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Members of the extreme right, Neo-Nazis and New Confederates gathering for the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 10 and 11, 2017. Credit: Anthony Crider/Wikipedia

Black pastor baptizes former neo-Nazi and member of the Klu Klux Klan after he converts to Christ

Just over a year ago, Ken Parker was at the Unite the Right rally held August 11 to 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Parker, a neo-Nazi, was there along with other members of the extreme right including neo-confederates and the Klu Klux Klan to stand up for whites and protest the pulling down of Confederate statues in that city. Parker was wearing a black shirt with a stylized SS on the collar signifying his involvement with the neo-Nazi group. They fully expected trouble.  And when people showed up countering their protest, the rally quickly turned violent resulting in the death of one person and the injury of 19 others when a member of the extreme right drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors. Parker had originally been a member of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), a group he joined in 2012. He even had a robe with holes cut out for the eyes and by the time he left Parker had risen to the position of grand dragon. He left the KKK because …

Credit: Chris Chabot/Flickr/Creative Commons

Abortion increases the risk of mental health issues for women

Many years ago, my wife and I were involved with a young lady who had separated from her husband who was involved with another woman. It had been a difficult time. The husband was also abusive and the police had gotten involved. However, as she was separating she didn’t realize she was pregnant and when that came to light, everyone in her life including family, friends and even the police counseled her to get an abortion, which she did. She wasn’t a Christian and now living thousands of miles away from her family, she was still haunted by the abortion and treated the abortion date like an ugly birthday. She was depressed and struggling because of the abortion. This is the one side of abortion that the activists don’t like telling anyone about, namely the emotional trauma associated with abortion that can follow a woman through out her life. According to Liberty Counsel (LC), a recent study in the British Journal of Psychiatryy concluded that there are several mental health issues associated with abortion. The …

The Dead Leaf butterfly with its colorful wing display that perfectly mimics a dead leaf when closed. Credit: Left image Public Domain/Right image quartl/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Transformed!

I remember as a boy living in Shellbrook, a small Saskatchewan town, walking down the main street when a butterfly fluttered in front of me. Almost instantly it was set upon by a sparrow. What followed was an aero-acrobatic display. Though the sparrow was clearly faster, the butterfly was incredibly elusive. It swooped up and down to avoid captures. Sharp turns left, then right. Darting in every direction as the bird repeatedly dove in to catch it. And the sparrow was always a second too late, biting at air as the butterfly made another erratic move with a brain barely as large as a dot on an “i.” Then just as suddenly as it started, it was over. The bird broke off its unsuccessful chase and landed at the top of the one-story building I was walking by. I could see its beak open, as it breathed heavily trying to catch its breath. The butterfly continued its flight as if nothing had happened. It is interesting display because the butterfly has two sets of wings. …

The modern Upper Room in Jerusalem Credit: Catholic Church England and Wales/© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Where was the Upper Room?

The Upper Room is probably most famous as the spot where the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples recorded in Acts 2. From there, they spread out into the streets of Jerusalem and lit the place on fire. But it served as more than that. Some believe that the disciples may have actually used the Upper Room as living quarters while they were in Jerusalem: 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. (Acts 1:13 NASV) The Greek word “katameno” means to abide, live and remain which is how the Apostle Paul used the word when he told the Corinthians that he is thinking of living in Corinth for the winter (1 Corinthians 16:6). When the Holy Spirit fell, it is said that the sound of rushing wind filled the “whole house” (Acts 2:1-2). The Greek …

Camel caravan in Saudi Arabia Credit: Linda Polik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Defending Saudi Arabia

Recently, a huge fight erupted between Canada and Saudi Arabia. If you have not heard about this, you are probably saying “What? Who? Why?” I worked in a large university in Canada, and I taught students from Saudi. Thousands of them go to universities in Canada. The female students removed their veils in my classroom and one of them forgot hers on a table one day. That was the only veil in lost-and-found, when I dropped it off. Canada probably trains most Saudi medical doctors in its medical schools. The two countries have a history, but it’s mostly friendly. Until the blow-up happened, most of us could never imagine those two countries disagreeing about anything. RELATED: Gunter: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince is just using the Liberals to look tough Conservative Islam is the religion of Saudi Arabia; there is no doubt. If you ask the what they believe, they will tell you, … and tell you, … and tell you; and they will try to convert you. That was my experience in the classroom. I’m …

