All posts filed under: Testimony

Chris Pratt at the San Diego Comic Con in 2016 Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chris Pratt’s nine rules for life?

At this year’s MTV Movie and TV Awards held on Monday, June 18, 2018, actor Chris Pratt won the “Generations” award handed out to actors who have displayed their unique personality in a variety of roles. Pratt, 38, has starred in several major hit movies including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic Park and its sequels. While receiving this year’s award, Pratt took the opportunity to present his nine rules for life ranging from how to properly use the bathroom facilities while at a friend’s place to feeding  a dog medicine (hide it in a piece of hamburger.) But scattered within these nine pieces of wisdom, Pratt provided some spiritual advice to the next generation as the MTV crowd is typically millennials and younger. In earlier interviews, Pratt recounted when he became a Christian a man gave Chris a prophetic word that he would become famous. A short time later while working as a waiter in a Hawaii restaurant, Pratt served a movie director and in a matter of days was flying to California …

Flags flying at half mast after the killings in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, 2018. Credit: Terry Hammonds/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes Christian heroes die: The story of Christian ‘Riley’ Garcia and the Santa Fe shooting

“Be still and know I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) This powerful verse talks about the sovereignty of God in the midst of utter chaos and destruction. This was the verse that high school student Christian “Riley” Garcia, 15, wrote on a two by four of the house his family was constructing just days before he died. He took a selfie of himself beside the verse. A few days later on May 18, 2018, fellow-student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, allegedly armed with a shotgun and hand gun walked into Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, 30 miles Southwest of Houston, and began shooting. By the time it was over 10 people were dead and 10 others injured. Riley Garcia was one of those brutally murdered. But according to students at the school, Riley died a hero. When the shooting started several students ran into a nearby closet that connected to the arts classroom. When the killer came to the door, …

Credit: Joe Bustillos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is God beginning to move in the music industry?

A couple of different stories caught my attention this past week, though unrelated, they both have a God connection. The first involved an article on Christian Post (CP) about this year’s American Idol where the final five performers in the singing competition are all Christians. And they are anointed as well and this is not just my opinion, but that of the American Idol judges. Though Michael Woodward did not move on to the final three, his song “Still I Arise” very much affected the judges. Pop superstar Katy Perry who was in tears before Woodward’s song was finished said, “I mean, you’re anointed. I thought I had my emotions removed. It’s so beautiful what I just saw between you and your mother.” Fellow judge Lionel Ritchie echoed the comments added, “You are anointed, my friend.” Woodward comes from a Christian home where his grandmother and mother both impacted him spiritually. According to CP, his mother, Wanda, has a Christian program that she broadcasts weekly live on Facebook.  And his grandmother raised Michael on Gospel …

Freshwind Band at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in March 2008 where the Toronto Revival broke out. Source: andrewgazaneo artwork by Sarah M Gazeno/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Justin Bieber’s mom Pattie Mallette ‘Travailing in the Spirit’?

Pattie Mallette may not be a familiar name to most of us, but her pop star son, Justin Bieber, is a household name in many parts of the world. In earlier articles, I have written about the remarkable spiritual transformation taking place in Justin’s life. Dale Hurd writing for Christ for All Nations tells the story about Pattie’s spiritual journey. Incredibly, it started at the Toronto revival, also called the Toronto Blessing, that broke out in a Vineyard Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in January 1994. The church originally called Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship has since been renamed Catch the Fire Toronto and is pastored by John and Carol Arnott. Pattie shared her journey to faith at the 2018 Light the Fire Again conference held at the same building, the Attwell Center, where the Toronto revival broke out. In the early 1990s, Pattie became a Christian in a hospital room shortly after a failed suicide attempt. She was led to the Lord and mentored by a couple who attended the Vineyard church where the revival …

Christian NBA star Jeremy Lin Credit: Christian/Flickr/Creative Commons

If God was willing to use Samson, the Lord will use you despite your imperfections

