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Why an Ottawa city councilor opposed Michael Olsen’s volunteer appointment

It was a bizarre move, and some would argue a sign of the times, but a city of Ottawa councilor recently opposed the appointment of Michael Olsen to a volunteer position on the Ottawa’s transit board. With a population of nearly a million, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and the city’s transit board has set aside one position for a member of the public. Over 92 people applied for the position on the board and it had been narrowed down to three and according to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, he understood that Olsen was the transit commission’s top choice. So why did city Councillor Shawn Menard oppose Olsen’s appointment? Menard opposed it because Olsen, a retired Federal employee, is actively pro-life. A shocked Olsen told Lifesitenews, “What does this have to do with transit?” Nothing. Fortunately when Menard tried to thwart Olsen’s appointment, the city clerk, who also happened to be a lawyer, told city council that it couldn’t reject Olsen’s appointment because of his belief on abortion because it is protected under …

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New research concludes divorce rates are much lower than commonly believed

Marriage can be tough at times and most of us just presumed that the stats being thrown around that half of marriages end in divorce is basically true. Some have even suggested the divorce rate is the same in the church. Yet in my sphere, both secular and religious, there were divorces but it was nowhere near half even among those who don’t consider themselves Christian. Now recent research by Shaunti Feldhahn has come to the same conclusion. After studying the contradictory realm of research on divorce, in here book entitled The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn concluded the actual divorce rate is closer to 20% to 25% for first time marriages.  (Note the divorce rates for those who have divorced and remarried is higher, which skewers the results but still does not push the overall average to 50%.) She did extensive research for her book and actually interviewed academics and researchers who were releasing often contradictory data. She re-examined their statistics, often with their help. For example, when she looked at the 2009 US …

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Don’t Be A Goat!

Don’t be a goat! Be a sheep! Wait, what? I get the end is near routine but what does that have to do with goats and sheep? Let me get right to the point on this one. Jesus, my hero, said that when He comes back He will separate the goats from the sheep. The goats get put on his left which I am told is a place of shame. The sheep get put on the right, which is a place of honor. The goats are people who reject Jesus. The sheep are his followers. Don’t be a goat! I used to be a goat. I bounced around like all the other goats. Doing what I wanted and having a whole bunch of goat fun. Then I became a sheep. But I was not a good sheep. Instead of doing the things that the other sheep were doing like eating grass in the pasture and listening for the Sheppard’s voice I jumped the fence and went to play with the wolves. Remember Little Red Riding …

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How to Die in Prison

There is a news story developing, in Syria, that is very sad. As the last territory controlled by ISIS is overrun, and the militants face defeat, many people are trying to escape with their lives. ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, is described as a terrorist organization and it is accused of many atrocities. The horror stories have shocked the world, and now no-one wants the refugees. People who participated in organized evil against so many innocent victims, are not wanted back in their home countries. One refugee from ISIS is Shamima Begum, a young woman who is now nine months pregnant. Shamima left her home in England when she was fifteen, and travelled to Turkey with two other your girls, and then they crossed the border into ISIS territory to become brides of ISIS fighters. She was legally a child when she left England, and in ISIS territory she had two babies, both dead now, and she is about to have her third baby. She is appealing to the British government to let …

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What is so mysterious about an Egyptian Guard?: PODCAST

  Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode entitled, What is so mysterious about an Egyptian guard?, I will talk about the strangest passages in the Bible. Now I need to mention, I am the master of hyperbole and it is the strangest passage today. Next week another passage could be the strangest verse in the Bible. But this passage answers one of the major questions in the Bible namely: Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus? If you have watched any movies such as the 1956 blockbuster hit, The Ten Commandments, we see that the Pharaoh, played by actor Yules Bryner, was Ramses. Even the 2014 version: Exodus: Gods and Kings, has Ramses as the Pharaoh. But was Ramses actually the Pharaoh of Exodus? That strange passage in Genesis suggests No. But before we discuss that strange passage, we need a bit of background on Joseph who eventually ended up second in charge in Egypt. Joseph was the youngest and favoured son of Jacob and he came with an attitude. Joseph told …

