All posts filed under: z25

Photo: BostonBill/Flickr/Creative Commons

No, You Cannot Have a Billion Dollars

I am sure that you are here for a reason. Every human being has a purpose attached to their existence, and feeding ourselves is not the meaning of life. Building important things means more than becoming the richest person in the cemetery. Recently I had to wait in a parking lot for someone, while a thunderstorm poured water on everything. I was safe and dry in my truck, but I got bored so I drove over to a huge home improvement center and went inside until the rain stopped. Window shopping for paint, and power tools, and patio furniture distracted me for a while, and just when that got old, a friend walked around a corner and said hello. My friend goes to the church I used to attend, until I moved, and we talked for a while. One thing was clear, my friend wasn’t hiding from the rain; he was working in the mega home improvement store. The economy is in a recession, where I live, and my friend found a low paying retail …

Why do some Christians love to hate? Photo: Bart/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christians Who Hate

Wikipedia has a list of “List of terrorist incidents, January–June 2016” and it is a long list for just six months, with everything from mob violence to airport bombings. Human beings are violent and unhappy. When I check the news, someone else has died in some terrorist attack, somewhere in the world. I hope we never get immune to the fact that most killers, in these news stories, hate and kill in the name of God. The good news for Christians is that most religious violence has come from other religions; until now. So can Christians hate? Can we hate people, and not just bad things? Would the death of anyone make your life better? I know that the mean and miserable people in my life are growing older; but every time one of them dies, my life does not get better. There is no improvement down that road. My happiness is tied to God, not to them. So is there any possibility of Christian-inspired violence in the world? Yes. I have never met someone …

The Glory of God is falling on West Virginia. Photo: small church in West Virginia's coal country on a mountain near Snowshoe, West Virginia. Robert Du Bois/Flickr/Creative Commons

Revival hits West Virginia coal country

Reports are coming in of a massive revival building in small towns through out West Virginia’s coal country hard hit by the economic crisis and America’s harsh environmental policies putting thousands out of work. An estimated 4,000 people have accepted Christ in this largely rural area where communities range in size from 500 to a few thousand people. The first inkling of what was to come appeared in late March, 2016, when a student at Logan High, Skyler Miller — a leukemia survivor, spontaneously started preaching in the school hallways. Logan, West Virginia has a population of 1,779 according to the 2010 census. Rather than reacting negatively to the message, many students stood and watched. The Holy Spirit showed up and some even responded while other students were looking on. But the revival that tepidly stirred among the youth spread into a Church of God in nearby Delbarton, West Virginia — population 579 . Pastor Mitchell Bias of Regional Church of God believed God wanted him to bring in a young 31-year old evangelist, Matt …

We need to have a prophetic element in our prayers. Photo: Matthew Green/Flickr/Creative Commons

Envisioning prayer

Last year, I was praying and seeking an answer and intervention for a particular situation that was very troubling to me. As I desperately sought the answer, I suddenly began to envision it happening right down to the exact details — what would it look like, sound like and feel like if it actually came to pass. After picturing the scenario in my mind’s eye, I spontaneously began to thank and praise God for the answer. My response surprised me. I realized because it had been so real in my mind as I prayed, that my spirit responded with thanksgiving and praise before I even knew what was happening. It was the same response that I would have felt seeing my prayer answered and fulfilled in the flesh. But in this instance it hadn’t happened yet. The incident reminded me of a verse: “Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the non-existent things that (He has foretold and promised) as if they (already) existed.”  (Romans 4:17 AMP) I had meditated and contemplated on …

So what caused the 1910 Paris flood — SUVs?

The recent flooding in Paris that saw the Seine River break its banks has brought out dozens of environmental apologists claiming it was caused by man-made global warming. Of course, they are insinuating that if we don’t cut back carbon emissions more of the same awaits us. One man-made global warming article shrilly shouted in its headline: Climate Change Made the Flooding in France More Deadly. Unfortunately, there is a bit of problem with the messaging. This is not the first time Paris has flooded and this wasn’t even the worst flood. French Artist Julien Knez caused a bit of a stir when he used a bunch of old photos of the Great Paris Flood of 1910 and then took pictures of the same spots during this year’s flood allowing us to compare the impact of the two deluges. As the photos show, the 1910 flood was actually higher as the Seine River peaked at 8.62 meters above normal compared to only 6.1 meters above normal when it reached its maximum level on June 3 …

Middle East dust storm. Photo: diogo.saravia/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you covered with the wrong dust?