I have thought of writing this story for a while, and when I saw an article on a Christian NBA basketball star Jeremy Lin, I was inspired to write it. For those who don’t know, Jeremy Lin, 29, plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. He has been an all-star basket ball player throughout much of his career and is the first NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He has always floated under the radar. He was undrafted and came out of nowhere during New York Knicks’s 2012 season. The Knicks were having a terrible year and the coach was contemplating cutting Lin who had not seen any significant playing time. But after repeated losses and injuries to players, the coach decided to play Lin who stormed off the bench and many argue single handily turned the Knicks’s 2012 season around. When Jeremy scored 38 points in a game in February 2012, in an interview with ESPN NBA star Kobe Bryant said: “Players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It …

Hills of Tennessee, as seen from Tiprell, Cumberland Gap Credit: Don Sniegowski/Flickr/Creative Commons

Another unexpected Christian hero at the Waffle House shooting in Antioch, Tennessee?

Though he doesn’t consider himself particularly religious, James Shaw Jr., 29, comes from a Christian family who attends Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church in Antioch, Tennessee. Shortly after having his wounds tended in hospital, Shaw headed to church with his family. Earlier that Sunday morning, Shaw was a hero. He was in the Waffle House restaurant with friends around 3 am when a gunman walked in with an AR-15 rifle and began shooting. The killer was naked except for a green jacket. He apparently shot two people in the parking lot, before moving into the restaurant. He killed four people and wounded four others before Shaw finally stopped the massacre. Shaw remembered seeing the alleged killer, Travis Reinking, sitting in a car as Shaw walked into the restaurant. When Shaw heard the first shots, he thought someone had dropped plates. Police are calling Shaw a hero because unarmed he wrestled the rifle out of the killer’s hands forcing him to flee the restaurant. Undoubtedly more would have died, if Shaw had not intervened. However, Shaw admits …

Part of the earthly treasure of King Bluetooth, the man who Christianized the vikings, discovered

A teenage boy, Luca Malashnitschenko, 13, and his teacher Rene Schon were out with metal detectors on Rügen Island. Located in the Baltic Sea, off the northern coast of Germany, it is the country’s largest island. Then came the bleep on Luca’s detector indicating the presence of metal. When they dug down and found a splash of silver, they suspected it was probably aluminum. But once they dug it out they discovered it was a silver coin from the Viking era. When more relics and coins started appearing, they realized there was more to this find and reported it to the regional archaeology service. A team was eventually dispatched and an excavation of a 4,300 sq foot area uncovered a viking hoard consisting of coins, jewellry —  braided necklace and brooches, as well as a Thor hammer and over 600 coins that ranged in age from AD714 to 983. This included 100 coins dating to the reign of the Danish Viking King Harald Gormsson, otherwise known as Harry Bluetooth. In old Norse, the phrase is …

Sandy, second from the left, on his Nairobi adventure

I saw God in Nairobi

Many years ago, when I was a careless young man, I traveled to Nairobi, in Kenya, East Africa. I had relatives who worked as missionaries in the tea country, in the west of the country. If you know Kenya, they lived just west of Kericho, on the road to Kisumu. The drive from Nairobi, the big city, to Kericho is almost one day, with a few breaks. My relatives invited me to visit them in Kenya, and I jumped at the chance because it sounded like a great adventure. I stopped my university studies, which were starting to bore me, and a good friend agreed to travel with me. He was also bored with life. On the way to Africa, we had to change planes in London, so we took several weeks and bought railway passes and travelled anywhere that seemed interesting in Europe, with backpacks. This was all fun, including the time we got arrested for crossing the border into a communist country. They handcuffed us and then let us go after about an …

Southwest Airline jet Credit: David デビッド Deitering/Flickr/Creative Commons

Born again with ‘Nerves of steel’, ‘hero’ pilot Tammie Jo Shults successfully landed stricken Southwest jet

Commercial pilot Tammie Jo Shults, 56, is credited with safely landing a Boeing 737 on Tuesday, April 17, after its engine exploded resulting in shrapnel shattering a window, de-pressurizing the cabin and damaging the jet’s wing and fuselage. It resulted in one death and another seven injured. The woman who died was being sucked out of the plane, but several passengers bravely fought to keep her inside. She died later in hospital. UPDATE: USA Today wrote a story on the stetson-wearing cowboy, Tim McGinty, who along with firefighter Andrew Needum risked their lives to pull the woman back into the plane. In the interview, Tim’s wife Kristin said, “My husband loves God and believes our purpose here is to love fiercely and to serve others. Some heroes wear capes, but mine wears a cowboy hat.” Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was on a regularly scheduled trip from New York’s La Guardia Airport to Dallas Texas, when Shults was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Shults’s journey to the pilot chair with Southwest Airlines was not an …