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Change and Choose

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT) I love this scripture and the promise it holds. I can hear God’s heart cry, ‘Oh, that you would choose life.’ It seems to present a logical choice as well. Of course I want life and blessings and not death and curses. But this scripture is not just a casual statement. God wants me to choose Him first in all things. But how can I do this when I am prone to go my own way and make my own choices? I can identify with the following scripture: I know that in me, that is, in my human fallen nature, there is nothing good, I can will myself to do something good but that does not help me carry it out. (Romans 7:18 Voice) It seems for me to want …

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Quit comparing

We were recently on a cruise and one day I headed to the gym and exercise studio on the 11th deck. I decided to participate in a workout session that I had only observed from my corner of the studio the previous two days. The class was more challenging than what I was used to. Anyways, I made up my mind to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try.  It was a tough workout. The instructor knew I was struggling and I found myself looking at the women around me who were obviously in better shape. Several times I was ready to quit, get up and walk away from the class. But it was a windy day at sea and we found ourselves either rolling to the left or the right during our routine and loosing our balance. We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves. The laughter loosened me up a bit and I decided that I wasn’t going to quit and leave the class. Comparing myself to others has never gotten …

Eastern side of Uganda with the highest percentage of Muslims. Credit: hribisko/Flickr/Creative commons

Uganda Muslim extremists are now offended when Christians call Jesus the Son of God

Located in East Central Africa, Uganda has a population of 42 million people of which 85% are Christian and only 14% (5.88 million) are Muslim. Most of the Muslims live in the Eastern side of Uganda. Yet according to an article in the Washington Times, Muslim extremists have declared open war on Christians if they preach one of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian Faith, that Jesus is the Son of God. When Jesus said “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), the pharisees knew exactly what Christ was saying: 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:33 NASV) The Pharisees were offended by Christ’s claims. Now two thousand years later, the same things seems to be happening today. We first need to understand that the Muslims believe in Jesus. In fact, there is considerably more written about Christ in the Koran than even Muhammad. The Koran calls Jesus a prophet (Surah …

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

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

Some of the damage from the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Chile on February 27, 2010. Credit: Claudio Saavedra/Flickr/Creative Commons

Geologists confirm Amos 1:1

Though secularist love to castigate the Bible as being little more that a book filled with myths and fairy tales, according to the Israeli news site Haaretz, geologists working in Israel have found paleo-geological signals that confirms earthquake recorded in Amos and Zechariah. There has also been significant archaeological evidence confirming the earthquake mentioned by these Old Testament prophets that hit northern Israel around 760 BC. This included collapsed buildings indicated by the dozens of artifacts found beneath ceilings that had smashed onto the floor. They have also found standing walls that were leaning. As well, the massive stones in the walls that surrounded the city of Gezer were actually cracked and while the large carved stones on the lower part of the wall had shifted outward off the foundation by several inches, the upper part of the wall had fallen inside the city. Based on their study, scientists estimate the earthquake that hit Israel at that time was around 8 in magnitude, making it a major earthquake. Josephus (37 to 100 AD), an early …

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Life is like a Box of Spaghetti

You want to see a man panic quicker than dog eats a treat? Ask him what he’s thinking. Men hardly ever ask each other this question and for good reason: Most of the time we don’t know what we’re thinking. I see the look on young husbands’ faces when their lovely bride stares at them intently and coos: “What are you thinking?” The right answer is always something like: “I was thinking about how lucky I am that you love me!” The truth is most men think about nothing. A lot. I better explain this before I got the boot out of the Man League! Men think in boxes. Take me for example. I have many interests. I think about one interest at a time. I like sports. I like cars. I like food. I like ministry. So when I am watching sports I am in my sports box. I don’t think about other interests. When I am in ministry mode, I don’t think about sports. Unless I can find a way to combine them, …

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

What if God won’t help us?

