All posts filed under: z176

48 | Did a “strange” word of knowledge help win the most important hockey game of the past century?

In this podcast I will be discussing a strange, and I mean really strange, word of knowledge that helped win arguably one of the most important hockey games in Canada’s history.

Spiritual Warfare #1: Fear or Freedom

Spiritual warfare is the foundation of many Hollywood movies and best-selling novels. We all know stories that scared us and our nightmares are full of frightening images and visions. All these things have one purpose and that is to cause fear. That moment in the movie when we jump as the monster leaps out of the dark, that build up of suspense in the book until the killer is standing over the victim, and that scary thing under our bed cause us to fear the unexpected, the unnatural, or the spirit world. Is this fear warranted? In this first in a series of articles on spiritual warfare, we examine that question. I used to like monster movies and those weird TV shows looking for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or Loch Ness Monster. These creatures were shown as bigger than life and portrayed as frightening, almost supernatural. As a child, The Mummy scared me the most. Movies and TV moved into more powerful supernatural areas over time and evil spirits are shown as powerful unstoppable forces. People, even …

That Little Boy Who Prayed

There is a picture, and a story on the Internet, about a six-year-old boy in Peru who prayed to God, about the Coronavirus pandemic, in the middle of a street. From the story, the boy wanted to pray, but his home was too noisy, so he went outside and prayed in the quiet street. I am skeptical about two things, but the boys’ story is a good one. Jesus did say “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) That boy can teach the world something. I am skeptical about the claim that this story has gone viral. It is being circulated by one denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, and probably most of the readers are in that group. But then here we are; I’m not Catholic, and we are taking the story to the wider world. Maybe it really will go viral. It should. I am also skeptical about the picture. The camera angle, the boy’s pose, and the street lighting all look like …

Keeping Prayer Simple

When I looked at prayer in the past, I thought it meant praying for at least one hour before it counted, and this belief discouraged me from entering into prayer. I believed that it was just too hard to incorporate into my everyday life and as a result prayer was often the last thing I did. Then I started feeling guilty about not praying enough, and this led me to just stop praying altogether because I felt my prayers weren’t good enough or long enough, so why bother. The priests ministering in the temple in the Old Testament had a great spiritual responsibility to offer sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. But they also had other duties. These were called ‘sacred lots’ where the menial duties of priesthood were divided up including such things as kitchen duties, yard work and providing oversight to the Levites. They had other necessary duties that did not include the sacrifices, but were important enough to be called ‘sacred.’ Understanding that the Old Testament priests had menial …

Studies show people are turning to prayer during COVID-19 crisis

According to a study by a Danish professor, it seems that people are turning to prayer during these difficult times. This was not any more evident than during final moments of a live interview MSNBC host Craig Melvin’s had with T.J. Jakes, the pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church based in Dallas at the beginning of April. With seconds left, Melvin turned to Bishop Jakes and said: “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on air. Can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds.” As Melvin bowed his head, Pastor Jakes prayed for God to strengthen people during this time of crisis and particularly those who are first responders: According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an assistant professor of Economics at Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, this should not surprise us because Google searches for “prayer” are surging during this pandemic. Using Google Trends, Bentzen studied the records in 75 countries of the number of searches for prayer in the month of March. Based on her research, …

Is Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled before our eyes?

Joel was a prophet that God raised up to call Judah to repentance. Most believe his prophecies were delivered sometime between 835 BC and 800 BC. But in the second chapter, the prophet veers from his message and prophesies about things that will occur leading up to the Day of the Lord or the second coming of Christ. It is like reading a newspaper clipping from 2020 AD. Plagues of Locusts First he describes plagues of locusts that he compares to an army leaping over walls (Joel 2:1-11). This plague will ravage the land and overwhelm cities. There will be so many that they will darken the skies and leave behind utter devastation: Before them fire devours,     behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,     behind them, a desert waste—     nothing escapes them. Joel 2:3 NIV Reports indicate|a massive wave of locusts is building in Africa in April 2020, that could devastate the food supplies of several countries in Africa and the Middle East. The first wave hit …

Are some politicizing the Coronavirus to attack Christians?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, On Fire Church in Louisville, Kentucky stopped public gatherings but continued holding services in their parking lot, where people sat in their cars listening to the service over a low frequency FM. This eliminated any human contact and complied with CDC regulations. However, a couple of days before Easter, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer ordered all churches to stop public gatherings including parking lot services and threatened to record the license plates of any who attended. When, On Fire decided to hold its Easter service in the parking lot as usual, First Liberty, a legal nonprofit dedicated to preserving religious freedom, went to the courts arguing Fischer’s order was unconstitutional and won a temporary restraining order against the city. According to the Daily Caller, in his decision U.S. District Court Judge Justin Walker also compared the Mayor’s order to a dystopian society: “That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion”. “But two days ago, …

Courage?

According to Oxford, courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. Oxford also says it is strength in the face of pain or grief. Of course, the polar opposites here are encourage and discourage. One is giving courage and the other is taking away courage. When we thing of courage we often think of kings, warriors and those facing life threatening circumstances. I personally think of Joshua who led the Israelites into the promised land. Great battles need great courage to be sure. In our modern context we think of police, fire, and defense as areas needing courage. But courage today is not limited to our warriors and first responders. Christianity requires courage. It takes courage to maintain a different worldview than the one around us. It takes courage to speak out against sin when it is so pervasive that it is a human right. Christians live for the kingdom of heaven and our worldview is one of the Bible. The reality is Christ is the solution to sin. Unfortunately, many in this …

47 | How many crosses did Jesus actually die on?

Follow our podcasts on: Itunes Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this Easter podcast I want to answer the top theological question of the day, namely how many crosses did Jesus die on? Now here is the strange thing, most Christians, and I even include myself in this, at times believe Jesus actually died on two crosses. The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was crucified along with two other men, and that Jesus was on the middle cross with the two criminals on either side of him. But most Christians believe that sometime in the middle of one of those nights that Jesus hung on the cross for our sins, God switched the Lord to one of the other crosses.  And what is even more incredible, the disciples, who had been absolutely traumatized by the Lord’s crucifixion, didn’t even notice and never recorded this switch in the Bible.  I know this sounds strange, but this is what most Christians believe.  Of course, …

You Need A Job: The Virus And Your Future

We all know that the world is experiencing a pandemic. Where I live, the streets are quiet, and when I walk to the grocery store, I walk carefully around other people, and they do the same to me. It’s like we don’t like each other. We know the virus is dangerous; people are sick and dying. The world is also starting to learn the dangerous cure. We are closing down the world economy, to stop a virus, and this therapy could kill the patient. I knew a man, years ago, who was diagnosed with cancer. His condition was treatable, and he responded well and started to get better, and then the doctors gave him the bad news. The chemo treatment was killing him; he could recover from the cancer, but he would die from the cure. Either way, he was going to die. This was terrible news for him, and for friends like me. The doctors admitted him to a palliative ward, and kept him comfortable, while he died. His hospital was close to my …