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What else could cause global warming? Credit: CipherN/Flickr/Creative Commons

The 20-year global warming pause?

A recent paper written by climate scientist Benjamin Santer has caused a stir among those entrenched in the man-made global warming camp and those who are not. In his paper published on Nature Geoscience, Santer, who believed in man-made global warming , stated that there has been no global warming for the past 18 years. This is nothing short of heresy among global warming activists. For several years skeptics have pointed out that satellite records reveal there has been no warming on earth for nearly two decades. If CO2 is the cause of global warming, this warming should not have stopped because the world continues to pour record amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. This pause suggests other natural forces must be affecting climate temperature. Global warming activists were predictably outraged and those in skeptic camp shocked when Santer’s paper came out. One climate scientist Roger A Pielke Sr tweeted “Wow!” when he read the news. Santer, along with Carl Mears, manage the Remote Sensing satellite temperature data set. But in his paper …

A prayer walk

A month ago a few ladies from our Church gathered at Government House Gardens here in Regina, Saskatchewan for a prayer walk. We usually gather once a month at a park, historical site or Government building to pray for our city, country and nation. This year we decided to produce a video about our walk to show you what we do. It is our first video and it is not perfect. It is dark in spots and at other points our videoing could be better, but we hope to improve as we create more videos for our YouTube channel — Bashful & Bold. It was a bright, sunny day. The flowers and bushes were just beginning to bloom. We started to walk when we noticed a fragrance in the air and were drawn to the Cherry Blossom trees with their full pink blooms at the end of the lane. We were reminded of the verse in  2 Corinthians about the aroma of Christ and prayed into this verse that the fragrance of Christ in us …

The plume from the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Credit: Gunnlaugur por Briem/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beware columns of smoke

Last week was a bit worrying for those living in and around Yellowstone Park. Last Thursday, the area experienced a 4.4 earthquake. Earthquakes of that size can be felt, but rarely cause damage. But it wasn’t the earthquake that caused concern, rather it was the 295 other earthquakes that took place in that region during that seven-day period — 60 on Friday alone (June 16, 2017). We know Biblically that a rise in earth quakes will mark the end times, something that even Jesus referred to (Luke 21:11). Though many are downplaying the danger associated with these earthquakes, others are not so sure. They are not so concerned about the earthquakes, as smaller earthquakes can be beneficial releasing pressure and helping prevent a larger quake. But what is concerning is that a flurry of earthquakes could be sign of a bigger problem if they are occurring around a known volcano. It could be a warning of a looming volcanic eruption. As magma builds beneath the surface, the resulting pressure can often cause smaller earthquakes. This puts …

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It All Begins with a Story

The Bible is a collection of 66 Books containing hundreds of stories.  It starts with, “In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1), and ends with John’s vision of Jesus declaring, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13). These biblical stories record the history of mankind from Adam to Abraham and the birth of the nation of Israel.  It gives a chronicle of Israel from generation to generation.  It tells us of the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, unto the early years of the church age. The Bible contains prophesies, some fulfilled within the context of the entire Bible, some fulfilled the past 2,000 years since the New testament writings.  Still others of these Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled today and some will be fulfilled in the future. More copies of the Bible has been sold or freely distributed than any other book in the world.  It is recognized world-wise as the greatest Book ever written.  It …

St. George Monastery (Orthodox Church) was constructed at a cave thought to be the place where the Prophet Elijah hid after fleeing Jezebel. Credit: Catholic Church of England/Flickr/Creative Commons

Under the wing of a prophet — schools of the prophets

A few years back, a person who functions in the prophetic told me how he moved into that ministry. A prophet was speaking at the church he attended and gave a prophetic word to the man stating he was called to the ministry of a prophet. This senior prophet had also been invited to minister at another church in the same city, so he asked the young man to tag along. He didn’t throw the young man into prophetic with the old sink or swim attitude. As the prophet ministered, he told the young man to sit, listen and try to discern a word for the people being prophesied over. Later the prophet asked young man if he received words similar to what the prophet gave when he ministered to the people. The young man said yes. This was the Holy Spirit training him to have confidence in the ministry God had given him. I think the prophet Amos referred to this when he said: “The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos …

Pop star Katy Perry reconciling with her Christian parents: Is God next?