Just say no Credit: Dylan Todd/Flickr/Creative Commons

When I want to say ‘No’ but say ‘Yes’

What do boundaries, healthy boundaries, have to do with our relationships? Why is learning to say “no” important and why is it so hard? Because if you continue to do things you don’t want to do, you eventually become, angry, resentful and bitter. If like me you choose to be a martyr and say “yes” when you really want to say “no,” you will become what some describe as a “bitter martyr.” But as one psychologist puts it,  “it’s not too late to turn the ship around.” To remove the bitterness, we must become better at telling the truth to ourselves and others because saying “yes” when you want to say “no” is being dishonest. Why do we struggle with this? It’s the little girl in us acting out our childhood training to be nice. According to psychologist, Terri Cole, growing up with a mother who was a people-pleaser makes it difficult for a person to say “no” when it is the last thing we want to do. If you lived in a home where …

Protests in Iran Credit: Javad Saharban/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christian pastor arrested in Iran as protests rage through the country

According to reports, Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has once again been arrested by authorities. Plain clothed agents with Iran’s secret police arrived at Yousef’s home on July 22 and were trying to break down the door. When Yousef’s son opened the door to find out what was going on, he was immediately tasered and thrown to the floor. The Iranian agents then tasered pastor Yousef and brutally beat him in front of his family before arresting him and taking him away. The family found out later that the government transferred Yousef to the country’s notorious Evin Prison renown for its brutal treatment of religious and political prisoners. This isn’t the first time the Iranian secret police had arrested Yousef. In 2009, police arrested him for questioning school authorities on why his Christian children were being taught the Koran. Though the Iranian constitution guarantees religious freedom, the current government of Iran routinely ignores the law. At that time, the police charged Yousef with “apostasy,” as it is illegal in Iran for a Muslim to convert to …

US Supreme Court, Washington, DC Credit: Matthew Buckley/Flickr/Creative Commons

Today marks the anniversary of the remarkable water baptism of ‘Jane Roe’

August 8, 2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the water baptism of Norma McCorvey in a Garland, Texas swimming pool.  She was baptized by an Evangelical minister Philip (Flip) Benham who today leads a pro-life organization called Operation Save America. For those who don’t know, Norma McCorvey was the woman involved in Roe vs Wade, the infamous 1973 Supreme Court case that ruled it was illegal to criminalize abortion, opening the door for unimpeded abortions across the US. She came from a rough family. Her mother was an alcoholic and her father abandoned the family. In 1969, Norma McCorvey, who was living in Dallas, Texas, was 21 years old and pregnant with her third child. She wanted an abortion which was illegal. Her friends recommended that she claim the pregnancy was due to rape, one of the rare exceptions that many states allowed for abortion. However, since she had not filed a police report that was ruled out. McCorvey was eventually told about two lawyers who were willing to take on her case. Using the …

Harvest Crusade Billboard that was pulled down: Credit CBN

Harvest Crusade forced to take down billboards in California

Pastor Greg Laurie revealed some disturbing news about several billboards that he was forced to take down earlier this month advertising his SoCal Harvest evangelistic meeting to be held in Anaheim’s Angel stadium between August 17 to 19. With a seating capacity of 45,000 people, Greg Laurie has held his Harvest Crusades at the facility since 1990. The evangelistic meetings draws between 90,000 to 100,000 people and typically result in nearly 10,000 people becoming Christians. To promote the August crusade, Harvest Crusade booked several billboards with a real estate company called Irvine Company. The billboards contracted by Laurie were at a popular mall called Fashion Island in Orange County. The billboards featured Greg Laurie preaching and holding a Bible up in his right hand along with the dates and location of the crusade. According to Todd Starnes, a columnist with Fox News, a representative with the Irvine Company contacted Harvest Crusade stating the company had received several complaints about the billboard and even one “serious threat.” There were no crosses on the billboard and there …

Fog in Tronheim, Norway Credit: Ksenia Novikova/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why does God test us?

