All posts filed under: Teaching

Is the Holy Spirit raising up a river against the enemy?

There is a verse in Isaiah that states when the enemy comes in like a flood that the Lord will raise up a standard against this onslaught: When the enemy comes in like a flood,The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19 NKJ) However, blogger Kim Balogh believes that the comma has been put in the wrong place. She feels the verse should actually read this way: When the enemy comes in,like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. With this adjustment, the verse says that the Spirit of God will raise a rushing flood (lit. rushing river) against an invading adversary. She adds that the Hebrew word nûs (translated” lift up a standard” in the New King James) is better translated as fleeing or escaping. Using these two adjustments, Balogh believes that the verse should read “When the enemy shall come in, like a river the Spirit of God will make him flee.” And with the US being pummelled on every …

Good Mocking

Very few of us like to be mocked. When I was young, I was mocked for my short height. I was mocked over some of my peculiar pronunciations. I was mocked for my emotions. As a result, I decided to become as good as the big men in sports and toughness, worked hard on my intellect and communication skills. And hid my emotions. In short (no pun intended), I became who I wasn’t. Now over time, these traits became embedded in me, and I was a bit of an athlete, accomplished communicator and university honour student, and managed to live with and appreciate emotions. The problem is that because of the mocking, I redefined myself. The good news is that because of mocking, I redefined myself. It is written that what was meant for harm against us, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20). This was written about Joseph and his rise to power in Egypt after being sold into slavery by his brothers. In the end he was in a position to save many people …

Christians: What happens when we quit?

Are you a believer; in anything? Have you thought about quitting? Do you know anyone who has? The pandemic with the Covid virus has closed churches where I live, and it feels like everyone is dropping out. Quitting is like a modern fad. Often, millennials do not like the things that were important to baby boomers, especially religion. There is a growing trend these days, to quit religion. I have some close relatives who have done that. If you do an Internet search with “ex” and any belief, you will find many discussion sites. There are ex-Mormons, ex-Muslims, ex-Evangelicals, and probably any other belief you can think of. Some have video testimonials. I’m a Christian, so what should I do with this information? This is important. I was raised with the idea that new converts would find their way to the truth, but now we have reverts who leave. There are several possibilities: a) They never really believed. People easily drop out of ‘Churchianity’ if they have only joined a religious tribe. Subscribing to a …

Brett chose not to become a stabbing victim

In a video on CBN, Brett Lynn, who works as a mechanic in a family owned business in Philadelphia explains how the Holy Spirit stopped him from becoming a stabbing victim. In 2013, he had just dropped his children off at gymnastics, and he was pulling into the driveway of his home around 6 PM when he noticed someone trying to break into vehicles in the lot of the family business near his home. Brett got out of his car and confronted the man. But the man immediately reacted when Brett told him to leave. Brett braced for a physical confrontation, but unknown to Brett, the man had a knife and stabbed Brett in gut and then ran off. At first Brett thought he had been punched but when he grabbed his stomach, he actually felt his intestines. But as the ambulance was taking him to the hospital, the Holy Spirit was already speaking to Brett about needing to forgive the man. The man who stabbed Brett had graduated from Brett’s high school, and had …

Is the Holy Spirit pointing to new wine skins?

I have been reporting on Sean Feucht’s worship services that he has been holding outdoors around the US. His latest meeting in Colorado is again suggesting that the Holy Spirit seems to be moving during these difficult times. But, God is moving differently than we would expect. While churches in several states are taking to the courts in order to return to indoor services, Feucht is orchestrating outdoor services and God is moving. Instead of formal baptismal tanks, people are being baptized in cow troughs. In his latest service held in City Park in Fort Collins, Colorado, Feucht reported on Instagram “thousands going wild for Jesus!” and “Unending baptisms in cow troughs was the literal best!! THE JOY IS CONTAGIOUS!!” When he was in Minnesota, Feucht said, “Thousands gathered from every race and tribe across in a K-Mart parking lot! Hundreds gave their lives to Jesus! Now there is an endless line for baptisms tonight!! God is bringing hope back to this city He loves!” Part of the problem is that Christians get religious, and …

