All posts filed under: Main

Should Christians Protest in the Streets?

A few years ago, I was travelling in the southern U.S., and on Sunday I went to church. I found the church at random; they had a sign on a sidewalk because they met in a rented hall. I joined the small group and I enjoyed the service, mostly. When they made the announcements about activities in the next few weeks, they included the plans for a protest. They planned to meet on a street near a busy mall, and protest. I didn’t understand what they were protesting, they just planned to protest. People were told to show up early to get their signs, and to get the event organized. That was something new for me. I didn’t plan to join them, but they talked about it like a pot-luck dinner, or a Boy Scout meeting in the gym. It was just something that they did. So, should we all do that? Should Christians protest in the streets? In Hong Kong, where people have been protesting against the Communist Government, Christians have acted as leaders …

My biggest struggle

My greatest struggle over the years has been never feeling quite ‘good enough’ for anything, sports, art classes or trying out for the school musical. I suspect there are a few faces that cross your mind when I talk about women we have compared ourselves to over the years. Even as I talk about this subject, names and images of girls I compared my self over the years are popping up in my mind. I was never good enough to be included in the popular circle of girls who had it all together.  Where their looks landed a leading role in every musical, made every basketball team, and also attracted the most popular girls and guys to their social circles. My main nemesis was Susie who had different names over the years, but she was always there and I always compared myself to her no matter how often her face changed. Picture yourself caught in a mousetrap, and you are that mouse struggling to get out of the trap. This image gives us a clear …

The battle over Chick-fil-A reaches England

There has been an interesting development surrounding the planned forced closing of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in England. The store, that was England’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant, opened on October 10, 2019 at the Oracle Mall in Reading, England, a city of 320,000 located in Southern England. Almost immediately, it was attacked by LGBT supporters opposed to the chain’s pro traditional family stand. Owned by the Cathy family, who are Christians, the chain has also financially supported Christian organizations such as the Salvation Army. Within a week, the Oracle Mall caved to the demands of the protesters and announced that it would not be renewing the restaurant’s lease, meaning it would be forced to close in six months. Ironically, in a news release announcing the decision, the mall stated that it was doing it so it could create “an inclusive space.” However, some argue that the act of closing the restaurant suggests it is not inclusive. Despite being closed on Sunday (arguable the biggest sales day of the week), so employees can have a family day and …

Was a coincidence a message from God?

A young Iranian man living in Australia became a Christian after a strange coincidence. According to Lee Grady, a popular US Christian writer, in 2016 the young man had decided to watch the film Hacksaw Ridge that told the story of Pfc. Desmond Doss, who volunteered to be a medic during World War II. However, because of his Christian faith, Desmond refused to carry a weapon, but after nearly being kicked out of the army, he was allowed to stay and became the only conscientious objector during World War II to win a Medal of Honor after saving 75 men during the battle for Okinawa. However, during the early part of the movie, the young Iranian man was struck by the words of the Lord’s prayer that were displayed in a picture frame beside Doss. The well-known prayer starts with: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Luke 11:2 KJV Being a Muslim from Iran, the young man had …

Lies of Depression

Last week I wrote about what depression is and how it can manifest itself. I also mentioned the danger of believing the lies that you are not good enough, strong enough, and that people would be better off without you. I also said that these lies stem from fear and judgement. This week we examine these lies. A disclaimer is that I am not saying that all depression is spiritual. There are many elements that trigger depression and once you are in a depressed state, the enemy lies to you about who you are and who loves you. These are some of the lies of depression: I am not good enoughI am not strong enoughI am not loved enoughI am not worth enoughI am not needed enough All these lies can join together into two harmful beliefs: My life is hopeless, and I am helpless. Once there, suicidal ideation is not far off. Once I start fantasizing about my suicide, it is difficult to pull out of it. Especially when we reach the point that …

Transgender Versus Binary Thinking

Are you a feminist? [Answer yes or no.] If you answer yes, I can tell you the correct type of feminist you must be. You don’t have a choice. You must think a certain way. If you are on the team, you must be orthodox. If you answer no, you are incorrect, and you are the enemy. That is an example of binary thinking. You have the choice to be correct, and then you must be completely correct and orthodox, or you are on the other side, and they are always wrong. I used the word “feminist” because it gets attention, but any belief fits the conversation. I grew up with Christians who were binary in their beliefs; people who were proud to be called fundamentalists. As a young boy I learned to avoid all discussions in the house and play with my friends outside. When I became an adult, I wanted to be a Christian, but the choice was hard for me. I didn’t want to win the argument, I wanted to know God. …

What is the strongest thought you have about yourself?

