All posts filed under: Bible

The Universe Is Sending You a Spiritual Message

I have a friend who talks about messages from the Universe. When I think that God is trying to tell me something, he corrects me and says the Universe is speaking to me, and I should listen. I’m a Christian, and I naturally think about God. You might have a friend like this, and maybe you believe in the spiritual power of the Universe. It’s a popular concept, and I have met many people who like the idea. The idea that the Universe sends messages to us, and we can find our way through life if we listen, is popular these days. Oprah is one celebrity, among many, who thinks we need to hear from the Universe; life teaches us how to be successful if we listen. These messages include personal responsibility; they are things we need to do if we want to find our destiny. With my friend who talks about the Universe, that word is another way to say ‘God’ without getting religious and joining a church. Lately, he has started to read …

Can anger be a road map to a better life?

Anger is a powerful emotion and can pull us into situations we are not prepared to deal with.  We are not in control. Anger can map out a direction and lifestyle we did not ask for or want.  It just takes us there! We get angry about relationships and our circumstances at home or work. But anger can quickly get out of control. It is like an anchor attached to a rope that slips out of our hands before we can get a good grip on it. Now a lot of Christians think it is a sin to be angry. But the Apostle Paul says that we can be angry and not sin: 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, (Ephesians 4:26 NKV) Anger is an emotion and sometimes things happen that are clearly unfair or simply wrong, and we are allowed to get angry. But we must catch the last part of this verse when Paul says don’t stay angry. Don’t let the sun go …

A prophetic call to leadership?

Español: Un llamado profético de liderazgo? Earlier this year, the citizens of El Salvador elected Nayib Bukele as the country’s president in national elections held in February. Nothing unusual about that, but there are several things unusual about Bukele. First he is only 37 years of age and is the youngest person ever elected president in that country. He is also the youngest president in Central America. He managed to get elected as an independent. It’s a rare achievement to be elected president with no party affiliation as the last time that happened in El Salvador was in 1972. But what makes him truly unique is that he received three prophetic words and one warning encouraging the Christian businessman to run for president. Bukele was a successful businessman and city mayor and had no interest in running for president of the country. According to Charisma News, in a presentation to a group pastors, businessmen and local leaders at the end of July, Bukele unexpectedly shared his story on how he ended up as president. It …

Nambia desert Credit: John Adams/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sanando el 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, un grupo liderado por el profesor Ethan Kross asociado de la Universidad de Michigan, 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 un calor equivalente al de un café caliente. Cuando las 40 personas pasaron por estas y otras pruebas comparativas, los investigadores monitorearon su actividad cerebral usando un test de imagen de resonancia magnética. Los investigadores descubrieron …

Israel captive in Egypt by Edward Poynter (1836-1919) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

El misterio del guardian 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: José y la esposa de Potifar 39 Cuando José fue llevado a Egipto, los ismaelitas que lo habían trasladado allá lo vendieron a Potifar, un egipcio que era funcionario del faraón y capitán de su guardia. 2 Ahora bien, el Señor estaba con José y las cosas le salían muy bien. Mientras José vivía en la casa de su patrón egipcio, 3 este se dio cuenta de que el Señor estaba con José y lo hacía prosperar en todo. 4 José se ganó la confianza de Potifar, y este lo nombró mayordomo de toda su casa y le confió la administración de todos sus bienes. 5 Por causa de José, el Señor bendijo la casa del egipcio Potifar a partir del momento en que puso a José a cargo de …

A sign of the times? Calbuco Volcanoe, Chile Photo: Andiseno Estudio/Flickr/Creative Commons

Otro evento final de los tiempos – volcanes?

English version: Another end times event — volcanoes? Nunca había oído hablar de Perry Stone, un maestro y evangelista de la televisión Americana. Recientemente me encontré con su interpretación de versículos de Joel en el que habla de los últimos tiempos y esto me llamó la atención. Joel escribe: En el cielo y en la tierra mostraré prodigios:     sangre, fuego y columnas de humo. 31 El sol se convertirá en tinieblas     y la luna en sangre antes que llegue el día del Señor,     día grande y terrible. (Joel 2: 30-31 NVI) Hasta este punto, he interpretado estos versos que se refieren a la sangre, fuego, columnas de humo, oscuro sol y la luna en sangre como la descripción de las secuelas de un gran terremoto en donde el apóstol Juan se refiere en Apocalipsis 6: 12-17 . Sin embargo, Stone tiene un giro diferente en este pasaje y creo que podría ser adecuado. Él cree que Joel está describiendo las erupciones volcánicas gigantes que estallan en la tierra. Columnas de humo describen perfectamente las consecuencias de los …

