All posts filed under: z130

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Mysterious plague arrives in New York?

According to an article in the New York Times (NYT), a new and dangerous illness has arrived on the east coast of the US.  Called Candida Aurus, it is a fungus that has been showing up in other countries such as Venezuela and Spain, but has now hit America with deadly consequences. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there are 587 people with the infection including 309 in New York, 144 in Illinois and 104 in New Jersey. The disease is a bacteria and is considered both dangerous and mysterious. It is dangerous because there is no known cure. Antifungal medication typically used to combat this type of disease are ineffective. It is one of those superbugs that are resistant to modern drugs. Its symptoms that include fever and fatigue are particularly dangerous for  those with compromised immune systems. This can include newborns, the elderly, smokers and those with other health complications. One elderly patient who showed up at a Mount Sinai hospital in Brooklyn, New York died within 90 days. And …

Minature Greyhound Credit: Opus Moreschi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dogged Dog

Ever hear that expression: “like a dog with a bone?” It is used to mean focused perseverance. To keep your eye on the prize and to work until you achieve that goal. In my house though it would be more like dog with my shoe! My little guy, Spot, prefers shoes to bones. So if you come over to our place, you will find him walking around with your shoe on his head! I am not making this up! He is an Italian Greyhound and they have long skinny faces. He literally sticks his nose right into the shoe and carries it to his dungeon of destruction. One time a guest had rather smelly feet and shoes. After Spot put his head into the shoe he sat in the middle of the floor and just grinned, drunk on the smell! Not sure if that was his goal but he achieved it. We can learn a lot from dogs. Cats too and I am even more of a cat person but please don’t tell Spot that. …

Church in Germany Credit: Bernard Blanc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bad News for Organized Religion

Where I live, we are a few days away from an election. A few night’s ago, we had a leader’s debate, with all the usual personal attacks and petty bickering. The reaction today is that no-one won the debate, and the voters haven’t changed their minds about how they will vote. It was all a required exercise before the vote, with no results. In all the arguments, there is a story about someone who preached a sermon at a Baptist church. I wasn’t there for the sermon, but apparently he talked about sexuality and morals, and he described some similarities between homosexuals, and pedophiles who molest children. I don’t know what he said, but someone found a record of the sermon, and noted that the preacher is a candidate in the election. That has produced angry demands to fire the candidate, and he has apologized. The debate last night included angry words about “homophobia” but I predict that preacher will win his local election by a landslide. People in his small-town region don’t have a …

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What is the most important thing you can do in spiritual warfare?: PODCAST #18

PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I want to talk about the most important thing you can do in a spiritual warfare. So what do you think is the most important thing to do? Some might say putting on the armour of god. Another might say prayer. And certainly these things are important, but I believe there is one fundamental principle that we need to embrace first in spiritual warfare and it will make our prayer and spiritual armour powerful and effective. And make no mistake we are involved in a spiritual battle. A few weeks back I read an interesting story about Greg Gordon. For those of you who don’t know Greg, he runs a website called sermonindex.net which is a collection of thousands of sermons of pastors and Bible teachers from different church backgrounds and nationalities. He also has a YouTube channel with over 145,000 subscribers and 7,000 sermons. These sermons have been viewed in excess of 35 million times. This is a significant ministry. But recently …

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Finding your rhythm through ‘yes’ and ‘no’

Many times when we turn our cares and worries over to the Lord, I believe we must let go or drop something in our lives as well. There are many things we can be doing and saying ‘yes’ to because they are good and worthwhile plans and causes. But, I often end up dragging myself before God asking Him to take my worries and cares from me, that only I can remove by saying ‘no.’ There many good plans and activities that are often difficult to say no too and many times we feel guilty if we don’t step in and help.  We must find our rhythm and set the pace for ourselves so that peace and rest emanate from us not frustration and anger. If we do things out of a sense of guilt, a constant stream of ‘yeses” will create a current of anger in us that will interrupt the flow of God’s presence in our lives. Lysa Terkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministry talks about saying ‘yes’ to too many things and by …

Chinese Communist Party's hammer and sickle appearing along side McDonalds Credit: Phillip McMaster/Flickr/Creative Commons

Just in time for Easter: Chinese city offers a Judas’ reward for citizens turning in Christians

I have written several articles in the past how China has taken a sharp turn to the left under its latest president Xi Jingping. The communist trademark hammer and sickle is showing up in public displays around China. Now Asia News is reporting that the Chinese city of Guangzhou is offering rewards of as much as $1,500 US for people to turn in Christians to authorities. Over the previous couple of decades China entered an unprecedented time of prosperity and freedom. During this time, Christianity, that was flourishing in the underground church, moved above ground and this resulted in the construction of several mega churches. However, under Jingping this is all changing. The government is now cracking down on these churches. In early December, police demolished one of the the country’s largest church, The Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province, using dynamite and heavy machinery. As a result of this crackdown, Christians are heading back underground where they flourished before Jingping gained tyrannical control of the nation. Now the leaders of Guangzhou want its citizens …

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The stones are crying out

One my favorite stories in the Gospels involves what would be Jesus last trip to Jerusalem. A week later, the Romans would crucify Christ. Many churches celebrate Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday. In preparation for the trip, the Lord sent His disciples to Bethany to look for a donkey colt telling the owner that the Lord had need of it. As Jesus slowly rode into Jerusalem, people began throwing their cloaks on the road before Him while others threw down palm branches. This was an act reserved for royalty as we see happening when Jehu was declared King and people put their garments on the ground as he walked down the steps (2 Kings 9:13). Then people began shouting “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38 NASV). The pharisees in the crowd understood what was happening and became very upset by what they were witnessing. They yelled out for Jesus to rebuke His disciples. But Christ answered them: “I tell you, if these become silent, …

"And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'” (Luke 3:22 NASV) Credit: David Campbell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Peer-reviewed medical study reveals that God heals even if you don’t believe in divine healing

A study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, reports on the miraculous healing of a 16-year-old Christian boy. Even the title, Case Report of gastroparesis healing: 16 years of a chronic syndrome resolved after proximal intercessory prayer, reveals the key role that prayer played in this Divine healing. It is interesting to note, that though his Christian parents believed Jesus healed people in the Bible, they did not believe God still healed today. So what happened? Within a couple of weeks of his birth, the unnamed boy was diagnosed with gastroparesis. This is a condition where food is not properly moved out of the stomach and through the intestinal tract and as a results stays inside the stomach for an extended period. This can result in a number of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating, lack of appetite because your stomach feels full after eating little food, and malnutrition. There is no known cure and medicine can only help alleviate the symptoms. After being diagnosed as an …

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Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down!

Mistakes, I’ve made a few.  Sorry Frank but I made those mistakes doing things my way and not the right way. I used to be an athlete. If you saw me you’d be able to see my chiseled abs and bulging muscles. Okay, so the bulges are not in my biceps and the chiseled looks have faded into my memory where they remained exaggerated to this day. After all I am a story teller.  At one time I was a ranked tennis player…but only on those hot summer days. Yet I made mistakes. Yup, I admit that I was not perfect in either my game or my life. During a tennis match one day I was having trouble putting the spare ball in my pocket. You see in tennis for some reason players stash a spare ball in their shorts. Weird.  When I played hockey I was never allowed to carry an extra puck. The same when I played football. The refs would get really mad if you had your own ball. This one day …

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 …