All posts filed under: z27

Antarctic Peninsula, Paradise Bay -- tonykliemann/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Book of Job and the ice age

Theologians consider the Book of Job as one of the oldest books of the Bible. It is generally believed to have been written during the time of the early patriarchs, shortly after Noah’s flood. There is an interesting feature about Job. It refers to ice and snow more than any other book in the Bible. It not only discusses ice and snow, but does it in a much more descriptive way. Out of the South comes the storm. And out of the North comes the cold From the breath of God ice is made And the expanse of the water is frozen. (Job 37:9-10 NASV) The word expanse is translated in another version “broad waters” refers to massive bodies of ice. Job was describing a sea of frozen ice. Considering Job lived in the Middle East, where did he get this idea? Then he throws out another depiction: From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the …

God has a specific destiny and path for each one of us. Photo: Dave Soldano/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: A sense of purpose adds years to your life

A study produced by researchers Patrick Hill from Canada’s Carleton University and Nicholas Turiano from the University of Rochester’s Medical Center concluded that having a purpose adds years to a person’s life. The two researchers tracked 6,000 people over a 14-year period who had been part of the Midlife in the United States study. Elements of the comprehensive survey delved into such areas as determining if a person felt they had a purpose. Among other things they were asked to respond to such statements as “some people wander aimlessly in life, but I am not one of them.” Over their study period, the research team determined that 9% (569) of these people had died. After analyzing the data, they found that across all age groups those who had a higher sense of purpose consistently lived longer. Lead author Patrick Hill stated: “These findings suggest that there’s something unique about finding a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity.” The two added in their report published in Psychological Science that other studies have come …

Photo: Leonard J Matthews/Flickr/Creative Commons

How Christianity is dying …. or is it?

There is a huge debate about Christianity these days. Many people thinks it’s an antique ideology, disappearing rapidly. I don’t want to argue, but my recent experience might help. My home city used to be the Bible belt of Canada. Our provincial premier, similar to a state governor, was also a Baptist radio preacher. My brother once went to a children’s meeting at the Fundamentalist Baptist Church, and a dignified older man said hello. That was him. We also had a mention in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” for Holy Row, or Church Street, a small area with the highest concentration of churches in the world. That Ripley’s thing might be an urban legend but we all believed it. Today, that inner city street is crowded with old churches and my personal favourite is the Danish Lutheran building. Some of those churches are still open, but Holy Row not so holy now. A few years ago my church moved to some place north of the city, into cow and chicken country, and I moved south; …

Jesus breaks the curse of Generational curses!

Generational Curses: Part 4 — Jesus breaks the curse

In this series we have been studying a Biblical principle found in Scripture often referred to as Generational Curses. First cited in Exodus 20:5 and referenced several times after (Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9 and Jeremiah 36:31), it revolves around the idea that the sin/iniquity of the parents can be be passed down to the children for up to four generations. 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 our previous article, I discussed how King David’s family was affected by such a curse. So the obvious question is, what type of iniquity or sin can be passed down? In the Exodus passage, it states that iniquity of the parents can be passed down, not the sin. While sin refers to the act of sinning, iniquity speaks of a sin addiction. Since one of the earliest references to iniquity …

Praying in a cathedral in Tuscany, Italy. Photo: ashokboghani/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Prayer reduces alcoholic cravings

Researchers with New York University’s Langone Medical Center have discovered that prayer helps a person reduce their cravings for alcohol. In their study, the group performed MRI brain scans on 20 people who were long-term participants with Alcoholics Anonymous. The chosen 20 all stated that they did not have any cravings for alcohol during the previous week. There were two phases to the testing. During both phases the participants viewed alcoholic drinks and across the board all participants said they felt a craving for alcohol. After viewing alcohol in the first test, the AA group was given a newspaper to read and during the second test they were told to recite AA’s prayer that promotes abstinence. The AA prayer also called the serenity prayer was developed for the organization by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and goes like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference.” The research group discovered that the participants stated there was a significant reduction …

Was David's son -- King Solomon -- affected by a generational curse in David's family. Image: Queen of Sheba visiting King Solomon by Edward Poynter (1836-1919)/Wikipedia

Generational Curses: Part 3 — Did King David’s family have a generational curse?

In the first two articles in this series on Generational Curses, I looked at the principles of this curse outlined in Exodus 20:5, where God said the iniquity of the parents would be passed to the children for up to four generations. 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 this third article, we will study the devastating effects that generational curses had on one particular family — King David’s. This will involve taking a second look at what is conceivably one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. Israel’s greatest illegitimate son In our first article, we studied how it was the iniquity (Hebrew awon) and not the sin (Hebrew chattah) of the parents that would be passed on to the children. In that article, I discussed that while sin refers to the act, iniquity refers to a …

Photo: Trey Ratcliff/Flickr/Creative Commons

The first prayer

After I lost my first-born son, Graham, to suicide, I still had my sixteen year old, second born son to care for. I watched my adolescent boy reeling from his own grief as he sat on the couch in the basement for days on end. He had made up his brother’s bed and formed the blankets to look like he was still sleeping in it.  He could not accept that his brother was gone. My perspective on life had tilted dramatically.  I knew that I could no longer “take care of everything.”  I was no longer superwoman. All that I felt I could do was pray for my son. Behind our house there was a two-mile hike up to a huge coulee.  Once you reached the top you just had to sit down and admire the scenery below. Farmers crops and cows grazed at the base of this coulee. Hues of gold, green and geometric patterns stretched out over the wide open land before me. From the rock pile on top of the plateau, I …

Women in Iran. Photo: Sebastia Giralt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Middle East Muslim leader puts daughter under house arrest for becoming a Christian

Paul Siniraj is founder of Bibles for the Mideast an organization that smuggles Bibles into Middle Eastern Muslim countries. In a recent report on his website, he told of the remarkable Christian conversion of an unnamed young woman, 16, who is the daughter of one of the rulers of an unnamed Mideast country. The young woman, who Siniraj gave the name Najima, was receiving a higher education at a Western school in that Muslim nation. Najima was eating in the cafeteria, when she noticed paper jammed between the tables. Pulling it out, she discovered it was a Gospel tract. She read it and one of the Bible verses on the tract caught her attention: “For God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being from a strong Muslim family, Najima faithfully followed all the Muslim traditions, so she tossed the tract into the garbage. But though she got rid of the tract, the Bible verse began …

Photo: docenjoyce/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is a help meet?

When God created woman, He used a strange Hebrew word to describe her role in marriage. She would be a “help meet.” 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18 King James) Other Bible versions, like the NASV, describe her as a “helper.” It leaves the impression that God intended women to help men and some go so far as to interpret this as perhaps even a servant. In fact, a closer look at the two Hebrew words involved leaves a slightly different impression. The Hebrew word for “help” (ezer) is derived from two Hebrew words that mean “to rescue” and “to save.” The word eventually came to mean “to be strong” to “save in strength.” The same word is used in Deuteronomy, to describe God’s help: “There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help [ezer], And through the skies in His majesty. (Deuteronomy 33:26 NASV) So how was woman …

The gunman returned wallet and phone after Shaquille Hairston started praying

[by Dean Smith] Shaquille Hairston, 21, works the late shift at a hotel in Euclid, Ohio. On June 3, he caught the bus home late that night, as he usually did. When Hairston got off at a stop near his home, a man who was also on the bus slipped off as well. After the bus departed, the man approached Shaquille on the dark, deserted street, pulled out a gun and demanded money. In an interview with Cleveland’s Fox News, Shaquille said when he told the man he didn’t have any cash, the robber hit him on the head with his gun.