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The lighting of the Menorah for Hannukkah. The eighth light is still unlit. Credit: Steven Crawford/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Festival of Lights

We have an odd Jewish festival taking place this month called Hanukkah. Also called Chanukah or Festival of Lights, it’s different because it is not included as one of the seven festivals that the Jews were told to commemorate in the Book of Leviticus. In fact, there is no mention of this feast taking place anywhere in the Jewish Old Testament and from a Biblical perspective the only mention is found in the New Testament, which of course the Jews don’t consider as part of their Scripture. Yet despite this, some suggest Hanukkah is arguably the best known of the Jewish festivals because it typically falls in December coinciding with the Christian Christmas. The festival that follows the Hebrew calendar can start as early as late November to mid December and goes for eight days. This year, it starts December 12 and runs to December 19, 2017 Over the eight-day festival a candle is lit each night on a nine-light menorah. The center candle traditionally serves as the one to light the other eight. Some …

London, England Credit: Xynn Tii/Flickr/Creative Commons

Careers for Christians: Making a Difference

Yesterday I taught a class. One man in the class was well groomed and polite; obviously a company manager. On a break, he told me his business was slow, so he was looking for a job, just a job. He was tired of losing money with his business, so he closed it down and put all his employees out of work. I train truck drivers. That man is at a very low point in his career, and I hope he climbs out and finds more success and satisfaction. If you are wondering, I am not longer a career climber. I am semi-retired and I work as a contractor helping other people with their work, and I really enjoy what I do. In the last few weeks, I learned how to find a satisfying career, and I know this will work for everyone, including you. Lesson 1) I visited my father because about a week ago I think God spoke to me. I am a Christian, and I expect this. The sensation reminded me that my …

Credit: SAITOR/Flickr/Creative Commons

What Christians need today — courage

YouVersion Bible App was created in 2008, since then over 295 million people have downloaded the app for use on their phone, Ipads and computers. According to this year’s stats, so far this year the app is being downloaded 1.4 times every second of the day. In the same time frame, people are also sharing ten verses with friends. But YouVersion also provides the most read verse of the year and in some ways this provides an insight into what believers are facing around the world. Outside of North America, the most read verse is: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASV) In America, the most read verse is similar but with a slightly different twist: 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV) The verses portray how things are changing …

Jacob buying Esau's birthright by Hendrick ter Brugghen (1588-1629) Credit: Wikipedia

Entitled or Loved?

I have always been bothered by the scripture, ‘Jacob have I loved Esau have I hated’ (Malachi 1:2-3/ Romans 9:13). To me that is a really strong statement. After all, how could God hate anyone and yet love the ‘ deceiver’ Jacob? When the twins, Jacob and Esau were born, Jacob was born second, holding onto Esau’s heel. “Afterward his brother came forth, and his hand grasped Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob (supplanter).” (Genesis 25:26 AMP) Through his life Jacob really wanted Esau’s birthright. He knew the value of the birthright and its blessings. I’m sure you know the story. When opportunity presented itself, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a pot of stew. So Jacob the youngest, legally received the birthright, while the bible says Esau despised it (Genesis 25:34). In addition, with the help of his mother Rebekah, Jacob stole the final blessing from his father Isaac, when he was on his deathbed. This blessing was also meant for the eldest son (Genesis 27:27-30). In all honesty, I could never …

Jerusalem, Israel's capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

Uproar as America decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem

It has been a very unusual situation. Since Israel was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948, Jerusalem has been its capital city. Yet no foreign embassies are found in Israel’s capital like they typically are with other nations. Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, 67 kms away. It was a move done to try to appease the Palestinians and hopefully have them sign a peace treaty with Israel. Of course that never happened and will never happen, because how can you appease an enemy that in its own charter calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. In its covenant or charter written in 1998, the terrorist group Hamas which helps control Palestine states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” With this as one of its stated goals, Hamas is not interested in peace. So when President Trump announced Wednesday morning that he would be moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were outraged. But they were outraged …