Mega pop star Katy Perry, 33, made some interesting statements in her interview with Dr. Siri Singh, on Viceland’s program The Therapist that aired the weekend of June 10, 2017. According to the Christian Post (CP), in the interview Katy talked about the pressures involved with being the pop star Katy Perry instead of who she really was Katherine Hudson. She expressed a desire of being her “authentic self.” But what I also found interesting is Katy’s discussion about God and her parents. Katy’s parents, Maurice and Mary (née Perry) Hudson, are Pentecostal pastors. As a child Katy accepted Christ. She was even filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. As a teenager, she sang gospel music and initially tried to make a career singing gospel. But today as one of the world’s top pop stars, for the most part Katy has rejected her parent’s Christian faith. But I saw signs in the interview that there is potential for things to change. First Katy talked about having suicidal thoughts after breaking up with …

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Raging Billboards

Someone put a religious message on a sign beside a freeway near Indianapolis. You can see what they wrote in the picture. The message is a summary of some things conservative Muslims believe about their founder. In the twenty-first century, these ideas don’t look good, but people are outraged that the sign is critical and hateful. There are some lessons for us in this story. You can’t win against the critics: Every human organization or movement has skeletons in the closet, historical things we wish would go away; and the Internet lets the critics dig out those facts and tell the world. In Canadian and Australian history, people who called themselves Christians forced native children into residential schools, away from their families. Today this is a national embarrassment. The Mormons have many things to explain. In the U.S. the Democratic Party was the political base for slavery, segregation, and ugly racism. They are trying to do better now. The message on the sign was skillfully written and researched. If the author is sued, he will …

The Peruvian desert, one of the driest places in the world. Credit: Mariano Mantel/Flickr/Creative Commons

A rose in the desert

We were in shock. We had just been pulled off a bus by two armed soldiers.  I thought it was the last time I would see my husband. Terrified, we stood as they searched our passports and found what they were looking for.  A small piece of paper stuck in our passports stamped with our entry date to Peru. We had no idea how important that inch-sized paper was. It was all that stood between us returning to the bus or jail. The soldiers motioned for us to return to the bus and we sat in unbelief about what had just happened. The terrain around us was all desert. Tall, barren mountains hung over us as we traveled on to our destination. Two hours later we entered a valley. Suddenly there was vegetation as the landscape turned green. This valley had been irrigated and the small town in its midst survived because of it. The desert in Southern Peru is one of the driest places in the world. We learned later it hadn’t rained there …

Hillary Clinton Credit: Aaron Webb/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is a prophecy about Hillary Clinton coming to pass?

Prior to America’s recent presidential election, several Christian prophets predicted that Donald Trump would become the next president of the United States. One of those was Kim Clement who hinted at Trump’s presidency in 2013. Trump would not officially seek the Republican nomination until June 2015 and most considered the chances of him even winning that nomination as very remote, much less the US presidency. Kim died on November 23, 2016, two weeks after Donald Trump won the presidential election. But Kim Clement, who had gained a reputation in Charismatic circles as  a prophetic worshiper, also had a prophecy for Hillary Clinton. He gave that prophecy back in 2006: “And some of you said, when the Spirit said, ‘Hillary Clinton,’ some of you shouted out, ‘yes!’God said, ‘I have already dealt with her heart, not to be president of this nation, but to be president in a Christian world. She will have a testimony second to none and will eventually come out with it and make declaration that Christ Jesus saved her marriage, saved her …

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A tale of two worlds

There are two worlds in Christianity. One where the Holy Spirit leads and guides believers through spiritual gifts and the other that has basically rejected the Holy Spirit playing such an active role in a person’s life. I recently read a story involving the wife of a Southern Baptist minister who had publicly rejected the ministry of Beth Moore. Beth Moore is a Charismatic teacher popular not only among women of a Pentecostal persuasion but apparently even Southern Baptist women who are less enamored with the Holy Spirit and His gifts today. In her testimony provided to Pulpit & Pen, Lauran, who leads a woman’s Bible study at her husband’s church, admitted that Beth Moore had been a favorite teacher for years. She used Beth’s materials for her Bible studies and even attended conferences where Beth was speaking. But that changed about five years ago, when Lauran became concerned that Beth believed God spoke to her — that the Holy Spirit was giving her direction. She cited one revelation that Beth received where she prophetically …