One re-occurring theme in the Bible is that from time to time God tests believers.  Tests have some similarity with trials, but differ in one important respect. Tests are initiated by God, while trials are not. Trials are simply blatant attacks against Christians. But as we will see in the life of Peter, some tests can have a demonic origin. So why does God test us? Paul writes: 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV) There are three key words in this verse: approved, entrusted and tests and they are all connected.  God wants to entrust us with more responsibility, but He needs to know how we are going to respond. So God tests our hearts, often through difficult situations, to see how we respond. Are we going to give up? Are we going to back away when the going gets tough? A life of faith is a struggle. …

Protests in Iran Credit: Javad Saharban/Flickr/Creative Commons

The New Islamic Revolution

Did you know there is a revolution among us? I don’t know if it will succeed, but it is starting, and it is huge. Check out this video to see the brave leaders of the revolution: In Bangladesh, high school students are protesting in large numbers, for bus safety. RELATED: Bangladesh teenagers demanding road safety paralyse Dhaka: BBC In Iran, mass protests are demanding a prosperous western-styled economy, without the restrictions from the Islamic revolution. RELATED: Iran protests spread to 10 cities in widest unrest since January: VOANews And in Sweden, a young woman stood up on a plane to prevent it from taking off because one of the passengers was being deported to Afghanistan. The plane did not leave and the man was removed, to be deported later. The young woman said “It’s not right to send people to hell.” Note that “hell” is a Muslim majority country, Afghanistan. That is strong language from a 21-year-old woman. RELATED: Swedish student stops deportation of Afghan man with protest streamed on Facebook: CNN Bangladesh, Iran, and …

Sky diving over Palau Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s okay to be afraid

Sometimes we are being pushed out of our comfort zone and often think fear is telling us to pull back. But in reality it’s a signal to move forward, push through the fear and jump. I have been acknowledging my uncomfortable feelings these past weeks. At times I almost feel paralyzed by fear and anxious thoughts. Have you ever felt this way afraid, nervous and excited all at the same? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. And often we judge ourselves for being afraid of our next big step. We have this misconception that fear is telling us “not” to do it. Well, the good news is that fear is just a natural emotion that means you are stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. Being stretched is uncomfortable in the physical and the natural. Growing and expanding beyond where I have been comfortable for some time now. Fear is a normal part of life, but it is an emotion we must control before it conquers us. Writing for Proverbs 31 Ministry, Bobby Schuller says: “Fear is …

Building a nest. Credit: Jill Bazeley/Flickr/Creative Commons

When it’s time to stop praying and start doing

In his letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul told the church to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). He encouraged us to be perpetually in a spirit of prayer. But did you know there are also times when God wants us to stop praying and start moving. Shortly after Pharaoh let Israel leave Egypt, he hardened his heart one more time and sent his army to bring the Jews back into captivity. When Moses heard reports the Egyptian army was in pursuit, he cried out to God for deliverance. It is what every sane Christian should do in times of distress. But suddenly God commands Moses to stop praying and start moving: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.’” (Exodus 14:15 NASV) There comes a time when God wants us to quit praying and start doing. Prayer is absolutely vital for Christians, but sometimes prayer becomes an excuse not to do it. Sometimes prayer is just another way to procrastinate, …

Katie Lee Gifford Credit: United States Department of Interior/Wikipedia and Howard Stern Credit: Bill Norton/Wikipedia

The strange case of Kathie Lee Gifford and Howard Stern

In Matthew 5: 38-43, Jesus taught us how to deal with our enemies. It was strange advice. Christ said if a man hits you on the cheek, let him hit the other cheek and if a man takes your shirt then offer him your coat. It was the exact opposite of how we would want to react in these type of situations. So what was the purpose of this? I believe one of the things that Jesus was telling us is that we need to take the initiative, be proactive, in situations where we could be offended. God is calling us to make the peace. And this is exactly the situation that Kathie Lee Gifford found herself in with Howard Stern. Kathie, 64, is a singer, song writer, actress and co-host of NBC’s Today show. She is also an outspoken Christian. Howard Stern, 64, is a radio and television personality and is best known for the Howard Stern Show and has earned the reputation as a “shock jock.” On an episode of the Today show earlier …

Chick-fil-a restaurant Credit: raymondclarkeimages/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chick-fil-A announces controversial arrival in Toronto

Chick-fil-A is one of the fastest growing fast-food franchises in the US. So it is not surprising that the chain announced it will be opening a store in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, in 2019. It hopes to have upwards of 20 franchises set up in the Greater Toronto Area by 2024. Chick-fil-A’s arrival in Toronto is proving controversial as those on the left unleash their outrage. The left has a problem with Chick-fil-A because: It’s privately owned by the Christians (the Cathy family). The restaurant has Bible verses printed on its cups; It’s owned by Christians who believe in traditional Christian values on marriage; and are not afraid to express these views. In a 2012 interview with the Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A Ceo Dan Cathy said: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Casey said. “We operate as a family business … our restaurants are …

