All posts filed under: News

California fire in August 2018 Credit: Forest Service. USDA/Public Domain

Church becomes a refuge in California’s devastating fire

The Baptist Press reports a remarkable story in midst of the catastrophic fires sweeping California. The fire, that started November 6, 2018, has resulted in the deaths of 42 people and the destruction of 7,000 buildings as of November 13. This makes it the deadliest fires in California’s history. The story involves the preservation of a church in the town of Magalia, a small town of 12,000 people, in Northern California, that became a refuge for 30 people. On November 9, with the fire sweeping down on the town, Doug Crowder, who pastors Magalia Pines Baptist Church, was with 30 residents of the community, including 4 members of the Church planning to evacuate the town. Though most of the town residents had already left, Crowder stayed behind to help those who were unable to flee on their own, including the homeless, elderly and disabled. As they were loading into their vehicles, the forest surrounding the town dramatically burst into flames. A small restaurant across the street also exploded and suddenly they were surrounded by fire. …

Credit: Marc D. Thomas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beware of wolves wearing ‘I Love Jesus’ hats?

This story out of Chesterfield, Virginia, may serve as a warning for Churches across North America. Times are changing and Christians need to take note. Late in the evening on election day, November 6, 2018, a man wearing a black hat with the words “I (heart image) Jesus” imprinted on it broke into Ironbridge Baptist Church. The church had earlier served as a polling station, but the building was now closed. Apparently one of the doors had not locked properly or perhaps was left ajar. A man, between 20 and 30 years old, entered the church found Bibles and began ripping pages out of them. He then shattered a nearby window and spray painted a wall. The church estimates damage was minimal at around $500. The intruder was caught on surveillance cameras and according to the Ironbridge’s executive pastor, Dennis Green, there is indication the “I Love Jesus” man knew his way around the building. Though this happened at night when no one is around, why was he so familiar with the church? Now we …

Stretcher bearers at the Battle of Passchendaele, August, 1917, World War I Credit: Wikipedia

Major English cinema bans short film of Bible comforting World War I soldiers because it’s “too religious”

On the 100th anniversary marking the end of World War I, a short video produced by the UK Bible society that talked about the importance of Bibles to British soldiers fighting in that war was banned by a Empire Cinema as being too religious. The UK Bible Society produced the clip as part of this year’s Remembrance Day services where nearly 19 million people died. The film showed that during World War I, the British military included a Bible in the kit of every UK soldier. For many soldiers fighting in that horrific war, these Bibles were an important source of hope. During the three-minute video several people recited a passage in the Book of Revelation that spoke of a new earth, where all tears will be wiped away: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride …

US Capitol Building, Washington, DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

A time to pray, a time to vote: A message from an “almost” American

It is election day in the USA and I would urge all the American Christians who visit this website to get out and vote. Even though I am a Canadian and can’t vote in the US, I consider these elections important. Now to be fair, I am almost an American. When my maternal grandfather died over three decades ago at the age of 100, my parents made an unusual discovery as they were completing the necessary paper work. They found out that grandpa Walter was not a Canadian citizen. He immigrated to Canada from the US in the early 1900s and never bothered to complete the paperwork of citizenship. He was effectively still an American. And because he was an American, who had been born in the US, my Canadian mother could automatically become an American citizen, which she did becoming a dual citizen. Though she was an American, because she was not born in the US, her children did not have the same privilege. If we wanted to become Americans we would have to …

Pakistan Credit: Gordon Dickson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pakistan Supreme Court releases Asia Bibi charged with blasphemy

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has just released Asia Bibi. A Christian, she has been in jail since 2009 charged with blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad. The packed court room in Islamabad was surrounded by 300 police when the verdict came down on October 31, 2018. In Pakistan, the blasphemy law comes with a death penalty. Bibi was actually sentenced to death in 2010, but has been appealing the verdict. This was the last stage. If she had lost this case, the government would have executed her. Officially called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 213 million of which 96.4% are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. As soon as court released her, Bibi and her family were taken to an unknown location for fear of retaliation by extremists in the country. During the court case, two high-ranking government officials, including Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, were assassinated because they supported Bibe and even called for changes to the country’s blasphemy laws. After the Supreme Court announcement, protests erupted across Pakistan …