Line up outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Credit: Student Association/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘The New Yorker’ magazine writes about Chick-fil-A’s ‘creepy pervasive Christian traditionalism’

According to Technomic, a restaurant consultancy firm, based on current growth, it expects the popular American restaurant, Chick-fil-A, to become the third largest fast food chain in the US, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by a S. Truett Cathy (1921-2014). He was a Baptist, taught Sunday School for nearly 50 years, and calls the Bible his guide-book for life. His family has continued its Christian tradition and to this day still closes Sunday so its employees can go to church if they want. It even cites Bible verses on its cups. His family’s support of traditional marriage has driven the left wild and resulted in restaurants being protested. But it had absolutely no effect on its popularity. In terms of 2017 sales, the chain ranked eighth behind Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts and of course McDonald’s and Star Bucks. However it is quickly closing the gap. What is also impressive is that despite only being open six days a week, a Chick-fil-A franchise averages annual sales of …

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California Credit: Mikel Agirregabiria/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has one of the Menendez brothers, convicted of the brutal murder of his parents, found God?

The Menendez brothers, Lyle, 50 (born January 10, 1968) and Erik, 47 (born November 27, 1970), were sentenced to consecutive, double-life sentences for the brutal murder of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in their Beverly Hill mansion in 1989. The court trials of the two, then 21 and 18, riveted the nation. However, it appears that one of them has since become a Christian. In an interview with ABC, the brother’s aunt, Marta Cano, said that the younger brother Erik became a Christian in prison and is now leading a Bible study with other inmates. Erik even asked his aunt, who is also a Christian, to send him religious material for the study. In the interview, Cano stated “he was really making sure that the prisoners knew that there is a God that loves us. That was marvelous to me because he never got that at home.” At the time of the murders, the two boys alleged they had been sexually, physically and psychologically abused for years by their pedophile father. Their mother was …

Humbolt's main street Credit: Monique Vezina/Wikipedia

Where was God? The Humboldt Bronco tragedy

They did not know they were going to be the latest news and that it would send waves of shock and sorrow across the nation. The Humboldt Broncos, a hockey team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League consisting of 16 to 20-year-old players, were headed to a play off game in the northern town of  Nipawin, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their team bus t-boned a semi-trailer crossing highway 35 killing 16 of the 29 people on board — 10 players and 5 team personnel including the head coach and the bus driver. The Humboldt players had all dyed their hair blonde which made it difficult to identify them. Tragically because the players were so badly hurt, two were misidentified. It would take a couple of days for one family to find out that a son they had thought died was actually alive, and for another family to sadly learn their son was dead. How heart breaking this must have been. What were the players thinking as they traveled on the bus?  The bus was quiet recalls …

Justin Bieber in concert at the Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway in 2013. Credit: NRK P3/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sources say Justin Bieber planning to release faith-inspired album in 2019

It has been an interesting April on the celebrity front. On Easter Sunday, pop star Katy Perry posted the following message to her 69 million Instagram followers: “My brokenness + God’s Divinity = My wholeness.” Then earlier this week, Monday, April 9, 2018, Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber spontaneously sang a Christian worship song for his 98 million Instagram followers. It was a song called “Reckless Love” written by Bethel music leader Corey Asbury: “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found” At the latest count, Justin has 98.5 million Instagram followers putting him on the list of the ten most followed people on the popular social media site. Leading the pack is another celebrity believer, Selena Gomez, with 133 million followers. And when I visited Justin’s Instagram page, there was a message to check out this song on YouTube: But recent reports are suggesting that Justin is planning to become even more vocal about how Jesus transformed the pop star’s life. The British newspaper The …

Trebes, France Credit: Didier Descouens/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