Scary Bible Verses

Here are two scary Bible verses:  “Wives submit to your husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22).  “…husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” (Ephesians 5:25). Right off the top let me say that a Biblically submissive wife is not a downtrodden servant property of the husband. It is far from that. And giving up your life for your wife is not quitting your job or giving up who you are in order to make her happy. The truth is far from these lies that actually stop us from enjoying healthy relationships. What is a submissive wife and how do you get one? You get one by being the type of husband she respects. What is a loving husband and how do you get one? By being the kind of wife, he wants to be with. A Biblically submissive wife is not a doormat or a ‘yes’ person. Anyone who reads about the women in the Bible knows that the character of these women is strong, loving, …

The news that’s about to happen: Who is your god, really?

There was a time when religion was important for everyone. Now, many parts of the world are secular and religion is only a personal choice. This brings problems for believers, whatever they believe in. This news video is several years old, but the problem has only grown since 2012. Note that it is from Al Jazeera, a news source owned by Muslims. They saw something happening to Christians and they were interested: I have learned, that there is always a new generation of children, and they will be adults soon. The children that we see in a playground will be voting in a few years. I remember talking to a pastor in my church, when I was a young man. I don’t remember what I was concerned about, but he told me to look at the little children in Sunday School, and know that they would be running the church in a few years. Their decisions would rule. When he told me that, my big concern got smaller, as I found a new perspective. He …

We Need What?

In this time of everybody being mad at everybody and certain politicians trying to divide and conquer us, it is important to note two things. First, God made us all with the exact same love and care. We are equal in his eyes. Second, we all want to be loved and we all love. I was with a group of mostly Indigenous women lately.  We chatted about what worries us. The number one worry was family. Children and grandchildren were on everyone’s list. No one listed Covid or discrimination in their worries I find this encouraging.  Not that they have family concerns and worries.  Encouraging because they are examples of living. All the crazy and restrictive rules and all the ways in which fear controls our world, and their worries remain the same.  Adult children and grandchildren still need prayers. Young children need support and love.  Families need to stick together. In the real world, there are people living their lives and still loving others.  For better or worse family members make decisions. Some are …

Francis Chan: The pandemic may be good for the church

The recent COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown has resulted in one of the most difficult times for the church in North America. Experts are warning that there is a possibility that 20% of the churches many not even make it. Churches and believers in California face severe fines, and even jail, if they resume services during the lock down. READ: ‘We Are Not Closing,’ Pastor Declares after County Fines Church $52,750 for Worship Services Though many consider these to be dark days for the church, Frances Chan says these difficult times may in fact be a good thing for the North American church. Chan was the former lead pastor and founder of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California. He has since left the church and is ministering in the slums of Hong Kong, where his mother once ministered. At Q Sessions, that featured several Christian leaders discussing the current pandemic crisis including attacks on religious liberties, Chan had this to say about what churches are facing today: “When you look at the places where there …

The Truth Conspiracy

Conspiracies are everywhere these days. Many conspiracy theories surround secret societies and what the rich and powerful really do behind closed doors. Maybe some of them are true. It would be a strange world if all of them were true. The ones that seem more fantastic are great plots for science fiction and horror movies. The ones that seem plausible or at least less fantastic are interesting and provide for great conversations.

How to be homeless: Coping without God

2020 is an interesting year, so far. I don’t think we know how much the world around us is changing, mostly because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Some changes were happening slowly, but our response to a virus is making things move faster. I met some people a few days ago, and they surprised me. I was working at a site, and I took a break for lunch. For me, that’s a fast food snack. As I walked into the food outlet, I saw some young adults standing near me, and someone said ‘We need face masks to go in there.’ They wanted food, and the rules are to wear a mask inside a business. I have a government job and my employers supply me with more PPE than I need, so I gave them face masks and showed them how to use them. We talked for a while, and I remember one man saying that he needed to get a driver’s license from the Government some day. I think the whole group agreed, and …

What, Me Fear?