They shall know us by our love

Football is a tough sport, emotions can become heated. Tempers flare. It is a competitive environment. Sometimes we forget it is just a sport and there are more important things in life such as many witnessed during last Monday night’s NFL game (Dec 4, 2017) featuring the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers won 23-20. During Cincinnati’s first offensive series, Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier, 25, was hurt as he was trying to make a tackle. As he lay on the ground, Shazier was pointing to his back and the announcers noted that Shazier’s legs were not moving. There was a lot of concern as medical staff strapped Shazier to a backboard and transported him to a Cincinnati hospital. However, something happened at the end of the game that caught people’s attention. After the game was over, some of the Pittsburgh players knelt to pray for Shazier. They were joined by Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton who held hands with the Steelers’ players as they prayed for their fallen teammate. Andy Dalton, 30, the starting …

Palm Trees in Israel Credit: fabcom/flickr/Creative Commons

Ancient gates of Solomon discovered at Biblical Tamar Park?

According to Breaking Israel News, a group working in Biblical Tamar Park have found what they believe are the gates to an ancient fortress built by King Solomon. The 55-acre, Biblical Tamar Park in Southern Israel is considered one of the most unusual archaeological sites in Israel. Because of its fresh spring waters, it was a popular spot in this desert climate. The word “Tamar” means “Palm Trees” that grew in the area because of the springs. It was also an important stop for camel caravans along the major trading route known as the Silk Road as they journeyed into the far east. They have found evidence of Phoenicians, Canaanite and Arabs who also inhabited the area at various times through the centuries. But most importantly, the site has an archaeological record of the Hebrews through all their historical periods dating back to Abraham, through the Mosaic era, into the formation of Israel and then through the Roman and Christian periods to modern times. In Numbers, we read that Israelis camped at a placed called …

Credit: atsitra/Flickr/Creative Commons

Careers for Christians: Good Without God

Everyone needs to eat, and make the payments to the bank, and that is a problem. In modern times we have careers with long-term plans. In Bible times they had slaves, and kings, and warriors. So how do we live today? What is a career for a Christian? The Bible tells us to work, and to work hard, and this is a curse we can’t escape from: “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.” (Genesis 3:19). I don’t see an exciting career in those words. If you follow the news, some fabulous careers are coming apart and collapsing these days. 2017 is the great year of the scandal, and in the news, that usually means sex crimes by powerful people. We can easily miss the other allegations of dirty politics, espionage, terrorism, and financial fraud; and I’m sure I missed something. We live in an information age when there are no safe secrets, and the wave of scandals is …

Credit: Thomas Guignard/Flickr/Creative Commons

The real problem in the black community: We’ve allowed women to “marry the government”

Actor Denzel Washington stepped on a few toes recently when he said that black people need to quit blaming the system for the high rates of incarceration among black men. He made the statement at the première of his most recent movie, “Roman J. Israel, Esq,” where he plays a young lawyer fighting the system. Denzel said: “It starts at the home. It starts at home. It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure. So you know I can’t blame the system. It’s unfortunate, that we make it such easy work for them.” In an earlier interview with Reuters, Denzel, who grew up in a Christian home with a father who was a pastor, said that people are not “born a criminal.” He had friends who started going down a certain path at ages 13 or 14 and while he stopped, his friends continued and today many are in prison. It was the same message being shared by another Black …

Credit: Fred Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Heightened spiritual warfare in the 21st century?

Dr Karl Payne serves as pastor of Leadership Development and Christian Education at Antioch Bible Church in Seattle, Washington. He was also the former chaplain of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. But he is also gaining recognition as a an expert on spiritual warfare and recently wrote a book entitled Spiritual Warfare: Demonization, and Deliverance. Payne believes that Christians and the church are entering a time of heightened battle with demonic forces. He says whether we believe it or not, the spiritual battle is as real today as we see in the Gospels. But he is also convinced that the spiritual forces attacking Christians will become more blatant. In an interview with WND.com, Payne said: “The growing fascination North Americans and Europeans seem to have with horror movies, spiritism, supernaturalism, the occult and Satanism is softening up the sense and consciences of the people watching and involving themselves in this nonsense. It’s helping them to function as predators or prey when Satan begins his ultimate reign over planet earth through his coming Antichrist and false prophet.” …

United Nations headquarters in New York City Credit: Neptull/Wikipedia

Ancient gods revival?