The flame of faith

Español: La llama de la fe When it comes to praying for a miracle, doubt and fear circle my mind with thoughts I can’t do this and my faith drains away. Yet my ability to pray confidently and clearly for miracles seems possible until I am actually faced with a seemingly impossible situation, then doubts flood my mind. The mountain of the impossible looms over me blocking my faith and diminishing my hope.  Why even try to pray or believe for the impossible? As a result, I lower my expectations and say to myself, maybe next time I will be able to believe for a miracle but not now . . . not this time. It’s not that my hopes are too high and I fail to reach them; it’s that they’re too low and I do. But there is something I have started doing recently that seems to help. Whether your hopes and expectations for a miracle are high or low start envisioning a candle burning brightly and steadily inside you. And let this …

I Matter

Have you ever thought about your life and wondered what happened? How did I even get here? I always knew I would be a somebody.  Like the next great journalist, rock star or great writer.  But here I am. I am just me. And what’s wrong with just me?  Probably nothing except I did not plan to be just me.  I planned to do big things with my big brain and my big ideas.  Women talk about the glass ceiling, this idea that they can see the top-level of decision makers but can never attain it.  This is not a feminist idea, this happens to men as well as women.  You see I was born into a very poor, very tired family.  My parents had their dream of farming pulled out from under their feet.  They worked extremely hard, taught their kids about love and God, and made us feel loved.  But they never recovered.  Eventually they moved to BC where Dad became a logger, then a city worker and Mom became a waitress.   I …

Is Sin Still a Thing?

One of the buzz words that explains modern society is ‘tolerance.’ It fits nicely with ‘inclusive’ and ‘multicultural’ and other similar sentiments. If you want to be tolerated, you need to be tolerant. Ironically, tolerant people will be intolerant towards you if you are not suitably tolerant. They will judge you for being judgmental. And then there is ‘sin.’ It’s a popular word among old Christians, but it clearly is not tolerant, inclusive or multicultural. A sin is something that is wrong, and needs to be condemned, and possibly forgiven. That idea is judgmental and it does not fit with modern thinking. So, is sin still a thing? I have a job that is new for me, and last week I traveled and stayed in a small-town motel. My room was clean, but the neighbors were a bit scary. They were the kind of people who stay in motels in small towns. One group was a team of furniture movers. They seem to live like gypsies, and they like to barbecue and argue about things …

Struggling to free yourself from the web of comparison

Español: Luchando para liberarnos de las redes de la comparación I think we say sorry to often. Others may not like your opinion, but provided you weren’t harsh or mean in what you said, there is no reason to apologize. Yet many of us apologize for the silliest things.  Stop saying sorry for no real reason. Ask yourself if you really need to apologize or are those words another way of belittling yourself? Save your apology for the real stuff when you have really blown it and now you have to own it.  Do it when you want to run and hide or avoid acknowledging the mistake you made. That’s when you apologize and say those words, I’m sorry. But along with this we need to train ourselves to stop saying I’m sorry for things we are not responsible for which is also backwards. So why do we do this? We need to understand the root of our apologizing for everything may have been deeply ingrained in us from childhood. It is often rooted in …

Who’s There?

Who makes you uncomfortable? Imagine walking down a lonely street and there is one other person walking towards you. It is just you and him or her. For some this is enough to make us nervous. For many though it will depend on what that person looks like and how they walk. Perhaps it is a big man who is not walking straight. Or it might be a person from a culture we don’t know or trust. It could even be nice, clean cut young woman who is more nervous than you are. How many times do we walk by a person with their hand or hat out asking for money? Does that make you uncomfortable? How about a limousine pulling up and a couple get up who are well dressed and appear very wealthy? Would they make you feel uncomfortable? I wonder how many times in a day we pre-judge others? It is more likely that the person coming towards you on the street just wants to get to where they are going. The …

Pay to Pray: Can We Afford God?

I have just spent some time in an isolated northern city where real estate is too expensive. All the churches are small, and I think there is a mosque and a Sikh temple. I’m not sure about the religious buildings because they are all small, and easy to miss. A big building costs millions. Next to the house where I stayed is a house church. It looks to me like one church operates out of the members houses, and it seems to be doing well. One church petitioned the city to take over some park land and change it to a parking lot. They wanted the land for free, but they promised to invest more than a million dollars. I understand the mayor attends that church, and you can imagine the angry debate in the community. I heard yesterday that the church had withdrawn the request. So, how do we worship God when a parking lot costs a million dollars? And how do we pay the salaries for pastors, so they can support their families? …

Breaking free from the chains of regret

Many of us are weighed down by regrets from the past and the longer we stay chained to these regrets, the harder it is to break free from them.  We lose our freedom in Christ because holding onto past regrets links us up to self-condemnation and self- hatred. The Bible says that in Christ we are freed from all condemnation (Romans 8:1) and there is also no separation from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). We must learn to love ourselves in the same way God loves us. The longer we hold on to this chain and refuse to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and failures, the heavier the chain becomes. So how do we free ourselves from these chains that weigh so heavily upon us, that they almost take our breath away at times? It starts by accepting the fact that we all make mistakes. It is part of being human.  And then forgiving ourselves if needed. If we don’t, it will inevitably lead to condemnation. Lana Vawser, a prophet and teacher, says it’s …