A willing sacrifice

An attack on a French supermarket on Friday, March 23, 2018, revealed the stark contrast between Christians and Muslim extremists. An ISIS radicalized Moroccan-born man, Radouane Lakdim, 25, stormed a grocery store in Trèbes and took hostages in an effort to have Salah Abdeslam released. He was the sole survivor of a group of terrorists responsible for an attack in Paris in November 2015 that killed 130 people. Prior to his arrival at the Super U grocery store, Ladkim had fired on a car in the neighboring town of Carcassonne killing the passenger and wounding the driver. He stole the vehicle and then drove to a police barracks and shot at police officers jogging nearby severely injuring one. From there he proceeded to the grocery store in Trèbes where he took hostages. In the end, Lakdim murdered his three hostages before being killed by police. One of those hostages was a French policeman Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrane, 44, second in charge with the responding police gendarme, as they are called in France. When the police cornered …

Alice Cooper performing at Alexandra Palace in London, England 2011 Credit: Kimon Froussios/Flickr/Creative Commons

Alice Cooper, ‘shock’ rock star and Christian

If there was anyone who I thought would never become a Christian, rock star Alice Cooper, 70, would have been on that list. Yet 40 years ago Cooper got a wake-up call when after bingeing on alcohol he started throwing up blood. During his heyday that featured such mega hits as “Schools out,” he was known as the “Godfather of Shock Rock.” His stage shows took on horror show themes including fake blood, guillotines, electric chairs, snakes and tortured baby dolls. But today Cooper publicly states he has embraced Christ and is preparing to play the role of Herod in NBC’s live version of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. In an interview with New York Daily’s Confidential, Cooper recalled his decision to become a Christian. He came from a Christian background, his grandfather was an evangelist and his dad a pastor and after leaving home, Cooper fled Christianity. But he was drinking buddies with other famous rock stars of the day such as Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison of the Doors both who died at …

Letitia Wright with Forest Whitaker at 2017 Comic Con International in San Diego Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘Black Panther’s’ Letitia Wright: ‘I went on a journey to discover God and I became a Christian’

Black Panther has become the shocking hit of 2018. Many though it would do well but nobody expected it to be the second highest grossing film in history during it first four days. Made up of a largely black cast some says it provides an overview of America’s current racial and political climate with the intent of finding a middle ground in a country that is splitting apart over the issue. One of the breakout stars in the movie is British actress Letitia Wright, 24, who plays, Shuri, the younger sister of the King T’Challa. People are raving about her performance around the world with Vanity Fair titling its article about her sudden rise as Black Panther Star Letitia Wright Might Be the Next Leonardo DiCaprio But for God, it may not have happened. In an interview on Feb.9, 2018 with This Morning, a British talk show, Letitia explains what happened: “I was going through a lot, a very difficult time in my life and I just needed to take a break from acting because …

Billy Graham speaking in Oslo, Norway in 1955. Credit: foto.digitalarkivet.no/Wikipedia

Billy Graham’s ‘Valley of Decision’

Billy Graham died Feb. 21, 2018 at his home in North Carolina. Born Nov. 7, 1918, he was 99 years old. Graham was arguably the most famous Christian preacher of the last 100 years. It is estimated that he spoke to nearly 215 million people in 185 countries and probably 100’s of millions more watched him on TV. And his TV ministry had as much of an impact as his live preaching. He differed from many modern TV evangelists in that Graham’s TV ministry reached non Christians. When I was going to seminary, there were two twin brothers, both who went into full-time ministry, who were saved watching Billy Graham on TV. The former pastor of the church I attend was also saved watching Billy Graham on TV. In 1934, at the age of 15, he was led to the Lord by a traveling evangelist Mordecai Ham who was holding revival meetings in Graham’s hometown of Charlotte, NC. So much is being said about Billy Graham, that I really don’t know what I can add.  …

