All posts filed under: Teaching

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 …

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 …

Miraculously saved at sea by ‘The Amen’

Two high school seniors, Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, from Christ Church Academy in Jacksonville, Florida were walking along the beach with friends when Smith and Brown decided to walk into the ocean. A few minutes later, they were caught up in a rip current that swiftly dragged them out into the Atlantic Ocean. In a matter of a few minutes, the two were nearly two miles out, being pummeled by rough seas and unable to break free from the current. Instead of fighting it, they decided to float in the water and were in the ocean for about two hours when their rescue came from a very unexpected source. As this drama was unfolding, Eric Wagner from Delray, Florida was deciding whether or not to head out to sea for a trip to New Jersey. On his Facebook page, he was questioning the decision, because the seas were rough due to the 18 to 24 miles per hour winds. But in the end he decided to make the trip. They were about two miles …

Ninja Jesus: Fight the Good Fight

Using the word “Ninja” and the name “Jesus” in the same sentence might seem wrong to some people, but don’t judge too quickly. There is a lesson to learn here. I was talking to a friend today, and I told him how I once had a stressful job, and I got the impression that I should find a new job. I found one, and a few days after I moved, senior management called a meeting and fired my old department. I learned about this months later. My friend was amazed, and he told me that someone must have been watching over me. I realized when he said it, that he was right. Some power kept me from the termination of my career, unlike many of my friends. Some power. Years ago, I read a news article from Belarus, where the government was evicting and closing a Pentecostal church. Someone wrote a comment in Russian, and I put the words in Google Translate, and I read this story; ‘Don’t close that church. When my little boy …

Guru Jesus: It’s Not About You

Is it possible to learn from Jesus, without being Christian? Yes. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu who admired the teachings of Jesus, but never became a Christian. Gandhi’s ideas about ‘passive resistance’ come directly from the Bible, and that wisdom brought almost a billion people, in South Asia to independence, without a destructive civil war. Today, the nations of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and probably Burma, owe a great debt to Gandhi, the peaceful liberator; and his ideas came from Jesus. Gandhi the Hindu treated Jesus like a guru, and that changed to history of the world, in a good way. In Webster’s dictionary, a “Guru” is “a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism.” Jesus was Jewish and not a Hindu, but we apply the definition to Him, easily. You might have heard of “WWJD” for Protestants and “Imitatio Christi” for Catholics, and similar ideas for Orthodox Churches. “What Would Jesus Do?” dates back to 1896, from a novel by an American writer Charles Sheldon. The Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox …

Why did it take five centuries for the cross to be embraced as a symbol of Christianity?

You may have seen the images circulating of how Notre Dame’s alter and cross survived the devastating fire that destroyed much of the church on Monday, April 15, 2019. Though this cross is making history, it is interesting to note that the cross was not fully embraced as a symbol of Christianity until around the fifth century. In his article, Jesus and the Cross, historian Steven Shisley states that the first sign that the cross had finally gained public acceptance as a symbol of Christianity was in its appearance on the doors of the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome in the fifth century. Until then, the cross had for the most part been down played and the reason for this Shisley claims is because of societal views on the cross. For the Romans, that cross was associated with the deaths of criminals and slaves, the despised of society. They used the cross as a form of execution because it was particularly brutal and painful. And it was also favored because it often took days …

Ultrasound of dangerous Mo-Mo pregnancy reveals two sisters fighting in the womb

A video out of China has caught the attention of millions of people worldwide. According to an article in the Daily Mail, Mr. Tao, 28, provided a video that showed his identical daughters fighting with each other in the womb. The couple, from the city of Yinchuam, were at the doctor’s office for the wife’s prenatal check and Mr. Tao took a video of the ultrasound that showed the two babies in their fourth month seemingly kicking and hitting each other. When Tao uploaded the footage it went viral and within days had 2.5 million likes. The two identical girls had a very rare and dangerous pregnancy. They were sharing the same placenta and amniotic sack. In these type of births, referred to as Monoamniotic-Monochorionic or more commonly Mo-Mo pregnancy, there is a 50% chance one of the babies will die after 26 weeks because of the increased risk their umbilical cords will become entangled causing the mother’s blood supply to be cut off for at least one of the babies. In this instance both …

