All posts filed under: News

Credit: SAITOR/Flickr/Creative Commons

What Christians need today — courage

YouVersion Bible App was created in 2008, since then over 295 million people have downloaded the app for use on their phone, Ipads and computers. According to this year’s stats, so far this year the app is being downloaded 1.4 times every second of the day. In the same time frame, people are also sharing ten verses with friends. But YouVersion also provides the most read verse of the year and in some ways this provides an insight into what believers are facing around the world. Outside of North America, the most read verse is: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASV) In America, the most read verse is similar but with a slightly different twist: 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV) The verses portray how things are changing …

Jerusalem, Israel's capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

Uproar as America decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem

It has been a very unusual situation. Since Israel was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948, Jerusalem has been its capital city. Yet no foreign embassies are found in Israel’s capital like they typically are with other nations. Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, 67 kms away. It was a move done to try to appease the Palestinians and hopefully have them sign a peace treaty with Israel. Of course that never happened and will never happen, because how can you appease an enemy that in its own charter calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. In its covenant or charter written in 1998, the terrorist group Hamas which helps control Palestine states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” With this as one of its stated goals, Hamas is not interested in peace. So when President Trump announced Wednesday morning that he would be moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were outraged. But they were outraged …

They shall know us by our love

Football is a tough sport, emotions can become heated. Tempers flare. It is a competitive environment. Sometimes we forget it is just a sport and there are more important things in life such as many witnessed during last Monday night’s NFL game (Dec 4, 2017) featuring the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers won 23-20. During Cincinnati’s first offensive series, Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier, 25, was hurt as he was trying to make a tackle. As he lay on the ground, Shazier was pointing to his back and the announcers noted that Shazier’s legs were not moving. There was a lot of concern as medical staff strapped Shazier to a backboard and transported him to a Cincinnati hospital. However, something happened at the end of the game that caught people’s attention. After the game was over, some of the Pittsburgh players knelt to pray for Shazier. They were joined by Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton who held hands with the Steelers’ players as they prayed for their fallen teammate. Andy Dalton, 30, the starting …

Credit: Thomas Guignard/Flickr/Creative Commons

The real problem in the black community: We’ve allowed women to “marry the government”

Actor Denzel Washington stepped on a few toes recently when he said that black people need to quit blaming the system for the high rates of incarceration among black men. He made the statement at the première of his most recent movie, “Roman J. Israel, Esq,” where he plays a young lawyer fighting the system. Denzel said: “It starts at the home. It starts at home. It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure. So you know I can’t blame the system. It’s unfortunate, that we make it such easy work for them.” In an earlier interview with Reuters, Denzel, who grew up in a Christian home with a father who was a pastor, said that people are not “born a criminal.” He had friends who started going down a certain path at ages 13 or 14 and while he stopped, his friends continued and today many are in prison. It was the same message being shared by another Black …

United Nations headquarters in New York City Credit: Neptull/Wikipedia

Ancient gods revival?

The same company responsible for building a full-scale model of the Arches of Baal last year has produced a full-sized replica of the ancient Roman goddess Athena. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) used the group, the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), to make a 3-D replica of Athena and recently had it on display at the United Nations headquarter in New York City. Similar to what happened to the Baal arches, in 2015 ISIS destroyed the original statue of the goddess in a museum in Palmyra, Syria. According to UAE, this ancient goddess was “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all the same values on which the historic institution was built.” However, this is only part of the story. Athena was also the Roman goddess of war and was valued for providing warfare strategy. The recreated idol actually portrays the goddess holding a spear, representative of her warrior symbolism. Many believe Athena was simply the Roman version of the ancient Canaanite goddess Asherah, that went by various names in different cultures — …

Notice the star as part of street Christmas decorations in Lillehammer, Norway. Credit: Peta Chow/Flickr/Creative Commons

Islamization of Christmas in Norway?