What we think, we tend to believe. For example, most of the media outlets focus on Covid19. No wonder people are scared. The Bible says that we are who we hang out with. Proverbs 13:20 says “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Walk with the scared, and you will get scared. Scared people hide. They are fearful. Scared and fearful people have anxiety and stress to the point in which they do not live their lives. Normal and healthy things like family gatherings, visiting children and friends, shopping and attending church are seen as dangerous and self-centered. What was seen as good is seen as bad. The heroes in a fear-based culture are the ones who showcase fear. The people who hide are the good ones. The people who listen to the government and media are the good ones. They are compliant and helping stop the spread of Covid. Except this plan of division and isolation is not helping. Not according to the very people who told …

UPDATE: Pastor John MacArthur disobeys court order and holds church service

A few days ago I reported how John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church based in Los Angeles, CA won a court case allowing the congregation to resume church services. The church took the city and state officials to court arguing that the state mandated limits on the number of people attending a church service was unconstitutional. The Covid lockdown limited church attendance to 25% of a church’s capacity or 100 people, what ever was lower. On Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, a Superior Court judge ruled that Grace Community Church could continue services provided that families social distanced and everyone wore masks. They could function under these conditions until a full court case was heard on the matter on Sept. 4, 2020. However, the Los Angeles Health Department immediately appealed the Friday decision to the California Court of Appeal and won a stay against the ruling the next day. This meant the church must abide by the state’s current lockdown regulations until the court hearing in September. But in response, the church defied the second ruling and …

Faithfulness: Why is this so hard?

I have a relative who I am very fond of. When I was a boy, she was married to a good man, and we always wanted to see those two at family reunions. We liked them both so much. It was not easy for me to understand when the stories began to circulate, and even I heard, that the husband had another woman in his life; he was unfaithful. It made sense for me, that they should stay happy together. I still don’t understand why he did that to his wife. Most of the details were never told to me as a boy, but I learned that the “girlfriend” would come to the house, and when the wife answered the door, she would ask for her “boyfriend” because they were going on a date. Many years later, I met someone who had worked with the “girlfriend” and that person was shocked that the man would leave his nice wife for the other woman. Apparently, he did not get the best one. If you want to …

POLL: Are young people secretly turning to God online?

According to a remarkable poll conducted on behalf of Religion Media Center over 50% of young people between the ages of 18 to 24 are watching online Church services during the COVID pandemic. Online services can be viewed on several social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook in the privacy of a person’s home. The poll was conducted by Savanta ComRes of 2,244 young adults in Britain between July 31 and August 3, 2020. The survey also revealed 45% of those aged between 18 and 24 and 49% of those aged between 25 and 34 had prayed in July. But what is equally significant is that by August the number praying had climbed to 55%. Rev Dr Peter Phillips, the director of the Centre for Digital Religion based in Durham, England, called the numbers staggering and added he was shocked by the results. And what can’t be understated is that while similar polls showed that older people’s interest in online church services waned as the pandemic went on, the same is not happening with …

God vs The World

It seems nobody likes nobody these days. Everybody is mad about everything. But is this true? I am sure we all have examples of things we’ve witnessed that back the claim of society being more angry these days. At least there appears to be more stress and anxiety in the world. The images on our phones, computers, and TVs do not shout peace at us. It is almost as if we are told to be anxious and to worry and that we are to distrust each other. Disagreements must end relationships. Most of us don’t want to fear or be angry. Most of us just want to get along with everybody. Even those of us with peace and love in our hearts are being pressured into taking a stance. And if our stance is not in line with the mob’s, then we are bullied, threatened, hurt, and cancelled. We are destroyed or we cease to exist. Do we then shut up and keep quiet, pretending to go along with the mob for fear of retaliation …

Beirut: What is God doing?