What is the strongest thought that you have of yourself and what thoughts are rolling around in the back of your mind supporting it? Over the past years the strongest thoughts and opinions that I had of myself was that I couldn’t do anything and I had all sorts of excuses: There was the comparison trap. Susie was better at this than me. In fact, almost everyone was more capable and gifted than me and comparing myself to them just made things worse. I don’t have everything together in my life right now to tackle this. I thought I needed to be perfect, before I could accomplish anything. There has been too much struggle and rejection. If others don’t think I have what it takes, then who am I to think I can. I keep trying, but people keep getting in my way. I can’t do this anymore.  In my mind I was never enough or up for the challenge. Comparing myself to others and being directed by other’s rejection is what defined me.    Everything …

Spiritual warfare in Washington, DC?

Reports are circulating again of how a group of self-proclaimed internet witches are planning to put a hex on President Donald Trump and his supporters. This involves an internet driven witch group with approximately 13,000 followers around the world. According to Michael Snyder, members of this group will join together at 11:59 on October 25, 2019, to put a spell on Trump and his followers. Apparently that day was chosen because of its tie to a “waning crescent moon.” Snyder says this “binding spell” is intended to influence Trump. Also referred to as defixiones, they are designed to stop Trump from doing certain things that the witches believe will hurt America. According to the Washington Examiner, the witches have been specifically instructed to conjure up “demons” to carry out this spell: “The ritual calls for the use of an unflattering photo of Trump, a tarot card, a stub of an orange candle, a pin, and a feather. Participants then call on the ‘heavenly hosts, demons of the infernal realms, and spirits of the ancestors” to …

A cute study reveals an odd thing about atheists

There has been an interesting trend in recent years during times of tragedy when people typically express their thoughts and prayers. Atheists are now overtly outraged at these kind gestures, even though studies show that, many people (even those not overtly religious) actually appreciate such expressions, because we are social beings and are strengthened by the larger community’s support. A cute study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Wyoming wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon. The study results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, exposed a very unusual trait among atheists. The researchers studied people from North Carolina who lived through Hurricane Florence that hit in September 2018. It dropped upwards of 35 inches (0.89 meters) of rain causing massive damage largely due to flooding. They gave each of the 482 participants, who ranged from atheists to Christians, $5, who were told they could use the money to gain supportive prayers or thoughts from others after the crisis. Those …

Suicide’s Lie

This is the first of a series of articles about depression. Depression has deep mental and physical roots as well as a powerful spiritual dimension. Often it manifests with a feeling of being out of sync with our world, our family, and even ourselves. And when we are out of sync with the world it feels like we just don’t fit. We start to withdraw from a world that doesn’t seem to care, is hostile, or can’t be bothered with us. The more we step back, the harder it is to stop. We hear that constant voice that offers peace in a world without peace until one moment, one desperate moment, in which the pain of life overwhelms us and we reach for the one way out. And in a flash our life is over. Our pain which was so deep is now transferred to those who love us. Our loss fuels their fire of guilt and anger. Blame is rampant and their lives will never be the same. Just as we believed the lies …

Those People are So Stupid

We live in interesting times.  With the Internet and communication for everyone, the whole world is communicating, That means we are arguing. Someone has said that we now have smart phones, and stupid people. Someone else told us that we have this amazing Internet where we can discuss any issues without collective intelligence, and we send each other pictures of cats. And you might hear about those other people, and how stupid they are. “Stupid” is one of our favorite words for insulting other people. In the Bible, we read the word “Fool.” Jesus knew this, and He didn’t like it: But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22 Notice that Jesus used the word “racah.” That is important in the Bible. Where I live, someone just used the word ‘stupid’ to …

Where are your thoughts taking you?