The notorious Evin Prison north of Tehran, Iran Credit: Yaadaavar/Flickr/Creative Commons

God displays His power in Iranian prison as Bible verses show up in an unusual way

Recently Open Doors USA interviewed Mojtaba Hosseini, 30, a former pastor of an Iranian house church, who was arrested by the Iranian secret police as a “threat against national security.” He had been previously arrested for leading a House Church and after his release immediately started leading a second group. This resulted in a second arrest and a three-year term in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison located outside Tehran reserved for political prisoners, murderers and drug dealers. After his release in 2015, Mojtaba left Iran and recently shared how God miraculously provided while he was in prison. He suffered in horrid conditions and admitted he was very scared. Initially he believed God was punishing him and spent hours repenting of his sins. That continued until God spoke to Mojtaba and told him to stop being so selfish and to look at the people around him. For the first time he saw the desperate people inside this prison and realized that God wanted him to share his faith with them. “It’s funny how God works sometimes. It …

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Report: 40% of children born outside of marriage in the US

According to a report recently released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 4o% of child births in America are outside of marriage. Though this involves a significant number of single parents, according to this study the largest percentage involved couples who have chosen to live together versus getting married. However, data released by Pew Research in 2017, stated that the majority of unwed births (53%) involved single parents and the remaining 47% involved those living in a common law relationship. Though it reported that single parents were the majority, it also revealed the increasing trend of people choosing to live common law and having children because in 1968, 90% of unwed births were in single-parent families and only 10% involved couples living together. This falls in line with the growing number of people choosing to live together, which according to the US Census has increased from 14 million in 2007 to 18 million in 2016, with nearly half involving people under the age of 35. The number of people living common law has increased …

The White House Credit: Adam Fagen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the White House haunted?

In an interview on The Today Show in mid October, Jenna Bush Hager, 36, the daughter of former US President George W Bush, claims that the American White House may be haunted. Jenna spoke of the time when she and her twin sister were awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call and suddenly started hearing “1920s piano music, as clear as day, coming out of the fireplace.” Frightened she jumped into bed with her sister who also heard the music. The next week they heard opera music. Jenna’s sister Barbara confirmed the story was true in a 2017 interview with People and E! News stating that the incident was “the wildest thing that ever happened to us living in the White House.” Barbara added that the two thought of running to their parent’s room but talked themselves out of it. If it is not their imagination, could this be signs of demonic activity in the White House? One of the stranger stories in the Old Testament involved a spiritual battle to …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …

Priscilla Shirer: YouTube capture

Don’t be out of step with the Gospel in terms of race

I was recently struck by the words of Priscilla Shirer, 44. She is a black woman, a motivational speaker, TV host, author, preacher and founder of Going Beyond Ministries. Priscilla recently had her first acting role in the Christian movie War Room playing Elizabeth, the wife of Tony Jordan. Chuck Bernal, the pastor of Lifepoint Church, recently shared a video on Facebook of some profound statements Priscilla made about race, politics and the Christian faith. On the video that has been viewed nearly 7.5 million times, Priscilla said: “I do not describe myself as a black woman because that gives too much power to my blackness. “I don’t want my race to be the describing adjective of who I am as a woman. I am not a black woman. I am a Christian woman who happens to be black. “It’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are. If there’s gonna be an adjective describing me it’s not gonna be my race, it’s going to be I’m a woman who …

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Over 1.4k have committed to attend a Witchcraft event to hex Brett Kavanaugh and others

According to an event posted on Facebook, nearly 1,400 people have committed to attend a rally in New York City to put a hex on the recent Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. What is perhaps equally disturbing another 13,000 have stated they are interested in the event being sponsored by an occult book store in New York city. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018 in Brooklyn. According to Fox News media personality Tucker Carlson,  the event “will include an optional $10 donation” with part of the proceeds going to “Planned Parenthood, to ‘fund their own human sacrifice rituals.’” Though the event will focus on Brett Kavanaugh, he won’t be the only target as it will also focus on rapists and the patriarchy. But equally concerning is the motivation behind the hexes, the Facebook event page goes on to say that the people attending should bring their rage: “He will be the focal point, but by no means the only target, so bring your rage and and all of the axes you’ve got …