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Faith under pressure…

Considered a rising star in women’s soccer in America, Jaelene Hinkle, 24, recently announced she will not be playing for the US women’s national soccer team in two exhibition games scheduled for June. No explanation was given about why she pulled out and in its news release announcing her withdrawal, US Soccer stated Hinkle cited “personal reasons.” Hinkle has played in eight international games with the America’s national soccer team since 2015. However, Hinkle who plays defense is also a Christian and is very vocal about her faith on social media. She even posted her opinion of the Bible on Instagram stating: “It’s not a fictional book. It’s not pick and choose what you want to believe. You either believe it or you don’t.” Because of this, many wonder if she made the decision after US Soccer announced it would honor gay pride month in June by using rainbow numbered jerseys on both its men’s and women’s national uniforms. As soon as news surface she had withdrawn, gay activists tweeted their disappointment saying they were …

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My open heart

Some days, I have to work hard to keep my heart open to people around me. I am reminded of a butterfly opening itself up as it pushes its beautiful wings back and exposing its fragile center and the warmth of its colorful wings. Somedays, I am the butterfly, pushing  back my comparisons, criticisms and expectations of those around me to keep my heart open despite how vulnerable I feel.  These decisions propel me forward and enable me to embrace those around me with more kindness and tolerance. I am learning not to take things so personally. It seems the more sure and secure I become of my identity and value in Christ, the less I need to judge or define others as arrogant, insensitive or rude. I am at peace with myself. I am good with me. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) It is my own insecurities, fears and sometimes victim mentality that creates …

Cell phone gods?

According to a 2011 BBC documentary, popular electronic devices such as cell phones can potentially be a religious experience for some owners. In their documentary – Secrets of the Superbrands — Alex Riley and Adam Boome were struck by the intense brand loyalty of some users towards their Apple products. In London, England, the two witnessed massive line-ups outside Apple stores when its latest and greatest gadget was released. Some even lined up hours before opening to guarantee a spot at the front of the line. Riley and Boome were curious what caused such intense brand loyalty. They were surprised by what they found. In their documentary, they had neuroscientists use a MRI scan to study the brain of a devoted Apple user while using his Apple device. “The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same part of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith,” wrote Riley and Boome. In a nutshell, for some using an Apple product was akin to a religious experience. Idols in the heart? Throughout the …

Blind leading the blind by Francesco Pieter Brueghel the elder (1525-1569) Credit: Choo Yut Shing/Flickr/Creative Commons

Insight into Riddles

Webster’s Dictionary defines riddle as,  “Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.”

Encyclopedia Britannica describes a riddle as a, “deliberately enigmatic or ambiguous question requiring a thoughtful and often witty answer. The riddle is a form of guessing game that has been a part of the folklore of most cultures from ancient times. Western scholars generally recognize two main kinds of riddle: the descriptive riddle and the shrewd or witty question.”

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary calls a riddle, “a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed.” Hebrew Definition The Hebrew word ‘hdyx’ (chiyah) is the original word translated to ‘riddle’ in the Old Testament.  ‘Hdyx’ is also translated in some scriptures as, ‘dark sayings’ and ‘difficult questions’. The Hebrew word ‘hdyx’ is  translated into English as, “riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question”. Form of Entertainment In today’s society it is common for family members to watch television and play video …

Marijuana being illegally grown in North Cascades National Park in the US. Credit: Park Ranger/Flickr/Creative Commons

