All posts filed under: Bible

Men With Morals. Who Cares?

Warning: This topic will offend some people. “Morals” here means sexual behavior. There was a time when people were offended when the conversation was too explicit, too “dirty.” Now people get offended for the opposite reason. I believe that sexual behavior should be controlled, and promiscuity with no limits is very wrong. The fire should stay in the fireplace. Some people will be offended. A few days ago I drove on a freeway in a bad snow storm. At one place I saw a car on the side of the road, facing the wrong way, in deep snow. As I passed, I saw that the driver was an attractive young woman, and she was crying. If you are wondering, I couldn’t stop without causing another accident, and help was on the way.  As I drove by, I knew there were two ways for a man to think. Someone could stop, and try to take advantage, when the woman was vulnerable; or we could see a daughter, niece, sister, neighbor who needed help. Any man reading …

A prophetic word on Kanye West and Donald Trump

I was surprised as much by where I read this article, as I was about what it had to say. The article on the front page of Fox News website, entitled, California pastor who prophesied Kanye West’s transformation 4 years ago predicts this about Trump tells about a remarkable prophecy given by a Los Angeles pastor by the name of Shawn Bolz about Kanye West. Shawn Bolz founded Expressions58 church and has recently moved into a prophetic travelling ministry. He hosts a podcast entitled “Exploring the Prophetic.” He also writes regularly for CBN and Charisma media. Four years ago, Bolz publicly stated several times that God told him prominent rapper Kanye West would not only become a Christian but would begin to move in the gift prophecy: “We aren’t ready for the coming influx of new Christians. God showed me Kanye West as prophet and a worship leader in Christianity.” Shawn Bolz on Kanye West, Fox News At the time Bolz made those declarations, Kanye West had just suffered a nervous breakdown. But if anyone …

Memory Loss and Fear

Mental health is very important in all stages of living. I know some young people who struggle and some old people who struggle. Many of these struggles are to do with memories and fear. There is a connection between memory, mental health, and fear. Memory loss impacts our ability to understand since so much of our understanding is based on our history and experiences. When memory  loss occurs, the confidence that comes from an inner knowledge or a sense of familiarity is replaced by a void of uncertainty. A part of us feels like we should know who so-and-so is or what is happening around us, but we don’t. And that can be unsettling. Memory loss can happen at any age although it seems to be more prevalent among the older population. There are many types of treatments for memory loss from prescriptions to supplements to memory games and physical activity. I am not an expert on any of these treatments but I would suggest that just as we are all wonderfully and uniquely made …

The Handmaid’s Tale: Is This The End Of The World?

You have probably noticed the Handmaid’s costumes in movies and television shows, and sometimes in political demonstrations. To me, these costumes, worn by women, look like a Catholic nun’s habit in a science fiction movie. The costumes were designed by a professional costume maker, for movies and television, and they are religious, so Nuns’ habits might be a design inspiration. Political demonstrations where these costumes appear are almost always about abortion. Women who dress like Handmaids demonstrate for liberal access to abortions, without restrictions, So, Handmaids’ costumes are worn by pro-abortion demonstrators. There is a group of protestors who call themselves “The Handmaids Coalition” and they protest in costume. If the name ‘Handmaid’ sounds strange for a modern group, it is a very old name, taken from the Bible. There is something Christians should know about The Handmaid’s Tale and all those protestors in those costumes. This all started with a Canadian author named Margaret Atwood, who has been writing novels and stories and poems for many years. She was well known in Canada, but …

Men Are Not stupid!

Women’s magazines often have these quizzes to help women determine if their man is a good fit for them or what type of man would be good for them.  Men’s magazines have articles on getting chiseled abs or how to be more confident. And that explains some issues in relationships. Men are different from women and this is true with how we view relationships. Men tend to see relationships like we see our vehicles. As long as it’s running, everything is fine. Women tend to see relationships as constantly needing work. “Yup, we got ourselves a really powerful motor and no rust, what a beauty!” One man might say to another man. He could be talking about his car or his wife. In either case, he’s not going to start repairing something that already works. I think this has to do with expectations. I expect that when I drive my truck it will get me to where I want to go. If something breaks down, I fix it. My expectation is that as long as …

Your True Valentine

Father Dave Mercer, a Catholic man, in case you were wondering, wrote on Aleteia.org that the three most desired phrases to hear are: “I love you.” “You are forgiven.” “Supper is ready.” When I think of that last one, it brings back memories of holidays with my family. We’re sitting around making small talk and wiping the drool off our chins waiting for that great smelling food to be ready.   We all want to be forgiven for the dumb things we do. I am blessed to be surrounded with such great people that when I do make a mistake, I am quickly and easily forgiven. And that is true of God who forgives my sins after I repent of them. I am loved. Every single day I hear I love you. Yet there were days and months and even years when I was younger in which I never once heard those words. Love means different things to different people. We are easily confused what love is so here are three things love is not. …