My greatest struggle over the years has been that deep-rooted feeling that I was ‘not good enough.’ Feeling and believing this way led me to some very unhealthy places. I became lethargic and allowed circumstances to roll over me because I believed I was a door mat. People were always going to wipe their feet on me, because that’s who I was. Because I was thinking I wasn’t good enough, it brought along feelings that I can’t do this. I have failed before, so I will probably fail again. The mind is the battlefield, and your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. You become who you think you are. The Bible says that as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, our thinking becomes our reality. If you believe you are a victim, always blaming outside circumstances, you will stay a victim. Yet the power to change is inside you, but if you believe it isn’t, then you are trapped. When your mind is consumed by …

Jesus and the Feast of Tabernacles

The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles also called the Feast of Sukkot or Feast of Booths started this past Monday (October 14, 2019) and will run for seven more days. There are seven feasts instituted in the Old Testament and the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three pilgrimage festivals, along with Passover and the Festival of Weeks, that requires Jewish males to visit Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). The Feast of Tabernacles is the last feast on the Jewish Calendar and falls in September or October, five days after the Day of Atonement. The seven feasts fell in this order: Feast of PASSOVER  (Leviticus 23:5) Feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD  (Leviticus 23:6) Feast of FIRST FRUITS  (Leviticus 23:10-11) Feast of PENTECOST  (Leviticus 23:17) Feast of TRUMPETS (Leviticus 23:24) Feast of ATONEMENT (Leviticus 23:27) Feast of TABERNACLES  (Leviticus 23:34) So should Christians celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or any of the other feasts? I don’t think there is any problem if they do. In fact if we look at the Book of Acts, we see hints that Paul …

Does God still speak through dreams: A warning about Turkey?

Throughout the Bible God used dreams to communicate messages with people. The Pharaoh of Egypt received a dream warning of a coming drought, that Joseph successfully interpreted. Pontius Pilate’s wife received a dream warning her husband about his treatment of Jesus at the Lord’s trial. God used dreams in both the Old and New Testament to communicate with people, so should we be surprised that God might warn Christians today through dreams. If so maybe we need to take heed of a dream received by American Pastor Andrew Brunson while imprisoned in a Turkish prison after being accused of terrorism by the government. Andrew and his wife had served for 25 years prior as missionaries in Turkey working largely among the Kurds along the Syrian Turkish border. Brunson was eventually released from prison in October 2018 and returned to the US. Brunson received this dream in December 2016 while in prison. In an interview with Fox News, Brunson said: “In the dream, Turkey, Iran and Russia began to move together in a very dark alliance.” …

Bread or Bruises?

Yesterday afternoon I drove around a rougher area of town giving out bread. It’s just something my wife and I do whenever Lighthouse Ministries has more bread donated than we need. Usually people are happy to see me and only take what they need. No trouble, just happy faces. Yesterday, this streak of beauty came to a screeching halt. While a woman with three kids was choosing her bread, a big man came strolling the street. I asked him if he wanted bread. He said “I’m a bad guy.” Now I am somewhat familiar with bad guys, I even taught a group of federal parolees once and I worked at a federal penitentiary.  Not to mention living in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Canada. Most bad guys don’t have to say they are bad. Maybe I should have been nervous. ‘I don’t care if you’re a bad guy,” I responded, “Do you want some bread?” His response was not what I expected. He stopped and started towards me and threatened that he was …

What is Wrong With Those Radical Demonstrators?

