All posts filed under: Main

Ironically, doing good to others, is good for you

Most have heard of Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan who provided aid to a man who had been mugged by robbers and left for dead by the side of a road (Luke 10:25-37). And while he provided both medicinal and financial aid to the fallen man, studies have shown that people who are kind or help others may also be helping themselves. This was the conclusion of a Canadian study that revealed helping others may lead to better health for the person doing the helping. The study involved several students who were asked to tutor elementary students for two months. In the study the students were broken up into two groups, one group actually tutored the students and the second group were put on a waiting list and never tutored any of the elementary students. Then four months after the tutoring assignment has run its course, the researchers ran blood tests to find out if there was any noticeable differences between the two groups. They discovered that students who had actually done tutoring had …

Lessons from Nothing

Nothing. Scientists claim that everything came from nothing. But they have a hard time describing nothing or where it came from or why it was there. Nothing is crucial to their Big Bang Theory which is man’s attempt at explaining what God did without actually saying God did it. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of work and a lot of words. People have talked about nothing ever since. Probably before that as well. But to build a whole science of nothing is absolutely brilliant. You can’t prove nothing so there really never is any end to this body of esteemed literature. It just goes on and on with loads of grants and support dedicated to the cause of nothing. Anything goes just so long as you ignore the truth. It gets even better with the theory of evolution. According to this great tidbit of wisdom, all life came from pond scum. This is hard to believe so you need to be really knowledgeable about nothing. You see, nothing created the universe and …

Are religious people stupid?

You may have heard the arguments, psychologists have done many studies, and they have found that atheists are more intelligent than religious people. Here is a quote from an article linked here: “the research found that atheists performed better overall than the religious participants even when demographic factors like age and education were taken into consideration. Agnostics mostly placed between atheists and believers on all tasks.” READ: Atheists are more intelligent than religious people, finds study How does that make you feel? One question is; does religion make people stupid, or do stupid people choose religion? I’m writing as a Christian; I believe in the God who made this world, and I believe that Jesus made the way for us to find God. Does that make me stupid? Recently, I explained what I believe to a young relative of mine, and his answer was something like “How can an intelligent person believe that?”  I still have a good relationship with my relative, but the experience taught me some important lessons. When believers are accused of …

OpenDoors reports a 60% increase in the number of believers who died for their faith in 2020

According to OpenDoors annual report, there was a 60% increase in the number of Christians who died for their faith in 2020 over 2019. This was a largely led by a dramatic rise in the number of Christians murdered in Nigeria by Islamic extremists. OpenDoors reported that 4,761 Christians died for their faith last year with 2,200 of them taking place in Nigeria. Several have been warning of a potential for a Christian genocide in the African nation. It also appears that the violence directed at Christians in Nigeria is spreading into neighbouring countries. This has been part of an overall increase in the persecution of Christians around the world noted by OpenDoors, an organization dedicated to helping persecuted Christians around the world. In their report, OpenDoors added that governments have also been using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to come down on Christians. They are not only trying to stop churches from meeting, while allowing similar secular events to continue, but in some areas of the world, they are purposefully cutting back aid …

Disturbing reaction to Jeremiah Johnson’s apology on Trump prophecy

UPDATED: On Jan 20, 2021, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. This was in complete contradiction to dozens of prophecies given in 2020 and earlier, that Donald Trump would win a second term as U.S. president. And I have to confess I was sucked into this prophecy vortex. (For the record, I believe in prophecy and I have received some very specific prophecies that came to pass.) However, when their prophecies about Donald Trump winning the Nov 3, 2020 election failed, citing election fraud, several doubled down and stretching out their prophecies stating that it would all turn around by the end of November. When that didn’t happen they prophesied it would be straightened up in December and when that didn’t happen, they pointed to the electoral college vote on Jan 6, 2021 and said Trump’s victory would be sorted by then. Other than a riot on Capitol Hill, it didn’t come to pass. But then they pressed ahead stating that God would pull out a miracle in the …