Dennis Quaid singing Credit: allenmock/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dennis Quaid says renewing his faith in Christ includes forgiving himself

Dennis Quaid, 64, has been another of my favorite Hollywood actors. I didn’t know he was a Christian and was surprised to see him in the Christian movie, I Can Only Imagine where he plays the role of Arthur Millard, the abusive father of Bart Millard, the lead singer for the Gospel group Mercy Me. Millard is best known for the Christian hit song “I Can Only Imagine” that was birthed in the difficult reconciliation that took place between Bart and his father. The movie has been a tremendous success with a budget of only $7 million it has earned over $84 million since its release. Quaid has starred in several movies including the Parent Trap, The Rookie and the Soul Surfer. He is playing Ronald Reagan in the upcoming biopic on the famed US president. Quaid is also a musician and is actually the lead singer in a band call the Sharks. And when asked to join the movie, I Can Only Imagine, Quaid told them about a Gospel song he had started writing …

City of Toronto Credit: Duncan Rawlinson/Duncan.co/@thelastminute/Creative Commons

What’s going on in Toronto?

You might have heard the news, a man with a gun walked down a quiet street in Toronto and shot people who were enjoying a warm summer evening. Many people were injured and at this time, two have died, a girl and a young woman. The alleged killer, Faisal Hussain, was a Muslim from a Pakistani immigrant family. Faisal’s brother is in a coma from a drug overdose, and his father has Parkinson’s disease and there is a history, in their community, of dangerous drug gangs. That’s where the guns and bullets allegedly came from. Also, ISIS has now claimed Faisal was one of their soldiers. RELATED: ISIS claims of responsibility for Toronto shooting raise questions of credibility: CBC If we ever learn the truth, we will probably find a toxic mix of immigrant desperation, with all the sources of stress we can imagine. All the bad things seemed to pile on that young man. If there is a good life, he could see it but he couldn’t live it. The authorities, including police and …

Crandell Police singing "God's Not Dead" Credit: Pure Flix/Facebook page capture

Crandall, TX police officers facing opposition as they lip sync for God

Over the past several weeks, cops from police stations across American have been lip syncing popular songs and posting them to Facebook. Referred to as the lip sync challenge the videos are proving quite popular and include songs by such stars as Bruno Mars. However, things took a nasty turn, when officers from the Police Department in Crandall, Texas uploaded their song. The problem was they lip synced a gospel song called “God’s Not Dead” popularized by the Gospel group Newsboys. The song is also feature on Pure Flix’s movie God’s Not Dead. Crandall, TX is small town of 2,900 people and Dean Winter, Crandell’s chief of police, is not shy about his faith. The song is proving popular on Facebook having been viewed over eight million times and it has been recently uploaded to other social media platforms including YouTube. But the video also caught the attention of a group of activist atheists called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) who sent a letter demanding the song be taken down accusing the group of …

Grocery Store Credit: Province of British Columbia/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: Religious people have more self-control when it comes to shopping

According to a study by three researchers from university business schools,  Didem Kurt, Boston University, J. Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh and Francesca Gino, Harvard Business School, religious people not only spend less than non-religious but they are also less likely to make impulse purchases. The study that involved looking at the results of five earlier studies on spending habits also included the group’s own research. In their study, the three researchers put 800 people through a variety of “hypothetical” shopping scenarios and as well tests to evaluate how strong their religious beliefs were. What they discovered is that an incremental increase in religious belief resulted in a 5% decrease in spending and impulsive buying. This confirmed results from a survey of spending by 2,400 people in 10 states in 2011 and 2012, conducted by Point of Purchase Advertising International. It showed that people living in more religious counties not only spent less money on groceries than people living in less religious counties, but also had “fewer impulse purchases.” There are undoubtedly a variety of …

Gibraltar Crossing near the city of Tarshis Credit: Cubanito, Wikipedia

Did an ancient Babylonian priest refer to Jonah?