Did you know, we have a new normal? People are demonstrating in the streets, and disrupting our lives; and this gets them into the news. I remember the seventies, when demonstrations were common, but now they seem to be making a comeback. Someone must think this is a good idea. For me, and people from my generation, these kids are amateurs. I remember when every high school assembly was interrupted by radical students. I can’t remember one assembly that worked out according to the plan. One of our classmates liked to shout about “Acheemitka.” We eventually realized that some nuclear devices had been exploded under an island called Amchitka, and our classmate probably had dyslexia. It was all fun, and then we graduated and got jobs. Today, it’s all forgotten, except I can clearly remember someone shouting “Acheemitka, Acheemitka.” It’s like a song I can’t forget. And now we have the new wave of demonstrators: RELATED: Walterdale bridge blocked as part of climate protest: Global News We are used to living our lives without these …

Tearing down the hostile walls

At times, my soft spot for a particular person shows up when I should be offended, as they unexpectedly direct their anger at me. Because I am starting to realize that behind the angry words is a hurting, wounded person. And through this, I am learning to find my soft spot that overlooks and pushes through their angry energy that pops up out of nowhere directed at me or more often past me, when they’re actually angry at someone else, but I was in the way.   I am learning not to take it personally, because it is not me they are furious at. And, as I peek around my shield I try to reveal my heart for them and be sensitive to what might be the root cause of their anger, that often they can’t explain. This happened to me recently. And in this situation involving a young woman, I turned and faced her trying to understand the reason for her pain. I pushed back the offense and judgement that was rising up in me and …

Is the Holy Spirit working in Kanye West’s life?

Pop superstar Kanye West’s conversion to Christ has certainly caught everyone’s attention. Secular media are broadcasting stories about the church services he is holding and of course the religious media is doing the same. Some, both religious and secular, have questioned the sincerity of Kanye’s faith. But a recent interview with Adam Tyson, a California pastor, on Pure Flix has me increasingly convinced that the Holy Spirit is doing a work in the pop star’s life. Tyson made contact with Kanye, when the pop star attended the pastor’s Placerita Bible church in Santa Clarita, California, one Sunday morning. Of course, I immediately suspected Tyson must be one of those mega-pastors with thousands of people attending every Sunday. It wasn’t. Tyson’s church has 300 members. But through this initial visit, Tyson developed a relationship with Kanye and is now regularly preaching at Kanye’s services held around the US. But in his Pure Flix interview, Tyson recalled what Kanye said to him: “I was just under the weight of my sin, and I was being convicted that …

UPDATE: The Babylonian coincidence?

Maybe it’s all just a coincidence, but one of the favorite Old Testament stories may have a strange link to the Book of Revelation and a case being brought before the US Supreme Court. The Bible story involves Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into a fiery furnace because they refused to bow and worship a giant idol. The Jews had been taken in captivity by the Babylonians and an edict was passed requiring people of all nations to bow and worship a massive idol set up in the city. Refusal to worship would result in death by burning (Daniel 3:4-6). Because of their faith in Jehovah, three Jewish boys Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were immediately sentenced to death. They stood for their faith and were thrown into a fiery furnace where their lives were miraculously spared. Babylon was one of the great enemies of Israel and was eventually destroyed. But as we look to the New Testament, Babylon makes a second appearance in the Book of Revelation, a written record of the …

Aw, Soot!

Do you ever wonder if prayer works? Or how prayer works! I have experience praying for many people both directly and indirectly. There have been instant healings, healings over time, and no healings. I have no human explanation for this other than I am not God and it is up to him how he answers prayer. I do know at least two things about this. God always knows when we pray and prayers always make a difference. Prayers bring us closer to God as we talk with him and ask for his help. The people we pray for also have something spiritual happen when we pray. It may be something different from what they expect, but something happens nonetheless. I had a vision the other morning that explains the way in which prayers matter. I can’t recall if I saw them first or heard them first. They were about a block away. I heard distant crying and yelling. As they got closer, I could see that it was a woman and a child. The woman …