The same company responsible for building a full-scale model of the Arches of Baal last year has produced a full-sized replica of the ancient Roman goddess Athena. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) used the group, the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), to make a 3-D replica of Athena and recently had it on display at the United Nations headquarter in New York City. Similar to what happened to the Baal arches, in 2015 ISIS destroyed the original statue of the goddess in a museum in Palmyra, Syria. According to UAE, this ancient goddess was “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all the same values on which the historic institution was built.” However, this is only part of the story. Athena was also the Roman goddess of war and was valued for providing warfare strategy. The recreated idol actually portrays the goddess holding a spear, representative of her warrior symbolism. Many believe Athena was simply the Roman version of the ancient Canaanite goddess Asherah, that went by various names in different cultures — …

Credit: Andy Aldridge/Flickr/Creative Commons

Careers for Christians: Where do we start?

People everywhere are trying to find satisfying careers; we want to be fulfilled in the job we do to earn our paycheck. Sometimes, just getting a paycheck is the challenge. We are getting close to the new year when most of us think about these things. So, if God cares, does he care about this part of our lives? I may be on my third career now, or my fourth, depending on how you count some jobs. When I was a boy I delivered newspapers and when I was fourteen, I worked as the shop boy in the Yarn Barn. Knitting was a big thing and one of the ball winding machines had a broken tension hook, so I was the tension hook. I tugged on the yarn with my fingers as it raced through the machine, and I still have all my fingers. No one likes their first job, and I have moved on since then. I am sure the Bible has career advice for Christians, and really, the good book is good for …

Notice the star as part of street Christmas decorations in Lillehammer, Norway. Credit: Peta Chow/Flickr/Creative Commons

Islamization of Christmas in Norway?

A strange story posted by Norwegian blogger, Hanne Tolg, which she describes as “pretty bizarre” is that a Christmas program being performed by an elementary school in Skien, Norway, will now include verses from the Koran, Islam’s main religious text. Though Europe is very liberal in its beliefs and traditions, and most do not attend church, Christmas is still a huge celebration and acknowledged as a Christian holiday. Homes and streets are typically decorated with Christmas themes and it is traditionally one of the big celebrations of the year. According to Bruce Bawer of Gatestone Institute who helped break this story in the English-speaking world, other national holidays in Norway also coincide with Christian celebrations such as Pentecost and Ascension Day. But it appears that efforts are now underway to add an Islamic element to the Christian, Christmas celebration in Norway. According to Tolg, this year’s program at Stigeråsen School will include two verses from the Koran. Christmas is certainly not a holy day for Islam, so why would any school, as Tolg explains, want …

Camels crossing a desert in Iran Credit: my life, the Universe and everything/Flickr

Similar to Evangelicals, Roman Catholics are reporting Muslims converting to Christianity

According to World Watch Monitor, on November 12, an Iranian who had converted to Christianity, lost his appeal of a ten-year prison sentence for sharing his faith. In May, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, along with three men from Azerbaijan were sentenced to ten years for missionary activity along with trumped-up charges of “actions against national security.” The secret police arrested the four men when they attended a wedding in June 2016. Shortly after their arrest, the Iranians allowed the three Azerbaijans to leave Iran while on bail and then sentenced them in abstention. It is doubtful they will return to complete their sentence. But unfortunately, Naser must fulfill his sentence in the brutal Iranian prison system renown for its torture. Since early spring, human rights groups have noticed Iranian courts are handing out unusually long sentences to Christians for simply sharing their faith. Yet despite Iran’s crackdown on Christianity, or maybe because of it, reports are coming in about the large numbers of Muslims abandoning Islam and embracing Christianity in Iran and other Islamic countries. Even …

Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Credit: GatorEG/Wikipedia

Strong reaction to Wilfrid Laurier’s ATTACK on free speech

Some suggest that Canadians recently got an inside look at the cultural Marxism that is dominating many universities across Canada and the US where students and those in authority are trying to stop any views that dissent with the prevailing left-wing agenda. Lindsay Shepherd is a 22-year-old graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She also teaches a class at the university but was called before a tribunal because she shared a dissenting opinion in her class. Fortunately, Lindsay had the presence of mind to tape this interview so Canadians could have a first-hand look on what is becoming common place on university campuses that seem less concerned with teaching students how to think and more interested in telling them what to think. In her class, Shepherd was talking about the use of non-gendered pronouns that is becoming a controversial topic on university campuses. The discussion is often centered around people who are transitioning from one sex to another. As an example, some are insisting they should no longer be referred to as …

A touch of heaven

I felt a light touch and then it was gone. It was a bright and beautiful fall day. My jacket was open because it was getting warm.  My daughter and I were running errands and crossing the mall parking lot to the bank. There was a spring in my step.   Life was good and there was so much to be grateful for lately. The warmth and brightness of the sun made it even better. I saw the truck out of the corner of my eye as it rounded the corner where we were crossing the parking lot.  I hesitated and then stepped forward confident that he had seen me. It was a big, white, wide, 4×4 truck.  As my daughter and I continued across the road I was blinded by a white light in the shape of a large cross.  It was the cross that struck me in that moment. I heard my daughter’s concerned voice urgently say,  “Mom, did you feel that?  That truck touched your leg!” Then, I remembered the gentle touch, …

NF (rapper) Credit: YouTube Capture/Napster

Christian Rapper tops the US Billboard chart in October

Going by the stage name NF, Nathan John Feuerstein, 26, is a Christian rapper and hip-hop artist who topped the Billboard Chart in October. For an entire week, his album, Perception, was the top selling album in America, Christian or secular. Since his debut in 2010, Nathan has released four albums. His first entitled Moments was released in 2012 under the name Nathan Feuerstein. Since then, he has released three more albums under the stage-name NF that included Mansion in 2015. He released Therapy Session in 2016 which won a Dove Award for top hip hop album of the year. It was also the top-selling Christian Album and top US rap album in 2016 and overall it was the 12th best-selling album in the US that year. A song from the album, “Oh Lord,” (which you can hear below) won the 2017 Dove Award for top Hip Hop song. It has had quite an impact. Here is just a sampling of the YouTube comments from the song: It’s Just Kayla This song pushes me to tears …

Folsom Prison, California Credit: Vidor/Wikipedia and Charles Manson Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Wikipedia

Who Died and Who Didn’t

David Cassidy was the poster boy for teenage girls around the world, about thirty years ago. He has lived a show-business life, with failed marriages and a serious addiction to alcohol. In 2015 he declared bankruptcy. On November 19 2017, the news came out that he was in a coma, with multiple organ failures, and his family was gathering at the hospital. The doctors said he didn’t have long. This morning, November 20, the news is that David Cassidy has regained consciousness and he is very much alive. If his condition improves so that he can see a computer screen, he can read on the Internet that he died yesterday. Someone posted information about his death, in anticipation. I don’t know how much time he has with us, but good for him, he outlived his obituary. One person who did die yesterday, at the age of 83, in Bakersfield California, is Charles Manson. This is confirmed; born November 12 1934 and died November 19, 2017. RELATED: Charles Manson dead: CNN This was a truly terrible …

Credit: Chuan Chew/Flickr/Creative Commons

Fear of the Words

[by Keith Hazell] What are the most fearful words that most people hear? It could be “you have been laid off” or “ I  am leaving you” or perhaps “We are bankrupt”. All of the above are words which strike their own fear into the hearts of the hearers. However one of the most fearful words we hear is “ I am sorry but you have cancer.” These words carry with them fear and unbelief. We cannot believe that we have been “chosen,” singled out for such a horrible thing. To many of us who hear this, it is like we have heard a death sentence and that we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable events that will culminate in our passing. More than 21 years ago I received such information from a urologist. My initial reaction was like most of us… “ I guess my days are numbered”.  In my early 50’s I had not reckoned on a truncated life. However, the devil reminded me that both my siblings died early as a …