Mad Hater

Remember the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland? He was intense and temperamental, disturbed and dramatic. He may have been a fictional character yet he and his friend, the March Hare, were both quite insane. Imagine if we had people that eccentric, that energetic, that intense, and that disturbed running around in today’s fictional sounding reality? Wait. We do. The Mad Haters. The Mad Haters is a great name for a punk rock band or even maybe a sports team. The very name invokes images of something you don’t want to mess with. They could even be a gang of youthful thugs fighting turf wars against their counterparts, the Rock Bottoms, or the Laughing Fools. If only they were fictional characters in some drug induced fantasy story. But alas, they are all too real. A mad hater is someone who hates without reason. Unless that reason is that you disagree with their politics. Or that you don’t live on the same street. Or that you like your eggs fried and not poached. Which end of …

Have archaeologists discovered the dance floor on which John the Baptist was condemned to death?

According to a report on Live Science, archaeologists claimed to have found the very dance floor on which John the Baptist was condemned to death. In the Gospels, we are told the story behind John the Baptist’s execution at the hands of Herod of Antipas. The prophet had been actively condemning the marriage of Herod Antipas to a woman named Herodias. She was the wife of Herod’s half-brother Philip, who Herod actually stole while visiting Philip. Though the Romans were known for their notoriously low moral standards, even they were disgusted by Herod’s actions. Because of John’s constant condemnation of the marriage, Herod finally had John arrested. “But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him about Herodias, his brother’s wife, and about all the evil things Herod had done, added this to everything else—he locked John up in prison,” (Luke 3:19-20). It was apparent by this action, that the Baptist’s words were having an impact on people’s opinion of this marriage, and Herod wanted John stopped. But Herod was hesitant about having John executed, because …

It was legal until God said ‘No’

An interesting thing happened to Howard Kirby who lives in Ovid, Michigan. In 2019, he bought an old couch for $70 from a Habitat for Humanity Restore. After he had brought the couch home and set it up in his man-cave, it didn’t take long for his family to notice that the foot cushion was exceptionally hard. For several months, Kirby just put up with it, but finally his daughter-in-law couldn’t take it any longer and in January 2020, she cut it open to find out what was going on. Inside, she discovered a box stuffed with $43,170 in cash. It was a miracle. It was enough to pay off the mortgage on Kirby’s home and a lawyer even told Kirby that the money was legally his. But in an interview with MLive.com, Kirby said that God had a different opinion on the matter. “The Holy Spirit just came over me and said, ‘No, that’s really not yours.’” After God spoke to Kirby, he found out through the store who had donated the couch and …

House church found in Laodicean home may explain Revelation 3:15-17

Archaeologists working in the ancient city of Laodicea recently discovered a home in the ruins of the city dated to the first century that also contained a church. This has left some wondering if the Apostle John was addressing the believers who attended this church in his message to the seven churches of Asia found in the first three chapters of Revelation. Laodicea, located in modern Turkey, was the second largest city in Asia during the Roman period second only to Ephesus. It was a very wealthy city as it was part of a major trade route that included Ephesus and Smyrna. In addition, the city was also known for its banking and textile manufacturing. The home was quite large, 2,000 square meters in size, and was located beside a large theatre. The house had 20 rooms, that included the church, baths, a large hall with 18 columns and as well an area from which its owner, who was apparently quite wealthy, operated a business. Though the home was built in the first century, it …

Are micro churches, the church of the future?