Right now, we are in this year 2020, and this is the year when the world changes. We all know about a virus from China, and violent demonstrations in the streets. Life has changed in a big way. And then we had an explosion in Beirut Lebanon. At this time, more than a hundred are confirmed dead, and searchers are still looking for bodies. Apparently, a ship filled with Ammonium Nitrate was abandoned in Beirut harbor a few years ago. High nitrogen fertilizer, if that was the product, is very dangerous. I have worked in transportation safety, and that fertilizer mixed with petroleum, is as explosive as dynamite. It was used by terrorists to blow up a government building in Oklahoma City, and do you know the meaning of TNT? That powerful explosive is Tri-Nitro Toluene. Toluene is petroleum, and nitrogen is in products like fertilizer. Beirut was just waiting for the explosion, and it was like an atomic bomb without the radiation. READ: Beirut explosion: Angry protesters storm government ministries Lebanon is in the …

Should North American churches transition to house churches in the fall?

A recent article on CBN threw out an interesting idea that maybe churches should look at starting house churches if the recent COVID-19 lockdowns don’t end. The coronavirus has resulted in restrictions being put on church services severely limiting the number of people that can attend a service. Many believe it’s more political than health related because the restrictions on churches are more severe than businesses with very similar vulnerabilities. For example, are people attending a casino any less vulnerable to the Coronavirus, than those attending a church? Obviously not. So, why does a church have more severe restrictions than a casino? When the Coronavirus originally hit and services were prohibited, many churches turned to online services that people watched in the privacy of their homes. Initially it seemed popular, but according to Barna Research the number of people watching online services has been steadily dropping with 32% fewer people watching today, than during the early days of the pandemic. And recently, some large churches, such as Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, pastored by …

Powerful testimony reveals no contradiction

One of the ways that atheists and their ilk attack the Bible is by exposing contradictions that they claim occur between the Old and New Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus said that we needed to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), while the Old Testament talks of an eye for an eye, projecting the idea of like punishment for crimes (Exodus 21:24). They claim these contradictory themes expose a flaw in the Bible’s message. However, in doing this, they make one fundamental error. The Old Testament involved the law set down for the nation of Israel and its courts, and Jesus’ message was personal. It was for the individual, you and me. While the individual needs to forgive any offence done to them, in the more serious cases, the nation must still dispense justice. And this was on display in the sad case involving Darrin Ray. In 2006, while studying counselling with the intent of entering the Christian ministry, Ray and his daughter were on their way …

Free Sin?

I watched a movie called the Second Coming of Christ. The devil convinced a scientist to create an immortal gene. If people were immortal there would be no death, no heaven and no hell. And no need for God. At least that’s what the plot was about. What if the consequences of sin were taken away? I am not writing about forgiveness and the spiritual consequences of sin. These are covered in detail in the Bible. But what if we could just sin against ourselves and others and get away with it? I suppose first we need to define sin. Wikipedia states “While sins are generally actions, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed sinful.” Sin is not always in direct relation to God; it is in relation to each other as well. So, if we were immortal without God, could we then sin? The short answer is we are free to sin or to not sin regardless of God’s love for us. Being immortal would not …

Are you ready for the 2020 COVID famine?

It’s impossible to miss the virus pandemic that has spread around the world. I remember hearing the first rumours about a virus in China, in February of this year. Those rumours quickly became a fact and the disease spread to every place in the world. We all know this. Did you know this is qualifies as a biblical famine? Our reaction is now as dangerous as the disease. People will suffer from a virus infection, and some will die. Also, our social controls to resist the disease have disrupted the world economy. Now, more people will die from the remedy than from the disease. We are really hurting ourselves: READ: Coronavirus-linked malnutrition is killing 10,000 more children a month, UN warns When we think of a famine on a biblical scale, we always imagine a lack of food. That is partly true, but in ancient times, food was the economy. Everyone worked on a farm and lived by the food they produced, except for a few who lived in a village, close to the farm …

Preparing for the end times

When the warden for All Saints’ Radford church in Nottinghamshire showed up at the church on Sunday, July 26, 2020, Lorraine Smedley discovered that vandals had painted upside down crosses and swastikas on the church building. The Nottinghamshire police referred to it as a “hate crime.” Across the English Channel in France, reports indicate the number of attacks against Christian churches in that country has increased nearly 300% in just 12 years according to the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDACE), a Venice-based organization. OIDACE reports that in 2018, the French government officially stated that there were 275 attacks, fires and vandalism, against churches in that county. That number had climbed to 1,052 attacks by 2019, representing a 285% increase. Recently, there was an arson attack on a 500-year-old Cathedral in Nantes, France on July 18, 2020. Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg because these simply represent threats and attacks against physical structures. In 2018, the French government reported that there were 2,000 hate crimes against Christians. Though …

