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A cocoon is not a tomb: A prophetic word about the Coronavirus

A recent prophetic word by Nate Johnston has encouraged me during these last stages of the COVID lockdown. For a while now, my husband and I have sensed that things may be different for the church and the people of God when we are finally released from this lockdown or maybe  ‘set free’ is a better term to use. Nate Johnston is a prophetic minster from Australia who I have been following for years. Nate’s recent prophetic word “This is not a tomb season, This is a cocoon season” has helped me understand the place many of us are finding ourselves in — spiritually confused, frightened, disorientated and maybe a bit angry.  For many of us, it feels like we have been locked up in a dark place for too long and the glimmer of hope that it may soon be over has many wondering what’s next?  Things may not be the same. We are not the same and how do we prepare for this new stage that has been set before us?  Nate prophesies …

3,500 California Churches will reopen on May 31st with or without permission

Churches in California are being impacted by government mandated lockdowns and 3,500 churches in that state announced they are reopening with or without government permission. Many are concerned that the lockdowns implemented by the state and municipal governments may go on for months, if not indefinitely. In an interview with Good Morning America, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the lock down in his city may never end. This announcement followed an order by LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, that she was extending the city’s stay-at-home order another three months. Garcetti quickly contradicted Ferrer’s statement by adding the extension to the end of August will only include the use of face masks and social distancing. Garcetti did not address bans put on public gatherings that includes schools and churches. But then Garcetti added that “LA will never completely open until we have a cure.” Some believe the Democratic mayor plans to keep the city in some version of a lock down until a vaccine is found, that …

Why is there a wire surrounding an area of Manhattan?

Many people don’t realize there is a string of wire encircling a large part of Manhattan Island in New York. It is strung along posts 15 feet (4.57 m) high off the ground. Why? Well it allows Orthodox Jews to go outside their homes on the Sabbath. In the Mosaic Law, the Jews were told to rest on the Sabbath day. This of course resulted in a big discussion on what it meant to rest and more specifically what was work. This resulted in the development of a series of oral laws, where Jewish teachers provided specific details on what was allowed and not allowed under the Mosaic law. This included regulations surrounding the Sabbath. These were eventually written down in what is referred to as the Mishnah. There were different versions of these oral and written laws, and in the fourth century, they were eventually gathered into a single written record called the Talmud. Today, it involves of a multi-volume set that compiles hundreds of additional rules Jews need to obey in order to …

Spiritual Warfare #4: Who am I?

There are two sections of the Bible that many people use as keys to victory in spiritual warfare. These are the Armour of God section in Ephesians 6: 11-18 and the resist verse in James 4: 7. According to them if I put on the full of armour of God and resist the devil, I will have victory. Yet, there are times in which this does not appear to happen. So how can we have victory every single time we battle the devil? The first thing to know about any Bible verse is that the words are not just some powerful enchantment. They must be believed to be true. That is where faith comes in. We must choose to resist or put on the armor. That’s where our mind comes in. The Bible is full of advice on spiritual warfare. Every single book in the Bible mentions it in one form or the other. In fact, it is the sword of truth in Ephesians 6. A sword is a great weapon but it is only …

Israel and Egypt: The future does not look good

While the whole world is focusing on the Coronavirus Pandemic, there is other news. Some interesting things are happening in the world, and there are lessons that we could miss. As I write this, Muslims are in their month of Ramadan which according to the information I have runs this year from April 23 to May 23. About 1.8 billion people are counted as Muslim, and this year’s Ramadan is complicated with the restrictions of a pandemic lock down. A few years ago, I worked as a trainer for a bus company, and that meant I drove a school bus when a driver phoned in sick; and someone always phoned in. One morning I drove some children for a bilingual Arabic-English program, so they were from immigrant families from the Middle East. I heard two little girls talking behind me, about ‘those people’ which meant people like me. One little girl said “and they don’t have Ramadan!” They both seemed shocked by this information. That was a lesson for me; these people take their beliefs …

So who plays the thugs in this modern Broadway remake of the Good Samaritan?