The COVID lockdowns has caused some church leaders to take a second look at their church structures. Typically, most churches have meetings on Sunday morning in a larger building with one main pastor/teacher leading the service. But the lockdowns are challenging that structure as governments are fining, and in some instances even threatening jail time, if churches continue meeting on Sunday morning. With the lockdowns continuing into 2021, and in some instances with harsher restrictions that 2020, some churches are adapting. There is a new trend emerging called micro churches involving smaller gatherings of between 10 and 40 people. They typically meet in homes or a neutral setting such as coffee shops, and they are fully functioning churches. Many larger congregations already utilize house churches that meet during the week in addition to the main Sunday morning service. These additional meetings are often poorly attended, because if busy, people typically cut out the house church meeting since it is not considered the “church’s main service.” But some are wondering if these smaller groups should be …

The World keeps on Churning

Churning is not a word that most of us in daily conversation. When’s the last time you heard this: “Hey, Bob. What’s you got churning?” And that famous old song, Proud Mary encourages the “big wheel to keep on turning and Proud Mary to keep on burning” as the old paddlewheel travels down the river. It doesn’t say keep on churning. What is churning anyway? According to the Cambridge dictionary, churning means to move something, especially a liquid, with great force. Dairy farmers know it also means mixing milk until it becomes butter. If your stomach is churning, you feel nauseated or ill. Churning means to work up or to agitate. Did you know it is also used on the Bible? Nehemiah, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Jude all mention it. Perhaps the one that is most well-known is from Proverbs 30:33. “For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” Churning is not fun and it can be frightening to watch. When we …

Our History and Our Future: What scary things will happen in 2021?

Our History and Our Future: What scary things will happen in 2021? This is a history lesson. I am writing this on January 1, and everyone I know is worried about this new year 2021. What is going to happen? Should we worry? I might have an answer, and I found this answer in my closet yesterday. Our history is our future. We haven’t changed. Recently, I was reading something, and I saw two words that reminded me of something: “Nikolsk Ussurisk.” That led me to a search of my closet, and I found those words again. This is the story, from the beginning, including the parts where I guess what probably happened. I have a tiny French New Testament, published by the American Bible Society, in 1910, and probably printed in the U.S. It’s in excellent condition, and probably no one ever read it, including me. A few words are penned inside: “French” to tell English speakers that it’s a French Bible, and some faint handwriting “Franz [something] Nikolsk Ussurisk [something] 7/VII 1920. That’s …

Does a ritual bath confirm the location of the Garden of Gethsemane?

Oddly, the discovery of a ritual bath, also known as a mikveh, at the Church of Gethsemane (officially called The Church of All Nations and the Basilica of the Agony) may confirm that this is the site of the Garden of Gethsemane that was visited often by Jesus and His disciples The church and associated garden, located outside the walls of Old Jerusalem, is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Israel and is typically visited by millions each year. The word Gethsemane means oil press and its location at the base of the Mt of Olives makes sense as the ancient Jews built their oil presses near where the olives were grown to limit handling and transportation. Both Mark (Mark 14:32-42) and Mathew (Matthew 26:36-56) referred to it as Garden of Gethsemane which would suggest the garden contained an oil press. Speaking for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), archaeologist Amit Re’em explains: “Two thousand years ago, it was a field outside the walls of Jerusalem, full [of] olive trees and in the middle of …

Communist China: Jailed for doing God’s will?

On Dec. 28, 2020, China’s despotic communist regime sentenced a young woman, Zhang Zhan, 37, to four years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” in the communist regime. Zhan, a former lawyer, was working as a citizen journalist when she went to Wuhan, China in February 2020 to report on the COVID-19 pandemic that had broken out in the city. She shared videos showing empty streets and packed hospitals to reveal the full extent of the crisis that was taking place. In some of her videos, she criticized the communist regime’s attempts to silence whistleblowers and as well its harsh lock down that included welding the doors of people’s home shut and sealing their windows with metal bars so they couldn’t escape. In one of her last videos Zhan reported “The government’s way of managing this city has just been intimidation and threats. This is truly the tragedy of this country.” Shortly after this, Zhan was arrested. Many believe the severity of Zhan’s sentence reveals the regimes desire to stamp out any dissenting …

The importance of the word ‘in’