East Coweta football team gathering for prayer before a game. Credit: Fox News Youtube capture

Victory: Youth take ownership of their faith at East Coweta high school

It was an amazing story, and despite legal threats from an atheist group, students at East Coweta High School in Coweta County, Georgia have taken ownership of their faith in a big way. At the end of October, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to the Coweta school district that its high school football head coach, John Small, was leading a team prayer before games and demanded that this stop. FFRF argued that this violated the constitution of separation of church and state and they included an image of Small standing with his head bowed during a team prayer. In response, the Coweta school division sent a letter to all staff that they were no longer to take part in any prayer or worship while working in an “official capacity” with the school. It was expected that the team’s prayer sessions would come to an end. However, instead something incredible happened. The players took the initiative to pray before the game and instead of 100 players gathering to pray as …

Alberta Legislature Wikipedia/GPL

Alberta government starts a range war against Christians

The government of the Canadian province of Alberta has allegedly turned down an Edmonton couple for adoption because of their Christian faith. The unnamed couple who go by the initials C.D. and N.D are Evangelical Christians. The couple was even willing to adopt an older child who typically become stuck in the foster system with little hope of adoption. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is representing C.D. and N.D. in a court case against the Alberta government to have its decision overturned. The married couple, who are unable to conceive, applied for an adoption in October 2016 and were initially approved by the Catholic Social Services (CSS) a representative of the government’s Child and Family Services (CFS). Then in March 2017, the couple were told the government needed them to answer additional questions on how they would handle their potential child’s sexuality. In its news release, JCCF said the couple responded that they would treat any child “with unconditional love, respect and compassion regardless of what the child chose to do, and regardless …

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

British Survey: Majority believe only six of 10 commandments still important today

A YouGov poll of people living in England released this past October discovered the majority felt only six of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) are relevant today. Commandments such as ‘though shall not murder’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ still did well with both receiving 94% and 93% support respectively. Note the survey properly referred to the sixth commandment as forbidding murder, not killing that was sometimes justified in cases of self-defense. It is difficult to understand why there wasn’t 100% support for the two. However, it can possibly be explained by the growing extreme left-wing beliefs particularly on university campuses where some feel there is justification in certain instances for murder and stealing. Perhaps in a less extreme agreement with this later sentiment only 61% believed “thou shalt not covet” was relevant today.  This meant nearly 40% of those surveyed felt it was alright to covet a neighbor’s goods. At times, our hearts can justify theft because its unfair that some have wealth and others don’t. There were …

Credit: -stefano-/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does surrender to God mean?

Does surrender conjure up images of a criminal giving up his gun and surrendering himself to the police?  For many Christians this is what we envision and it terrifies us. In her article, Winning Through Surrender, Kathy Cordova writes: “For most of us the word surrender has a negative meaning because we think surrender is waving the white flag and giving up.” We consider the spiritual process of surrender with giving up, but spiritual surrender is not about defeat. It is about acceptance, joy and faith.   Spiritual surrender is about a mutual relationship with loving reciprocity between the creator and the creation. It’s about  accepting the gift of salvation and experiencing the joy of a relationship with the God of the universe who  not only loves us but knows us well. I realized that after all these years as a Christian I did not have a healthy perspective of what surrendering to God really meant. I felt that I could never live up to the traditional Christian perception of surrender. I was fully aware of …

The Mespotamia Valley where Abraham and Sarah lived before God called them on their journey of faith: Credit: Hassan Janall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikipedia

Faith through doubt: 4,000 year old marriage contract confirms story of Ishmael

Though the patriarch Abraham and wife Sarah ended up in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ (Hebrews 11:8-11), their lives were far from a perfect display of faith. God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son out of which would come a great nation (Genesis 17). Though they clung to this promise, there were times when they doubted God and took matters into their own hands. One of these moments involved Hagar, Sarah’s personal maid: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16: 1-2 NASV) Sarah told Abraham to impregnate her slave who would serve as a surrogate and have a child that Sarah would claim as her own. The couple went through with this plan with both believing it would fulfill the promise that …

Stephen Willeford Credit: Steven Crowder Youtube show

Did the Holy Spirit fall upon a man to stop a mass murderer?