A strange story posted by Norwegian blogger, Hanne Tolg, which she describes as “pretty bizarre” is that a Christmas program being performed by an elementary school in Skien, Norway, will now include verses from the Koran, Islam’s main religious text. Though Europe is very liberal in its beliefs and traditions, and most do not attend church, Christmas is still a huge celebration and acknowledged as a Christian holiday. Homes and streets are typically decorated with Christmas themes and it is traditionally one of the big celebrations of the year. According to Bruce Bawer of Gatestone Institute who helped break this story in the English-speaking world, other national holidays in Norway also coincide with Christian celebrations such as Pentecost and Ascension Day. But it appears that efforts are now underway to add an Islamic element to the Christian, Christmas celebration in Norway. According to Tolg, this year’s program at Stigeråsen School will include two verses from the Koran. Christmas is certainly not a holy day for Islam, so why would any school, as Tolg explains, want …

Camels crossing a desert in Iran Credit: my life, the Universe and everything/Flickr

Similar to Evangelicals, Roman Catholics are reporting Muslims converting to Christianity

According to World Watch Monitor, on November 12, an Iranian who had converted to Christianity, lost his appeal of a ten-year prison sentence for sharing his faith. In May, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, along with three men from Azerbaijan were sentenced to ten years for missionary activity along with trumped-up charges of “actions against national security.” The secret police arrested the four men when they attended a wedding in June 2016. Shortly after their arrest, the Iranians allowed the three Azerbaijans to leave Iran while on bail and then sentenced them in abstention. It is doubtful they will return to complete their sentence. But unfortunately, Naser must fulfill his sentence in the brutal Iranian prison system renown for its torture. Since early spring, human rights groups have noticed Iranian courts are handing out unusually long sentences to Christians for simply sharing their faith. Yet despite Iran’s crackdown on Christianity, or maybe because of it, reports are coming in about the large numbers of Muslims abandoning Islam and embracing Christianity in Iran and other Islamic countries. Even …

Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Credit: GatorEG/Wikipedia

Strong reaction to Wilfrid Laurier’s ATTACK on free speech

Some suggest that Canadians recently got an inside look at the cultural Marxism that is dominating many universities across Canada and the US where students and those in authority are trying to stop any views that dissent with the prevailing left-wing agenda. Lindsay Shepherd is a 22-year-old graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She also teaches a class at the university but was called before a tribunal because she shared a dissenting opinion in her class. Fortunately, Lindsay had the presence of mind to tape this interview so Canadians could have a first-hand look on what is becoming common place on university campuses that seem less concerned with teaching students how to think and more interested in telling them what to think. In her class, Shepherd was talking about the use of non-gendered pronouns that is becoming a controversial topic on university campuses. The discussion is often centered around people who are transitioning from one sex to another. As an example, some are insisting they should no longer be referred to as …

A touch of heaven

I felt a light touch and then it was gone. It was a bright and beautiful fall day. My jacket was open because it was getting warm.  My daughter and I were running errands and crossing the mall parking lot to the bank. There was a spring in my step.   Life was good and there was so much to be grateful for lately. The warmth and brightness of the sun made it even better. I saw the truck out of the corner of my eye as it rounded the corner where we were crossing the parking lot.  I hesitated and then stepped forward confident that he had seen me. It was a big, white, wide, 4×4 truck.  As my daughter and I continued across the road I was blinded by a white light in the shape of a large cross.  It was the cross that struck me in that moment. I heard my daughter’s concerned voice urgently say,  “Mom, did you feel that?  That truck touched your leg!” Then, I remembered the gentle touch, …

East Coweta football team gathering for prayer before a game. Credit: Fox News Youtube capture

Victory: Youth take ownership of their faith at East Coweta high school

It was an amazing story, and despite legal threats from an atheist group, students at East Coweta High School in Coweta County, Georgia have taken ownership of their faith in a big way. At the end of October, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to the Coweta school district that its high school football head coach, John Small, was leading a team prayer before games and demanded that this stop. FFRF argued that this violated the constitution of separation of church and state and they included an image of Small standing with his head bowed during a team prayer. In response, the Coweta school division sent a letter to all staff that they were no longer to take part in any prayer or worship while working in an “official capacity” with the school. It was expected that the team’s prayer sessions would come to an end. However, instead something incredible happened. The players took the initiative to pray before the game and instead of 100 players gathering to pray as …