The parable of the good Samaritan involves a man who went out of his way to help a person who had been attacked by thugs, robbed and basically left unconscious on the side of the road. Several people walked around the man, before the good Samaritan arrived, bandaged the man’s wounds and then transported him to a nearby inn and paid for the man’s stay until he was healed (Luke 10:25-37). Based on this story, Samaritan’s Purse, an organization currently headed by Franklin Graham, provides financial and medical assistance to areas hit by disaster. They will bring in doctors and nurses and provide medical aid at no charge to anyone who needs it. So when officials at New York’s City’s Mount Sinai Health System called Samaritan’s Purse for help in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the organization immediately responded. At no charge to New York City or the state, Samaritan’s Purse set up a 68 person field hospital in Central Park and immediately began treating people. In an interview with Faithwire, Franklin Graham said: …

Is the Age of the Gentiles About to End?

GOD TV, an evangelical organization out of England, has just received approval to preach the Gospel of Jesus in Hebrew on a cable channel in Israel. GOD TV recently signed a seven-year deal with HOT to distribute a new Christian channel entitled “SHELANU TV” (translated “Ours TV” in English). HOT controls about 50% of the Israeli cable market. Before this could happen, HOT had to receive permission from Israel’s Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council that regulates cable TV in Israel. According to Ward Simpson, GOD TV’s CEO, their organization believes this will be the first time, that this type of broadcasting has been allowed. While other Christian channels are broadcasting on cable channels in English, this will be the first one that broadcasts in Hebrew. The English broadcasts are largely watched by the thousands of English-speaking Christians in Israel. The significance of a Christian organization broadcasting its message in Hebrew has certainly caught the attention of the media, as it showed up on several major Israeli news site. Haaratz reported the new with this headline: …

Is China’s Communist Regime Paving the Way for the ‘Harlot of Babylon’?

ChinaAid has just recently released a video of a violent attack on a church in China by the country’s communist regime. ChinaAid is a Christian non-profit that focuses on human rights abuses in China. In their description of the video, ChinaAid writes: “In a video taken at the scene, officers and attendees of Xingguang Church shout as they engage in a physical altercation. As they block the entrance, officials drag a Christian to the door, with other congregants fighting along with him.” Aside from the violence, what is disturbing is the reason for the attack. The church is considered illegal because it was not part of the Communist Regime’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). Churches (including house churches) are required by law to be a part of the Three-Self movement. The Communist regime uses the Three-Self movement to control the Gospel message by inserting itself into choosing the Church leadership. The Gospel message is still being preached in some Three-Self churches, if the original pastor is still in charge. However, when he leaves, retires or dies, …

Spiritual Warfare #3: Mind Meld

The modern culture tells us that faith and intellect are two different things. Either you have belief or you have brains. You can’t have both. In the previous two articles on spiritual warfare I wrote about how most spiritual warfare happens. This week I promised to start fighting back. To do so requires unity between our mind and our faith. In spiritual warfare, the evil enemy has hijacked our reason and rationality. He has been able to make science the final word and pitched it against the Bible. Many people, even those who profess to be Christians, defer to science to explain creation, the progress of life, and the world about and in us. People who chose to believe the Bible to be true and accurate are mocked and thought to be less intellectual. In effect, Christians don’t use their brains and are just wrong or misguided. This elevation of science and rational thinking over faith and divine inspiration (man exalted over God) created an either-or atmosphere. Either you are a believer or you are …

Religious Arguments: When you are just not good enough

I’m a Christian and I know what that means. I know, but most of the world seems to know what I should be. Whatever you believe, other people will try to make you into what they want you to be. You might hear ‘You people should …’ They have a preferred image for people like you and you are wrong if you don’t do follow the program. Unmarried marriage counsellors don’t play the game, but they do make the rules. When I was a student in a university, I took a course from a professor that we all liked. He was an excellent teacher, and we all enjoyed learning with him. He also talked openly about his connections with a church, and my family went to a church; I thought we had something in common. One day I had an appointment in his office, and after we finished talking about my assignment, I told him that my family went to … church. I expected a smile, at least. I still remember that severe look on …

Start walking

One of the problems with vision is that we want instant success. We want it to happen now, but in order for you to produce fruit, there first needs to be pruning.  Pruning can be a long process for some of us, as in 40 years of pruning from when my husband started to write and pursue his passion for Bible teaching and world events.  It wasn’t until my retirement that I began to pursue my dream and desire for women to connect and whenever I gave up and let go of the dream, it always came back stronger than ever.  Maybe God has given you a dream or vision that He has called you to do. Below are a few tips from a sermon delivered by Matt Adams a couple of years ago, that helped me in my journey: “It doesn’t matter how many we lead. It matters where we lead them and how you lead them.” “Learn to lead from your placement, where you are now, without wanting to be a star.” “We …

Attacks by a spirit of compromise: A sign of the times?