Human Evolution and Ugly Racism

Morphogenesis: This scientific word describes a straight path. Until recently, the science of human evolution was dominated by the philosophy of Morphogenesis, ‘a linear path to a predetermined end,’ the idea that evolution was predictable and consistent, and that it changed living things from simple and primitive to sophisticated and more desirable. The most evolved life form was always the best, and the least evolved was undesirable and deserved extinction. So, newer is better. Fossils showed us the remains of organisms that went extinct, like the dinosaurs, and we were told that they died out because they were less fit. Extinction happens when something better comes along. Morphogenesis can look backward, to trace the trail of species that evolved and went extinct, up until now. It can tell us how we got here, and it can also look into the future, to show us how to guide the evolution of life to better, more desirable forms. Forward looking morphogenesis is scary, and it mostly ended with World War II. Did you know that Hitler was …

Denying yourself doesn’t mean depriving yourself

It began in a very difficult season of my life several years back. My physical health was deteriorating and my emotional and mental well-being was in a dark, downward spiral.  Tough circumstances at work and hurtful accusations that sent me reeling kept me emotionally drained and teetering on despair. How could this be happening to me?  It was the worst of times but ended up being the best because out of those dark, depressing days came some extraordinary changes in my life. While people were beating me down, God started the process of changing the way I thought of myself as these difficulties revealed the fragile, wavering opinion I had of myself.  I believed that I wasn’t good at anything. The gift in these painful circumstances was my desperation and after saying no to several opportunities to get help during that difficult period, I finally said yes and took a course that woke me up. At this course, I heard things like you need to love and value yourself. People were telling me that the …

The ability to forgive others is birthed in fully understanding our forgiveness

A Dallas jury recently found former police officer Amber Guyger, 31, guilty of killing Botham Jean, a believer, and worship leader at a Church of Christ in Dallas. Though the prosecutor was asking for a sentence of 28 years, Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison. It was a bizarre story. Guyger lived in the same apartment building as Botham. She was a police officer and had just finished her shift in September 2018 and was returning home. But according to her testimony, distracted by texts, she inadvertently mistook Botham’s apartment for her own. Apparently Botham’s door was unlocked and thinking this was her apartment, Guyger was immediately suspicious that someone had broken in. When Botham stood up, thinking he was an intruder, Guyger pulled her gun, and shot Botham, killing him. There were obviously a lot of questions about this senseless killing and many were upset that Guyger hadn’t received a longer sentence. In fact, there were protesters outside the court room demanding a longer prison term. But after the sentencing came down, …

Is it time to rein in the man-made global warming hysteria?

The recent arrival of Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist based out of Sweden, has certainly caught everyone’s attention. The 16-year-old’s fearful, emotional and angry presentation to the UN was viewed by millions as she warned of an imminent environmental apocalypse if governments didn’t immediately reduce CO2 emissions. And she is not alone, many young people are feeling a similar anxiety. According to an article entitled “Climate change poses mental health risks to children and teens” published on Science News for Students, the fear mongering over climate change is causing mental health issues for students. Unfortunately, the discussion of global warming has become so politicized, it is almost impossible to separate the rhetoric from the truth. But in the midst of all this, you may have missed a few major news stories that were not the flavor of the day, so basically ignored by most of the main line media. They were calling into question all the hysteria surrounding the issue of climate change. Nobody denies that global warming is taking place. What is questioned is …

26 | Three Bible passages that might warn of a nuclear war in the end times

One question that has lurked at the back of my mind is this: Does the Bible warn of Nuclear war in the end times? It’s not a topic that many of us want to talk about, but in my study of the Bible I have seen hints of it. In this podcast we look at three Bible passages that suggest there will be a nuclear war during the end times.

Exposed!