Red Square, Moscow Credit: Matt Shalvatis/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to be a Persecuted Christian

Are you a Christian? If ‘yes’ do you know that you will be persecuted? The Bible is very clear about that “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). “Will be.” I recently followed the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. And yes, it is dangerous for me to say that, but note that I live in Canada and I don’t want to pick sides in someone else’s argument. What I noticed was that accusers and the accused were like soldiers on the front line, and they could be sacrificed for the benefit of greater powers. I am sure the dispute was more intense because the U.S. was a few weeks away from mid-term elections, at the time. So much was at stake. I could say more, but I am now in dangerous territory. This is safe for me; I have often traveled to the U.S. and I am always impressed by the large numbers of good people that I meet …

Credit: Ashers Baking Co/Ashersbakingco.com

Supreme court rules in favor of freedom of speech and conscience in England

The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court issued a ruling of sanity in favor of an Evangelical couple, Daniel and Amy McArthur, who manage a family owned bakery, Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland. In 2014, Northern Ireland was embroiled in a campaign to legalize gay marriage and a gay activist approached the bakery’s Netwonabbey location to have it create a cake supporting the gay marriage campaign. The activist wanted a photo of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie along with the words “Support Gay Marriage” written on the top of the cake. Though an employee in initially took the order, the McArthurs later turned it down stating that they would not be able to make the cake because of their Christian beliefs. The activists took the case to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland that ruled against the company and ordered them to produce the cake within seven days. The owners refused and have been embroiled in a series of court cases ever since, that finally ended up in the Supreme Court. The Christian Institute of England …

Palu Bay in Indonesia Credit: sulteng 022/Flickr/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

The Holy Spirit still speaks today: Christian Indonesian pilot heeded warning

With Christmas only three months away, it’s important to know that 2,000 years later God is still doing the same thing. In the Christmas story we read of three wise men who journeyed to Israel looking for a new king. They showed up at the palace of King Herod to make their inquiries, a logical place to go if you are looking for a king. Herod, a narcissist and megalomaniac, knew nothing about this new king and was immediately concerned. He asked the wise men to come back to the palace after they found the new king. However, after finding Christ, the wise men received a dream warning them not to go back to Herod and they returned to their home country by a different route (Matthew 2:12). God warned them. They listened. At the end of September, the Holy Spirit warned a Christian pilot with Batik Air, an airline flying out of Indonesia, about similar danger. With a population of 261 million people, 10% of the population is Christian and 89% Muslim. On September …

Avril Lavigne in Brasilia, Brazil in May, 2014 Credit: Breno Galtier/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Canadian punk rocker Avril Lavigne surprises with a worship song?

Canadian rock star Avril Lavigne, 34, has surprised everyone with the recent release of a song that some describe as a worship song. Called Head Above Water, this was her first song after taking a five-year break from public life due to her battle with Lyme disease, an infectious debilitating disease commonly spread by ticks. In 2015, she released information that she had been battling Lyme disease since 2014. The disease kept her bed ridden for months. On her website, Avril described how her struggle with the disease led to her most recent hit: “One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me,” she said. “I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.” …

Photo of Aldi Adilang's boat at moment of rescue near the Island of Guam. Released by the Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka/AP

Some things are more significant than we realize: Indonesian teenager rescued after spending 49 days lost at sea

An interesting story coming out of Indonesia, may have more significance than we realize. With a population of over 260 million people, Indonesia is made up of several islands located north of Australia. The sea and fishing are a major part of life. Muslims make up 87% of its population and about 10% are Christians.  Because of their dominance, in parts of Indonesia, Muslims extremists are actively persecuting Christians. And recently the world was caught up in a story about an Indonesian teenager, Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, who miraculously survived 49 days at sea stuck in a fishing trap. The raft like boat has a hut on it and is moored in the ocean for fishing. It also has a large light that is turned on at night to attract fish. Adilang had worked in such a fishing trap since he was 16. The owner of takes food, water and gas for the generator out to his 50 fishing traps once a week. However because of high winds, Adilang’s raft broke its mooring and started …

