All posts filed under: z123

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Breaking the Cement of ‘Not Good Enough’

Several years ago I found myself in depression. I felt anxious and overwhelmed most of the time and walked around in a cloud of doubt and indecision.  There was no glint of happiness or joy in my life. As Henry Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep on choosing joy everyday.” We are responsible for our mindset and the fear of failure sucked the joy right out of me. I allowed my mistakes to define who I was and they kept me trapped in a dark place.  I was stuck in a very unhealthy mindset of ‘not being good enough.’ I want to share some advice that has helped me stay out of depression and move forward in my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being afraid to make a mistake means you will stay stuck in confusion and doubt.  Mistakes are part of life and they can become our greatest teachers. Learn from your mistakes and move on.   “I know I made a mistake but …

Photo of Super Wolf Blood Moon that took place of January 20, 2019 Credit: Larah McElroy/Flickr/Credit Commons

Bizarre incident that took place during recent Super Wolf Blood Moon, coincidence or warning?

I don’t know what to make of all this, and sometimes I wonder if I am making more of it than I should. But a strange thing happened during the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” that took place  overnight on January 20 and 21, 2019. It was seen in the Western Hemisphere and parts of Europe. It is referred to as a wolf moon because it took place in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and as a super blood moon, because it happened at the point in the moon’s trajectory when it is at its closet point to the earth, resulting in the moon being 14% larger and appearing 30% brighter. A blood moon takes place when the earth blocks the sun causing the suns rays to reflect through the earth’s atmosphere. The red appearance is similar to the red in the sunrise and sunsets we experience on earth. In the Bible, blood moons were considered warning signs of the end times. But we need to realize that blood moons are a regular occurrence and not every …

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury World Economic Forum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Church of England Archbishop Justin Welby says he speaks with the gift of tongues every day

It was a shocking admission by the head of one of the largest liberal denominations not only in England, but the world. In an interview with the Christian radio station, Premier Radio, Justin Welby, who as the Archbishop of Canterbury heads the Church of England and world-wide Anglican Church, stated that he prays in Tongues everyday. Welby said: “In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline, I pray in tongues every day — not an occasional thing, but as part of my daily prayer.” Welby is part of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England that believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God. (Note: Not everyone in the Church of England holds this view.) Because of this belief, Welby also believes that the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible are for today and available to all who believe in Christ. According to an interview Welby had with The Guardian, he received the Gift of Tongues at 19 after being filled with the Holy Spirit. …

Credit: YouTube capture/The Last Reformation

Did Danish mainline media hit piece on evangelist Torben Søndergaard distort the truth?

In my previous life, I worked for an organization that often waded into political issues as it believed in smaller government and lower taxes. Shortly after I began working for them, I started getting harassing phone calls from an older gentlemen who believed the exact opposite. But the main gist of his conversation revolved around the accusation, that the organization I was working for was a front for another group that held a similar opinion. Now I completely respected this other non-profit organization. In fact, it wouldn’t have bothered me if we were associated with them. But we weren’t. After he called me three or four more times repeating this accusation, I finally got tired of it and in what would ultimately be my last conversation with him, he said that despite my denials he knew it was true. I answered: “Sir, the last thing you are interested in is the truth.” There was stunned silence on the other end of the phone and it was obvious by the brief conversation that followed I had …

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Hate the Wait?

Who here loves waiting? Okay I know there is really nobody in the room with me except Spot, my lovely Italian Greyhound. And yes, if it means he can sleep on the couch, then he loves waiting. I am a weird guy and I don’t mind waiting sometimes. But only if there are people more interesting than me in the waiting room. The other day I was in a doctor’s office with my granddaughter. There were only two moms and two kids in there so when we sat down I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic about being entertained. But I was saved from the boredom of cats playing piano by a young toddler named George. I might have changed his name to protect his mom, so if you were in a waiting room with a toddler named George and if George is your son, this isn’t about you. Honest! So my granddaughter and I are deciding where to sit in and we decided on a couple of corner seats. Little George was playing with some toys. …

New York City street Credit: Andrea Komodromos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are Some Races of Humans More Intelligent? The Bible says no!

If you are a dog owner, the following information might make you unhappy, or maybe happy. Brace yourself. What are the most intelligent breeds of Dogs? And what are the least intelligent? Apparently sheep dogs from Scotland, Shelties, are some of the brightest, along with Poodles, and those long haired hounds from central Asia, Afghans, are among the dumbest. I don’t own a dog, so I can’t confirm my answers, but I believe that you are not offended by the question. So what races of humans are the most intelligent? And who are the least intelligent among us? You should be offended by those questions. I am writing this as a Christian, and I believe that God made us all in His own image and since only humans were created in God’s image, we are all equally intelligent. Questions about racial intelligence never come up among Christians, in my experience. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) and …

Cottonwood tree Credit: Vincent Parsons/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? — Podcast

  PODCAST NOTES Hi my name is Deans Smith and in this episode, I ask the question does God still speak to us through dreams and visions? Throughout the Bible we see that God desires often communicated with people through dreams and visions. Of course, many make fun of such notions but it we know it still happens today, because a few years back God spoke to a young girl through a vision and then confirmed it with a miracle. We are all familiar with dreams and the Bible describes a vision as “waking dream” or a dream that takes place when your eyes are wide open, meaning you are awake. The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open: (Numbers 24:4) It seems the two are clearly connected. And throughout the Bible, we see that God used both dreams and visions to not only communicate with people, but also to warn them. The ancient Patriarch Joseph not only received …

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What does it mean to be born again?

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (reject, condemn, to pass sentence) on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16) When talking with people about my faith, I have searched the Bible to make sure I am distinguishing my faith which is Christianity from the many other faiths out there. What makes my faith, Christianity, different or more appealing than all the others? To understand, we need to read the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus who was a prominent leader and teacher of the Pharisees.  This religious sect had long lists of rules and regulations (do’s and don’ts) to follow.  They believed that obeying these laws would make them acceptable in God’s eyes. As a result, Nicodemus felt the heavy weight of the laws of the Pharisee Sect on his shoulders. These rules hung like a noose around his neck and at times it felt like he was being strangled by them. The thought of this weight …

For the first time, India, the second largest country in the world, has entered the top ten list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. Credit: Piviso/Flickr/Public Domain

‘Shocking’ jump in number of Christians facing persecution in 2018

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of  Christians took a massive jump last year stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017. Open Doors described this year-over-year increase in persecution as “shocking.” But it is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11. Part of the 2018 jump is due to increased persecution of Christians in two of the world’s largest countries, China and India. In fact this past year India joined the top ten list of most dangerous countries for Christians for the first time. This was primarily due to the rise of persecution of Christians by radical Hindus, who believe it is non-Indian to join other religions. The change in China has been equally dramatic as it jumped from 43 spot in 2017 to 27th in 2018 as …

China's communist revival Credit: Jeroen Elfferich/Flickr/Creative Commons

You shall have no other gods except Xi Jinping?

It was bizarre move. But Bitter Winter, an organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, reported on November 1, 2018 approximately 30 Chinese officials entered a church service in the Dongcun city in Henan province and demanded the congregation remove the first of the Ten commandments that the church had displayed on its wall. The commandment in question is of course: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 NIV) The officials were working with the United Front Work Department and were there to inspect the church.  According to Bitter Winter, one of the officials went to the front of the church and actually removed the first commandment leaving just nine. When a member of the church protested stating this was distorting the Bible, the official stated: “[China’s president] Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone disagrees they are fighting against the country. This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.” It is a strange situation when a …