I live in Canada and in Canada our current Prime Minister did something years ago that was stupid. At least back then it might have been only stupid but looking back with the modern lens of racism it is now seen as bad. Really bad. For those who don’t know, he colored his face brown and then black on separate occasions and dressed up like a person of color.   He champions himself as anti-racism so this was quite the shock for his followers. According to the media this might just have done him in. Perhaps we will have a new Prime Minister within the month after the election is over. Good thing I am not running for office! My slogan would have to be I sinned! Get over it! Remember the fiasco in the United States regarding the past of Brett Kavanaugh during his process of being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court? His family had to weather a storm like few others have encountered. Which brings me to victims. What about when a …

The Cult of Environmental Activism

Yesterday, I was working in a small city that I will call Pleasantville because it’s a nice place, with clean streets, green parks and many tall trees, and where most people are polite. It’s a center for the economy of a large region and it has a university campus. It’s also full of retired people because of the low house prices. I’m sure you get the picture. I was in a car, waiting at a red light at a busy intersection, with another person. Suddenly, on my left, I saw someone walking through the intersection, and not on the sidewalk. That person was followed many others, two or three hundred, including at least one person in a wheel chair, and several babies. This was in a city where everyone waits for a walk light, and crosses carefully at the designated crosswalk, showing respect and courtesy to the neighbors. It’s that kind of place. It was shocking to see a large crowd walk through a busy intersection, even when the light was red for them, in …

The journey from your earthly father to your Heavenly Father

Recently, I had an appointment with a young lady. Halfway through, my daughter arrived bringing me a coffee and joined us for the last half of the appointment. I love this young gal, and she obviously felt the freedom to express her thoughts on various world views. But the conversation was starting to become intense. Something had triggered her and I wasn’t able to figure out what it was or why. In the middle of this, she abruptly stopped and said, “I would give anything to have the relationship you and your daughter have.” Then she started to talk about her own father and it was then I realized she was talking about the relationship my daughter had with her dad. My daughter joked about her dad and how he likes to tease her. My daughter loves her dad, and they have a good relationship. I had found the trigger and the explanation why the conversation had become so intense. I looked at her and asked what the relationship with her father was like. She …

Documentary tells of the explosive growth of the house church movement in Iran

According to a documentary released in August, the explosive growth of Christianity in Iran is a result of a rapidly expanding house church movement with most being led by women. The documentary entitled Sheep Among Wolves was produced by Frontier Alliance International (FAI) and looked at the growth of Christianity in Iran perhaps one of the most repressive regimes in the world. And we know Christianity is growing because of the repeated public statements made by Iranian officials and religious leaders in recent years warning of Christianity’s growth. In their video, FAI explained what was behind the unusual growth. In its trailer, the documentary noted: “The Iranian awakening is a rapidly-reproducing discipleship movement that owns no property or buildings, has no central leadership and is predominantly led by women.” In the video they were forced to disguise the Iranian believers because of fear of arrest. One Iranian Christian said “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran.” He went on to say that the political and the elites are the ones who …

Christian singer Francesca Battistelli healed while pregnant

Francesca Battistelli, 34, a Grammy winning Christian singer recently shared a story of how God miraculously healed her of an ovarian cyst in the middle of her pregnancy. Francesca grew up in a musical family with both her mom and dad involved in theatrical singing in New York. Though, she expected to head in the same direction, Francesca veered off into a successful musical career, winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song in 2016 with her song “Holy Spirit.” Recently, the mother of four shared a testimony on Instagram of God’s miraculous healing. She was ten weeks pregnant and woke up in “excruciating pain.” When the pain intensified over the next couple of hours, on the advice of her midwife, Francesca went to the hospital emergency. However, by the time she arrived, the pain had started to subside. Francesca knew from previous tests that she had a cyst on one of her ovaries. But the hospital tests revealed that this cyst was now 10 cm in size, about the size of a large …

Study suggests that women who bottle up anger have a higher risk of a stroke

According to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, feeling resentful or bottling up your anger may result in an increased risk of stroke for women. Strokes occur when plaque build up in arteries results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain as the arteries narrow. An additional contributor is Atherosclerosis that occurs when chunks of plaque break away increasing the potential of a blockage. According to the Daily Mail, that reported on the study, strokes are the third highest cause of death in America and fourth highest in England Women are also more vulnerable to strokes than men and struggle with recovery when strokes do occur. In their study, the researchers analyzed 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. They asked them a series of questions that included if they tended to put other people’s needs first over their own and if they were likely to express their true feelings about a situation. The researchers then did ultra sounds on the women’s arteries and discovered that women who did not …