My Second-Best Advice: Say ‘Nope, Nope’ And Run Away

One morning, I was eating breakfast before going to work when the phone rang. That was weird, and it got weirder. I picked up the phone, and someone asked me to cancel my plans for the day, and go to court. The other person was pleading, and really wanted my help. When I say “go to court” I really mean that big building where scary things happen. I almost said no, but I decided to help my friend. The person on the phone was a woman that I knew. She was a Christian, like me, and she wanted me to testify for her in court. I phoned my boss and explained that I would be late for work. There is a history before the breakfast phone call. I had some connections with some people, a couple, and I probably had a claim for about fifty thousand dollars. The main reason was my part ownership of some real estate; a shabby little house that they rented out until they could sell it for a profit. My …

Imagine a Year Without Addictions

Most of us don’t know how much addictions interfere with our lives. I was raised in a strict family that went to church every week. The rule was, each of us had to attend something at church three times each week. I can complain now, but my strict parents raised me in a bad part of town, and kept me away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I don’t feel better than anyone else, but I am healthy now. I went to a high school where parts of the building were controlled by drug dealers. Only a few washrooms were safe and the people sleeping in the stairwells were probably high and unconscious. I’m a high school drop-out because I quit when a university accepted my course record. I was never a user; I lived in the shadow of addiction. There are many of us. Groups like Al-Anon are for those of us who live close to addiction, but don’t experience it directly. In school, I wondered why some of my friends were so thin, and …

The Vending Machine God

Some preacher somewhere said that we have more faith in a vending machine than we do in God. That was a long time ago, yet I still believe it to be true. Yesterday I was meeting with my good friend, Mark. Mark leads the worship team for Lighthouse Ministries and we often chat to match worship to whatever I am preaching about. Yesterday we talked about making worship more inclusive and for some reason I mentioned the vending machine idea. Mark added to this thought and said that often we treat God like a vending machine. How we do these things is simple and sad. I don’t often use vending machines anymore but when I was a student and studied late into the night at one of the study halls, there was a vending machine. It served up coffee. To be honest, vending machine coffee is not as good as one might think but around eleven at night with hours to go, it was the only choice we had. I think coffee was only a …

Are Ancient Aliens in the Bible?

You may have noticed, there is a growing interest something called “Ancient Aliens.”  This a step up from UFOs and a little guy named ET. When i was a boy, my older brother developed a fascination in flying saucers and visitors from outer space. I was the little brother, and I started reading his books, and I caught the fascination. It was all exciting until one Sunday, when our family went to church. The preacher brought up the topic of UFOs. This was thrilling to my brother and me, for a few seconds. We thought the adult world was going to endorse our hobby. Our hopes disappeared instantly, when he told us all how bad this belief was. We were not, under any circumstances, allowed to believe in that. I remember our mother looking at us with a look of severe correction. Later, at home, all the books were taken away, and we were warned to never speak of UFOs, flying saucers, and visitors from outer space again. My mother died a few years ago, …

War!

“War, huh, yeah,“What is it good for“Absolutely nothing” These are the lyrics of an old song by Edwin Starr. Originally recorded by The Temptations, Starr recorded it as a single in 1969. I remember this song and the power and conviction as a whole generation protested war, especially the Vietnam war. Those of us who were around in the sixties and seventies sang and still play a number of anti-war songs like Run through the Jungle, We gotta get out of this place, and Eve of Destruction. War! Rumors of war! The book of Matthew (Matthew 24:6) tells us that these things must happen before the end of our time. War is in the news again. A lot. And it is in the Bible too. Lots of places. Ecclesiastes 3:8 even tells us that is “a time for war and a time for peace.” These things have caused us hurt and pain. But what if there was a war that wasn’t bad. It would be tough and hard, but it would be worth it? What …

The One Thing

Curly Washburn told Mitch Robbins that the secret of life is to find one thing. He didn’t elaborate but as the movie and its sequel roll on Mitch figures it out. Find the one thing that makes you happy and stick to it. Is this advice from an old movie, City Slickers, good advice? According to the world it us sound and solid. You can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself is more than just lyrics from the song, Garden Party, by John Fogerty.  It is an anthem of the modern world.  What if I told you that both these bits of advice parallel the Holy Word of God? They don’t point us in the right direction but they have the same idea of focus and intent to walk our own path in a world telling us who we are  Jesus told us that all the prophets and laws in the Bible can be summed in a simple two sentence statement and that we are to focus on that. Although Curly wasn’t that far …

Can You Talk To A Criminal?