Though known primarily for his confrontation with a whale, Jonah was a well-known prophet in Israel and is referenced several times (Judges 16:23-24; 1 Samuel 5:1-7; 1 Chronicles 10:8-12; 2 Kings 14:25). But of course it’s his story of calling the city of Nineveh to repentance that he is most known for. When Jonah refused to obey God’s call and took passage on a ship heading towards Tarshish near the Strait of Gibraltar on the coast of Spain, God stirred up a storm to get Jonah’s attention. After the sailors threw Jonah overboard, he was swallowed by a Grey whale (my vote but far from certain) and after a three days was coughed up on a beach undoubtedly along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From there Jonah headed far inland to Nineveh that was then part of the nation of Assyria and delivered a message of repentance. Led by the king, the city responded and repented. Some have suggested, the king may have been impacted by Jonah’s whale story, because one of the …

William Maillis, 11, being interviewed by HCHC Media Credit: HCHC Media/YouTube capture

11-year-old genius and college graduate wants to use science to prove existence of God

Though he is only 11 years old, William Maillis graduated from Florida’s St. Petersburg College on July 21, 2018 with an Associate in Arts degree. Officially classified a genius at age five, William was using complete sentences at 7 months. He was adding and subtracting by two. By the age of three he knew the alphabet in multiple languages and had mastered Algebra by the age of four after his older brother briefly introduced the mathematical concept to him in the backseat of the car while the family was on a drive. His father Peter Maillis serves as a priest at the Saints Raphael, Nicholas & Irene Hellenic Orthodox Church based in Palm Harbor, Florida. To keep him entertained, his parents put magnetic letters and numbers on the family fridge which as a child he organized into mathematical equations. Though he graduated from high school when he was just nine, the biggest challenge the teachers had through high school was keeping him engaged and focused because he so quickly mastered the material. So during high …

Thumbs down Credit: m01229/Flickr/Creative Commons

My prophetic failure

Several years ago, we had a young man in our church moving in the prophetic. He prophesied regularly during church services and even had a visiting prophetic minister pull him out of the congregation and give a word about his prophetic calling. He was on the fast track to the prophetic. Up to this point his prophetic words were fairly innocuous. There was nothing specific about them or directional. They were God loves you type of prophesies that could literally apply to anyone and everyone. There is nothing wrong with these type of words, because often the Holy Spirit will grab the word and highlight it to specific individuals and say this word is for you. And then it happened. The pastor of the church was heading to a conference. As we gathered around to lay hands on him, the young man stepped up with a prophetic word and prophesied some very specific things were going to happen to the pastor at these meetings. One in particular, involved a person at the conference coming to …

Credit: Amout Wurst/Flickr/Creative Commons

Migrants, Border Jumpers, Refugees, and Us

I saw something the other day, and it shocked me. This is not new for me, but I don’t like to be reminded that I am correct. We think we are good people, but reality can tell a different story. I have a volunteer contract with a famous Christian charity. I won’t name them and I won’t report what happened inside their building, to keep confidentiality, but they are famous everywhere for helping the poorest and most desperate. My job is to teach their staff how to write administrative reports, which fits some of my skill set. Two days ago, I reported for a tutorial session at a location in the inner city, and I was shocked. Outside, in the alley I saw several African people. Later, when I drove home, I saw more of them wandering the streets in our poorest neighborhood. My impression was that they were desperate and unhappy and they were begging for help from organized charities. The inner city is also called skid row, or the slums, and it is …

Katy Perry in her 2018 Witness tour Credit: Giorgio Erriquez/Flickr/Creative Commons

In an interview with ‘Vogue Australia’ Katy Perry says she never left God

In a recent cover interview with Vogue Australia, pop sensation Katy Perry had more to say about her Christian faith. Katy’s parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, are both Pentecostal evangelists, and as their talented daughter became involved in music, Katy sang gospel and even released a gospel album. However, as she moved into secular music, Katy seemed to walk away from her faith. She admitted in the interview that her mother was praying that her daughter would come back to God. In response Katy said that she never “left Him, I was just a little bit secular. I was more materialistic and more career driven.” Now in her 30s, Katy said there are changes taking place in her life stating “it’s more about spirituality and heart wholeness.” And we have seen hints of this spirituality popping through on social media as Katy shared Christian messages on Instagram Over Easter, she shared an Instagram post of a rainbow over her Jesus tattoo with the words: ”My brokeness + God’s Divinity = My wholeness” written beneath the image. …

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England Credit: Jim/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Treasure Chest of Strength