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

Snow is such a rare and exciting event. 2014 snow storm Credit: Michael Kappel/Flickr/Creative Commons

American radical-leftist politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, warns we have just 12 years to stop man-made global warming

When US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected radical leftist and rising star in the Democratic party, recently issued a warning that the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t stop man-made global warming she was just parroting the propaganda being released by UN climate change report in October 2018. The report was part of the UN’s Paris climate accord. In order to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030, we would need to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% below 2010 levels and then by have our emissions reach zero by 2050 in order for there to be a 66% chance of holding it to just a 1.5 Celsius degree temperature rise. With temperatures scheduled to reach -30 Celsius in the next three days where I live, I would be delighted if it was a balmy -28.5 Celsius instead. Of course this is not the first time we have received such dire warnings. In his 2007, Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech, Al Gore predicted that the arctic would be ice …

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Youngest black legislator in the US is a Christian

It was really encouraging to see that the youngest, black legislator in the United States has openly declared himself  a “Christian conservative.” With 60.3% of the vote, Caleb Hanna easily won a seat in West Virginia’s state legislature, also called the House of Delegates, defeating Dana Lynch, the Democratic incumbent. Hanna actually won the Republican nomination when he was just 18 years old while still in high school and then won his seat in the legislature at age 19. As a legislator he plans to continue his schooling as he works towards a degree in economics. He is unabashedly pro-life, supporting the unborn and was endorsed by West Virginia for Life, the state’s pro-life group. He attends Little Laurel Baptist Church and was an active part of his high school’s Christian youth group. During his campaign, Hanna told voters that not only did he support the 2nd amendment and the right to arms he said: “I will be a passionate, effective and conservative fighter for limited government, economic growth and the Constitution.” What really caught …

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So What is Cisgender?

I heard part of an argument recently, and one angry person accused others of being “cisgender.” I didn’t know the full meaning of the word, but I understood part of the argument, and I knew the words were spoken in anger. I think this word is new, and I know it is often used in anger, to identify people who are wrong and cruel to others. It’s like ‘fascist’ or ‘racist’ or ‘white male’, a description of people who discriminate and are politically incorrect. We should know this word. But first, I have a small detour. A few days ago, an instructor asked several of us an interesting question, referring to “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” You probably know the pattern, at the bottom are poor or unhealthy people who are fighting for survival, and as we become more secure in life, we focus on higher priorities like love, and self esteem. RELATED: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs This was the question: If you were given a choice by your employer, which one would you choose? a) …

Fira the largest town on the Island of Santorini in the Mediterranean Se. The Island, formerly called Thera, was site of the largest volcanic explosion in history. Credit: Edal Anton Lefterov/Wickipedia/Creative Commons

The Minoan eruption: The Ninth plague of Egypt?

It is considered one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Known as the Minoan eruption, it took place on the Island of Thera (known today as Santorini), in the Aegean sea off the coast of Greece. They estimate the ash plume was 19 to 22 miles high (30 to 35 km) and on the island of Santorini, the ash is over 200′ thick and the layered ash indicates there were multiple explosions in a short-range of time. And since no human remains were found on the island, the volcanoes early and smaller explosions were enough of a warning for people to flee. It is believed the volcano erupted sometime between 1642 BC and 1500 BC. suggesting it could have erupted during the reigns of two Egyptian pharaohs Ahmose and his son Amenhotep. Traditionally many believe that Ramses (1279 -1213 BC) was the Pharaoh of the Exodus but archaeological and Biblical evidence says Israel’s exit from Egypt took place earlier than Ramses. Many now believe Joseph arrived in Egypt around 1800 BC coinciding with …