Regular church attendance has positive impact on children in their 20s. Photo: Evergreen Church, Evergreen, Colorado, USA Credit: Kent Kanouse/Flickr/Creative Commons

Harvard Study: Church attendance as a child has positive influence on a person in their 20s

According to a study at Harvard University, children who attended church at least once a week while they were growing up reported having better lives in their 20s than those who didn’t. The study conducted by researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health sampled data provided in the Growing Up Today Study that was part of the Nurses’ Health Study II. This study followed children in their early teens for upwards of 14 years. The sampling sizes were not insignificant and ranged in size between 5,700 and 7,500 people. The researchers were trying to find out if “religious involvement” as a child that included church attendance, prayer and meditation had any impact on a person’s physical, emotional and mental well-being later in life. The results published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed the positive influences that faith has on children, years later. Compared to those who didn’t, the study found that children who attended church at least once a week reported in their 20s as being: 18% happier; 30% more likely to …

Lund University, Sweden Credit: Nick Thompson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Swedish neuroscience professor under fire for saying there are biological differences between men and women

Sweden’s renowned neuroscience professor Dr. Germund Hesslow was teaching a class in a course called “Heritage and Environment” at Lund University when a student asked a question about sex, unrelated to the class topic. Hesslow came under attack after he answered the question by stating research shows that there are differences between the female and male sex that are “biologically founded.” In other words, some of the differences between men and women are due to biology and not because of societal expectations and pressures. University of Toronto Psychology professor Jordan Peterson has come under similar criticism for stating that the difference in the pay gap between men and women is not because of discrimination, though that is a small part of it, but due largely to biology and the different interests of men and women. He even cites statistics from Scandinavian countries that show women are clearly more interested in fields related to people such as medicine and teaching, while men focus more on the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Since the STEM …

Television in abandoned home in Detroit, Michigan Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Emmy host insults Christians

Hollywood is so out of touch with real life that they can’t even figure out how to build a successful business. But maybe it is just me who is out of touch, but I have never thought it was a successful business model to insult your customers. Take this year’s Emmy Awards, the Oscars for TV equivalent. One of the co-hosts, Michael Che, took the opportunity to seemingly slag Christians and Republicans. According to reports, Che is also a co-host of Saturday Night Live. During one of his Emmy rants, Che said: “My mother is not watching. She said she doesn’t watch white award shows because you guys don’t thank Jesus enough. That’s true. The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.” The only good thing about this lame excuse for a joke is that there was only a smattering of laughter and applause. Che set this joke up by commenting on the free fall in viewership for the Emmy Awards. There are a number of methods to measure viewership of a …

Beijing, China Credit: Oneris Daniel Rico Garcia/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is China’s ‘social credit’ system setting the stage for the antichrist?

Some experts are warning that other left-leaning governments may soon be tempted to carry out the Chinese government’s “Social Credit” system that came into full effect on May 1, 2018. The plan introduced by Chinese President Jinping will monitor and control those who don’t agree with China’s communistic policies. People will be issued a score based on their political, social and economic activities and this score will affect their ability to do things in China. Some suspect it is simply expanding a “Social Credit” system already developed by a major government-owned online Chinese retailer Alibaba. Alibaba’s financial division, Ant Financial, developed a social credit system called Sesame Credit. While many western businesses have a point system rewarding people based on how much they buy, Sesame Credit includes a strong social aspect in its system where people receive a rating between 350 and 950. The higher the score the better. The benefits of a high Sesame score include having government visa’s fast tracked, renting vehicles without a deposit. People with high Sesame ratings will even receive …

Field of sunflowers, Lower Saxony, Germany Credit: Christian Kortum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study reveals the heart health benefits of optimism

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that having a positive outlook on life results in a person having a reduced risk of heart disease. In their study, the research group led by Darwin R. Labarthe, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, looked at the results of several studies on the impact of a person’s psychological well-being on heart health. They revealed that an optimistic view of life not only positively impacted a person’s heart health, but that optimistic outlook also led to lifestyle choices that physically benefited heart health. This included: A 2017 study that found women who were in the top 25% for highest optimistic ranking had a 38% reduced risk of dying due to heart disease. Several recent studies discovered that people who had a purpose in their life had a reduced risk of stroke. Studies also revealed that people who had the most optimistic outlook on life where less likely to be smokers a year later. Optimistic people were also more likely …