Lately I have been thinking about what real strength is. Of course one of the first scriptures that came to my mind was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Berean Study Bible) I know Strongs’s concordance 1743, defines this strength as empower, enable (increase in) strength, to be (make) strong. However, this only made me wonder more about this word ‘strength’. Around this time, I had a vivid impression of a treasure chest with the word ‘STRENGTH’ written on it. I saw this chest was full of many things such as; God’s love, freedom, acceptance, healing and identity. Whatever I happened to need was inside. Not to be found in this ‘treasure chest’ were negative things like unworthiness, rejection, bitterness, or self-hate. Nothing was there which would take away my strength in Christ. So then, I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Whatever I need is in the treasure chest of strength. I just have to grab hold of the truth provided. What is …

I vote Grey whale: The story of Jonah

A group of archaeologists digging at a Roman fish factory plant located near the Straights of Gibraltar made a discovery that may answer the question on what swallowed Jonah. The salting factories first showed up around 400 BC. Many are familiar with the story of the disobedient prophet who God wanted to send to Nineveh to call the city to repentance. Jonah, who obviously hated this enemy, refused to go fearing they would repent and God would spare them judgement. So to escape his calling, Jonah booked a boat to Tarshish, that oddly enough most Biblical scholars believe was located on the coast of Spain near the Straights of Gibraltar. In an effort to catch Jonah’s attention, God stirred up a large storm that the sailors believed was divine in origin. After Jonah fessed up, the sailors threw him overboard and the prophet was swallowed up by a large fish or sea creature that eventually vomited up the prophet along the shore near Nineveh, where he successfully called the city to repentance. So what did …

Ilulissat, Greenland Credit: Baron Reznik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Global warming taking a vacation this summer in parts of the Arctic

Though we are still getting the usual rhetoric about how man-made climate change is destroying the earth unless we act immediately, we are not hearing about the unusual climatic conditions affecting parts of the Arctic this year. There is a reason for that. This summer has been a been a particularly cold one in Greenland and it doesn’t fit the man-made global warming narrative that the ice is melting and will result in rising ocean levels unless we immediately do something to reduce CO2 emissions. But not only is the cold weather disrupting the narrative of the climate-change activists and politicians, the cold weather is also having a profound impact on shore birds that nest along Greenland’s coastline each summer. According to Scientific American, typically by June the snow has receded in Greenland allowing shore birds to nest and raise their young in July. However, this year has been cold and the ice and snow has continued into the summer preventing shore birds from finding food and nesting spots. In an interview with Scientific American, …

Vancouver sunrise Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apostles and Prophets Part 3: The Apostolic Explosion

[by Keith Hazell] This is the third in a series on the Apostolic Ministry, a ministry being restored today for building the Kingdom of God. In this article, Keith Hazell deals with problems that hinder apostolic team ministry. Click here and here for the previous articles. “Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.  (Acts 15:37-41 NIV) While this passage is not about Apostles and Prophets it does help to illustrate that relationships between senior members are not always smooth and harmonious. Paul seemed to have a knack for problems with other leaders and we have to confess that they were real problems and that …

Credit: Sydney Daoust/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oh, you are such a loser!

A new buzz word in pop psychology is “vulnerable.” There is some good advice out there, and this idea can be good for us. If I looked at you and said “loser!” I would be rude, and you would take that as an insult. We learned that in elementary school. So, “loser!” I just called you a loser, and you can say the same to me. If we are not losers, we are failures. Every Christian should know the words in the Bible “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) That is the bedrock of our Christian faith. Jesus made it right, after we made it wrong. A few days ago, I had a meeting with an old friend. We talked about business and we also had time to catch up on our personal stories, like old friends. This man is a Christian, my brother in Christ, and he described himself as …

Scaly Breasted Wren from Ecuador Credit: Nick Athanas/Flickr/Creative Commons

A song in the day and a song in the night

For the past couple weeks a robin has been singing in our backyard. Its clear melodic sound has drawn me outside onto my deck to be entertained again and again. I typically make a cup of coffee so I can sit down and appreciate the solo performance that seems to be for my ears only. The other day, as I sat down on my chair with coffee in hand, there was silence. I thought I had missed my morning performance. Then I heard rustling in the branches hanging over our deck. He was sitting right above me and sang his beautiful song over me once again. The sound and intensity of the song was so wholehearted, clear and clean. He was singing his heart out to me. This song from Zephaniah resonated through me: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God sings over us. He …

Main street of Valletta, Malta Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will angelic activity pave the way for the greatest revival in world history?