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A Short Tall Tale

I’m a short guy or so I’m told. You know, I am not sure if I really believe it though. Now there is some evidence that this might be true. Like one day I wanted to pick up something for my wife (who doesn’t discount this short conspiracy completely) at a local store. What I wanted was on the top hook. I don’t know who hung this thing but I think it was a Nephilim or at least some giant hybrid. The hook was so high that they even had to raise the ceiling to accommodate it! Okay, maybe this place just had a high ceiling. Picture this. I am a mature man, age counts you know, and I am standing on the bottom shelf stretching and straining. This tall fellow comes along and seeing me struggling there, walks over and calmly unhooks the item and hands it to me. Of course I said thank you. What else could I do? I did grumble to myself that had the hook been at a normal height, …

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That Time When I Was Healed

Praying for the sick is an old tradition among Christians. Apparently, the Last Rites in the Roman Catholic Church started as prayers for healing, but they morphed into a final send-off. Today, I am sure that Christians in most denominations will pray for a sick person, for healing and for peace at the end of life. If they don’t, they should. Praying for the sick makes Christians different from all other religions. It’s not a common practice, in the religious world. The Bible is very clear about this responsibility in Christian churches. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. (James 5: 14 and 15) It’s clear to me that this is the business of the leaders in the church, and not the exclusive property of specialized faith healers. …

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Major study says divorce has a negative impact on children, particularly boys

According to an article in the Daily Mail, a major study conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education (UCL) has concluded that divorce can have a major negative impact on children. This research confirms many earlier studies that have revealed that divorce has the potential to harm children. Studies have shown that divorce leads to higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse among children, increased difficulties at school, greater chance of emotional and mental problems, increased difficulties with the law, higher rates of poverty and difficulties holding down a job and these problems followed the children when they became adults. Related: 1) Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce, 2) Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children, 3) Impact of divorce on teens,  4) The impact of divorce on adult children, 5) The long-term effects of divorce on children The study conducted by UCL was quite extensive as it looked at the impact of divorce on 6,245 students between the ages of three to 14. Researchers repeatedly monitored their behavior between 2000 and 2002. …

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Study: Why conservatives are happier than those on the political left

In his interesting article posted on the Daily Wire, author Jeremy Frankel cited a study in the Elsevier Journal of Research in Personality, that stated a person’s political leanings determines how happy they are. The study entitled, “Conservatives are happier than Liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality and life satisfaction,” concluded that people who lean to the political right are happier than those on the left of the political spectrum. The authors of the study, Barry Schlenker, John Chambers and Bonnie Le, said in their abstract: “Political conservatives are happier than liberals. We proposed that this happiness gap is accounted for by specific attitude and personality differences associated with positive adjustment and mental health.” They concluded that there are several reasons why Conservatives are happier. First Conservatives take personal responsibility for what is happening to them. It is not somebody else’s job to make your life better. They believe it is up to the individuals to take responsibility for what is happening to them, even if they were taken advantage by others. In contrast, those …

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Sometimes God speaks with a still small voice and sometimes with one word

An agnostic is a person who believes in God, but are unsure who He is and don’t believe people can personally know Him. Jerry Davich, 56, who is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, describes himself as an agnostic. But he was shocked by what he described as a “God Friended Me” moment. It is based on a CBS TV series of the same name, “God Friended Me,” about an atheist who has God add him as a friend on Facebook. According to the story line, profoundly impacted by this, the man goes on to impact people’s lives and events around him. So what was Davich’s “God Friended Me” moment? Davich says he was standing in the bathroom texting his fiancé about emergency surgery happening to a loved one, when he dropped his Iphone on the floor. Hoping the screen hadn’t broke, he reached down to pick it up and noticed that the phone had typed the single word “God” and sent it to his fiancé, who replied with two praying hands emoji asking him …

Grief without sorrow

My wife Carol got some wonderful news the other day. The Lions Foundation Guide Dogs program in Canada approved her request for a service dog to help her in the event she has a seizure. Our joy was tempered, however, with the realization that our beloved Lahsa Apso dog Rusty, which we have had for 11 and a half years, would have to be re-homed. A service dog can’t be distracted by another dog in the house. We were fortunate to find a loving home for our companion. Out of four offers, we were able to place him in a home that was similar to our own. That difficult task complete, we started to feel the grief of losing a beloved pet, one who had given us love and acceptance for so many years. We were fortunate that we still had time with him, but as the days count down, the grief that we feel is growing greater, not less. But it’s a grief without sorrow. Yes, we realize that we are readying ourselves for …

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Talk the Walk

“Honey we got to talk.” Words every husband loves to hear! Of course my wife never ever says that because she is about as perfect as they come and because she reads my articles. Husbands would rather do almost anything to get out of these talks. Mostly because these talks aren’t really talks at all. They are more listens. One of my strategies to avoid these uncomfortable heart to hearts is to take a sudden interest in things like walking. Or fixing the car. Or even root canals. My garage is full of junk so fixing the car is out of the question. I can’t afford to go to the dentist so that’s out. So I suggest a walk. This buys me time to guess what she wants to talk about. One day I might just ask her but until then, I suggest we walk. Actually I love to walk. Stella, my wife, loves to walk. Our dog loves to walk. The problem is we walk very differently. Spot and I are more meanderers than …

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But I Don’t Like You

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

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Breaking the Cement of ‘Not Good Enough’

Several years ago I found myself in depression. I felt anxious and overwhelmed most of the time and walked around in a cloud of doubt and indecision.  There was no glint of happiness or joy in my life. As Henry Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep on choosing joy everyday.” We are responsible for our mindset and the fear of failure sucked the joy right out of me. I allowed my mistakes to define who I was and they kept me trapped in a dark place.  I was stuck in a very unhealthy mindset of ‘not being good enough.’ I want to share some advice that has helped me stay out of depression and move forward in my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being afraid to make a mistake means you will stay stuck in confusion and doubt.  Mistakes are part of life and they can become our greatest teachers. Learn from your mistakes and move on.   “I know I made a mistake but …

Photo of Super Wolf Blood Moon that took place of January 20, 2019 Credit: Larah McElroy/Flickr/Credit Commons

Bizarre incident that took place during recent Super Wolf Blood Moon, coincidence or warning?

I don’t know what to make of all this, and sometimes I wonder if I am making more of it than I should. But a strange thing happened during the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” that took place  overnight on January 20 and 21, 2019. It was seen in the Western Hemisphere and parts of Europe. It is referred to as a wolf moon because it took place in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and as a super blood moon, because it happened at the point in the moon’s trajectory when it is at its closet point to the earth, resulting in the moon being 14% larger and appearing 30% brighter. A blood moon takes place when the earth blocks the sun causing the suns rays to reflect through the earth’s atmosphere. The red appearance is similar to the red in the sunrise and sunsets we experience on earth. In the Bible, blood moons were considered warning signs of the end times. But we need to realize that blood moons are a regular occurrence and not every …

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Church of England Archbishop Justin Welby says he speaks with the gift of tongues every day

It was a shocking admission by the head of one of the largest liberal denominations not only in England, but the world. In an interview with the Christian radio station, Premier Radio, Justin Welby, who as the Archbishop of Canterbury heads the Church of England and world-wide Anglican Church, stated that he prays in Tongues everyday. Welby said: “In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline, I pray in tongues every day — not an occasional thing, but as part of my daily prayer.” Welby is part of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England that believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God. (Note: Not everyone in the Church of England holds this view.) Because of this belief, Welby also believes that the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible are for today and available to all who believe in Christ. According to an interview Welby had with The Guardian, he received the Gift of Tongues at 19 after being filled with the Holy Spirit. …

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Did Danish mainline media hit piece on evangelist Torben Søndergaard distort the truth?