Jesus was sending his disciples to preach the gospel in some nearby villages when He gave these odd instructions. 13 If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. (Matthew 10:13-14 NASV) If the village did not heed their words or receive Christ’s message they were supposed to shake the dust of the village off their feet. In the dry Mediterranean climate, dust was a constant way of life and not surprisingly idioms about dust found its way into the common vernacular. It was a quirky saying and sometimes we struggle to understand what Jesus was referring to. In fact, Jesus may have alluded to a quaint saying associated with Rabbis of the day. In her book, Walking in the dust of the Rabbi, Jesus, author Lois Tverberg explains that Jesus’ teaching approach was very much the …

Roots of bitterness Photo: Peter Lewis/Flickr/Creative Commons

When anger sprouts a root

Many Christians view anger as sin, but surprisingly the Bible says under certain conditions it isn’t. In his letter, to the Ephesians Paul writes: 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4:26 NASV). Other versions translate it more simply, “Be angry and sin not.” The fundamental thought behind this verse is that anger is not necessarily a sin. It is an emotional response to a negative event. In fact, the Bible records times when Jesus was angry. In Mark 3:4, 5, the Lord became angry when the Pharisees challenged the healing of a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. They were more concerned about keeping their legalistic interpretation of the law than seeing a person restored. Though angered by their response, Jesus also grieved about the hardness of their heart. But there are also times when the anger isn’t justified and it may be an indicator of sin. We see a hint of this back in Ephesians when Paul adds “do not …

Passing on iniquity for four generations?

Generational curses: Part 2 — For four generations

In my first article on Generational Curses, I looked at a verse in Exodus 20:5, where God promised to visit the iniquity of the parents on the children. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NASV) In that article, we discussed how it was the iniquity (Hebrew awon) and not the sin (Hebrew chataah), that was passed on. The difference between the two being that while sin refers to the act, iniquity refers to a sin addiction. In much the same way children inherit red hair and freckles from their parents, they also inherit spiritual characteristics as well. In this article, I want to discuss the third principle noted in this verse that generational curses can pass down for up to four generations. Ironically, in my first post, I cited a story published in The Globe and Mail that talked of …

Mobile Chapel. Photo: Sandy McIntosh

The church that should not be

I am a Christian, but on some Sundays I don’t go to church. A few times a year I go to a truck stop where a group “Transport for Christ” has worship services. If this truck stop chapel is a church, it has some flaws. I remember taking a course called “Church Growth” where we planned to start prosperous and stable suburban churches. We looked for communities with young families and affordable real estate, and planned for the long-term. The truck stop is surrounded by industry, with no houses for miles. The local community is truck drivers who stop for a few hours. The church is a modified semi trailer, with stacking chairs inside. This is not a pretty suburban temple with expensive windows and a pipe organ. There is a window on the door, but not even a guitar for music. That pattern was part of the plan, a chapel for industrial workers, but things have gone wrong. The parking lots have been sold to other businesses and now there is only a fuel …

Daniel and Amy McArthur Photo: YouTube Capture/The Christian Institute

Gay activist supports Irish Christian bakers

A strange case emerging in Northern Ireland has a prominent gay activist supporting a bakers decision not to produce a cake promoting gay marriage. The issue involves evangelical Christians Daniel and Amy McArthur who manage a family-owned business: Ashers Baking Co in Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland. In the summer of 2014, they were asked to create a cake for an event supporting the push for the legalization of gay marriage in Northern Ireland. The cake was supposed to have the images of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie on it along with the words “Support Gay Marriage.” The order was initially accepted at the store and later cancelled because the McArthurs did not feel comfortable supporting gay marriage. When they cancelled the order, Gareth Lee, who had requested the cake on behalf of the group Queerspace, took the McArthurs before England’s Equality Commission claiming discrimination. In the court case that followed, lawyers for The Christian Institute representing the McArthurs argued this was not a case of discrimination because the McArthurs did not know Lee was gay. Rather, …