It may challenge the theology of some. But Stephen Willeford, 55, said the Holy Spirit came upon him to help stop Devin Kelley the man responsible for killing 28 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 In an interview with Steven Crowder the day after the shooting, Willeford, a Christian, explained what happened. After hearing shots being fired, Willeford who lives a block away, grabbed his AR-15 rifle and ran barefoot to find out what was going on. When he arrived Kelley was leaving the church and Willeford ducked behind a truck parked in a neighbor’s driveway and the two began exchanging fire. Willeford told Crowder: “I’m a Christian, and I believe at that point, and maybe this sounds a little off to some of your viewers that aren’t Christians, [but] I believe the Holy Spirit was on me because I had the presence of mind to look at what was going on.” During the shooting, Crowder noticed that Kelley was prepared for a fight and was …

Riyadh City, Saudia Arabia. Credit: B.alotaby/Wikipedia

NEOM: What is happening in the Middle East now?

Could you find the city of Neom on a map? It hasn’t been built yet, but it is a serious proposal. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a proposal to build a new super city in a remote place near the Red Sea. The cost is estimated at 400 billion and if it is built, it should be like a combination of Las Vegas and Hong Kong, in the Middle East. The proposal includes a bridge to Egypt and links to Jordan; and this is never mentioned in the literature, but it will be very close to Israel. RELATED: Saudi Arabia Just Announced Plans to Build a Mega City That Will Cost $500 Billion If you could stand on a boat at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, you could turn your head and see four countries; Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. All four countries converge at that location. Saudi Arabia has huge oil deposits about two thousand kilometres from Neom, on the eastern …

Credit: Christian R. Hamacher/Flickr/Creative Commons

Struggling to love unconditionally

Loving others unconditionally (without any conditions, or expectations attached) does not come naturally for me or anyone I know. The question is how does one DO unconditional love (live it out, act and think). In order for me to extend unconditional love to others  I must have  a reason. What would motivate me to love others unconditionally and withhold judgement. Glynnis Whitwer from First5.org ministry says that we must ‘find the why’ and reason for our motivation to love unconditionally. The Apostle Paul writes: “For we were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate, deluded and misled  . .  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of anything we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Titus 3:3-4) Everyday, I must be mindful of the reason I choose to love unconditionally which is  to  honor God’s gift of grace to me by reflecting it back into my world. In the Old Testament, the Jews had rules and regulations to please God and the Greeks lived to appease their …

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes. Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting. First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.” It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it. Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton …

Moscow's Red Square Credit: viktor/Flickr

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the birthing of the first Communist state

I remember as a university student walking the halls crowded with tables of various communist groups peddling their wares. We had the Leninists, Maoists, Marxists and Stalinists. Each with their table full of booklets, leaflets and books promoting their particular brand of the ‘glorious’ revolution. Of course, communism in its various forms was birthed in the heart of German Karl Marx (1818–1883) who along with Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto that became the staple for modern communism. November 7, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution that paved the way for the world’s first communist state. It was the first of many countries that would eventually fall to this evil philosophy. Ironically, the communist revolution that claimed to be the savior of the people resulted in the slaughter of over 100 million people world-wide. This was the estimate presented in book published by Harvard University Press, The Black Book of Communism. Published in 1997, its numbers are a bit outdated. The Black Book records there were 20 million killed during Stalin’s bloody …

Credit: Taema/Flickr/Creative Commons

White Privilege and Lido Pimienta

Are people with white skin privileged? Do we need to give special treatment to people with dark skin? People are talking about this. On October 19, 2017, a singer named Lido Pimienta went on stage at the Halifax Pop Explosion music festival to sing. Halifax is in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Lido is a woman, originally from Colombia, South America. Before she sang, she told white people and men in the audience, to move to the back, and she instructed women with dark skin to move to the front rows, close to her. Some people argued that this was racism, and a female photographer with light skin stayed near the stage to take pictures. She was ordered to move to the back several times, and then security removed her from the festival. Organizers have since apologized to Lido Pimienta for the photographer’s overt racism. RELATED: Halifax music fest apologizes for overt racism at Polaris winners concert Arguments have ensured. One quote from the discussion in the Global News article is: “I’m sorry but isn’t that …