Credit: nfnitloop/flickr/Creative Commons

Is God Real? or Donuts in the Snow

So, is God real? If yes, why is there suffering in this world? Why doesn’t God fix our problems, if He loves us? This is an old argument, and I learned the answer a few days ago. Here is some background. Right now, where I live in Canada, we are in “Roll up the Rim to Win” season at Tim Hortons. Timmies is a cultural thing here, we all go there for coffee or tea and conversations. We also eat too many donuts there. In season, we roll up the rims of our paper cups and learn what we have won. I usually win a chance to play again; they are very kind when they say “no.” When I win a free donut I tear off that statement from the rim, and keep the ticket. One thing I really don’t need is a free donut and I can think of something worse, two free donuts. I had two winning tickets that I carried with me like a guilty pleasure. I do contract work, and some …

Nick Foles running for a touchdown in 24-16 victory over the Redskins in 2013. Credit: Mr.Shultz/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

What are the odds? It reveals God is in control!

What are the odds that the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the two most important football games in the US and the most important football game in Canada would be Bible-believing Christians. Not just run of the mill Christians, but men serious about their faith. The latest was the Superbowl game played on Sunday, when the Philadelphia Eagles upset the Superbowl-laden New England Patriots 41 – 33. The last time the Eagles won a major championship was in 1960 when they won the NFL league title. They have never won a Superbowl that was initiated in 1966 as a championship game between the AFL and NFL. The most outstanding player of Superbowl LII was the Eagles back-up QB Nick Foles. But for a season ending injury to their starting quarterback Carl Wentz, another sincere believer, Foles would not have played. Over the years, Foles has spoken repeatedly of his faith and recently in an interview with CBN said that he wanted to be a pastor when his football days are over. He is currently taking …

Casas colgadas de Cuenca, Spain Credit: Jose Luis Mieza/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spain’s song at Eurovision written by two Evangelical Christians

Eurovision is an international singing contest held annually in Europe. It started in 1973 and features winners from participating European countries who hold national competitions to select their representative. It differs from North American singing competitions like The Voice in that participants must sing an original song. But it doesn’t have to be written by the people singing it. In fact, the major emphasis seems to be the song over the performers, though obviously they need to be talented as well. With a growing Evangelical population, Spain will be represented at this year’s competition with a song written by two Evangelical Christians, Sylvia Santoro and her nephew Raul Gomez. Sylvia wrote the words and Raul supplied the music. The love song entitled, Tu Canción, won the Spanish leg of the event with 43% of the vote, beating out eight competitors. It was sung by a group called Almaia, composed of two singers Amaia and Alfred. So far the song has over 750,000 views on YouTube. Married with two children, Sylvia is a popular gospel singer among …

Even the doctor called it a miracle

In an incredible testimony reported by CBN, teenager Juan Spence was tagging along in a car ride with a friend on May 22, 2017. His parents pastor a church in Williamsburg, VA. The road was wet, the friend was speeding and Juan did not have his seat belt on. The car spun out of control, hitting a post causing it to tumble. When Juan was thrown out of the vehicle through the sun roof, the car landed on his head. Suffering traumatic brain injury, he was rushed to the nearby MCV Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. When he arrived, the doctors were forced to cut away a part of Juan’s brain to release the pressure. When officials contacted Juan’s mother, Elizabeth, about the accident, she immediately began praying for her son. Not knowing the full extend of the injury, the Holy Spirit told her, “He shall live and not die.” Juan’s father Alex had also received a similar word from God that his son would survive. When his parents arrived at the hospital, the doctors said …

Is comedian Russell Brand turning to Christ for help?

I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming. But is something spiritual happening to outlandish English comedian Russell Brand? I am not sure how to describe Brand. He has worked as an actor, writer, stand-up comedian, MTV and reality TV host. He is or was an atheist, borderline communist and activist. He is renown for his outrageous and often vulgar behavior. He was also briefly married for 14 months to pop-star Katie Perry. But recently in an interview with Relevant magazine, Brand revealed that he may be going through a spiritual awakening. He said, “My personal feeling is the teachings of Christ are more relevant now than they’ve ever been.” He continued: “If Christ consciousness is not accessible to us, then what is the point of the story of Jesus, you know? He’s just a sort of a scriptural rock start, just an icon. Unless Christ is right here, right now, in your heart, in your consciousness, then what is Christ?” So what happened? Brand said that his divorce with Katie was the starting …

Alabama Crimson Tide home field Credit: Mike C/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God anoint Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa?