Alberta Legislature Wikipedia/GPL

Alberta government starts a range war against Christians

The government of the Canadian province of Alberta has allegedly turned down an Edmonton couple for adoption because of their Christian faith. The unnamed couple who go by the initials C.D. and N.D are Evangelical Christians. The couple was even willing to adopt an older child who typically become stuck in the foster system with little hope of adoption. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is representing C.D. and N.D. in a court case against the Alberta government to have its decision overturned. The married couple, who are unable to conceive, applied for an adoption in October 2016 and were initially approved by the Catholic Social Services (CSS) a representative of the government’s Child and Family Services (CFS). Then in March 2017, the couple were told the government needed them to answer additional questions on how they would handle their potential child’s sexuality. In its news release, JCCF said the couple responded that they would treat any child “with unconditional love, respect and compassion regardless of what the child chose to do, and regardless …

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

British Survey: Majority believe only six of 10 commandments still important today

A YouGov poll of people living in England released this past October discovered the majority felt only six of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) are relevant today. Commandments such as ‘though shall not murder’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ still did well with both receiving 94% and 93% support respectively. Note the survey properly referred to the sixth commandment as forbidding murder, not killing that was sometimes justified in cases of self-defense. It is difficult to understand why there wasn’t 100% support for the two. However, it can possibly be explained by the growing extreme left-wing beliefs particularly on university campuses where some feel there is justification in certain instances for murder and stealing. Perhaps in a less extreme agreement with this later sentiment only 61% believed “thou shalt not covet” was relevant today.  This meant nearly 40% of those surveyed felt it was alright to covet a neighbor’s goods. At times, our hearts can justify theft because its unfair that some have wealth and others don’t. There were …

Stephen Willeford Credit: Steven Crowder Youtube show

Did the Holy Spirit fall upon a man to stop a mass murderer?

It may challenge the theology of some. But Stephen Willeford, 55, said the Holy Spirit came upon him to help stop Devin Kelley the man responsible for killing 28 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 In an interview with Steven Crowder the day after the shooting, Willeford, a Christian, explained what happened. After hearing shots being fired, Willeford who lives a block away, grabbed his AR-15 rifle and ran barefoot to find out what was going on. When he arrived Kelley was leaving the church and Willeford ducked behind a truck parked in a neighbor’s driveway and the two began exchanging fire. Willeford told Crowder: “I’m a Christian, and I believe at that point, and maybe this sounds a little off to some of your viewers that aren’t Christians, [but] I believe the Holy Spirit was on me because I had the presence of mind to look at what was going on.” During the shooting, Crowder noticed that Kelley was prepared for a fight and was …

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes. Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting. First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.” It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it. Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton …

Moscow's Red Square Credit: viktor/Flickr

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the birthing of the first Communist state

I remember as a university student walking the halls crowded with tables of various communist groups peddling their wares. We had the Leninists, Maoists, Marxists and Stalinists. Each with their table full of booklets, leaflets and books promoting their particular brand of the ‘glorious’ revolution. Of course, communism in its various forms was birthed in the heart of German Karl Marx (1818–1883) who along with Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto that became the staple for modern communism. November 7, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution that paved the way for the world’s first communist state. It was the first of many countries that would eventually fall to this evil philosophy. Ironically, the communist revolution that claimed to be the savior of the people resulted in the slaughter of over 100 million people world-wide. This was the estimate presented in book published by Harvard University Press, The Black Book of Communism. Published in 1997, its numbers are a bit outdated. The Black Book records there were 20 million killed during Stalin’s bloody …

Kim Clement (1956-2016): YouTube Capture

God’s prophetic voice needed today

As I read about the massacre of 26 people (ages five to 72) in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during their Sunday morning service, it struck me how we need God to speak and warn us. Sutherland Springs located 30 miles southeast of San Antonia is a small town of just 400 people. yet somehow evil found its way there. Twenty were also injured in the attack by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. A former member of the air force, a self-proclaimed atheist and loner, Kelley apparently killed himself after careening off the road in a chase after the shooting. Two days earlier — Friday, November 3, 2017 — a neighbor attacked Christian politician Senator Paul Rand as he returned home. Rand suffered five broken ribs and lung contusions. According to a report on the Daily Caller, another person who lives on the same block alleges the attacker is an “avowed socialist” who fought with other neighbors over politics. Despite this underlying issue, recent media reports suggest that conflicts over landscaping issues …

Dennis Prager speaking a CPAC 2016. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Conservative organization suing Google and YouTube for censorship