Medical journal condemns Canada’s plan to legalize Marijuana in 2018

As the Canadian government pushes ahead to legalize Marijuana, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an editorial condemning the proposed legislation. The Liberal government plans to legalize Marijuana by June 2018, fulfilling a campaign promise. According to Global News that reported on the CMAJ editorial, the legislation in its current form would: Legalize the recreational use of the drug for anyone 18 years of age and older. Allow Marijuana to be grown at home for personal use, but would limit the number of plants to four and height to under one meter. Not control the potency of Marijuana. CMAJ is concerned because several studies show that Marijuana usage can have a profound impact on the developing brain of a young person. In its editorial, the publication stated since a person’s brain is not fully developed until 25, legalizing the drug before that age could potentially have a devastating impact. Recently, several studies have shown that regular marijuana usage can distort and shrink the developing brain of a teen. It can result in increased rates …

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The river of life

I remember five years ago, when I deliberately chose once and for all to forgive those who had wounded me over the years. It involved people I regularly interacted with at church and work. In my mind’s eye, I dumped it all on a garbage heap and burned it. When I looked back there was nothing left but smoke. Every time, I was reminded of the incident and was tempted to look back, I only saw blackened earth. There was nothing left to remember or react to. On my journey to wholeness over the past few years, I have learned that offense throws me completely off course and away from the purpose and plans God has for my life. Unforgiveness, and its children anger and resentment, created a current in my life that pulled me backwards and worked against the moving of the Holy Spirit. It was an extra weight in my boat as I navigated up the river of life.  I was not gaining ground spiritually and my boat was sinking. Unforgiveness attracted the …

It took science 4,500 years to finally realize….

In 2014, while speaking at a legal conference in England, Professor Colin Blakemore told the attendees that he believed 120 was the maximum age people could live too. He described it as the “absolute limit to human lifespans.” A neurobiologist, Blackmore, who has also been knighted for his work in medical research, is the former head of England’s Medical Research Council. Blakemore was reacting to comments by some predicting that people’s life spans could triple. He said though medical research is extending how long people are living, there is a limit. And certainly, recent medical advancements are allowing people to live longer: In 2014, the Global Age Index stated if the trend continues in 2050 21% of earth’s population will be over 60, compared to 12% today and 4% will be over 80, compared the current 2%. Over the past decade, the number of people over the age of 100 in England has increased by 71%. There are 14,000 people over the age 0f 100 in England compared to only 2,500 in the early 1980s. …

The Siege of Jerusalem by David Roberts (1764-1864) Source: Wikipedia

Evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD discovered

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have come across evidence of the Roman destruction of the city and the Jewish Temple in 70 AD. Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) made the announcement on Jerusalem Day held annually in Israel on May 23.  Also called Yom Yerushalayim, it is a national holiday celebrating the day that the Jews regained control of Jerusalem. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the event and IAA chose this auspicious occasion to make their announcement. The road itself is located 20 feet below the surface. So far they have uncovered a piece 100 meters (328 feet) long and 7.5 meters wide. It was part of the main street of Jerusalem that extended from the main gates to the Pool of Siloam, that some believe served as a ritual bath (John 9:6-11), to the Temple itself. The Romans constructed the road with large stone slabs. But evidence shows that it was not built during Herod’s day, the man who built the second Jewish Temple, but probably by Pontius Pilate who played a major role in …

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Discerning God’s voice from the brain chatter

When it comes to giving prophetic words the Holy Spirit uses the medium of our emotions and thoughts to communicate prophetic words that God wants people to deliver. This is also the same method God uses to guide and direct us individually. This of course is the same medium we use in our regular human communications. To the untrained, a prophetic word can seem like any other thought that pops into your mind over the course of the day. Now, I know that not every thought that pops in to my mind is from God. I sometimes have some very unholy thoughts, particularly of other drivers. So, the Holy Spirit will give a different tinge to the prophetic words that He puts in your mind to separate them from your own thoughts and concoctions. For each of us, it will be different. Your tinge will have a different tinge than mine. Discerning the difference takes training and practice. I remember praying for a woman in our church who had come forward at the end of …