“First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That is what happened tonight.” Those were the words spoken by Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, 19, in a TV interview after his team the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the College National Football Championship in Atlanta on January 8, 2018. Alabama was losing 13-0 at halftime in arguably the most important college football game of the year. With the team’s starting QB struggling, Alabama head coach Nick Saban sent in rookie back-up QB, who up to this point had no significant playing time other than a few reps in games with the score well in hand. Tagovailoa led Alabama to what some have described as a miraculous 26-23 overtime victory. With 28.4 million viewers, ESPN reported that it was the second most watched college game since the NCAA instituted the playoff format four years ago. According to AOL, Tagovailoa was born in Hawaii, where he attended his uncle’s church, Navali Ole Filemu …

Selena Gomez Credit: Mikey Hennessy/Wikipedia

What does it mean to be a child of God?

I was reading an interesting testimony given by pop star and actress Selena Gomez, 25, at a Hillsong conference recently held in Los Angeles, California in 2017. She shared her testimony in the form of a letter to herself. She spoke of the day that she finally understood God’s love for her and realized she was a child of God. “On your 23rd birthday, Jesus will become real to you. More than a nightly prayer, more than the strength of your friends, more than the name in a devotional, He will become real. “Selena, you are enough! Not because you’ve tried hard, not because you have loved hard or put on your best face. Not because you have been given a large platform and not because others tell you ‘you are enough,’” she declared. “You are enough because you are a child of God who has been pursued from the very beginning. You are enough because His grace has saved you and covered you.” From her testimony, Selena seems to have grasped that she is …

Credit: Kifty/Flickr/Creative Commons

Clinging to hope through trials and suffering

Many believe Job is the oldest book of the Bible and he lived in the period before Noah’s flood. The book reveals how we are to deal with suffering, and it is not a message that many of us want to hear. Job was a wealthy and righteous man who lost his children, wealth and even his health. When we encounter trials and suffering believers find themselves standing on a thin balancing beam with a choice to fall one way or another. Job’s wife who for the most part was equally affected by what happened became embittered by the tragedy that engulfed them, telling her husband to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). However, Job chose a different path continuing to hope and believe God through all that was happening to him: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.” (Job 13:15 NASV) Hope was Job’s life line. But if I am honest with myself, I tend to follows his wife’s example, more than I do …

Credit: Michael Kappel/Flickr/Creative Commons

How good will you be in 2018?

So how good will you be in 2018? There is not much competition on that side. Yesterday I helped someone; and every detail in this story matters for the conclusion. I have a bad cough, the kind that won’t let me sleep at night, and this morning I drove to the drug store in the Mall, where I don’t usually shop. I don’t know why I chose the mall, and that store. Also, the weather is cold today, – 30 C or – 22 F. I walked out of the wrong door at the Mall, so I had a long walk to my truck, at – 30 with bronchitis. That is a bad combination but I don’t think hard when I’m at the mall. Somehow it all felt right. As I walked, on my right I saw a small old truck, a Ford Ranger, which is usually a poor man’s ride. The driver turned the key and I heard “Click Click Click.” In subarctic weather, that means your battery is low, and that means the …

Justin Bieber at Telenor Arena in Bærum, Norway in 2016 Credit: NRK P3/Flickr/Creative Commons

Justin Bieber’s faith-inspired Instagram post received over 2.2-million likes

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has 95-million followers on Instagram and recently he shared a message with them on his personal faith in Christ. The 23-year-old pop star took a photo of a white erase board on which he wrote a message with a black marker: “Do you feel you have exausted all options? Do you feel like you’re never good enough? What if I told you that there is a god that’s willing to meet you WHEREVER you’re at! What if I told you that he could take away your pain, shame, guit, and fears #Jesus.” The photo caption read simply “Jesus is changing me from the inside out every day! AND I MISSPELLED GUILT and exhausted.” Despite the typos and as someone pointed out maybe “god” should be capitalized, it was a heartfelt message. I loved the way it was hand written including even the typos because this showed it was real. Over 2.2 million, mostly young people, liked the post and 52 thousand commented. Not all the comments were positive, but the majority …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …