All posts filed under: z125

When you pray, bring the pain, pray with intensity: PODCAST

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode, I am discussing one of the ways Jesus recommends to get answered prayer. Jesus says we need to bring the pain, and pray with intensity. When we adopted our son from Guatemala, we did it privately working through a missionary and evangelical orphanage. However, things were quite different when we adopted our daughter from Peru where we went through government agencies in both Canada and the Peru. And unlike our son, we did not have a choice in what child we received. Because it was totally out of our hands, I spent most of my lunch breaks asking God to intervene so that we would get the child that God wanted for us. I remember it being a very intense time of prayer. It was emotional and I was praying incessantly and aggressively that God would intervene, if needed. I also remember the day, my wife and I got a call from Peru telling us that they had chosen a girl for …

Credit: ms. neaus neaux/Flickr/Creative Commons

Drain the blame

If you keep doing what you’re doing, and thinking what you’re thinking, you are going to keep getting what you’ve got. Nothing will change in your world until you change. —  Gay and Katie Hendricks This message is really about me and not anyone else. My intention this year is to get hold of the blame cycle that kicks in whenever I feel overwhelmed, anxious or fearful. In times of frustration or difficulty, I want to blame others for my problems. I tend to project my frustration on those nearest me. It could be my family or friends. But if we continue to project our frustrations on others nothing will change. It only creates a vicious circle that gets smaller and smaller and pretty soon I end up acting like a caged lion without really knowing why. In other words, the only person you have the power to change is you. So rather than focusing on what you want changed in others, it’s time to create an “inner shift” that will transform what’s going on …

Festival of the Assumption of Mary being held at a Roman Catholic church in Sicily. Credit: effems/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

¿Por qué María se hizo tan prominente en la Iglesia Católica Romana?

English version: Why did Mary become so prominent in the Roman Catholic Church? Hace varios años, mi esposa y yo adoptamos a nuestra hija de un orfanato católico en Perú. Parte del proceso incluyó estar en el país durante varias semanas mientras trabajábamos en la adopción. Terminamos quedándonos en el orfanato donde vivía nuestra hija. Era un orfanato bien administrado y claramente los hombres y mujeres que trabajaban allí estaban dedicados a ayudar a estos niños. Mi esposa y yo nos hicimos amigos de una joven pareja Peruana que trabajaba en el orfanato y hablaba inglés. Aunque eran católicos comprometidos, también participaban activamente en el movimiento carismático católico romano que ofrecía servicios todos los sábados por la noche en la catedral local, donde enfatizaban el llenado del Espíritu Santo y los dones espirituales. Recuerdo que una noche, mi esposa y yo fuimos a su casa a cenar y comenzamos a hablar sobre la doctrina que invariablemente nos llevó a una discusión sobre María. El esposo que ayudó a liderar el grupo carismático defendió la posición teológica …

A photo of a Gilgal site revealing its distinctive sandal shape. Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

¿De dónde vienen las huellas gigantes de Israel?

English version: Where did Israel’s giant footprints come from? En el valle del Jordán en Israel, los arqueólogos han descubierto un fenómeno curioso: seis enormes huellas hechas por el hombre. Estas estructuras, donde el muro de piedra exterior inferior tiene una forma distintiva del pie, son bastante grandes. Uno conocido como el-‘Unuq tiene 228 pies de ancho y 816 pies de largo, aproximadamente dos campos de fútbol de tamaño. Quizás el más famoso de estos sitios con forma de sandalia es uno que se encuentra en el monte Ebal descubierto en 1980, su característica más singular es un enorme altar que se encuentra en el centro y mide aproximadamente 23 pies por 30 pies de tamaño. También es una historia alta – 10 ′. Por supuesto, este altar, creado de piedra no tallada, requería una enorme rampa para llegar a la cima. También encontraron huesos de animales carbonizados y cenizas en y alrededor del altar. Aparentemente era un sitio religioso donde la gente hacía sacrificios de animales. Aquí es donde se pone interesante. Adam Zertal, el …

Victoria, BC Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who’s the Prize?

Many years ago I lived in a far away land. No not the one that is in a distant galaxy! I lived in Lotus Land. All the unfortunate souls who did not live there referred to it as Victoria, BC. Living there was wonderful, especially compared to Saskatchewan in January.  I lived close enough to Beacon Hill Park to hear the peacocks sounding like cats first thing in the morning. The ocean, the climate, the flowers, and the lack of high paying jobs…I could go on but you get the picture. I walked a lot more then. You could actually recognize people from a long way off by more than the colour and shape of their parka. “Must be Andy waddling towards us. I recognize his green parka and those are definitely his huge boots clumping along.” I love being outdoors but it is a challenge in the winter. In fact, if you do see me outside, all you will see is my eyes and that’s only because I found it unwise to cover them …

Russian supporters unveiling massive banner portraying an dangerous bear and the words "Russia Forward" prior to Euro 2008 soccer match against England Credit: Roman Kovrigin/Wikipedia

Is Russia’s first missile attack against Israel and the appearance of a Super Blood Moon a coincidence?

When looking at the Bible’s end times prophecy one thing keeps showing up, blood moons. The prophet Joel refers to a blood moon appearing before the great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:31). As well, the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John’s vision of end times events, speaks of a Blood Moon (Revelation 6:12). But Blood Moons are a regular occurrence and take place when the Sun’s light is reflected through the earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse. Some describe it as the red of an earth’s sunset appearing on the moon. So because of that, Blood Moons in themselves are only significant in Biblical end times as they appear along with other events. Joel speaks of columns of smoke (Joel 2:30) that suggests volcanic activity in association with the Blood Moon and the Book of Revelation speaks of a great earthquake and the world being pummeled with either meteors or asteroids along with its Blood Moon. So when an article on Foxnews, announced there will be a rare “super blood moon” appearing …

Franklin Graham speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska as part of his 2016 Decision America tour Credit: Matt A.J./Wikipedia

Facebook apologizes for censoring Franklin Graham’s post

Facebook recently apologized for closing down Evangelist Franklin Graham’s Facebook page for 24 hours. According to a Foxnews report, a moderator (one of 15,000) working for the giant social media company pulled Graham’s page based on a post the evangelist wrote in 2016 defending North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB20 law. The state introduced the law after the city of Charlotte introduced a regulation allowing people to use public washrooms based on the sex that they identified with. This meant, that a person born a biological male, but who now identified as female, would be allowed to use a female washroom and shower. HB2 was intended to modify the Charlotte regulation. After this legislation was introduced, there was an immediate backlash from activists. In an April 9, 2016, post Graham responded to Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in the state because of HB2: Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms …

Credit: Mahmoudreza Shirinsokhan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are You Lazy, Stupid, Evil, or maybe Anointed?

Español: ¿Eres perezoso, tonto, malvado o quizás ungido? Everyone believes. I am a Christian, there are millions like me, and the world is also full of other religions. Atheists, who don’t believe in God, believe in something. They have some way to make sense of life in this world. I don’t want to single out Atheists for special criticism here, but I am sure that they believe, just like the rest of us. It’s a human condition. The problem is with believers who become “anointed.” That’s a special status, in any belief system, where we become so convinced, we arrive at a stage where can never be criticized. We just know we are correct, and that means every dis-agreer is wrong. We don’t need to discuss it, they are just wrong. Have you heard of the “Vision of the Anointed?” Thomas Sowell presents the concept that we are governed by self-congratulating elites, the “Anointed.” His language is religious but he writes about politics and society. Many of the secular “Anointed” today have a PhD and …

We need to unlock from our past to push ahead Credit: Antoine Robiez/Flickr/Creative commons

Unlock yourself from the past and push ahead into 2019

I want to honor my spiritual journey over the past 30 years.  To sit here today and dismiss it all would be wrong.  It wasn’t all bad all the time. Looking back it was my life experiences that shaped me into who I am today.  I am so thankful  for the opportunities and resources along the way that helped me heal, grow and move forward.   God has made His provision for healing and wholeness readily available to us. Unfortunately, we often stubbornly hold onto our pain by refusing to forgive. It acts like a soother keeping us trapped in a “poor me” mindset. There were two people in particular that I chose to forgive and when I encountered them again, as I did from time to time, it was like nothing had ever happened allowing me to treat them respectfully. I was able to climb out of the confusing muck of bad experiences and memories they brought me by forgiving them.  My emotions and even my body embraced the release I experienced as I literally …

Edinburgh, Scotland Credit: Ethan Trewhitt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Scottish police’s anti-hate poster actually a bigoted, hate poster?

Barnabas Fund is an organization dedicated to helping Christians being persecuted for their faith around the world. The organization has offices set up in over 50 countries that are typically run by nationals. Though headquartered in England, Barnabas Fund recently made an accusation against the Scottish police for promoting hatred of Christians. This was the first time, Barnabas Fund had ever made such a charge in England where the organization was founded. The charge was the result of a poster campaign the Scottish police ran in October in c0njunction with an organization called One Scotland. The posters had the logo of the Scottish police displayed along the bottom. One of the posters started off with “Dear Bigot” and reads: “Division seems to be what you believe in. We don’t want your religious hate on our buses, on our streets and in our communities. We don’t want you spreading your intolerance. Or making people’s lives a misery because of their religious dress. You may not have faith in respect and love, but we do. That’s why …