One thing we are not ready for, in Christian churches, is criminals. Recently, someone pulled out a gun in a church in Texas and started shooting. We all probably know that someone in the church had a gun and shot the shooter almost immediately. The highly skilled church member, with a gun, saved many lives. In most churches that I know, a criminal shooter could kill many people, and escape from the church. I have never seen a retired law enforcement professional with a loaded gun, in church, except in videos from that church in Texas. I have lived in a small town, and church leaders told me that petty criminals travel from town to town and go to every church they can find. They demand money because they are poor and need help, they claim. Usually they have a story about travelling on the highway, and needing money for gas. They get “gas” money from every church, and move on to the next town, and repeat. Some of them make a good living. Looking …

Forgive and Love

Forgiveness is a tough thing. It is like it has a mind of its own.  There are even times in which we can say we forgive someone and actually believe we did forgive them only to find ourselves angry at them and replaying the hurt over and over again. There are people who seem to forgive every offense. On the other end of the forgiveness spectrum are people who never forgive. They remember every hurt and wear their anger as armor to protect them from further hurts. The first group allow themselves to be trampled upon and the second group do the trampling. There are many formulas written about forgiveness including steps to forgiveness, rituals to help us forgive, and even face to face meetings set up with the ones who hurt us. Most of these are external and miss what the Bible says. Forgiveness is based on the greatest commands of Jesus. Commands that sum up all the laws and prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus said, “Love your God with all your mind, …

37 | The other Christmas story

A few days before Christmas, and my wife and I were out doing my most favorite past-time at Christmas, returning an item we had bought a few days earlier when we saw a brightly decorated yard that not only included an inflatable Santa and reindeer but also a six-foot inflatable red and green dragon. When did dragons become a Christmas decoration? Well believe it or not there is a dragon in one of the Christmas stories recorded in the Bible. It is just not a story we often recite a Christmas.

We're Fantastic!

I recently did a Google search on fantasy. You probably will not be surprised that the overwhelming majority of web posts have to do with sexual fantasies. There are other fantasies that are way more subtle and way less guilt ridden than these. There are two types of fantasies in which we take part. These are not daydreaming which are usually short-lived imaginations about people or events. The purpose of daydreams is to escape momentarily from our lives and allow ourselves to visit the land of what-if. Fantasies tend to be either forward-looking or backwards reaching. In them we rehearse what could be and what was. They are either negative or positive and often include fulfillment of goals or visions of potential disasters. An example of a negative fantasy is rehearsing past mistakes. When your fantasy has much to do with the phrase, “I should have…”, chances are you are replaying a past event. Your mistake could be real or perceived. This fantasy reminds you that either you were wrong or you were wronged. Emotionally …

Who were the Magi?

One of the tough questions surrounding the story of Jesus’ birth revolves around the magi. Who were they? Well looking at the Biblical account of their arrival only recorded in Matthew, we can determine several things: First we don’t know how many there were. The plural version of this word is used in Matthew, so we know there was more than one. Though they brought three expensive gifts — gold, myrrh and frankincense — it doesn’t mean there were three of them. Some believe this involved a larger group, as many as 12. For sure, they would have been travelling in a caravan for protection. Secondly, they were important enough that King Herod eventually requested a meeting with them. Their gifts express wealth or political connections and probably both. In fact, we read that Herod and all of Jerusalem was troubled by what they had to say about the new king (Matthew 2:3). In other words, Herod respected their opinion enough to be very concerned. We know that thee magi did not arrive at the …

How God paved the way for a marriage with a prophetic vision

I read an interesting story by Joshua Rogers of the unusual circumstance that led to him getting engaged to his wife Raquel. Joshua is a believer and a regular contributor on Fox News. He believes in God. He believes in marriage. This story reveals God’s divine and prophetic intervention that prepared the way for this event. When Joshua approached his future father-in-law, Charlie, to ask for permission, Joshua said there was initially lots of resistance. Joshua and Raquel had only been going out for three months and this would result in red flags for any parent. Joshua said the two talked in circles, with Charlie expressing his concerns and Joshua trying to answer them. And after a conversation that lasted about 90 minutes, Charlie said that he wasn’t really comfortable with Joshua’s plans, not that he was opposed to them getting married, just not right now. Charlie described his resistance as a yellow light. But in a matter of a few seconds, everything dramatically changed when Charlie asked when Roger was planning to ask Raquel …

Deceived!