I believe the church is under attack from what I would describe as a spirit of compromise. This is exemplified by an incident in Communist China where authorities arrested the pastor of a house church in Hunan province because he refused to join the Communist Party’s sanctioned protestant church denomination — the Three Self Patriotic Association. According to Radio Free Asia, when Pastor Zhao Huaiguo was originally arrested in March, he was accused of re-posting messages about the Coronavirus. However, during his interrogation, the police repeatedly asked him to join the Three Self Patriotic Association, which indicated this was the real reason for the arrest. The Communist-run church denomination forces churches to make small compromises such as installing phrases by Mao on their walls. Sure they can still preach the Bible, but that is alongside the communist messaging. Because he refused, the Communist party has since charged him with “inciting subversion of state power.” It appears that Huaiguo could have escaped imprisonment and torture if he made that small compromise. It must have been tempting, …

49 | Thinking old?

FOLLOW OUR PODCASTS ON: Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast, I want to discuss the question: Does how we think, affect how we age? But first let me ask you a question: At what age does a person officially become old? So what age did you pick? A recent survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by LetsGetChecked asked that very question. This survey concluded that you are officially old when you turn 57. When I read the number I was absolutely shocked and also concerned because if we think we are old at just 57, could this potentially impact our aging process? As well, they provided some top indicators that you have officially reached old age. 39% listed an increased concern about health. 36% said more wrinkles. 35% listed grey hair And perhaps what was most disturbing is that 34% said hair loss. Good grief I was losing hair by the time I was 30. But in England, a similar survey of …

How change reveals the truth of a miracle

I recently read the testimony about a miracle that completely transformed a family and it reminded me a bit of the disciples. Pureflix recently interviewed Allen Jackson, who pastors the 15,000 member mega church, World Outreach Church in Nashville, Tennessee. In the interview, Jackson shared the miracle that led to his family becoming Christians about four decades back and ultimately played a key role in him entering the ministry. Forty years ago, Jackson’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer. And as so often happens during times of crisis, people turn to God. As Jackson’s mother, who wasn’t a believer, was leaving with her family for the Mayo Clinic, she prayed “Let me know the truth, so I can tell my children.” When she arrived at the clinic and went through the scans, the doctors were amazed when they discovered that her tumours had completely disappeared. It was a miracle. A short time later, she was washing the dishes and the Holy Spirit spoke to her about the prayer she uttered just before leaving for the …

Spiritual Warfare #2: Guerrilla Warfare

There’s an old song by The Platters called the “Great Pretender.” The first line is: Oh-oh yes I’m the great pretender”. I used to belt it out because it is one of the few lines I can sing well.  That line could also be Satan’s tag line. Satan, the great pretender. Pretending he is God. Pretending that he has our best interests at heart.  According to Oxford, to pretend is to speak and act to make it appear that something is the case when in fact it is not. A second definition from Oxford is to lay claim to a quality or a title. This is Satan’s problem. He speaks and acts as if he is God and tries to lay claim to the throne of God. He knows he is defeated, and he knows his claim is false. Yet he continues to “prowl around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As we read in last week’s article, Satan does not directly attack God since he would lose such a …

The Coronavirus: Were We Warned?

Nostradamus was a French predictor, possibly a prophet who said something about a “twin year” when life would change for the whole Earth. I am no expert on the writings of Nostradamus, but I know he lived almost five hundred years ago. If he told us something about a pandemic in our time, we should pay attention. One big problem with the writings of Nostradamus is that they are cryptic, like a puzzle. It is possible to say now, that he wrote about something in our times. It is also possible to interpret what he said in some other way. If Nostradamus was a prophet, he did not communicate clearly to us so that we could hear his warnings, and protect ourselves. A warning that we don’t understand until after the event is mostly a curiosity. READ: Nostradamus ‘There will be a twin year’ prediction: Did Nostradamus predict coronavirus?: Express And then there is Bill Gates. He is a wealthy man who seems to be concerned about the welfare of his fellow humans. With his …

Can we block our own prayers?