Three Crosses

On Easter we focus on Jesus and the cross. This is awesome and good. However there were three crosses that Good Friday. The middle cross has Jesus on it and you can’t do what he did on that cross. No one can. But the one on the right and the one of the left each one had a thief hanging on it. The Bible doesn’t say much more about them. If you were there, you’d just think three men were being executed. The reality is much different. Jesus was paying the price for us all. He chose to hang there and to die out of love. He became the sacrifice so we could be set free from the consequences of our sins. So this wasn’t just a bad guy dying. This was the only person who never sinned dying so everybody who did sin could live! The two thieves represent us. It’s hard to believe our lives can be summed up by two thieves I know but hear me out. The guy on the left …

Is Che Guevara Like Jesus?

When I was in high school, some of my fellow students were radical leftists, or at least they tried to be. We always knew them because they wore army surplus clothes, and raised their fists and shouted words like “Che, Che, Che!” They were referring to Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary who fought in Cuba, as a comrade of Fidel Castro. Che was a doctor, born in Argentina, who joined the communist guerrillas in Cuba, led by Fidel Castro. After the successful Communist take-over in Cuba, he travelled to several countries to promote Communist revolutions. It all ended when he went to Bolivia and formed a guerrilla force to overthrow the government there. The Bolivians did not support him, including the Bolivian Communist Party, and he was betrayed, and then captured and killed by the Bolivian army. RELATED: Che Guevara: Wikipedia The face of Che Guevara as a popular icon, almost a religious symbol, is still popular on t-shirts and posters, and tattoos. It was the great symbol of youthful rebellion among my friends. Recently, …

Church in Germany Credit: Bernard Blanc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bad News for Organized Religion

Where I live, we are a few days away from an election. A few night’s ago, we had a leader’s debate, with all the usual personal attacks and petty bickering. The reaction today is that no-one won the debate, and the voters haven’t changed their minds about how they will vote. It was all a required exercise before the vote, with no results. In all the arguments, there is a story about someone who preached a sermon at a Baptist church. I wasn’t there for the sermon, but apparently he talked about sexuality and morals, and he described some similarities between homosexuals, and pedophiles who molest children. I don’t know what he said, but someone found a record of the sermon, and noted that the preacher is a candidate in the election. That has produced angry demands to fire the candidate, and he has apologized. The debate last night included angry words about “homophobia” but I predict that preacher will win his local election by a landslide. People in his small-town region don’t have a …

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The stones are crying out

One my favorite stories in the Gospels involves what would be Jesus last trip to Jerusalem. A week later, the Romans would crucify Christ. Many churches celebrate Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday. In preparation for the trip, the Lord sent His disciples to Bethany to look for a donkey colt telling the owner that the Lord had need of it. As Jesus slowly rode into Jerusalem, people began throwing their cloaks on the road before Him while others threw down palm branches. This was an act reserved for royalty as we see happening when Jehu was declared King and people put their garments on the ground as he walked down the steps (2 Kings 9:13). Then people began shouting “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38 NASV). The pharisees in the crowd understood what was happening and became very upset by what they were witnessing. They yelled out for Jesus to rebuke His disciples. But Christ answered them: “I tell you, if these become silent, …

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Make Yourself Healthy With the Bible