Popular Conservative columnist and radio-host Dennis Prager recently announced his nonprofit organization, Prager University (PragerU), is taking YouTube and its owners Google to court alleging that it has imposed a “political gag mechanism” on some of PragerU’s information and news videos. PragerU, that is being represented in part by Liberty Counsel, alleges YouTube is using a number of mechanism to restrict PragerU’s videos from being viewed. This includes a filtering mode intended to restrict access to certain videos that YouTube believes could potentially harm and offend younger and sensitive viewers. It has also demonetized some videos not allowing his PragerU to earn ad revenues. The organization first noticed the problem in July 2016. The lawsuit alleges that the restricted mode has been put on videos talking about such themes as North Korea, Israel and Supreme Court decisions.  In some instances, YouTube has restricted access to PragerU videos because they use such words as “genocide,” “hate” and “terrorism.” Liberty Counsel said in its news release: “While PragerU videos have been censored, the same subject matters posted …

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus. The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader. However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews. Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah. Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America. Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report: “These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not …

Painting of Nero's torches also referred to as Christian candlesticks by Henruk Siemiradzki (1843-1902) /Wikipedia

The fiery trials of North Korea described as a ‘life of hell’

In an interview with Fox News, Choi Kwanghyuk said he had never heard of underground churches until he managed to flee North Korea and its brutal dictator Kim Jung-un. After his escape, Choi was granted asylum in the US in 2013 and now lives in Los Angeles. While in North Korea, Choi was a member of  the country’s underground church. Though on paper, North Korea says religion is legal in the country, in reality the only god they are allowed to worship is its president Kim Jung-un. Choi who lived in North Korea’s cold North Hamgyon province told Fox News there were nine members in their church and they were very reluctant to share their faith for fear of being found out because it would result in imprisonment and probably death. Choi added that they had one Bible that they shared between them and they often held church services in a hole that they had dug in the ground as a storage place for kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage that is considered a national food in …

Considered to be the location of the Garden Gethsemane located at the foot of Mount Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus sweated blood Credit: tango7174/Wikipedia

Italian woman sweats blood confirming Luke 22:44

The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published an article on the case of a 21-year-old Italian woman who has been bleeding blood from her face and hands. Italian doctors reported that over the past three years the woman has gone through episodes were she spontaneously bled blood without any breakage in the skin. According to their report the episodes would last up to five minutes. Though they occurred at any time from sleep to periods of exercise, doctors noted the bleeding intensified when she was under emotional stress. Embarrassed by her condition, the young woman was becoming a loner refusing to leave her home. After ruling out chromhidrosis, a condition that causes discolored sweat, doctors diagnosed the young woman with a rare condition called hematohidrosis – ‘blood sweat’, when people actually sweat blood. Some believe it’s caused by rupturing capillaries near the sweat glands. This can happen during times of extreme fear or stress. An Indian health journal reported ‘blood sweat’ in cases of people about to be executed and even cited an incident that …

Painting by Peter Fendi (1796-1842) Credit: Web Gallery of Art: Wikipedia

Healing the brokenhearted

According to an article in the Daily Mail, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that three traumatic events have the potential to cause heart disease in postmenopausal women. The group led by Dr. Rebecca Thurston presented their findings to the 2017 North American Menopause Society annual meeting held in Philadelphia Oct 11-14. In their study, Thurston and her group were trying to determine if psychological factors had an impact on a woman’s heart. They conducted an indepth survey with 272 women asking the typical questions such as their exercise, smoking and eating habits. But they then went further and asked the women how many traumatic events they had in their lives. This included a wide-range of things such as the the death of a child or spouse, physical assault and experiencing some type of natural disaster. Based on this survey, they concluded that if women experienced just three traumatic events it had the potential to cause heart disease. It showed that these events negatively affected the inner lining of a woman’s blood vessels …

Salvation Mountain, Colorado Credit: slworking2/Flickr/Creative Commons

How are we to respond?

In mid-October, a small Presbyterian church in Mayesville, South Carolina was vandalized with Satanic graffiti that included crosses drawn upside down, pentagrams and  the word “Satan.” There were over 20 pieces of graffiti spray painted on Salem Black River Presbyterian Church and two of its other buildings. One door was also broken open but nothing was stolen from the church. It was simple act of malicious vandalism. But the church had security cameras and caught video of four people vandalizing the church with the satanic imagery. After police distributed images captured from the video, people began to call in names of the suspects.  The Sumter County Sheriff’s department discovered that all four allegedly involved in the vandalism were from the nearby Shaw Air Force Base. The sheriff’s office have charged four people, Kayla Eilerman, Daveion Green, Clayre Savage and Brandon Munoz, with vandalism, trespass and conspiracy. Meanwhile in Canada, this past August, Trinity Baptist Church located in Burlington, Ontario was set on fire. The fire destroyed the old part of its building, but the fire …

Photo from South Dakota 1936 during the drought that hit North America during the 1930s. Credit: United Stated Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia

A different kind of famine?

With the Canadian government planning to legalize recreational marijuana effective July 1, 2018, Bill C-45 that is working its way through parliament includes a provision that could have disturbing ramifications for young people. Though the bill sets a minimum age of 18 for a person to legally buy marijuana, the curious provision allows young people between the ages of 12 to 18, to possess under five grams of marijuana without being criminally charged. This is the equivalent of a 12-year-old walking the streets with shot of whiskey in his or her pocket without any consequences. The biggest problem is the message the government is sending young teens through such a provision. It leaves the impression that marijuana is a safe drug, which is the mantra activists use to push governments to legalize Cannabis in the first place. There have been many voices responding to the Canadian government’s decision to legalize including the prestigious Canadian Medical Association Journal that condemned the decision in a recent editorial. As governments around the world legalize recreational marijuana, concerned medical researchers are releasing a staggering …

Philadelphia Eagles football stadium, 2013 Credit: Matt Hecht/Flickr/Public Domain

Is water baptism intended to break down the racial divide?

Marcus Johnson, 23, was an undrafted free agent when he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016. He was injured early in his professional tryout and missed most of the training camp. He was waived, but then added to the Eagle’s 2016 practice roster. Johnson played for the Texas Longhorns in college. His stats were not outstanding. But this year, he impressed enough to make the Eagles’s 53-man roster. Just before the Eagles’s game against the Carolina Panthers on October 12, 2017, a game the Eagles won 38-23, Johnson sent out a photo and a tweet of him being baptized at the hotel pool where the team was staying. Johnson’s caption for the photo read: “First time being Baptized! Corporate Worship is a beautiful thing!! Cleansed and Reborn in Jesus name!! #Wholeheartedly.” CBS reported on Johnson’s water baptism and commented on the photo that showed several players gathered around the pool holding hands as the wide receiver was baptized. The teammates with their heads bowed seemed to be praying. This gathering included black and whites. CBS identified …

Forgiving others is like an onion with many layers. Credit: Marco Verch/Wikipedial

Abortion survivor tells her story of forgiving her mother, father and even her grandmother

On August 24, 1977, Melissa Ohden’s mother, 19, went to Saint Luke’s hospital in Sioux City, Iowa for the first step in her saline abortion that takes five days to complete. She was eight months pregnant and on August 29, 1977 she delivered her child. Her mother, who worked as an educational nurse at the hospital and was in the room as the abortion took place, had coerced her daughter into having the abortion. But unknown to her mother, Melissa was born alive and the staff left her to die in a pile of medical waste. But a while later when another nurse entered the room she heard a faint whimpering and rustling and discovered Melissa still alive. The nurse rushed Melissa to emergency and after a three-month stint in the hospital she was adopted by a Catholic family, Ron and Linda Ohden, who lived in Sioux Falls. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Melissa, 40, shared her incredible story of forgiveness as she spent 17 years trying to track down her parents. Initially …

God is moving in Iran. Tehran, Iran in the winter 2006 Credit: Siamax/Wikipedia

God continues to move in astounding ways among Muslims

In an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Mike Ansari the director of Mohabat TV said the growth of the underground church in Iran is defying all odds. Over the last several years, the Iranian government has been cracking down on the Christians forcing many underground into the house church movement. Despite the persecution and some say because of it the Iranian underground church has become one of the fastest growing Christian movements in the world. As evidence, the Mohabat released edited photos of 20 Iranians being secretly water baptized inside Iran. Ansari told CBN, some of those believers had been waiting years for the opportunity to be baptized. Mohabat TV started in 2006 and is broadcasting the Gospel in the Farsi language into Iran 24 hours a day. They estimate that last year 20% of Iranians (16 million people) viewed at least one of their gospel programs either on their cell phone or satellite TV. He added that many of the younger Iranians are becoming increasingly disillusioned about what is happening in their country. …

Feast of Saint Nicholas being celebrated in Firbourg, Switzerland on December 6, 2009 Credit: Chlempi/Wikipedia

Have archaeologists found the grave of Santa Claus?