Sometimes we completely underestimate the importance of some of the smallest words in the English vocabulary. Today, I want to talk about the simple two-letter word ‘in’ and more specifically how it is used when the Apostle Paul tells us: 18 In [èv] everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASV) Notice in this verse, that Paul did not say to be thankful ‘for’ all things but rather to be thankful ‘in’ all things. The Greek word for ‘in’ is the equally short word ‘èv’ and means simply to be inside, into, or in and when used in the sense of time “during.” Simply, the Apostle Paul was encouraging believers that no matter what circumstance we are in, we need to be giving thanks, literally finding things to be thankful for. In a sense we are offering up sacrifices of thanksgiving, because in some situations it is the last thing we want to do, and being thankful requires a sacrifice of our mind, will and …

Book of Life

It is customary for essayists and journalists to write a year-end review or to make predictions for the new year. 2020 was a year that was difficult for many people. But how bad was it really? One year saw a flood that destroyed the entire world except for Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. Now that was a bad year. Other years saw wars and disasters, genocide and infanticide. And these things are still going on today. They are underreported since COVID is what sells this year. Wars still happen. Hurricanes, droughts, floods, volcanoes still happen. Whole peoples are being targeted and executed. And of course, we legally kill more babies now than at any other time in history. Every day people are being murdered. Children are being raped. People are being attacked. These are bad things. The kind of things that used to be reported. The kind of things that go on every single day. And then there are the good things. Babies are being born. People get married. Lives …

Low Temperature Religion: Is a Muslim Christmas possible?

There are stories this Christmas of Muslims putting up Christmas trees and putting gifts under them. I have read at least two of these stories in the news. The Muslims, in the stories, are immigrants living in places where most people celebrate Christmas. This seems strange; the holiday is Christ-mass, the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Until now, Muslims never celebrated Christmas; they had their own special events on the calendar. From the descriptions, it looks like some Muslims chose to celebrate a cultural Christmas, with a decorated tree and presents, and maybe some thoughts about a jolly fat man coming down the chimney. There were probably no herald angels on the tops of the trees, and probably no manger scene with a baby Jesus. They were having fun, and enjoying the season. It’s easy for me to understand, and smile, and I am sure some strict conservative Muslims do not approve. These events happened in places where Muslims were immigrants, and a minority in the population. READ: I’m Muslim and didn’t celebrate Christmas …

Archaeological find in the Czech Republic reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas

A recent announcement of an archaeological discovery in the Czech Republic reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. According to an article in the Daily Mail, archaeologists have been working for several months at the Milevsko Monastery that was constructed in 1187. They recently discovered a previously unknown secret chamber that was part of a narrow passageway beneath the monastery. Inside the secret room, archaeologists found a box with a gold cross on top made of 21-karat gold. The box also had the letters IR on it that traditionally meant “Jesus is King.” The box contained a 6-inch nail that was reportedly from the cross used to crucify Jesus Christ. Relics were a dime a dozen in the Middle Ages, so it is unlikely this is from Christ’s cross. However, a study of the wood used to build the box indicated it may have been constructed between 260 AD and 416 AD, possibly making the nail among the earliest of these type of relics. Archaeologists also discovered other “priceless” Christian relics inside the chamber …

Seven modern misconceptions about the original Christmas story

When we listen to Christmas carols and read our Christmas cards we sometime get the wrong impression about what really took place on the day Jesus was born. The following are seven modern misconceptions about the events surrounding the birth of Christ. None of these take away from the miracle that took place that day. 1. Jesus was not born on December 25th Look there is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25. As we read the Biblical account, the Lord’s birth was obviously a significant event and was very much celebrated. But it did not take place on December 25th. The fact that shepherds were in their fields when Jesus was born, suggests that Christ was probably born during spring lambing. So how did we end up with Dec. 25? Well, that was the result of the compounding of an earlier mistake. One of the first festivals initiated by the Roman Catholic Church was the Assumption of Mary, that celebrated her conception by the Holy Spirit. They set that date …

Did Balaam prophesy about the Star of Bethlehem?