In my previous life, I worked for an organization that often waded into political issues as it believed in smaller government and lower taxes. Shortly after I began working for them, I started getting harassing phone calls from an older gentlemen who believed the exact opposite. But the main gist of his conversation revolved around the accusation, that the organization I was working for was a front for another group that held a similar opinion. Now I completely respected this other non-profit organization. In fact, it wouldn’t have bothered me if we were associated with them. But we weren’t. After he called me three or four more times repeating this accusation, I finally got tired of it and in what would ultimately be my last conversation with him, he said that despite my denials he knew it was true. I answered: “Sir, the last thing you are interested in is the truth.” There was stunned silence on the other end of the phone and it was obvious by the brief conversation that followed I had …

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Hate the Wait?

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

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Are Some Races of Humans More Intelligent? The Bible says no!

If you are a dog owner, the following information might make you unhappy, or maybe happy. Brace yourself. What are the most intelligent breeds of Dogs? And what are the least intelligent? Apparently sheep dogs from Scotland, Shelties, are some of the brightest, along with Poodles, and those long haired hounds from central Asia, Afghans, are among the dumbest. I don’t own a dog, so I can’t confirm my answers, but I believe that you are not offended by the question. So what races of humans are the most intelligent? And who are the least intelligent among us? You should be offended by those questions. I am writing this as a Christian, and I believe that God made us all in His own image and since only humans were created in God’s image, we are all equally intelligent. Questions about racial intelligence never come up among Christians, in my experience. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) and …

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Does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? — Podcast

  PODCAST NOTES Hi my name is Deans Smith and in this episode, I ask the question does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? Throughout the Bible we see that God desires often communicated with people through dreams and visions. Of course, many make fun of such notions but it we know it still happens today, because a few years back God spoke to a young girl through a vision and then confirmed it with a miracle. We are all familiar with dreams and the Bible describes a vision as “waking dream” or a dream that takes place when your eyes are wide open, meaning you are awake. The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open: (Numbers 24:4) It seems the two are clearly connected. And throughout the Bible, we see that God used both dreams and visions to not only communicate with people, but also to warn them. The ancient Patriarch Joseph not only received …

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What does it mean to be born again?

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (reject, condemn, to pass sentence) on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16) When talking with people about my faith, I have searched the Bible to make sure I am distinguishing my faith which is Christianity from the many other faiths out there. What makes my faith, Christianity, different or more appealing than all the others? To understand, we need to read the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus who was a prominent leader and teacher of the Pharisees.  This religious sect had long lists of rules and regulations (do’s and don’ts) to follow.  They believed that obeying these laws would make them acceptable in God’s eyes. As a result, Nicodemus felt the heavy weight of the laws of the Pharisee Sect on his shoulders. These rules hung like a noose around his neck and at times it felt like he was being strangled by them. The thought of this weight …

For the first time, India, the second largest country in the world, has entered the top ten list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. Credit: Piviso/Flickr/Public Domain

‘Shocking’ jump in number of Christians facing persecution in 2018

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of  Christians took a massive jump last year stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017. Open Doors described this year-over-year increase in persecution as “shocking.” But it is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11. Part of the 2018 jump is due to increased persecution of Christians in two of the world’s largest countries, China and India. In fact this past year India joined the top ten list of most dangerous countries for Christians for the first time. This was primarily due to the rise of persecution of Christians by radical Hindus, who believe it is non-Indian to join other religions. The change in China has been equally dramatic as it jumped from 43 spot in 2017 to 27th in 2018 as …

China's communist revival Credit: Jeroen Elfferich/Flickr/Creative Commons

You shall have no other gods except Xi Jinping?

It was bizarre move. But Bitter Winter, an organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, reported on November 1, 2018 approximately 30 Chinese officials entered a church service in the Dongcun city in Henan province and demanded the congregation remove the first of the Ten commandments that the church had displayed on its wall. The commandment in question is of course: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 NIV) The officials were working with the United Front Work Department and were there to inspect the church.  According to Bitter Winter, one of the officials went to the front of the church and actually removed the first commandment leaving just nine. When a member of the church protested stating this was distorting the Bible, the official stated: “[China’s president] Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone disagrees they are fighting against the country. This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.” It is a strange situation when a …

Credit: miranda/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Lying Truth

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