A recent statement by Turkish archaeologists may throw a damper on this year’s Christmas celebration. They are claiming to have found the last remains of Santa Claus. While working on an old church in Demre located in Southern Turkey, an electronic survey revealed an opening in the ground beneath the church that probably holds the remains of Saint Nicholas. He is a fourth century bishop on which our modern Santa Claus is based. An initial look beneath the church floor revealed an undamaged shrine. Saint Nicholas was the Bishop of Mrya. The name of the city was later changed to Demre. According to tradition, he would secretly give gifts to children often by putting money in their shoes. Bishop Nicholas was imprisoned and tortured during the reign of Diocletian but lived long enough to see the Christian emperor Constantine come to power and was then released. When Saint Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD (December 19 on the Julian calendar) he was buried at his church. Demre even has a museum dedicated to this saint. …

Credit: Lucy Lang/Flickr/Creative Commons

Neither do I condemn you

In an article for Foxnews, Angel Hatfield shared a powerful story on forgiveness. Hatfield, who serves as executive producer for a movie “Because of Gracia” grew up in a Christian home. In fact, her father pastored a church. As she left her teen years, Hatfield became rebellious: “I skated in sin believing the big lie that there was more pleasure to be found in this world than in God.” Hatfield became pregnant and after hiding her pregnancy for five months, she finally decided to come clean with her father on what had happened. She was expecting her father to react and judge her for what she had done. Instead, he hung his head and when he finally spoke, her dad expressed his disappointment for what had happened but then he added: “And you have made poor choices which now have consequences. It won’t be easy — and there will be struggles and a hard path ahead of you. But I love you — and now I figure I have been given more to love.” Then …

Brooke Simpson Blind audition Credit: Youtube Caputer/The Voice

Church youth leader wows ‘The Voice’

It was a four-chair turn for church youth leader Brooke Simpson on ‘The Voice’ as she sang a song by Demi Lovato called Stone Cold. Entering is sixteenth season, the winner of ‘The Voice’ receive $100,000 and a recording deal. Simpson is a graduate of Lee University, a Church of God University based in Cleveland Indiana. She works for Potential church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In a YouTube video uploaded earlier this year, Brooke said that she and her husband Ray started a program called ‘Youth in Revolt’ encouraging youth to live as rebels for God in a society that is increasing becoming anti-Christian. Before she was done all four coaches were standing applauding her performance. Pop Singer Miley Cyrus said “You know you’re good because I am a little speechless and that never happens.” Adam Levine called her “one in a million.” I find it more than a coincidence that Simpson is following in the footsteps of another Lee graduate Jordan Smith who won ‘The Voice’ in 2016. All four judges turned their chairs …

Credit: timoni west/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce

An article in the National Post came to the stunning conclusion that one of the big reasons for child poverty in Canada is not capitalism run amuck or the one percent hording all the money, the real reason is divorce. In his article Surprise! Child poverty in Canada comes from divorce, not capitalism, William Watson dived into the finances of Canadian families provided by Statistics Canada, a government-run organization. According to the Statistics Canada, there are 1.2 million kids living in poverty. They define poverty as children living in families that earn less than half of Canada’s median income which for a mixed-sex couple is $87,688. Statistics Canada showed in 2015, the number of children under the age of five living in poverty was 17.8%.  For children between the ages of six to 15, 17% were living in poverty. But as you delve further into the statistics another disturbing trend begins to emerge. Single families are by far the biggest group where children live in poverty. Of course, not all single parent families are the …

(Left to Right) Chris Pratt Credit: Mingle Media TV/Wikipedia; Justin Bieber Credit: Lou Stejskal/Wikipedia; Kourteny Kardashian credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

What do Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber and Kourteny Kardashian have in common?

For many they are household names. All three have fame and money in movies, singing and TV respectively. Chris Pratt, 38, is a movie star with leading roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and one of my favorites Jurassic World that earned $1.6 billion world wide. He is also starring in the soon to be released Avengers: Infinity War Canadian born Justin Bieber, 23, is one of the most popular pop singers in the world. He has 102 million followers on Twitter, nearly 92 million followers on Instagram. and his Facebook page has close to 79 million likes. TV reality star Kourteny Kardashian, 38, stars in Keeping Up with the Kardashians — one of the longest running reality shows in the US. She and her sisters have also started successful clothing and perfume lines. And though fame is certainly one common denominator, according to the Daily Mail, they have one more thing in common, all three were recently seen attending the same church service at Hillsong in Los Angeles. Originating in Australia, Hillsong is renown …

Asteroid collision artist's representation Credit: NASA/Wikipedia

Oh no, not again — prediction made world will end September 23

Up to this week, I had never heard of Jason Meade. But over the last couple weeks he has certainly gotten his 15 minutes of fame when under the banner of a Christian numerologist he claimed that the countdown for the world’s end will start tomorrow — September 23, 2017. Several secular media outlets have picked up the story including Foxnews and the Washington Post. Unfortunately, when Meade’s prediction doesn’t come true tomorrow, it will be another stab in the back for Christians. I know Meade is wrong, because the Bible says he is wrong. Jesus speaking to his disciples about the end-times said: 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36 NASV) The Lord says very clearly that we will not know the day when Jesus will return. What does this mean? Well I could guess the day. I could pick a date out of a hat and predict Christ will return on say February 18, 2034 and …

Groom, Texas Credit: maciek/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: Persecution of American Christians up 133% between 2001 and 2016

A report recently released by First Liberty Institute (FLI) entitled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” outlines the growing number of attacks on religious liberty in America. Founded in 1972, First Liberty Institute fights for religious liberty in the US through advocacy and litigation by providing pro-bono legal defense to those being persecuted or discriminated against for their faith. According to the organization’s report, the number attacks on Christians jumped by 15% between 2015 and 2016. Since FLI started tracking attacks on religious liberty in 2001, the number has increased by 133% over the following five years. In 2011, FLI reported 600 attacks on religious liberty and by 2016 the number had reached 1,400. FLI’s CEO Kelly Shackelford noted that the cases they cited are just the ones that were published. She described them as just the “tip of the iceberg” as many cases of faith persecution and discrimination are simply not reported. This is not even referring to the number of attacks on Christians that now routinely take place in the …

Li River, China Credit: Charlie fong/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

China forbids children from attending church

According to reports coming out of China, several provinces have stepped up their persecution of the Church by prohibiting children from attending religious services. Recently, over 100 churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang received notice that minors can no longer attend any type of religious activity including church and summer camps. In some jurisdictions, parents were required to sign papers saying their children will not be attending religious services. Officials threatened parents with legal action if they disobeyed. This is not the first time Zhejiang officials had taken a hard-line against Christians. In late 2015, officials ordered the removal of all crosses on government-run churches. When Christians protested, some were arrested and several churches destroyed. Related: Chinese Officials Tear Down More Christian Crosses, Beat Protesters: Breitbart It is uncertain how widespread this recent edict is, but Amnesty International reported receiving news on this prohibition from around the country. In Hunan province, politicians stated they will be investigating both government-run churches (both Catholic and protestant) and the underground churches to make sure they are not …

Credit: Dennis Yip/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is the big deal with Fentanyl?

I did not know this, but I am living in the center of a world crisis of biblical proportions. People around me are dying, and the numbers of deaths are large, in the thousands, and growing rapidly. Governments don’t seem to have an answer, and the crisis is spreading. Have you heard of Fentanyl? It’s a prescription drug that you can buy cheaply and legally, in most places, and it’s an opioid like heroin and morphine. Drug dealers love this stuff. They add it to more expensive and illegal drugs to provoke more addiction in their customers. It grows their business and saves them money, and I live in western Canada, one of the most blighted regions. Who knew? Fentanyl was developed in a lab in 1959, as a legitimate pharmaceutical. Carfentanil was developed soon after and used by veterinarians; as a sedative for elephants. Related: Carfentanil: Wikipedia The potency of morphine is the control measure, and Fentanyl is fifty times more potent; and Carfentanil is 10,000 times more. That number is not a typo. …