Balaam was an interesting Old Testament character. He was some type of diviner, perhaps soothsayer or sorcerer, whom King Balak of Moab hired to curse Israel before an upcoming battle. During the several prophecies that Balaam delivered, there was one that many believe referred to the star that showed up announcing Christ’s birth. Now obviously Balaam had a reputation as a seer, for Balak to be willing to purchase his services. And Balaam’s international fame was confirmed by Dutch archaeologists who found a text written about Balaam on a plastered wall dated to around 1200 BC in the ancient town of Deir Alla located in Jordan. The text was actually written by the Canaanites and spoke Balaam, son of Beor three times in the first four lines, exactly as the Bible describes him (Numbers 22:5). In this inscription, Balaam is referred to as a seer of the gods indicating he was well known and revered among the gentiles. The text also provides several of Balaam’s curses that suggests this was his specialty and apparently, these …

Have a Glutton Free Christmas

What if Christmas wasn’t just an excuse for gluttony? In Canada and the United States, we celebrate through over indulgence. Anniversaries, weddings, holidays, and birthdays are celebrated with cakes, suppers, alcohol, gifts and parties. I love to celebrate so this is not an attack on celebrations. But I wonder what it would be like if we celebrated differently. What if instead of feasting and self-absorption we lowered our party expectations and dimmed the noise just enough to hear and see something different this Christmas? This year many of us are forced to celebrate at a different pace than previous years. There are few office or work parties. Personally, we are not allowed to have our wonderfully large North Central Lighthouse Christmas lunch and giveaway this year. Things are very different. For many this is depressing and has dampened their Christmas spirit. I understand this. I miss our Lighthouse Christmas gathering and the Christmas teas and other events of the season. But they are not the cake of Christmas. They are just the icing on the …

What is Melchizedek’s Temple Zero?

If you haven’t heard yet, you will learn soon about ‘Temple Zero’ in the city of Jerusalem. Long ago, the city of Jerusalem was named ‘Salem’ and it had a king Melchizedek. That king was a priest of the same God that the Jews and Christians worship, and we are told that Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation respected him and gave him some generous gifts. Now, some people claim that ‘Temple Zero’ has been found, in Jerusalem, and tourists can see it. READ: Temple Zero in Zion | Melchizedek’s Anointed Standing Stone in Jerusalem We can be cynical. This discovery may boost the local tourist industry, and someone will probably charge admission, if you want to see an old piece of stone. We can also know that a stone in Jerusalem probably marks a place where the God of the Bible was worshipped, and the people who worshipped there were not Jewish. The Israelite or Jewish people came much later and built a temple on a hill at Jerusalem, and rebuilt it twice. …

Why did the New Orleans’ mayor get Christian singer Lauren Daigle cancelled from a New Year’s event?

It appears that the Democrat mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, was able to have Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 29, cancelled from an upcoming New Year’s celebration at New Orleans’ Jackson Square. A local radio station, WWL, first reported that the cancellation took place after Mayor Cantrell, who loves writing letters, sent one to Dick Clark Productions (DCP) that was organizing the event telling them to cancel Daigle because she participated in an outdoor worship service in that city on Nov. 17, 2020. The event was led by worship leader Sean Feucht as part of his Let Us Worship protests across America. In her letter to DCP, Cantrell wrote: “She harmed our people, she risked the lives of our residents, and she strained our first responders in a way that is unconscionable – in the midst of a public health crisis. This is not who we are, and she cannot be allowed to represent New Orleans or the people she willfully endangered.” However, many are asking why Cantrell did this and several political leaders spoke …

Who or what is the restrainer of lawlessness mentioned by the Apostle Paul?