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Come-back Singers

Michael Jackson was just 50 years old when he died June 25, 2009. While no one will deny the man’s God-given talent for song and dance which was displayed in his early years, there are many questions surrounding his bizarre behavior in the second half of his life. The day of Michael Jackson’s death, I attended a weekly worship and prayer meeting where one spirit-filled Believer stated that she had been thinking about all the ‘old’ singers who have started touring again. Since many things in life begin with the natural (I Cor. 15:46) and then the spiritual, she wondered what implications this resurfacing of old musicians might have in the spiritual realm. Michael Jackson, as so many legendary acts like “The Eagles” and “The Rolling Stones,” wanted to make a come-back into the entertainment world. But as a believer that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the only one to be worshiped, I have to wonder if any person who claims himself to be the King of the music world will be …

Coptic Christians were traveling to Saint Samuel the Confessors monsatery (above), when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Credit: Roland Unger/Wikipedia

As in the Days of Noah — ISIS slaughters 28 Egyptian Coptic Christians?

On Friday, May 26, 2017, a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians were traveling by bus to pray at a monastery when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Their destination was the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor located a hundred miles south of Cairo, Egypt. At least 28 were killed when the bus and an accompanying half ton truck were stopped by three SUVs containing upwards of ten ISIS militants. After storming the bus, the masked extremists demanded the people on board recite the Muslim profession of faith called the shahada: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. English: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. When they were unable to do this, the heavily armed militants opened fire killing. In addition to the deaths, they wounded at least 22. TV images of the attack showed the bus riddled with bullet holes and its seats covered in blood. Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s population of 94 million and over the last several years have been under …

What is your story? Credit: rafaelsoares/Flickr/Creative Commons

Changing your story

We all have a story to tell and often people read our story before we actually get to tell it. I have learned that we often give people evidence about ourselves by our words and actions. My insecurities have spoken for themselves and my perception of myself and life has shone through. Literally, I have handed over my story to others by the way I talk about myself, present myself and perceive life. In a matter of moments, people will take what I present and form an opinion of me. We are an open book to this world. So the question is what story am I telling? Is it one of hardship, struggle and pain, a perpetual victim-hood that never ends or is it one of a victor — a person who is overcoming each and everyday? And if it isn’t the latter, do I want to change my story? Our struggles, our pain, our disharmony with life, circumstances and people are opportunities for growth. They provide the platform to dive into the depths of …

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Avoid man’s glory

Years ago, I remember pushing away from my desk, walking down the hallway to a co-worker’s office. Once there, I bluntly asked what he thought of the most recent issue of the publication I worked on. I saw the pained look on his face. It was obvious that I was fishing for a compliment. My coworker knew it, and he awkwardly answered it was great. Later, I hated myself for what I had just done. It also wasn’t the first time I did something like that. Insecure people crave feedback from others to affirm them in their gifting, ministry or job. But these pats on the back are like a drug. Once is never enough and you desire these constant affirmations from others to keep you going. As you begin to minister in spiritual gifts or areas of ministry, this is one area that must be nipped in the bud. Insecure people are constantly tempted to find out if the words they are giving have impacted the people receiving them or if the teaching was …

Pray for those in authority. Credit: thisisbossi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking curses being cast on government leaders

Charisma News recently reported on a bizarre op-ed that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 23, 2017. The author, Diana Wagman, has written several articles for the paper. In her most recent, Wagman wrote about putting a “binding spell” on US President Donald Trump. What makes it even more strange is that Wagman claims not to be a devil worshiper, but decided to do her part joining thousands of like-minded people seeking to put a curse on  President Trump and his associates. Wagman wrote: “I cast a spell on the president. I was not alone. Thousands of witches, believers and people like me all over the world performed “A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him” under the waning crescent moon last month. It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks. Now he’s complaining he’s the object of a “witch hunt.” Maybe the spell is working …” Wagman actually researched “binding spells” before doing it. As part of her ritual, …

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God Sings Over Us

The Greatest Singer/Songwriter “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). Like many of his prophetic counterparts, Zephaniah uncovered the great truth that our great LORD is a God who rejoices over His people. Not only is this a God who sings over His people but He is also a songwriter. Isaiah, the prophet who’s writings are literary wonders also recognized that our beloved Bridegroom has a song which He makes known to His bride. “Now will I sing to my beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard”(Isaiah 5:1a). “…and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isaiah 62:5b) In Psalm 42:8b, the Psalmist tells us, “…and in the night his song shall be with me…” Scripture based Songs In my early years as a Christian, most churches sang scripture songs which I discovered was an easy way …