What is your stance these days in light of all that is happening? What are your thoughts? Are they fear based or faith based? Are you standing on solid ground or shaky ground? Do we need to shift our prayers from a place of fear and frustration and step onto more solid ground? The Apostle Peter writes: “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3) Based on this promise, I have challenged myself to change my position from pleading to God for help to stepping into a posture of thanksgiving and praise. God’s word says that He has already given us everything we need to live a life of abundance. Asking for what we want or need is a good thing, but staying stuck in a place of continual pleading may block us from receiving or even seeing God’s provision and answers to our prayers because of our frustration and …

Why did a Danish Bible translation remove references to Israel?

Recent reports are claiming that a new translation of a Danish Bible, Bible 2020, has basically been censored removing almost every reference to the nation of Israel in the New Testament. This was the first new version of a Danish Bible published in 20 years. According to Jan Frost, who has gone through the new version in depth, Bible 2020 has replaced terms such as the “land of Israel” with phrases such as “the Jews” or the “land of Jews.” According to Frost, 59 of the 60 reference to Israel in the New Testament were changed. And even the Old Testament didn’t completely escape this renovation. In one instances, they replaced the word “Israel” with “us.” Instead of Psalm 121:4 reading: “indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” It now reads, “he who watches over us.” But somehow the names of other ancient foreign nations, such as Egypt, managed to survive in the new translation. So why did the authors of the new translation decide to remove the name Israel? In …

Persecuted for doing good? Somethings never change.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened, but Samaritan’s Purse ended up in trouble because of its willingness to help heal the sick. Samaritan’s Purse, founded in 1970, is now run by Franklin Graham, the son of Evangelist Billy Graham. With offices in over 100 countries, one of its goals is to provide material assistance and medical aid in times of disaster. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse set up a 68-bed field hospital in New York City, one of the regions the hardest hit by the Coronavirus in the US. As a Christian humanitarian organization, it is staffed by believers and volunteer Evangelical doctors and nurses. Though the organization supports traditional marriage, and requires its staff to do the same, Samaritan’s Purse helps all who come through its door. It doesn’t matter what their faith is or sexual preference, if they are sick, the doctors and nurses will tend to their needs. And equally important, Samaritan’s Purse provides this help at no charge. But as Samaritan’s Purse set up its …

Spiritual Warfare #1: Fear or Freedom

Spiritual warfare is the foundation of many Hollywood movies and best-selling novels. We all know stories that scared us and our nightmares are full of frightening images and visions. All these things have one purpose and that is to cause fear. That moment in the movie when we jump as the monster leaps out of the dark, that build up of suspense in the book until the killer is standing over the victim, and that scary thing under our bed cause us to fear the unexpected, the unnatural, or the spirit world. Is this fear warranted? In this first in a series of articles on spiritual warfare, we examine that question. I used to like monster movies and those weird TV shows looking for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or Loch Ness Monster. These creatures were shown as bigger than life and portrayed as frightening, almost supernatural. As a child, The Mummy scared me the most. Movies and TV moved into more powerful supernatural areas over time and evil spirits are shown as powerful unstoppable forces. People, even …

That Little Boy Who Prayed

There is a picture, and a story on the Internet, about a six-year-old boy in Peru who prayed to God, about the Coronavirus pandemic, in the middle of a street. From the story, the boy wanted to pray, but his home was too noisy, so he went outside and prayed in the quiet street. I am skeptical about two things, but the boys’ story is a good one. Jesus did say “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) That boy can teach the world something. I am skeptical about the claim that this story has gone viral. It is being circulated by one denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, and probably most of the readers are in that group. But then here we are; I’m not Catholic, and we are taking the story to the wider world. Maybe it really will go viral. It should. I am also skeptical about the picture. The camera angle, the boy’s pose, and the street lighting all look like …