Have you heard of LKM? Me neither, until today. The letters mean “Loving Kindness Meditation” and it’s one of the newest health fads. Apparently it’s right up there with KETO diets and Yoga and fruit smoothies. Who knew? Apparently, this meditation helps with migraines, depression, and possibly aging. LKM is even recommended by the Mayo Clinic: RELATED: Mayo mindfulness: Can sharing kindness help your health? Kindness, or some expression of God’s love, is highly recommended in the Bible. Really, I don’t think it’s recommended; kindness is required. There is no other lifestyle for a Christian. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) These words are instructions, not one more fad to think about. So does that mean the Bible had LKM first? Can the Bible make us healthy? Yes. And this is important for the Christians I know; kindness is an action, not a feeling. Kindness is not warm and fuzzy, and sentimental. You can be kind when you are not in the mood. The …

Sundial in Glasgow, Scotland Credit: AskMeAboutLoom/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was Jesus referring to another time dimension?

I am not going to pretend for a moment I understand this, but researchers from the US and Russia claim they have reversed time. No this did not involve Back to the Future’s DMC DeLorean time machine, it was part of an experiment involving the bizarre world of quantum physics. We live in a linear world. We all chug down the same path getting older. We can’t stop that process. We can’t reverse time and get younger. But it seems that the rules that govern our world don’t apply in the world of Quantum physics involving the bizarre subatomic world inside atoms. Their experiments, published in Scientific Reports, involved “wave” study. Basically subatomic particles travel out like waves do on water when you toss in a rock. The more time that passes, the further away the waves are from their original starting point. This same rules apply to particles. However, in their experiment the group was able to reverse this process, and have the particle appear at its starting point instead of where it should …

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Narcissism and Religion: PODCAST

  Group narcissism can happen in religion; most of us are guilty. Imagine a peaceful and quiet nursery for mothers with new babies. Everyone is resting, and happy, with excellent medical care and a regular feeding schedule. Suddenly, the door bursts open and the room is filled with many, very tall, alien creatures. They take the babies from their mothers and squeeze and rub the babies, and disrupt all the peace and order in the nursery, including feeding schedules, and possibly they transmit infectious diseases from outside. Then they give the babies to the wrong mothers and leave. Imagine the crying babies and the hysterical mothers, and imagine if some of the babies died. That horror story happened recently, in England. Really. If you missed the news story, I left some details out. The nursery was a pig farrowing barn and the mothers were sows, the tall aliens were about one hundred animal-rights activists who invaded to cuddle and pet the piglets, to comfort them. And yes, some of the piglets died. RELATED: Vegans accused …

Jesus wants to heal the broken hearted Credit: Diego Sevilla Ruiz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Healing your broken heart

In an interview with Psychology Today, a secular therapist based in New York City suggests that struggles we are having with cow0rkers may be a result of unresolved issues with our family. Maria Baratta said that certain actions of coworkers may be subconsciously reminding you of the behavior of family members and triggering your negative reaction. According to Baratta the key to dealing with this is to recognize what is happening as this is the first step of dealing with your negative reactions. However, Jesus went one step further. One day, Peter asked Christ how many times does a person need to forgive his brother and sister, and threw out a number of seven times? This suggests some family issue had popped up or at the very least a memory of an earlier incident. I suspect Peter thought he was being magnanimous when he suggested seven times (Matthew 18:21), because the Jewish rabbis taught that a person didn’t need to forgive more than three times and often cited Amos 1:3-13 as the basis for this …

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Toddler says bear protected him while he was lost in the wilderness

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the family of Casey Hathaway reported the three-year-old boy as missing. Casey had wandered away from their North Carolina home into the woods surrounding the home. By the time search teams had organized that evening, the temperature was already below freezing. For two days they searched for the boys with volunteer and professional search teams. By Thursday the weather had become so bad that they stopped the volunteers from searching and continued on with just the professionals. The area is described as “treacherous” covered in sinkholes and flooded areas. Incredibly, that night they found Casey about a half a mile inside the woods after a woman walking her dog heard him calling for help. The sheriffs had to wade through waist deep water to recuse Casey and though cold, hungry and scratched up, he was safe. Then Casey told them a story about what happened. He said that bear looked after him while he was lost. Casey’s aunt posted on Facebook: “He said he hung out with a bear for …

Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland Credit: SebaSimon/Flickr/Creative Commons

What if God won’t help us?