Kim Clement (1956-2016): YouTube Capture

God’s prophetic voice needed today

As I read about the massacre of 26 people (ages five to 72) in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during their Sunday morning service, it struck me how we need God to speak and warn us. Sutherland Springs located 30 miles southeast of San Antonia is a small town of just 400 people. yet somehow evil found its way there. Twenty were also injured in the attack by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. A former member of the air force, a self-proclaimed atheist and loner, Kelley apparently killed himself after careening off the road in a chase after the shooting. Two days earlier — Friday, November 3, 2017 — a neighbor attacked Christian politician Senator Paul Rand as he returned home. Rand suffered five broken ribs and lung contusions. According to a report on the Daily Caller, another person who lives on the same block alleges the attacker is an “avowed socialist” who fought with other neighbors over politics. Despite this underlying issue, recent media reports suggest that conflicts over landscaping issues …

Dennis Prager speaking a CPAC 2016. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Conservative organization suing Google and YouTube for censorship

Popular Conservative columnist and radio-host Dennis Prager recently announced his nonprofit organization, Prager University (PragerU), is taking YouTube and its owners Google to court alleging that it has imposed a “political gag mechanism” on some of PragerU’s information and news videos. PragerU, that is being represented in part by Liberty Counsel, alleges YouTube is using a number of mechanism to restrict PragerU’s videos from being viewed. This includes a filtering mode intended to restrict access to certain videos that YouTube believes could potentially harm and offend younger and sensitive viewers. It has also demonetized some videos not allowing his PragerU to earn ad revenues. The organization first noticed the problem in July 2016. The lawsuit alleges that the restricted mode has been put on videos talking about such themes as North Korea, Israel and Supreme Court decisions.  In some instances, YouTube has restricted access to PragerU videos because they use such words as “genocide,” “hate” and “terrorism.” Liberty Counsel said in its news release: “While PragerU videos have been censored, the same subject matters posted …

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus. The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader. However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews. Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah. Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America. Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report: “These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not …

Roman Catholic officials confronted Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms to force him to recant of his heresies Painting by Anton Werner (1843-1915)/Wikipedia

Martin Luther not only believed in salvation by faith but also divine healing

When Martin Luther pounded his 95 theses on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, he was trying to reform the corrupt Roman Catholic church. The impotence for this decision 500 years ago was the arrival of Johann Tetzel who was selling indulgences on behalf of the Pope who was raising money to renovate St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. The purchase allowed people to buy their way into heaven. They could even buy it for a deceased friend or relative. Tetzel said, “Once the coin into the coffer clings, a soul from purgatory springs.” In his 95 theses. Luther wrote that the Bible, not the Pope or traditions of the church, was the final authority for the believer. It stated that a person could not buy his way into heaven, salvation was based on faith alone. Luther who had his doctorate in theology and was teaching a the University of Wittenberg was struck by a passage in Romans that righteousness could only come through faith, not money: 17 For …

Painting by Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939) Credit: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston/Wikipedia

The invisible woman

Do you sometimes feel invisible to the people you interact with during the day.  Even if acknowledged it often doesn’t feel sincere enough to satisfy you. I felt that way for many years. I believed I wasn’t significant enough to be acknowledged and seen for who I really was. People didn’t really know me. I have learned after all these years that the way I was feeling (insignificant in the eyes of others) was a mirror reflection of the way I really felt about myself. I had to dive deep into my emotions and my  past  to find the source of my  invisibility pattern.  So much of what I was mirroring to others was directly related to things that happened to me 10, 15 or 20 years ago. In other words, in my own eyes I was invisible and felt unworthy of the attention and significance that came from wholesome relationships that I really longed for. Often women are stuck in ‘old stories’, experiences and unpleasant memories that leave us struggling in our everyday interaction …