ends,” or, sometimes it is more important how you do something than just getting it done. One pitfall in the prophetic is when those who are idealistic or insecure look with criticism on a person or group who does not respond to the word they give in the way they think they should (“if they don’t do as I say, they are rejecting God’s word”). Fortunately, a prophet’s pride is no match for God’s grace. Another situation that can challenge our attitude and response is when you feel you have a hot word from God, but are not given a platform to share it. Moses is a great example of what our attitude and response should be. He was a deliverer, Law giver, and also prophet, and Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all …

This is how snowblowers are supposed to work. Credit: Jon/Flickr/Creative Commons

Complain, complain, complain — it affects the brain

Social researchers tell us when having a conversation most people utter one complaint about every minute. I easily fill that quota. If I am not complaining about the weather, I am complaining about something the government did or our city’s losing pro-football team. However, my favorite whipping boy recently has been my snowblower. For the past three weeks it has gone AWOL — refusing to start. I had a friend come over who is very familiar with these type of mechanical devices, but even he couldn’t get it going. So we threw it in the back of a half tone, and took it in for service, and as my luck had it, the warranty ran out a month earlier, so it wouldn’t be covered. They got it going and the serviceman even started it to show it was now working. Of course, as soon as I got it home and we had our first snowfall, the snowblower refused to start again and I had to shovel by hand. I was not a happy camper. I had …

Stave Church in Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri

My Prophetic Journey Part 9: How to minister in North Dakota and not even be there!

[This is the ninth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Years ago, while a member of a senior prophetic team in a large church, I ran into a continual problem. The team would be invited to minister out-of-town on weekends, and I rarely could go. I ran a small retail business, and it was almost impossible to get Saturdays off, even for God’s work! It drove me crazy. It came to a head one time when our team was invited to minister at a church in Minot, North Dakota. I really, really wanted to go, but my boss said no, and I decided I would spend the weekend in a major pity party. A few days before the trip our team leader had a planning/prayer meeting regarding the weekend. She came to me, expressing how badly she felt that I was unable to go. She shared that she felt under attack from the enemy, and knowing how I felt, asked if I could keep her in …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Intercessors: Engaging the enemy

I consider myself an intercessor and it has taken the full length and breadth of 30 years to understand what intercession is and who I am in this gifting and calling. Intercessors, in their various roles, stand in the gap for people in prayer and worship to enhance God’s presence, draw people in and bring them into a more intimate experience and connection with God. Not everyone is called to intercede in this way.  There are many roles that intercessors play and one person does not do it all. I am a dancer and along with other women, I dance in church during worship with ribbons, scarves and flags. As intercessors we need to be sensitive to shifts in the spiritual realm.  We often find ourselves pressing into these shifts to enhance the worship and/or step into warfare to exercise authority over the enemy and his strongholds. There are moments in worship on Sunday mornings when I grab a flag and begin to intercede with the flag during the height of worship. At other times, …

Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 8: The Challenge of the Roller Coaster

[This is the eighth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In the last few articles in this series we looked at four lessons God taught me in my journey in the prophetic. This one is also an unavoidable lesson. Lesson 5 – The Challenge of the Roller Coaster At times having a prophetic gift can be like living on a roller coaster. When your word hits the mark and saves the day, you’re a super hero – on top of the world! But when you get it wrong or it’s a challenging word that just gets strange stares, and the worship leader is encouraged to sing something, anything – then what? The roller coaster descends full speed to the bottom! But you are not alone, and there is hope! I have heard from a number of prophets that God often chooses the weak to show His strength, and that many who are called to the prophetic struggle with insecurity. His plan is to change us, to …

Temple of Bel (Baa)l at Palymira, Syria prior to its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Spirit of Baal in the end times

A strange thing happened in 2016, a company manufactured full-scale 3-d replicas of the gates of a Temple of Baal that once stood in Palmyra, Syria. ISIS destroyed the 2,000 year old temple in 2015. They installed arches this past spring in Trafalgar Square in London, England and later on September 19, 2016 at Times Square in New York City. The 48′ foot arch from the Baal temple has certainly proved controversial. Some wonder if it provided an opening or portal for the spirit of Baal in these two countries, much in the same way the building of temples for Baal and Asherah would have done in ancient Israel when Queen Jezebel set them up. In his article proposing this on Charisma News, author Michael Snyder suggests the setting up of the arch may have contributed to the rise in violence in America that we are recently seeing. Or maybe it is all just one big coincidence. Or, perhaps it is just a sign of the times — an indication of what is already happening …

People walking the streets of Shanghai, China Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

Respected scientist believes in the existence of the soul

Sir Roger Penrose, 85, is a respected and award-winning mathematical physicist in England. He serves as the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at University of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute. His awards include the Wolf Prize won in 1988 that he shared with Stephen Hawkings. His most recent awards include the De Morgan medal (2004) that is handed out every three years by the London Mathematics Society and the Copley Medal (2006) awarded by London’s Royal Society for outstanding research achievements in any branch of science. It is considered the world’s oldest scientific award. Penrose ranks among the greats — Einstein and Hawkings. He has also developed many theories during his lifetime, but perhaps his most intriguing is his belief in a human soul that continues to exist after a person dies. According to an article in The Sun, he describes the soul as a “packet of information stored at a quantum – or sub-atomic level.” When a person dies this information is released intact into the universe but will return to the human body if …

Harvest time is hard work Credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Kill a Church – Part 3

The U.S.A. just had an election and the whole world is talking about it. I live in Canada, so I don’t want to add to the discussion; Americans know how to manage their own country. Before we forget though, Donald Trump surprised the world by winning, and Hillary Clinton shocked her loyal followers by losing. Before the vote, he labored to convince the doubters to vote for him, and she convinced her friends to love her more. We had the same pattern where I live in 1992; Nancy Betkowski was an educated, sophisticated woman who was going to be our provincial leader. Her rival was Ralph Klein, a journalist who drank too much. At the leadership convention Nancy went to bed knowing she had the majority vote the next day. Ralph stayed up all night working the crowd and trying to convince his enemies to vote for him. Nancy appeared for her coronation the next morning, and we were all stunned when Ralph won the vote. He missed some sleep and worked very hard, and …

Radar Valley, Goldstone, California Credit: Jason Major/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 7: Learning the Radar

[This is the seventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] As described in the previous article, God continues to teach us as we move into the deep end.   He stretches us, and is always faithful to give us what we need. Lesson 4 – Learning the Radar At times I have gotten a vague word just walking into a situation. I learned the hard way that not every prophetic impression was to be shared publicly. Sometimes it was a matter of being within radar range – that many who are within radar range will be hearing the same thing. On these occasions, if God’s Spirit is saying, “John 3:16,” before a meeting even starts, then “all who have an ear to hear” will pick up on that. If someone speaks that verse out, it may be the role of another who sensed the same thing to affirm it with an “Amen!” or to affirm it with that person to encourage them. As I have shared before, …