California churches battle back against Gov. Newsom

There is a battle brewing in California between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Christian churches. According to the state’s lockdown rules, churches are limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, depending on what is lower. This means churches that can seat three to five thousand people can only have 100 people attending a service at one time. But what is bothering churches is that this 100 person cap is not applied equally to other business, including restaurants. And in acts of civil disobedience, several churches have announced that they will be returning to public services and purposefully violate the cap, with or without the government’s permission. One of those churches is Grace Community Church located in Los Angeles. Pastored by John McArthur, the church’s auditorium can seat 3,000 people, and prior to the Coronavirus was handling two services a day, with both running at full capacity. Even though there are threats that the city would cut off power to the church, in a letter posted on its website, the church said it would move ahead with …

No Cheating!

Your cheating heart will tell on you is a line from an old song by Hank Williams called Your Cheatin’ Heart. It was recorded a few years before most of us alive today were born. Yet I find this line so relevant to what is happening now. What is a cheating heart? In the song it is a woman whose heart is bent on two timing her man. Her heart was divided between what she was doing and what she was presenting. You could say she had deceit hidden in her heart. She was a hypocrite. Today we see many people with a cheating heart. They claim to follow God and present themselves as fine Christians who follow the Bible and love their neighbors and follow the ten commandments. Then they support causes of violence and murder such as candidates who favor abortions. They turn a blind eye to the poor in their own towns and cities while spending thousands on oversea mission trips. Would this make them hypocrites? When Christians get so caught up …

Whatever happened to the Age of Aquarius?

Do you remember the song with these words “It is the dawning of the age of Aquarius”? I wasn’t supposed to like that song, in my religious family, but for me it was easy listening, and I liked the optimism. Also, it’s a Hippy New-Age hymn, and I had friends who were Hippies. The lyrics are mostly about the positions of the planets and stars, and it’s based on Astrology, which is really a religion, and I am a Christian. The Bible is clear, wisdom comes from God who made the stars, and not from the created objects, like Jupiter in the seventh house. We are not supposed to get direction for our lives from mediums; “anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 10: 10 to 12) God can give us what we need. Maybe the singers were mediums and astrologers, …

Does the discovery of Naboth’s vineyard have a message for today?

Archaeologists working at the site of the ancient city of Jezreel in Israel are wondering if they have found the remains of a vineyard connected with Israel’s most wicked Queen, Jezebel. For those not familiar with Jezebel, she was the daughter of the King of Phoenicia who married King Ahab, probably as part of a peace treaty between the two nations. In the process, Jezebel gained control of both Ahab and the nation of Israel leading it down a path of sin and destruction. According to the Biblical account, King Ahab noticed a vineyard near his house in Jezreel owned by a man named Naboth. Ahab offered Naboth a deal he couldn’t refuse. However, Naboth refused stating that this land was part of God’s inheritance given to his family. King Ahab returned to his house and sulked, which is where Jezebel found her husband (1 Kings 21:1-4). When Ahab told his wife what had happened, Jezebel took matters into her own hands, and she seized the vineyard. We will discuss this in more detail later. …

Dealing with procrastination

I am the king of procrastinators. I put things off, because I can’t or won’t make a decision. When it comes to buying an item, as my wife will attest, I am scared that a better deal might come along, so I just put it off. Procrastination is a real problem and it shows up at universities when students procrastinate about completing assignments often putting it off to the very last moment. Sometimes, they don’t complete them at all. I know of a very smart man who didn’t complete his university assignments and as a result never graduated. However, he went on to have a very successful, I repeat, very successful professional career. So, the issue wasn’t ability. Typically, most blame procrastination on a time management problem or perhaps laziness. People are just not managing their times properly. And some universities even offer time management advice for their students. However, a recent study by psychologists Timothy Pyschyl and Fushcia Sirois has concluded that procrastination is not about time management, but rather an unwillingness to deal …

The Solution to Racism: Maybe God knows something.

