All posts filed under: z134

Photo of the Milky Way from Argentina Credit: Luis Argerich/Flickr/Creative Commons

The silence was deafening, but not the explosion

According to a report by BBC, around noon on December 18, 2019, a large meteor/small asteroid exploded over the Bering Strait. The Bering Strait is the body of water separating Russian and Alaska and the explosion took place closer to the Russian side near the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was first reported by the US Air Force who caught the explosion with a military satellite and passed the information on to NASA, that was given the responsibility of tracking near-Earth asteroids by the US government in 2005. However, this one had completely escaped NASA’s notice. The asteroid, that was several meters in size, was traveling at 20 miles (32kms) per second and exploded about 26 kilometers above the Bering Strait. Though it safely exploded over water, there was concern because it was near commercial airline routes. The explosion, estimated at 173 kilotons, was ten times the power of Hiroshima and was described as “historic” by Lindley Johnson who works with NASA’s planetary defense division responsible for tracking asteroids. Johnson said it was the the second largest …

Peter Ruben's (1577-1640) painting of the women at the tomb. Perhaps fitting of her reputation as a prostitute, Ruben's had Mary of Magdalene wearing a red dress.

Mirando por segunda vez la reputación de Mary Magdalene

English version: Taking a second look at Mary Magdalene’s tattered reputation Fue durante un sermón predicado por el Papa Gregorio 1, en 591 dC, que la reputación de María Magdalena escandalizó al público por primera vez y nunca se recuperó por completo. En su homilía, el Papa Gregorio dice que María Magdalena había sido prostituta. Y es un punto de vista que ahí se quedó . Se basa esta conclusión en un par de cosas. En primer lugar según los Evangelios, María Magdalena tenía siete demonios echados fuera de ella ( Marcos 16: 9 , Lucas 8: 2 ). El Papa Gregorio sugirió estos siete demonios implicaron siete pecados capitales que incluían la lujuria. E Papa Gregory añadió que la mujer pecadora sin nombre en Lucas 7: 36-50 , que ungió a Jesús con un perfume muy caro, no fue otra que María Magdalena. Se creía generalmente por la reacción de todo el mundo que la mujer inmoral era probablemente una prostituta, pero incluso eso no puede ser cierto. Pero, sin embargo, Gregory llegó a una conclusión: Ella que Lucas llama a la mujer pecadora, a …

Forgiving to forget: PODCAST

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode I will try to answer the age-old question, does forgiving forget. I remember many years ago talking to a friend about forgiveness who replied “I can forgive, but I can never forget.” But is forgiving a key to forgetting? In 1967, the nation of Israel awarded Corrie Ten Boom, who died in 1983, the title of Righteous Among the Nations because she along with her family helped Jews escape the Nazi holocaust through a hiding place in their family home in Holland. However, on February 28, 1944, a Dutch Nazi collaborator turned the family in to the Nazis and they were arrested. The family was broken apart with Corrie and her sister Betsy ending up at the Nazi’s notorious Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Though Betsy would eventually die from the brutal treatment at the camp, a clerical error in December 1944 resulted in Corrie’s unintentional release. After the war, God raised up Corrie to preach a message of God’s forgiveness throughout war-torn Europe. …

Credit: Mik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Waves of surrender

As, I stood on a beach in Mexico recently with my daughter, the waves caught my attention. Over the past few weeks, I wrestled with some things in my mind that mostly involved expectations I had placed on myself. These expectations kept me awake at night and anxious during the day. I sat down in the warm ocean water leaned back on the sandy shoreline and allowed the waves to crash over me. I watched the waves rise, gain momentum and then fall. The strength of the waves kept building and some were four to five feet high. I plugged my nose, held my breath and braced myself as the next wave rolled over me, pushing me further back onto the shore. The sand massaged my body as I sank deeper and deeper into it’s wet but warm embrace. It was so comforting! In those moments, I released the expectations I had placed on myself. I let go of them as the waves rolled over me.  I had placed expectations on myself of things I …

Credit: Jeso Carneiro/Flickr/Creative Commons

Emails in sheep’s clothing?: Scam impersonates pastors

It involved a high-tech play on Jesus’s ancient warning that there would wolves infiltrating the church pretending to be sheep or Christians (Matthew 7:15). In this case they were impersonating pastor’s emails. The Gaston Gazette is reporting that members of Venture Church and Bethlehem Church based in Dallas, North Carolina, received emails purportedly from the church’s two head pastors asking for money. What is even more amazing is that Dallas is small community of under 5,000 people. These are obviously not big churches. According to Venture’s associate pastor, Chris Mintz, the emails mimicked the church’s two head pastors using a fake gmail account. The scammers used dspargo.bethlehembc@gmail.com for  Bethlehem’s Senior Pastor Dickie Spargo and Austinrammell.daretoventure@gmail.com for Venture’s pastor, Austin Rammell. In separate emails sent in late February to members of the two churches, people were asked to immediately send money to help either a “supposedly sick child” or a person sick with cancer in the church. According to Pastor Mintz, in each case the people were specifically asked to send $300 by purchasing a Google …