One of the signs that Jesus spoke about indicating that the end times were near is that there would be an increase in lawlessness (Matthew 24:12-13). The Greek word ‘amonia’, translated lawlessness, refers to a complete disregard for the law. It is a time when there is nothing restraining illegal behaviour. It is similar to a period described in the book of Judges, when we are told that people did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). But the English word ‘increase’ really doesn’t do the Greek word ‘plethyno’ justice, because it means multiply. Derivatives of this word are used to describe floods. So, Jesus was stating that one of the signs of the end times would be a rapidly rising state of lawlessness. In 2 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul provides a more detailed explanation informing us that the “mystery” source of this push towards lawlessness is satanic: 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at …

The power of the ‘Okay, fine, whatever’ prayer

As Christians, we often have an attitude about prayer similar to an anesthesiologist who said ‘Okay, fine, whatever,’ when one of America’s leading surgeons facing the cancellation of a surgery said he wanted to pray for a patient. At times, we treat prayer as more of an afterthought, something we should do as Christians, but sometimes treat like an inconvenience. But, CBN tells the interesting story of the power of a short “Okay, fine, whatever” prayer had in a person’s life, both physically and spiritually. Duke University’s Doctor Michael Haglund, one of the America’s leading cervical surgeons, was facing the cancellation of a surgery after the anesthesiologist reported that he could not put the man to sleep as his blood pressure was dangerously high at 220/120. He recommended cancelling the surgery. However, Doctor Haglund replied that before that happened, he wanted to pray for his patient. The anesthesiologist responded with “Okay, fine, whatever.” And in the operating room, with the patient wide awake, Dr. Haglund uttered a simple prayer and in a few seconds the …

Archaeological evidence of Nehemiah and Ezra’s return to Jerusalem

After the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Jewish Temple and hauled off tens of thousands of Jews into captivity, the Jews were allowed to return to Judah after the Persians conquered Babylon. The Persian king, Artaxerxes, gave Nehemiah permission to return and rebuild the city of Jerusalem that lay in ruins. It seems that Nehemiah was essentially building what would serve as an outpost and provincial administrative center for the Persian empire, which explains why the Persian King provided material assistance for the rebuilding (Nehemiah 2:1-20). Over 42,000 Jews initially returned to Jerusalem for this rebuilding (Nehemiah 7:66). However, if this was an administrative center for the Persian Empire, one thing that puzzled archaeologists was the lack of Persian artifacts in Jerusalem from this period. But according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) that all changed over the summer when archaeologists found evidence of two Persian royal seals from this period in a dig in Old Jerusalem. Seals were used to authenticate documents and goods. It involved an instrument on which the seal …

Modern Shepherds

Christmas is that bizarre time of the year when people who don’t have anything to do with Jesus suddenly start praising His name. Celebrity singers whose lifestyle and beliefs do not include any room for Jesus have wonderfully sincere sounding songs about the birth of Christ. I am not going to name who these are but think about how they are and the irony becomes clear. Singers who support things opposed to the word of God are calling us to come and worship baby Jesus. Maybe they find the baby less threatening than the grown-up Jesus who confronted evil and certainly condemned much of what modern culture calls good.  No room in their hearts for Jesus, they relegate him to the back rooms of their lives setting him up in the stables around back. Maybe someone needs to tell them that Jesus never stayed in the stable for long. That sweet baby in the feeding trough is God in the flesh. God with a purpose to bring peace and salvation through an intimate relationship with …

Radical Disruption: Your life is about to change.

How are you doing this year? Did you see all these changes coming, in 2020? I didn’t. It’s clear to all of us that things are still changing. Everyone I know does not like the restrictions with the COVID pandemic, and we wonder when things will be normal again. That will be never. Disruption to our lives, and the cost of coping with COVID restrictions is forcing businesses, employers, to close; and they might never re-open. The world has changed forever. READ: Covid-19 will permanently change the world’s economy So, what does that mean to us? What happens when my life changes, and keeps changing? What will happen to you? This is not an abstract economic theory, this is a permanent change to the way we live, and it has already happened. Soon we will see and feel the effects. I work at a job that I really enjoy, and in a few days it will all be over. I can’t tell you what it is until the work has stopped because I work under …