Spiritual warfare uses trust to deceive. Subtle deception is the direction our culture is taking. A direction that will deceive even the most faithful if one is not careful. This whole deceit thing could be solved with one single question: Who knows more, man or God? The answer is obvious. Then we ought to trust in God and only believe Him, right? So why don’t we? Spiritual warfare is not just us as individuals being attacked and harassed by unclean and evil spirits. Sure we get tempted to lie, cheat, and steal among other things. And yes, the voice of the evil one is louder than the whisper of God or our own consciousness. I personally have gotten my butt kicked a few times by these things. There is a wider spiritual war happening at the same time. The war for our trust. And this is where mass deceit is possible. Remember the saying; “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”? This is true because the squeaks gets our attention. Let’s bring that into the spiritual …

The importance of finding God's purpose for your life

Viktor Frankl, who died in 1997 at the age of 92, was a holocaust survivor. He and his wife along with his parents and other Jewish family members were sent to Nazi concentration camps in 1942. Frankl, who even endured Auschwitz, was the only member of his family to survive the holocaust. After the war, he developed a form of therapy called logotherapy that was based on his time in the concentration camp. He along with others were able to mentally and physically survive their concentration camp experience by finding a purpose and meaning in the midst of the horror. In fact, he even wrote a book on this entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning” based on his concentration camp experience. He believed that within people there is an instinctive desire for meaning. We all need a purpose for our life and people attain happiness when they find that sense of meaning. He went on to suggest that many forms of mental illnesses such as depression can be attributed to this lack of meaning because without …

I'm Offended!

What do we do when one of our deepest held beliefs offend another person’s deepest held belief? In the world viewpoint we used to just go to war. Some cultures still do. Most just compromise their values in order not to offend. It is easier to give up truth than stand firm. In Canada, we have a government that legislates such things and tells us we are to compromise our faith and beliefs to accommodate others. The second problem is even deeper. When we are forced to compromise our values, we erode our belief system and eventually our world view is taunted as wrong and even criminal. Then what happens is we start believing these lies and the truth of Christianity is no longer perceived as truth. We compromise our faith and allow the world to determine what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, the world is a fallen place infested by sin. Quite simply, the world does not know the truth. How do we then hold to the truth without offending others? We can not. …

That Peloton Commercial: Live Better, Lose Arguments

When was the last time you had a good argument? Were you convincing? Did you win? If the answer is yes, you lost. Possibly you won the argument, but you lost, if you won. You might have heard about the video commercial for “Peloton” exercise bikes. I only lasts for about thirty seconds, and it is very well produced. It’s easy to see the professionalism in the production; the script writing, the camera work, and the acting are all excellent. This piece of skilled professional work should have boosted sales for this popular product, this Christmas. But there is a problem. People hate this commercial. The value of the entire corporation fell by ten percent after it was published. That is a huge problem for a business that wants to sell us things. Take a look and decide what you think: Many experts have many things to say, and they know more than me, but I see one spiritual lesson in the Peloton commercial. Notice that the message is basically religious; the woman has a …

We Have To Talk!

Here is a tell-on me scenario. If my wife and I have a meaningful talk every night for six months and miss a night, she says we never talk. If we talk one night in six months, I say we always talk. I can hear the head nodding on this one. Inter-gender communication is an interesting thing. Most men can sit together for hours and laugh and joke or say very little of significance. They have a great time and there’s no communication problem. I’ve heard women get together and laugh and cry and joke and share deep longings together. There is no communication problem there either. I deliberately exaggerated here to prove a point. It doesn’t matter what men talk about and it doesn’t matter what women talk about it, we both talk more freely with our own gender. In the beginning God created everything. First Adam, then Eve, were created. He out of clay of the earth and her out of his rib. These are interesting choices and clay can often turn as …

Should We Shun Other People?