Español: ¿Y si Dios no nos ayudará? I have some friends who are struggling with problems in their lives. Where I live, the economy is weak and people are losing their jobs, and a good friend is losing a business. The process of closing the doors and trying to pay debts is painful to watch. I am a Christian, and I pray for my friends, but the problems are still with us. Is God ignoring us? Is there a reason why we can’t have a miracle? In the Jewish religion there is a debate called “Holocaust Theology.” After millions of innocent people were killed, in terrible places like Auschwitz, religious Jews started asking ‘Where was God?” They want to know why God did not stop the atrocities against his chosen people. RELATED: How could God have allowed the Holocaust?: Huffington Post I don’t want to be a comfortable Christian, telling those people now, what they should have done differently many years ago. No one wants an armchair quarterback, but we can all relate to the …

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But I Don’t Like You

So who do you not like? You could answer with a name. I could do the same in my life. If we want to use the word ‘fault’ it probably is their fault, and maybe they started it, that’s even better. Have you noticed how easy it is to dislike, and maybe hate people these days? Internet media gives us pictures and videos of people who need correction, and it’s always their fault, and they started it. We can correct the whole world, and feel good about ourselves. There is a popular video game called “Hatred” where we can act this out in virtual reality, and not liking other people is the basic plot of most movies these days. We can pay money in a theatre to watch the ballet of pay-back. In October of 2018, some protesters with different ideas collided in the same space. It’s not hard to see the dislike: If you watch the video, you will soon start to dislike someone, and it really is their fault, and you didn’t start …

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Hate the Wait?

Who here loves waiting? Okay I know there is really nobody in the room with me except Spot, my lovely Italian Greyhound. And yes, if it means he can sleep on the couch, then he loves waiting. I am a weird guy and I don’t mind waiting sometimes. But only if there are people more interesting than me in the waiting room. The other day I was in a doctor’s office with my granddaughter. There were only two moms and two kids in there so when we sat down I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic about being entertained. But I was saved from the boredom of cats playing piano by a young toddler named George. I might have changed his name to protect his mom, so if you were in a waiting room with a toddler named George and if George is your son, this isn’t about you. Honest! So my granddaughter and I are deciding where to sit in and we decided on a couple of corner seats. Little George was playing with some toys. …

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The Lying Truth

I love to tell stories Sometimes it’s hard to tell if what I am saying is actually true. When I worked in a clinic for a few years as a counselor, my co-workers would phone my wife to ask if what I was saying was true. Kind of weird since how did they know she was not lying to them? I guess you could say that some of my stories were deceitful. I disguised them as the truth until the very end when I admitted I made the whole thing up. One time my son and his girlfriend, Judith, were camping. I suppose he was bored because he asked us to join them around the campfire. Now I have a reputation as a bit of a story-teller so when we get there, I sit at the campfire and start making up a story. I can make up a story at any time about anything. On this particular night I started rambling on about nothing in general until it formed itself into a story. Although I …

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You Need A Business Failure In The New Year?

Some of us own businesses. I own a small business, very small. It exists mostly so I can get paid with invoices. There is no gleaming office tower. A few days ago I talked to a good friend who also owns a business. Well, he did own a business, until the Credit Union called in a loan. They seized his inventory, worth much more than what he owed, and auctioned it for about two hundred dollars. Now they might force the sale of his house. I met my friend for a coffee break, and when I located him, he was at a site working with another man. The other man was friendly, but really wanted to know who I was. I learned later that he owned a successful business, and he needed to upgrade some equipment. He went to a lender that specialized in business loans, and they looked at his books carefully. Their conclusion was that they would only give him a line-of-credit for ten times what he asked for. They saw great potential …

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What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