Dallas skyline Credit: jayRaz/Flickr/Creative Commons

A call to be peacemakers

On Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, Botham Shem Jean, 26, was in his Dallas apartment when Amber Guyger, a police officer just finishing her shift, allegedly walked into what she mistakenly thought was her apartment. She saw Botham and convinced he was an intruder, Guyger pulled her gun and killed him. Botham was a believer. Originally from St Lucia, he attended Harding University, a small Christian college in Arkansas, where he sang with the Good News Singers. After graduating with an accounting degree, Botham went to work for  PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas. He faithfully attended church and served as a youth pastor at Dallas West Church of Christ where he also led worship with what people described as a wonderful baritone voice. But here is the kicker. Botham was also black and because it took police three days to charge Guyger with manslaughter, some have accused the police of protecting her. This past Sunday (Sept. 9, 2018), the church mourned the passing of a favored son. Sammie Berry who serves as pastor of the church Botham attended …

Matagalpa, Nicaragua Credit: Jono Hey/Flickr/Creative Commons

Antichrist Marxism rearing its head in Nicaragua?

Things have taken a dark turn for Christians in Nicaragua being ruled by its Marxist president and former guerilla Daniel Ortega. Though a democracy, Ortega has recently declared Christians “enemies of the state.” With a population of six million people, Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. About half the population is Catholic and another third consider themselves evangelical. There have been growing public protests against Ortega’s regime because of its rampant corruption, growing totalitarianism and gross mismanagement of the economy. The anti-government protestors are calling for Ortega to step down and call an early election. Ortega has taken to violence to oppose the protests and even set up a secret police force who wear masks or hoods to attack those opposing the regime.. Because of the growing crack down on the anti-government protests, the UN sent a commission to Nicaragua to monitor the situation. After the UN issued a report condemning Ortega for his violence, the president ordered the UN out of the country on September 1. Since April this year, about 300 …

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil at night Credit: Rafael Defavari/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Spiritual warfare: Attempted assassination of Christian presidential candidate in Brazil

[UPDATED] According to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, there was an assassination attempt on a Conservative politician in Brazil. Senator Jair Bolsonaro is campaigning to become the next president of Brazil in an election scheduled for October. With 22% of the support, Bolsonaro is the front-runner. Bolsonaro has taken a very pro family and pro Christian position during the campaign and has openly solicited Christian support. He is also taken a strong stand against the corruption that has rocked the previous Brazilian administration and as well vehemently opposed the violent elements in the communist and left-wing movement in Brazil. Some have referred to Bolsonaro as the Trump of South America because of his strait talk on issues facing Braizil While being carried along by a large crowd during a campaign stop in Mina Gerais earlier this week, a person in the crowd attacked Bolsonaro with a knife. He was quickly carried off by his security detail and police arrested the attacker. Fortunately, Bolsonaro was wearing a bullet proof vest and the knife cut was superficial …

Church in Montbovon, Switzerland Credit: keepps/Flickr/Creative Commons

Stopping the ‘social justice’ creep into the church

A number of evangelicals have recently organized to oppose the growing intrusion of “social justice” into evangelical churches. The group has issued a Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel where they are expressing their concerns about this philosophy that is becoming increasing popular in the secular world and is now making its way into the Christian one. In their statement, they say: “We are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality,” declares the statement.” At this point, over 4,500 Christian leaders have signed the petition. I remember a couple of years back during testimony time at the church we were attending, a woman came to the front and expressed how the church needs to become concerned about “social justice” and the unfairness in the world. It seemed so spiritual, but is it? The problem is that this social justice push is trying to reinterpret the Bible. The Bible speaks often of justice, but now where does …