Years ago, when I was a younger and single man, I joined a singles group in my church. We were a friendly bunch, and one day a new member told us what was really bothering her. She had a terrible problem that would not go away, and her life was ruined. She was being shunned. Shunning means that someone is cut off from their community, and in extreme cases, all of their friends and neighbors refuse to speak to them or do business with them. If this sounds odd to you, we didn’t get it either. Being shallow city kids, we could find new friends, and we liked being free from rude and controlling people. And we could sleep in on Sunday. If we were shunned, we would need time to notice that someone had disappeared from our busy lives, and then we could decide if this was a problem or an opportunity. We were shallow. It took us some time to know that our friend was hurting. She had lived in a small town …

It is time to just start doing it

The Apostle John makes an interesting statement in his first letter. He says it is time to grow up and take responsibility for your faith. Now you are probably scratching your head and trying to recall where he exactly said that. Well, he didn’t exactly say it in those terms, instead John wrote: 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things … 1 John 2:27 NASV We live in the day of superstar Christianity. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against the mega pastors, anointed prophets, teachers and healing evangelists. There are a few that I enjoy listening to, and in fact I believe we need more of them. And I think this is the point that the Apostle John was trying to make. As believers, we have relied too much on the professionals to build the Christian faith. In the early church, they had their superstars like the …

Jezebel’s Nasty

This article is based on an interview I did regarding the spirit of Jezebel. The show is called “The Sound of the Trumpet”. Do you remember Jezebel who was married to Ahab in the Old Testament? She tried to destroy the prophets of God and the culmination of that battle was the confrontation of Elijah and the hundreds of Baal prophets. God proved who He was and the false prophets were killed (1 Kings 18). While she was a real person, the spirit of Jezebel that controlled her is also a real entity. This spirit is at work even today and has infiltrated many churches. This spirit is hard to recognize. The Bible says to look at the fruit to determine the state of the tree so let’s look at the fruits of the Jezebel spirit and compare that to the spirit of God as represented in Elijah. The spirit of Jezebel is still around. Spirits live a lot longer than humans and it is not until Jesus gets rids of them all at the …

La mentira del suicidio

English version: Suicide’s lie Esta es la primera de una serie de artículos sobre la depresión. La depresión tiene raíces profundas mentales y físicas, así como una dimensión espiritual de gran alcance. A menudo se manifiesta con una sensación de estar fuera de sincronía con nuestro mundo, nuestra familia, e incluso a nosotros mismos. Y cuando estamos fuera de sincronía con el mundo se siente como que simplemente no encajamos. Empezamos a retirarnos de un mundo que nos parece que no le importamos, es hostil, o no tiene nada que ver con nosotros. Cuanto más damos un paso atrás, más difícil es parar. Oímos esa voz constante que ofrece la paz en un mundo sin paz hasta que en un momento, un momento desesperado, en el que el dolor de la vida nos abruma y no encontramos una salida en ese instante terminamos con nuestra vida. Nuestro dolor, que es tan profundo se transfiere ahora a los que nos aman. Nuestra pérdida alimenta el fuego de la culpa y la ira. La culpa es rampante …

I Need a Job: Learn from the Blue Banana

Do you need a job? Most of us feel the pressure to find a career and a good living, possibly with a house in the suburbs, and two cars in the driveway. There are many career counselors, and I’m sure they can give better advice than me, but I think we can all learn from the Blue Banana. This strange name comes from economics, and it is also called the backbone of Europe. On a map, it’s blob, maybe like the shape of a banana, and it gets colored blue on maps. Today it shows where the most people live and where the big cities are. From the north, it stretches from England, to Germany, and to the big cities in northern Italy. There are many important points between that I didn’t mention. RELATED: Blue Banana There is a spiritual lesson here. In history, this region is where the industrial revolution happened, and that explains why the big cities are there today. People live near the jobs. The industrial revolution taught the world how to …

The angel Gabriel announcing Mary's conception by Paolo de Matteis 1712. This was part of the Feast of Annunciation (Mary's conception) celebrated by some Catholics on March 25th.

Por qué el 25 de Diciembre fue elegido como el cumpleaños de Cristo

English: Why December 25th was chosen as Christ’s birthday Hay mucho debate sobre por qué el 25 de diciembre fue elegido como el día en que nació Jesús. Hay poca evidencia bíblica que revele la fecha del nacimiento de Jesús. Lucas 2: 8 se refiere a los pastores en los campos que sugieren que el nacimiento de Jesús tuvo lugar en la primavera cuando los pastores estaban con sus rebaños durante el parto. Tal vez no por casualidad, Juan se refiere a Jesús como el Cordero de Dios (Juan 1:29). Clemente de Alejandría (150 DC – 215 DC), un maestro cristiano Egipcio, había citado el 20 de mayo y el 20 o el 21 de Abril como posibles fechas del nacimiento de Cristo encajando con la teoría de la primavera. Para el año 400 DC, el 25 de Diciembre junto con el 6 de Enero se consideraron las fechas para el nacimiento de Cristo, y el 25 de diciembre fue el principal candidato y el ganador final. La fecha de Diciembre se mencionó como el …