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Turn Down the Noise

Recently I learned one of the most important lessons in my life. Why can’t we learn all the important lessons at the age of 12 or 14? A few years ago I knew an older couple, and the wife was a severe critic of everyone. You know the type. The problem for me was our failed relationship. When I visited them I always left angry. Her criticism of me was irritating, but maybe I deserved it and maybe there was some good advice in her cruel words. My breaking point was all the judgmental things said about other people. I didn’t want to join in and sometimes I tried to defend my friends. I can remember my anger as I write this. It’s impossible to correct an old critic. These old people were devout church-going Christians, respected by everyone who knew them, and I am a Christian, so this was one of the biggest defeats in my life. My clinical description above doesn’t show my emotions; those people made some of us crazy. And then …

Don't let fear dominate your life. Street art in Dublin, Ireland. Credit: Giuseppe Milo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Achieving your full potential — deal with the fear

There is an interesting parable in the Gospels that I believe Jesus purposefully told to prepare the disciples for Christ’s eventual departure. It would be a harbinger of what was to come. I am referring to the teaching on talents found several times in the Gospels. It appears in different forms and at different times, and it seems Jesus told this parable multiple times, because it was a message His disciples needed to hear. In the account recorded in Mathew 25:14-30, a ruler is going on a long journey and decides to leave his wealth or talents in the hands of his slaves to invest, until he returns. This parallels Jesus departure from earth, the bestowing of the Holy Spirit and His gifts (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) and then Jesus second return. What are the talents? I  believe in God’s kingdom, they are the giftings (spiritual and natural) and callings that God has bestowed on every believer. The Lord has tasks for us to fulfill before He returns. Some of them are spiritual and some …

The Sea of Galilee where Peter "briefly" walked on water. Credit: Asf Antman/Flickr/Creative Commons

The incredible, delayed healing, of Delia Knox

It was Christmas Day, 1987, when a drunk driver slammed into the back of a car that Delia was a passenger in. She along with her sister and brother-in-law were driving home from a church service in Toronto, Canada. Their car ended upside down and though her sister and husband only had minor injuries, Delia, then 23, was paralyzed from the waist down. Delia was also a gospel singer and though she continued to sing from a wheel chair, she dreaded ministering in other churches, because invariably they wanted to pray for her healing. At first, she appreciated their efforts but after a while she began despising these services that invariably focused on her healing. She recounts people dragging her out of a wheel chair and then watching her collapse to the floor. In an interview with CBN, Delia said “I’ve been plopped, dropped and flopped, and flipped to the point where I was like, ‘I just can’t go through this anymore.’” Then she met Bishop Knox, a speaker at a conference, she attended. They …

Wouldn't it be nice if voice spoke from heaven telling us what our spiritual gift was? Credit: The Shiney One/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Holy Spirit wants to be your personal trainer

If you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, you have also received a spiritual gift (I Corinthians 12). Many of us are uncertain what it is. We expect the heavens to open up and a billboard descend stating the Holy Spirit has given you the gift of knowledge or gift of prophecy. It would be nice if it was that simple. But when you have been given a spiritual gift, one of the first things the Holy Spirit wants to do is display that gift personally to you. Like any loving parent, God wants you to unwrap your present and then He wants to train you in your gifting. My first prophetic revealing and training session oddly enough took place in 1986 as I watched a National Hockey League (NHL) game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary flames. For those not fully familiar with the NHL, Calgary and Edmonton are both in the province of Alberta in Canada. Playing in the same division, there is a fierce rivalry between the two teams. Edmonton …

How is your oil supply? Credit: Ranil Amarasurilya/Flickr/Creative Commons

Do you have enough oil?

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.” (Matthew 25:1-2) Women are like oil lamps, when the oil runs dry, you can’t get fire. For years I resigned myself to ‘life by default’ where I went through the motions of dealing with whatever life handed me that day. There was never enough time to just rest, relax or enjoy a good book. Over the years, people-pleasing burned a lot of oil from my personal lamp. And, although it looked nice on the outside, I learned that it really was a way to avoid dealing with unresolved issues in my life. I ignored my emotions and what was going on inside and tried to make myself feel better by giving my attention and energy to things …

The Euphrates River in the Mesopotamia valley home to Melchizedek and Balaam. Credit: United States Navy

The Spirit of Balaam, social media and the end of the age?