Keeping Prayer Simple

When I looked at prayer in the past, I thought it meant praying for at least one hour before it counted, and this belief discouraged me from entering into prayer. I believed that it was just too hard to incorporate into my everyday life and as a result prayer was often the last thing I did. Then I started feeling guilty about not praying enough, and this led me to just stop praying altogether because I felt my prayers weren’t good enough or long enough, so why bother. The priests ministering in the temple in the Old Testament had a great spiritual responsibility to offer sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. But they also had other duties. These were called ‘sacred lots’ where the menial duties of priesthood were divided up including such things as kitchen duties, yard work and providing oversight to the Levites. They had other necessary duties that did not include the sacrifices, but were important enough to be called ‘sacred.’ Understanding that the Old Testament priests had menial …

Studies show people are turning to prayer during COVID-19 crisis

According to a study by a Danish professor, it seems that people are turning to prayer during these difficult times. This was not any more evident than during final moments of a live interview MSNBC host Craig Melvin’s had with T.J. Jakes, the pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church based in Dallas at the beginning of April. With seconds left, Melvin turned to Bishop Jakes and said: “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on air. Can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds.” As Melvin bowed his head, Pastor Jakes prayed for God to strengthen people during this time of crisis and particularly those who are first responders: According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an assistant professor of Economics at Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, this should not surprise us because Google searches for “prayer” are surging during this pandemic. Using Google Trends, Bentzen studied the records in 75 countries of the number of searches for prayer in the month of March. Based on her research, …

Is Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled before our eyes?

Joel was a prophet that God raised up to call Judah to repentance. Most believe his prophecies were delivered sometime between 835 BC and 800 BC. But in the second chapter, the prophet veers from his message and prophesies about things that will occur leading up to the Day of the Lord or the second coming of Christ. It is like reading a newspaper clipping from 2020 AD. Plagues of Locusts First he describes plagues of locusts that he compares to an army leaping over walls (Joel 2:1-11). This plague will ravage the land and overwhelm cities. There will be so many that they will darken the skies and leave behind utter devastation: Before them fire devours,     behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,     behind them, a desert waste—     nothing escapes them. Joel 2:3 NIV Reports indicate|a massive wave of locusts is building in Africa in April 2020, that could devastate the food supplies of several countries in Africa and the Middle East. The first wave hit …

Are some politicizing the Coronavirus to attack Christians?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, On Fire Church in Louisville, Kentucky stopped public gatherings but continued holding services in their parking lot, where people sat in their cars listening to the service over a low frequency FM. This eliminated any human contact and complied with CDC regulations. However, a couple of days before Easter, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer ordered all churches to stop public gatherings including parking lot services and threatened to record the license plates of any who attended. When, On Fire decided to hold its Easter service in the parking lot as usual, First Liberty, a legal nonprofit dedicated to preserving religious freedom, went to the courts arguing Fischer’s order was unconstitutional and won a temporary restraining order against the city. According to the Daily Caller, in his decision U.S. District Court Judge Justin Walker also compared the Mayor’s order to a dystopian society: “That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion”. “But two days ago, …

Courage?

According to Oxford, courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. Oxford also says it is strength in the face of pain or grief. Of course, the polar opposites here are encourage and discourage. One is giving courage and the other is taking away courage. When we thing of courage we often think of kings, warriors and those facing life threatening circumstances. I personally think of Joshua who led the Israelites into the promised land. Great battles need great courage to be sure. In our modern context we think of police, fire, and defense as areas needing courage. But courage today is not limited to our warriors and first responders. Christianity requires courage. It takes courage to maintain a different worldview than the one around us. It takes courage to speak out against sin when it is so pervasive that it is a human right. Christians live for the kingdom of heaven and our worldview is one of the Bible. The reality is Christ is the solution to sin. Unfortunately, many in this …

47 | How many crosses did Jesus actually die on?