Recent Gallup Poll shows why churches are essential

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis just announced that churches were essential and removed the state’s attendance caps that restricted religious services. In part, Polis was responding to Liberty Counsel’s recent legal victories where courts ruled that US states can not violate religious freedoms guaranteed in the American Constitution by restricting church services in the name of COVID. And a recent poll by Gallup concurs that churches are indeed essential services. The survey, conducted between Nov 5 and 19, revealed that people over the age of 18 who attended religious services were experiencing better mental health than those who weren’t. In the 2020 pandemic year, 46% of people who attended church services reported excellent health and surprisingly this was even higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic years when 42% in the same group reported excellent mental health. Gallup also noted that those who regularly attended religious services was the only demographic that showed an increase in those claiming excellent mental health over the previous year. For Americans as a whole, the Gallup poll revealed only 34% described their …

Healing the racial divide: A black and white congregation merge

An interesting thing happened in Salisbury, North Carolina when two churches decided to merge. Now, there is nothing particularly unusual about churches merging, because I was even part one several years back. But this was a bit different because it involved the merging of a black church pastored by a young black man, Derek Hawkins, and a predominantly white mega church pastored by Jay Stewart. And in the light of the racial divisions appearing in America’s social fabric, this may have more significance than we realize as both pastors felt they were led by the Holy Spirit to do this. In an interview with the Christian Post (CP), Hawkins said the first step to the unlikely merger started in 2014, when he took his daughter to have her hair done and came across a sign for a downtown extension of Stewart’s mega church, The Refuge. This led to Derek attending a service and eventually asking the older middle-aged Stewart to take on a mentoring role as Derek was preparing to pastor a church in nearby …

Swiss court declares worship a human right and reverses the government’s ban on church services

In the midst of the COVID-1984 lockdown, many governments have been particularly keen on trying to stop Church services under the guise of stopping COVID. However, the Catholic News Agency is reporting that one of the most restrictive bans has come to an abrupt end in the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland when a judge ruled that the COVID-1984 ban on church services was unconstitutional. The government ban had stopped all church services and allowed only limited attendance at funerals and weddings. Several Christians in the Canton challenged the ban arguing it impinged on their religious freedom. The judge gave a temporary restraining order allowing services to restart until the case was heard at a later date. The judge noted the state would probably lose the case because its ban violated the Swiss constitution that guarantees freedom of worship. Switzerland has 26 Cantons, and the judge’s ruling means that services are allowed to restart in Switzerland’s capital city, Geneva. Switzerland has the reputation of supposedly being the “human rights capital of the world” but its …

Are You Human Clutter?

There are times in which we find our lives busy and cluttered. During those times, my desk looks like a bomb went off and my office is so jammed with donations and ministry material that I can barely open the door. While busyness and clutter go hand in hand, there are different kinds of clutter? Some clutter is comprised of the things we need. It is necessary stuff that just needs to be organized. There is another category of clutter that is stuff we don’t need but we want. This stuff needs to be either discarded or put in a place that is not taking up the area of the things we need. The third pile of clutter includes the things we neither want or need. This stuff just needs to be shoveled into the debris pile and out of the house. As difficult as it is to deal with these categories of clutter, there are even worse types of clutter. Clutter that we almost always avoid dealing with. Human clutter! There are people in …

The Covid Crisis: Are you ready for the virtual God?

We are living in strange times, and this is a very strange year. I don’t want to criticize the authorities who must make hard choices, but some restrictions are strange. Where I live, the government and the medical authorities are being cautious with social restrictions. We are mostly warned to be careful, and given good advice. I haven’t heard about fines or arrests for breaking the rules. My work, for the government, is high-risk, and I have a generous supply of spray cleaner and hand disinfectant. I also have training on how to use the cleaners and stay safe. A neighbor goes to a church near us and they are probably still refusing to wear masks in their services. No one is talking about this in the news, my neighbor told me when I met him in the back alley. Do you believe in God? If you are a believer, what tells you to believe? What are the signals that you need? Do you attend a church or a temple, a mosque or a synagogue, …