The rest and the pest

Recently, I had a dream followed by a vision that spoke very clearly to me in my calling as a prophetic writer. Others here may find this resonates with them as well in this season. In the DREAM, I was reading some words out loud. When I came to the word “retreat”, I was having difficulty reading the word as there was an “S” in the word, creating the word “RESTreat”. I asked the One present with me if there had always been an “S” in the word retreat, and I was told “YES!!” Immediately following the dream, I had a very clear VISION of a GOPHER’S FACE. The gopher immediately LOOKED TO MY RIGHT. The vision ended. Interpretation: I live in the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan. Here where I live, the Richardson Ground Squirrel (known on the prairies as a gopher) has been declared a PEST by the government of Saskatchewan, as it destroys farms and gardens in this region. This “PEST”, in my vision had literally turned its face toward my right (hand), …

My Wife Told Me To!

There are two lines of men at the gates of heaven. One line is long and winding as far as St. Peter can see. The other line has a lone man in it. The sign above the long line is for men whose wives nagged them. The other one is for men whose wives did not nag them. “Ever since we started these lines no man as ever stood in this line. You are the first.” St. Peter tells the guy. “Tell me your secret.” “My wife told me to stand in this line.” Well now you’re either laughing or spitting but I tell this story to illustrate a point. Men are called to lead in their families. This is not as the world leads though, but as Christ leads, so women don’t get mad or jealous just yet. Christ-like leadership is called servant leadership. You see, Christ led the disciples and still leads the church today. Not once did he act like a dictator. Not once did he demand his followers to pick up …

Did God answer a comedian’s prayer through a prophetic word at Starbucks?

An employee working at a Starbucks’ drive thru provided an incredible answer to prayer for comedian Victoria Jackson revealing that God does hear our prayers and will use spiritual gifts to confirm it. Jackson, 58, gained fame working as a comedian and singer for Saturday Night Live, a late night comedy show that debuted in 1975 and routinely runs parodies of culture and politics. Famous for her ukulele, she was a regular contributor to SNL from 1986 to 1992 where she performed skits, some involving impersonations of Rosanne Barr. Jackson came from a Christian home and attended Florida Bible College in Hollywood, Florida before moving on to Furman University in South Carolina after receiving a gymnastic scholarship and then to Auburn University where she majored in theater. Jackson’s gym-coach father had trained his daughter in gymnastics, a training that she utilized on screen doing back flips on SNL and reciting poetry while doing hand stands. The comedian refers to herself as a conservative Christian and even sent her children to a Christian school. However, Jackson …

Our Favorite Things

“Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of my favorite things.” I think that’s the way the song goes. Now I get that we need rain and I don’t even mind roses. And yes I am partial to kittens but I never really thought about their whiskers. I would think they are much more favored by the kitten them by me. As usual when I have too much quiet time sent aside for prayer, my mind wonders to such deep and pressing questions as my favorite things. For me, the list would include cinnamon buns and ice hockey. After I fantasised about eating cinnamon buns (without gaining weight)  while scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal yet again, my mind starting thinking again. This is both dangerous and difficult. You see I have a box brain. That means to actually start thinking about anything different or new takes a lot of effort. My wife will tell you this. “What do you want for dinner?” She’ll ask. “Cinnamon buns.” What do you want …

Maybe it’s more than a coincidence? Israeli paratroopers discover ancient watchtower

It was more than a bit ironic when soldiers with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) discovered an ancient watchtower associated with the days of King Hezekiah during the 8th century BCE. The IDF paratroopers had set up a base on a hilltop in Southern Israel when they accidentally discovered the tower. After making the discovery, the soldiers actually participated in the dig. The remains of the tower were about 6 feet (1.83 m) in height and archaeologists estimate that it was originally 15 feet (4.57 m) high with a diameter of 10.5 feet (3.2 m). This was a significant structure as the foundation stones weighed about 8 tons. According to the archaeologists this tower, built on top of a hill, would have provided ancient Israeli military commanders an excellent view on activities taking place in the Philistine nation, particularly one of its major cities Ashkelon. Israel built a series of towers and fortresses along the border that were within view of each other, so it would allow a tower to send up a warning using …

The Big Leagues

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

For An Opportunist, There is No Truth

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

From deep water to joy

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

God Spoke To Me The Other Day

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

Why am I so anxious?

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

Should we pray for President Donald Trump?

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

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

Tongue Tied?

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

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

Quería Dios que el rey David construyera un templo?

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

I saw a warrior charging on his horse

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

The difference between guilt and shame

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

Apparently, we are supposed to be different

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

What’s Your Problem?

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

Does God Do Parking Lots?

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

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

Why do I second guess myself?

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

Be different not divisive

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

Be angry and sin not, but….

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