Follow our podcasts on: Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this Easter podcast I want to answer the top theological question of the day, namely how many crosses did Jesus die on? Now here is the strange thing, most Christians, and I even include myself in this, at times believe Jesus actually died on two crosses. The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was crucified along with two other men, and that Jesus was on the middle cross with the two criminals on either side of him. But most Christians believe that sometime in the middle of one of those nights that Jesus hung on the cross for our sins, God switched the Lord to one of the other crosses.  And what is even more incredible, the disciples, who had been absolutely traumatized by the Lord’s crucifixion, didn’t even notice and never recorded this switch in the Bible.  I know this sounds strange, but this is what most Christians believe.  Of course, …

You Need A Job: The Virus And Your Future

We all know that the world is experiencing a pandemic. Where I live, the streets are quiet, and when I walk to the grocery store, I walk carefully around other people, and they do the same to me. It’s like we don’t like each other. We know the virus is dangerous; people are sick and dying. The world is also starting to learn the dangerous cure. We are closing down the world economy, to stop a virus, and this therapy could kill the patient. I knew a man, years ago, who was diagnosed with cancer. His condition was treatable, and he responded well and started to get better, and then the doctors gave him the bad news. The chemo treatment was killing him; he could recover from the cancer, but he would die from the cure. Either way, he was going to die. This was terrible news for him, and for friends like me. The doctors admitted him to a palliative ward, and kept him comfortable, while he died. His hospital was close to my …

Standing in hope

I watched our dog, Lulu, bounce down the stairs, go to her dish, do her little dance as she looked up at me with hopeful eyes expectantly waiting for her breakfast. She knew that I would not disappoint and I realized as I prepared her dog food that this was the perfect picture of hope! I have been trying to enter into hope as I prayed at different times throughout the day and the night about the Coronavirus. But the events of recent days are pushing against hope. Like many, I was caught up in the concern of those feeling panicked, overwhelmed and because of this, fear held me in its grip as I struggled to pray during this COVID-19 crisis. I had lost my hope. And, in the midst of this an indignation and anger rose up within me and I found myself fighting and pushing back against the injustice and manipulation this pandemic had brought into our lives. And for me, hope was the seal and security I needed to continue stepping forward …

Publishers reporting surging interest in the Bible due to COVID-19 crisis

Tyndale House Publishers, a major publisher of Bible and Christian books based in the US, has noticed a “considerable increase” in interest in the Bible since the start of the COVID-19 panic. In an interview with the Christian Post, Tyndale executive Jim Jewell said that there has been a 60% increase in the sales of Immerse Bibles and a 44% increase in Life Application Study Bibles. He also added that the number of people visiting the company’s Facebook page for the New Living Translation in March was triple the numbers of March last year. The page features Scripture verse memes. There has also been a substantial increase of visits in 2020, as the page recorded a 72% increase of visits between March and April. Jewell attributes this significant growth to the COVID-19 crisis that has “upended almost everyone’s lives in some way.” He added that people are turning to the Bible for “clarity.” Tyndale is not the only Bible publisher to see growth. According to an article on Fox News, Alabaster Co. has noticed a …

The man who carried Christ’s cross, Simon of Cyrene

It was a good deal, but Simon didn’t know it at the time. He was the man the Romans compelled to carry Christ’s cross, after the guards realized after their beating, Jesus was in no condition to carry His cross to Golgotha. I am sure at the time, Simon was wondering “why me.” Since this was Passover, some doubt that the Romans would conscript a Jew to carry Christ’s cross, and probably identified Simon as a gentile by his dress. And since he was in Jerusalem for the Passover, it suggests he had converted to Judaism. But the good deal was this, Simon would carry Christ’s cross, and in turn Christ would carry the burden of Simon’s sin. Most Bible scholars believe Simon of Cyrene became a believer in Christ, because three of the Gospel writers not only knew his name and where he was from, but other personal details, suggesting they were familiar with him (Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26). Both Mark and Luke knew that he had just arrived into Jerusalem from …

What? Me Rest?

What is the number one thing you would change in your life? Before you read on, take a moment and think what that would be. In counselling, we often set goals and objectives, issues that the clients want to address or need to be examined. At first, these can be rather unclear, and often what the real issues are, end up being a lot different than what the client came in to discuss. I think that is true of most of us. We just are not inward focused. We focus on what we do, not who we are. What we want, not what we need. Even when we focus on what we need, it gets mixed up with what we want. Here is an example. I need a rest. I want to see my friends. I will rest from my work by seeing my friends. While this may be a break from work, it is not a rest. You would only switch from work persona to friend persona. The idea of rest is not of …