There are several strange verses in the Book of Revelation, but one found in chapter 14 has always caught my attention. In the midst of the end-times judgements hitting the earth and increased persecution of Christians, the Apostle John saw an angel flying in the mid heavens preaching the Gospel. 6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; (Revelation 14:6 NASV) The angel would preach this message to every nation, every tribe and tongue. No one would be exempt. So what would be the purpose of an angel preaching the Gospel in the mid heavens? I suspect that this message being spoken from the invisible spiritual realm would in some way impact those living in the natural. Why else would God have an angel do this? I have written on this in the past, but we have an interesting account involving the prophet Daniel’s encounter with a Godly angel while sitting along …

Credit: National Park Service, Alaska Region/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘Give me that mountain’: Living life with Caleb’s attitude

According to King Solomon how a person thinks, determines how he lives life. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7a NKJV) But there is an important caveat in this verse, because Solomon adds how a man “thinks in his heart,” so it is to him. This is a step beyond thinking, we need to believe it. Jesus said if we say to this mountain be cast in the sea (Mark 11:23), and do not doubt in our heart, it will be done. It is not enough to think it, we need to believe it. Faith and belief make the difference. Researchers at the University of Seoul in South Korea found out there may be a direct connection between what older people believed to how they actually felt. What they believed in their later years directly impacted how they lived their life. According to the Daily Mail, the research team asked 68 people between the ages of 59 to 84 if they felt older, younger or the same as their real …

Mural on the ceiling of Santa Prassede Church, Rome Credit: Jean Louis Mazieres/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apostles and prophets Part 2: Working together in teams

[by Keith Hazell] When I was a young man of 18 and living in England I received a letter in the name of the Queen of England telling me to report for two years of service in the British Military. This was an irresistible request, backed up by the full power of the state. From some points of view this was the worst two years of my life, yet on reflection I learned many lessons in that two years that have stood me well in my life and ministry. We were verbally and sometimes, physically assaulted by drill sergeants who spent their time making us learn how to follow instructions so that we would know how to move together and not simply to respond to our own instincts. One particularly windy day as we marched across the square in the face of a strong wind, our sergeant who was way behind gave an order. Due to the wind, this order was lost to all but those nearest to him and we landed up going in …

Jesus healing the blind man by El Greco (1541-1614) Credit: Wikipedia

Barbara Snyder’s healing from MS shocked doctors

In his book, The Case for Miracles, evangelist Lee Strobel cites the miraculous healing of Barbara Snyder that took place nearly 30 years ago. Strobel, 66, is a former investigative journalist with the Chicago Tribune. He became a Christian in 1981 shortly after he decided to investigate Jesus and the Christian faith after his wife became a Christian. After his conversion, Lee worked briefly as a pastor before moving into an apologetic’s ministry focusing on writing and video productions. In his most recent book, Strobel decided to look at miracles. Though he believed the Biblical stories of Christ’s miracles, Strobel was less convinced miracles were happening today. However, after analyzing several miracles Strobel is convinced they are. One miracle in particular stands out. It involves Barbara Snyder and took place nearly 30 years ago. The Mayo Clinic had diagnosed Barbara with multiple sclerosis. Despite several operations and treatments, Barbara continued to deteriorate to the point that she was put into respite with doctor’s orders not to resuscitate. By this point, she was almost blind and …

Woman wearing a niqab in Egypt. Credit: MezzoMezzo/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Burkas, Niqabs, Hijabs, Chadors, Dupattas, and Christians

One of the biggest political arguments in the world today is about Muslim women and what they wear. Some countries, mainly in Europe and Africa, have banned or restricted Islamic female clothing. In Canada, the province of Quebec has introduced a law with some restrictions. There are many variations, but in general, women in conservative Muslim societies cover up, and I don’t think this is voluntary. It’s part of a religious lifestyle. RELATED: Explainer: Why do Muslim women wear a burka, niqab or hijab?: ABC RELATED: Hijab by country: Wikipedia This is not a big issue where I live, I think because we have cold winters and everyone covers up. Also, we have large numbers of Hutterites, German Christians who live on farming colonies, and Hutterite women wear long dresses and cover their heads. Now, large numbers of conservative Mennonites, similar to the Hutterites and with similar clothing styles, are moving into our country districts. Also, I live near an Ethiopian church and the older women often walk in my neighborhood in traditional clothes, and …