Brian Welch performing with Korn in Hockenheim, Germany in 2014. Credit: Sven Mandel/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Brian Welch explains what Jesus said about his rock star look

Prior to becoming a Christian in 2005, Brian Welch, 48, was a member of the mega grunge metal band Korn, that he helped co-found. After his dramatic conversion to Christ that resulted in him getting baptized in the Jordan River along with a group of Christians from the church he attended in Bakersfield, California, Brian  realized that he needed to leave the band to break free from his alcohol and drug addictions. He also didn’t want to raise his daughter in a drug and sex fueled environment. But when he left the band, Brian did not change his appearance. He still had his tattoos but kept his dreadlocks and rock star appearance and then began to produce Christian music with a similar sound. Then he sparked additional controversy in 2012, when Brian returned as Korn’s lead guitarist. Of course, it is easy for Christians, including myself, to question all this, but recently at the premier of Tim Tebow’s Christian movie, Run the Race, Welch shared what Jesus told him about his appearance. He said that …

Doctor admits Jesus healed Misty Burdette

In 2007, at 32 years of age, Misty Burdette was diagnosed with breast cancer. But it was unusual, because according to the doctor it was a type of cancer that typically only older women get. But after receiving chemo treatment and two mastectomies, the cancer went into remission. But in 2015, a CT scan of her lungs, due to a persistent cough, revealed the cancer was back. After further testing, Misty was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her pelvis, bones as well as lungs. Misty was a believer, but the news shook her to core and her cancer became so painful she prayed that God would either heal her or take her life. In an interview with Charisma News, Misty said God spoke to her saying that I needed to “get stronger in my faith.” In 2018, Misty came in contact with Brad Smith, pastor of Woodward First Assembly, an Assembly of God Church in Woodward, Oklahoma. After finding out that God had miraculously healed Brad of a mass on …

The Devil is a Big Fat Carb!

We all know that the devil is a liar but how on earth is he a big fat carb? Let me explain. There are two things that haunt my everyday life these days and both have to do with my mouth. Political correctness is like a diet of what comes out of my mouth and my arch nemesis, the Keto diet, limits what goes into my mouth. Either way my mouth is not happy even if both might be better for my health. If you are a keto person then you know that protein and fat are good and carbs are bad. The devil is bad so therefore the devil is a carb. Normally the wisdom needed to put this together would be only available when I am sneaking into the kitchen at two in the morning looking for a non-keto snack. The fact that I had this revelation in mid morning while talking with a friend means it must be true. My friend, who, for the sake of anonymity, is called Mike, showed me …

Church on Lake Bled, Slovenia Credit: Alex Krivec/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spiritual but not Religious? Yes

Have you heard about SBNR or SBNA? That means “Spiritual But Not Religious” and “Spiritual But Not Affiliated.” The Internet is full of blogs and videos about this, and it seems to be most popular with young adults today “Millennials.” RELATED: Spiritual but not religious So is this good for us? Should we run away from it? Is it the enemy of Christianity? Yes, No, and Maybe. I believe, if we want to talk about something, we should invest some intelligent thought. Emotional storms just generate destructive arguments. So let’s be careful and rational. True spirituality is not … 1) Dishonest Manipulation. We all know there are religious cults in the world that are controlling and dangerous. Imagine a person telling you that they are ‘Spiritual’ when they are not. They are lying to make you do what they want. That person is a religious sociopath, and someone we should avoid. 2) Ignorance. We might use a word like “spiritual’ to win an argument with someone, maybe our parents. I have been guilty of that …

Stepping past your fears

For years I have been controlled by what other people thought of me. Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed watching YouTube videos of people dancing up stairs.  I had a notion to try this myself but wondered what others would think of a 60 year-old-woman dancing up a set of stairs. Because of my fear, I hesitated doing it. I was trapped in a mindset of “not being good enough.” I was caught in the comparison trap and was controlled by what other people might think. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that “the fear of man is a snare.”  It traps you and stops you from being who God created you to be. We have to quit worrying about what others think, because God accepts us just the way we are and we need to accept ourselves. Each one of us is created with our own unique design and expression. We were recently in Galveston, Texas and I saw some stairs going down to the ocean.  In that moment, I wanted to dance up …