Abu Dhabi Credit: Stephane PERES/Flickr/Creative Commons

That Expensive Jesus in Abu Dhabi

Hey, would you like to see Jesus, the savior of the world? It’s gonna cost you. When viewing becomes possible, you will have to travel to the heart of the Middle East, and buy a ticket, if you can get one, and line up. Here’s the story. Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with painting the most expensive work of art in the world, although possibly some of his students contributed. The painting is a picture of Jesus and it’s named “Salvator Mundi” or “Savior of the World.” This painting recently went up for auction in New York and there was a fierce bidding war for it. The final price was $450 million US. The first reports were that a wealthy prince in Saudi Arabia named Mohammed won the bid; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That was corrected by records that showed the bidder was actually Saudi Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, a relative of the first prince. So, some wealthy Saudi princes just paid too much for a picture of Jesus, Savior of …

San Antonio, Texas Credit: Brandon Watts/Flickr/Creative Commons

Religious Wars in Texas

Recently, a man took his stepdaughter to a Christian school in San Antonio Texas, to register her as a student. The interview went well until someone asked if the girl was a Christian. The answer was “no” because the whole family was Muslim. I think they are from Lebanon. The school administrator rejected the girl’s application because the private school was only for Christians, or at least one parent had to be a professing Christian. The stepfather was outraged and made a video about the experience, which went viral. This has produced much debate, and someone has pointed out that the local Jewish school only accepts Jewish students. As long as the school is funded with private money, they can reject anyone who does not believe what they believe. RELATED: Muslim family upset after daughter rejected from Texas Christian School I understand the debate and I’m not surprised. I hope the community can find a solution because they will still live together in the same space, after this argument is forgotten. There is one thing …

The main mound of the ancient city of Nineveh on the Plains of Nineveh Credit: fredarch/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

The power of forgiveness

When the Islamic extremist group ISIS invaded the Nineveh Plains in North Eastern Iraq over four years ago, the 140,000 Assyrian Christians living there were given three choices convert to Islam, die or flee. The Nineveh Plains are home to the ancient ruins of Nineveh, the city that the prophet Jonah called to repentance. Christians have inhabited this area for 2,000 years and many speak modern Aramaic, a version of the language that many believe Jesus spoke. Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians fled into neighboring countries where they lived for years as ISIS ravaged their homeland. The Islamic extremists were determined to wipe out any evidence of the Christian faith on the Nineveh plain. ISIS leveled an estimated 13,000 homes of Christians, destroyed 263 Christian churches and obliterated Christian monuments including the tomb of Jonah. Christian cemeteries were also destroyed and purposefully desecrated. ISIS was determined to wipe out the memory of the Christians who had lived on this plain for the past 2,000 years.  But with ISIS routed, four years later Christians are …

Red Kangaroos Credit: David Cook/Flickr/Creative Commons

Australia has its first Pentecostal Prime Minister

Over the weekend, the Australian Liberal party elected Scott Morrison. 50, as Prime Minister of Australia after the party’s leader Malcolm Turnbull resigned on Friday after realizing he no longer had the majority support of his party. Morrison won the nomination in an election run off with two other contenders. Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Morrison served as the country’s treasurer, social services minister and minister in charge of immigration and border protection. In Australia, the Liberal party is considered a center-right party with its main opposition the Labour party considered center left. There has been a lot of political upheaval in Australia recently as Morrison will be Australia’s sixth Prime Minister in the past 10 years. What makes Morrison’s nomination interesting is that he is Australia’s first openly Pentecostal Prime Minister. He and his family regularly attend Horizon Church, a 2,200 member Assemblies of God church in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in a Christian family and according to Reverend Ray Green, the pastor of the church his family attended, as a teenager, Morrison …

Muslims walking counter clockwise around Kaaba inside the courtyard of the al-Haram Mosque in 2008. Credit: Al Jazeera English/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Missionary reports Muslims becoming Christians through dreams and visions while on Hajj

According to Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA, a number of Muslims attending Hajj in Mecca running this year from Sunday August 20, 2018 to Friday, August 24, 2018 are having encounters with Christ through dreams and visions and becoming Christians. Officials expect nearly two million Muslims will attend the five-day event this year that is held annually in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam’s holiest site. Hajj is considered one of the five pillars of Islam and it is expected that every Muslim will make a Hajj or pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime provided they are physically and financially capable of doing it. Hajj involves a number of activities that includes walking counter clock wise seven times around Kaaba, a black building considered the house of Allah, found in the courtyard of the al-Haram Mosque. In fact, when Muslims pray in other parts of the world, they are expected to face Mecca or more specifically the Kaaba when they pray. On Hajj, Muslims are also expected to drink from the sacred ZamZam well and spend …

Snowy night on Brixton High Street in London, England Credit: A bloke called Jerm/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you a chronic complainer?

Español: ¿Eres un quejambroso/a crónico/a? We have all heard the phrases “chronic complainer” or “Debbie Downer” used for people who always complain. If it’s sunny, it is too hot outside. If it’s snowing, it’s too cold. If their favorite team wins, it could have played better. They always see the negative and can find something to complain about in everything they do. And these people almost get a sense of fulfillment when their complaints have some legitimacy to them. Well, according to one neuro-scientist, there is a reason “chronic complainers” act the way they do. Canadian Psychologist Norman Dodge says the brain has a unique pliability to it that he compares to Play-Doh. Its official psychological term is “neuroplasticity.” This means if we practice a certain way of thinking long enough, it creates a loop in our brain that entrenches this pattern into our mind. It becomes a rut in the road that we easily fall into as we drive down the highway of life. It becomes a pattern or way of thinking that taints all …

The chapel of Fort Leonard Army Base in North Carolina Credit: Marti Yoshida/Wikipedia/Public Domain

Revival breaking out at Fort Leonard Wood army base may be more significant than we realize

According to reports, a mini revival has broken out at Fort Leonard Wood army base in Missouri. Actually, it many need to be upgraded from mini for one very interesting reason. According to the base’s army chaplain, Jose Rondon, since March this year, nearly 2,000 soldiers have accepted Christ. Posting on Facebook, Rondon wrote: “Today, 380 soldiers came to salvation in Christ once and for all. Thanks CH Cech for the excellent, clear, and powerful messages during the 3 services. Since March 11, 2018, we have seen 1,839 soldiers come to Christ. God’s doing an unbelievable work through our military at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. May God bring the same powerful conviction of sin and love for Him that we are experiencing at Main Post Chapel throughout our Nation and His world.” In a posting on July 29, Rondon wrote how 44 soldiers gave their lives to Christ during a chapel service. The Holy Spirit is obviously moving on this army base and in an interview with the Baptist Press, Rondon said that the reason …

Members of the extreme right, Neo-Nazis and New Confederates gathering for the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 10 and 11, 2017. Credit: Anthony Crider/Wikipedia

Black pastor baptizes former neo-Nazi and member of the Klu Klux Klan after he converts to Christ

Just over a year ago, Ken Parker was at the Unite the Right rally held August 11 to 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Parker, a neo-Nazi, was there along with other members of the extreme right including neo-confederates and the Klu Klux Klan to stand up for whites and protest the pulling down of Confederate statues in that city. Parker was wearing a black shirt with a stylized SS on the collar signifying his involvement with the neo-Nazi group. They fully expected trouble.  And when people showed up countering their protest, the rally quickly turned violent resulting in the death of one person and the injury of 19 others when a member of the extreme right drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors. Parker had originally been a member of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), a group he joined in 2012. He even had a robe with holes cut out for the eyes and by the time he left Parker had risen to the position of grand dragon. He left the KKK because …

Credit: Chris Chabot/Flickr/Creative Commons

Abortion increases the risk of mental health issues for women

Many years ago, my wife and I were involved with a young lady who had separated from her husband who was involved with another woman. It had been a difficult time. The husband was also abusive and the police had gotten involved. However, as she was separating she didn’t realize she was pregnant and when that came to light, everyone in her life including family, friends and even the police counseled her to get an abortion, which she did. She wasn’t a Christian and now living thousands of miles away from her family, she was still haunted by the abortion and treated the abortion date like an ugly birthday. She was depressed and struggling because of the abortion. This is the one side of abortion that the activists don’t like telling anyone about, namely the emotional trauma associated with abortion that can follow a woman through out her life. According to Liberty Counsel (LC), a recent study in the British Journal of Psychiatryy concluded that there are several mental health issues associated with abortion. The …