One word is the modern translation of the Bible word “sin.” The new word is “racism” In the Bible, one word “sin” describes anything wrong that people might do. We have ten commandments, and many other warnings, and the offence is always against God. If we hurt other people, we are offending the God who made them, and loves them. There are many ways to hurt other people. The hyper concern for racism makes one offence really matter, while other things might get overlooked. For example, it’s possible to be extreme and violent if the other person can be accused of racism. The U.S. Air Force Academy had a strong reaction to crude racist messages on their campus, and then investigators learned that one of the victims wrote the messages. The incident might be described as a stunt, but the possibility of racism required a severe correction. READ: Air Force Academy Prep School: Black cadet admitted to writing racist remarks on dorm doors I believe our concern for racism is in part based on the …

Study confirms why you need to build a big jail!

A study out of Canada provides concrete evidence why every believer needs to build a huge prison. The Daily Mail tells of a study conducted by Dr. Jordan Poppenk, who serves as Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, that concluded the average person has about 6,200 thoughts a day. Dr. Poppenk and his research team had 184 people watch upwards of four video clips, while the research team used an MRI scan to monitor the blood flow in the participants’ brains. Though the scan could not determine what each person was thinking, it was able to determine when a new thought pattern, described as a “thought worm,” emerged in a participant’s brain. Based on this, the researchers concluded that a person averages about 6,200 thoughts a day. Though there has been speculation of how many thoughts we think in a day and as well a few unreliable studies involving people tracking their thoughts, this was the first study to provide a concrete number. Thousands of thoughts pop into our mind every day. Many of them …

A hint of how humans were to function before we fell into sin?

I have a theory about how people were supposed to function before Adam and Eve fell into sin and it comes from Savants. Savants are people who often display incredible, super-human like abilities in certain areas such as math, music, art, memory, but it is often accompanied by other mental impairments. In an article on Psychology Today, Michael Jawer says that Savants have incredible memories allowing them to perform seemingly impossible feats. Jawer cites a 14-year-old blind boy who flawlessly played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 after only hearing it once or Kim Peek who was able to read books extremely fast by using his right eye to read the right page and his left eye to read the left page and could completely memorize a book by just reading it once. There are others who can do incredible mathematical calculations and some who can tell you the day of the week of any given date. According to Jawer, while these people lack in other mental aspects, they have a tremendous memory, but it is narrow …

“The church has left the building”: California Revival?

It has even caught the attention of the LA Times that is reporting a revival is breaking out on the beaches of California — Huntington Beach to be exact. It’s partially in response to California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent hypocritical ruling limiting church services to maximum of 100 and disallowing singing or chanting, while putting no limits on demonstrations, and in fact is encouraging them, where he allows people to shout and chant all they want. So in protest, Sean Feucht, who is a worship leader at Bethel Church, in Redding, California, and others decided to hold a church service at Huntington Beach on Friday, July 10, 2020 in defiance of Gov Newsom’s edict. Let’s call it a “worship protest” and include some signs and everything should be fine. Sean has also started an organization called “Hold the Line“to fight government’s intrusion in the life of the church. Writing for the LA Times, Hillary Davis describes what happened at Huntington Beach: There is a revival taking place on the sand at Huntington Beach. On Friday, …

Is God Racist?

Does the Bible support racism? Some say it does. They might base their decision on the Old Testament story of Israel becoming a nation. Or perhaps the tower of Babel story. The story of Israel actually reflects the story of all believers in Jesus to some degree. Although this predates Jesus’s appearance as a human, the Israelis were a people trying to follow God. Christians also try to follow God. The Israelites are God’s chosen people and so were called to be holy and separate from the other nations of this world. The Old Testament is to a large degree the story of how Israel lived out this chosen relationship. This holy separation was not racism. The conflicts and wars were not based on hatred of other nations as much as a desire to follow God on the path towards holiness. Christians are called to be holy and separate from other people of this world as well. It is a decision to live for Christ by not getting caught up in the sin and the …