Several decades ago, I was part of a church that took a strong stand against drinking alcohol, but it wasn’t just alcohol, it also had an opinion on several other things like long hair on men. The list of unwritten rules and regulations was quite extensive. Looking back now I realize the church was caught up in a religious spirit which I define as making up rules for Christian living that are not required by Scripture. The church leaders were essentially adding man-made rules to Christianity. In fact, one of the respected teachers that the church connected with wrote a book trying to prove that when the Bible talked about wine, it was speaking of non-fermented grape juice. Yes, he believed when Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding, the headwaiter was shocked that the bridegroom had reserved the “best grape juice” for last (John 2:1-11). Though the Bible condemns becoming drunk, it does not forbid drinking wine. In fact, the exhortation forbidding drunkenness proves that the wine people were drinking was alcoholic. …

Great White Pelicans: Credit: Costel Slincu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Inner healing: My story of three pelicans

In my previous article, I wrote how Jesus wants to bring healing to our inner hurts and when the Lord does this He often takes us back to the point when we were first hurt. Jesus did this for Peter through a charcoal fire and the Lord did it for me through three pelicans. In the summer of 2018 I was at a church senior camp, enjoying all the fun a “senior” can get away with – kayaking, swimming, climbing a climbing wall and practicing karate, as well as tormenting people with a water gun! In the midst of this, I had no idea what God had in mind to complete my healing. Although I had experienced significant healing in the 90’s, there was more to be done. One day at camp the movie “I Can Only Imagine” was going to be shown. It’s a fantastic must-see movie about the life of Bart Miller and what led to his writing the song. I had not seen it yet, so was looking forward to spending the …

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Inner healing: Peter’s ‘charcoal fire’

Have you ever had a sports injury that put a stop to your active life? Sometimes once the medical treatments have been done and we have a clean bill of health to continue our sport, the fear of not really being healed or of re-injury can cause us to freeze in our tracks. It started with a real physical injury, but the real problem has become an inner one, a fear of moving forward, an “infirmity.” We can look healthy on the outside, but inside be broken with fear, doubts, anger, insecurities, etc. The gospels use similar phrases to describe how Jesus ministered in different communities, phrases like, “healed the sick,” “forgave sins,” “cast out demons,” “preached the good news,” and “healed people of their infirmities.” Most Christians can easily define the first four phrases, but many are not sure exactly what an infirmity is. Matthew 8:17 says, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Other references to infirmities can …

Las Vegas Credit: Mr. Jason Hayes/Flickr/Creative Commons

Vegas and Hollywood: the truth

On the evening of October 1, 2017, a man named Stephen Paddock used a gun to kill and injure spectators at a country music concert in Las Vegas. You probably know something about the story, but have you noticed all the comments and conspiracy theories that have spun off from the incident; the story about the story? It’s interesting because Mr Paddock is such a mystery. We don’t know why he shot those people except that he made a decision. His background story gives us no clues, so we are free to make our own judgments. That’s useful for some people. RELATED: Las Vegas Shooting: Wikipedia A few days later, on October 5, the New York Times published an article about Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in the Hollywood movie industry. He has been accused of gross misconduct with young women who were trying to make careers in movies and television. At this time, it is fair to say the accusations have been denied, and any accusations are only alleged; but that …

Brussels, Belgium Credit: Francisco Antunes/Flickr/Creative Commons

God Bless You

Do you feel better now? I hear people getting blessed all the time, when they sneeze. In ancient times, people worried that the soul would come out with the sneeze, where the devil might steal it. A blessing would put it back safely. But really, what is the point of a blessing? Is there something we should know here? I learned some lessons about blessing yesterday. Lesson 1) I already know that words spoken into the air have no power, unless God does a miracle. OK, not ‘no power’; I might feel better about myself if I hear myself saying the words, but the other guy only gets words. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2: 16) Lesson 2) Blessings are common in the Bible, so they must be a good idea. In ancient Israel, the priests were told to say these …