If the Book of Revelation is a vision of the end times, then the Apostle John’s message to the seven churches of Asia in the first three chapters is a prophetic snapshot of what the end-times church will face. In his letter to the church at Pergamum, John warns about the spirit of Balaam, suggesting it will be a rising force just before Christ’s return: 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:14 NASV) Balaam was a prophet mentioned in the Book of Numbers and, using the vernacular from the 1960s, he was one “strange” cat. Balaam was from Petheor, in Amah near the Euphrates River, a country actually mentioned in Egyptian records. This puts Balaam in Mesopotamia where Abraham originated (Deuteronomy 23:3-6). But his unfamiliarity with Israel tells us he was a gentile. He may have been associated with …

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Don’t Crash and Burn

One could think, “It’s only a dream,” but why does it remain in my mind and spirit days later? I was standing with a few other people when a low-flying plane passed overhead and took a nose-dive into a nearby hill. Its nose broke off from the rest of the plane and caught fire. Our initial reaction was one of fear – if we run toward the plane will we be caught in a blazing inferno that is certain to follow? Our fear is soon overcome by concern for the well-being of those who might still be alive. We rush toward the plane and climb into the passenger section which has remained intact. We don’t know how many people are killed but it doesn’t appear that anyone in the front burning section could have survived. And since the two broken sections are so close, we know it is just a matter of time, minutes or maybe only seconds, that the passenger section will also catch fire and be reduced to a heap of ashes. As …

Proportional Russian nesting dolls Credit: Elentari86/Flickr/Creative Commons

Prophesying Proportionally

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy according to the proportion of his faith. (Rom 12:6 NASV) In this verse, Paul gives insight into how we are to function not only in prophecy, but all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He says we should prophesy in proportion to our faith. The word proportion “analogia” used in this verse is a rare word in the New Testament and only used this once. It is a mathematical term and means ratio or proportion. Technically, the term refers to the comparison of one number with another — for example 1:2 is as 2:4. The word is also translated in the secular literature of that day to mean fused indicating an unbreakable connection. In this sense, the ability to prophecy is fused to faith. At first glance, it seems pretty straight forward. We prophesy in direct proportion to our faith in God. But here is the problem. If this is true, then …

Credit: gaberojas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Grand Canyon censored, for Christians?

Dr. Andrew Snelling has a Ph.D in geology from the University of Sydney, a world-renowned institution. He has written a number of articles and reports published in peer-reviewed science journals and has years of experience in geological research. Yet, in 2013 when he wanted to take a few fist-sized geological samples from the Grand Canyon for research and scientific study, he was refused. For decades officials with the Grand Canyon National Park have allowed scientists to take material from the Park for study. The Park had even given Snelling permission to gather samples in the past. So, why did Park officials refuse Snelling this time? The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit, legal organization dedicated to defending religious liberties, alleges Park officials denied permission because Snelling is a Christian. Snelling also works for Answers in Genesis, a Christian organization providing scientific evidence of creation. He does not accept the narrative that the Grand Canyon was created over 450 million years ago. According to ADF, Dr Snelling was seeking “to gather samples at folds inside the …

Curiously temples in Mexico are patterned off the same design as the Tower of Babel. Credit: Brian Hoffsis/Flcikr/Creative Commons

Does an ancient tablet mention the Tower of Babel?

Shortly after the flood, the Bible says the people gathered in the Mesopotamia valley and started building a large tower to heaven. 4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4 NASV) Called the Tower of Babel, the Bible relates how God stopped its construction by creating different languages among this group forcing them apart and eventually causing them to scatter around the world:  7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.  (Genesis 11: 7-8 NASV). Though many have called this account a myth, Dr. Andrew George, a professor at the University of London who specializes in Babylonian history, recently translated an ancient stone tablet held by a private Norwegian …