All posts filed under: z42

65% of British people believe they had an encounter with God. Photo: London England -- Ville Miettinen/Flickr/Creative Commons

British survey reveals God is still encountering people today

It is very clear when you read the Bible that God desires personal encounters with people. In the Old Testament, Moses ran into God in the wilderness through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17). The incident changed his life and transformed him from a shepherd to the man who led Israel out of Egypt. In the New Testament, God encountered people through the filling of the Holy Spirit. It was a dramatic event. When the Holy Spirit fell on the gentiles in Cornelius’s house, the disciples in attendance had no doubt it had happened because of what they saw (Acts 10:44-46). A meeting with God can also take on other forms. After an angel told Philip to go down a specific road he ran into the Ethiopian Eunuch who was just leaving Jerusalem (Acts 8:25-40). Puzzled by what he was reading in Isaiah, Philip’s timely arrival led to the man becoming a Christian. The eunuch worked in the treasury department for the Ethiopian Royal family (Acts 8:27). His conversion brought Christianity to that nation. According to a recent British survey, these God encounters …

Palmdale, California Photo: Jamesb01/Wikipedia

California school backs down in a battle for religious freedom with a seven-year old

A young student who is referred to as ‘C’ is a grade one student at Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale, California. Last school term, the school that is part of the Palmdale School District called in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office because C, who is only seven-years old, was distributing Bible verses and stories written out on paper with his classmates. The problems surfaced last spring, when C’s mother, Christine Zavala routinely included Bible verses and encouraging notes while packing her son’s lunch. C who enjoyed the notes began to share them with his fellow classmates. Afters some of the students requested notes of their own, Christine included verses and even some Bible stories for the other children. The Santa Monica Observer (SMO) wrote that the problems surfaced when in April one of the students told the class teacher about the stories stating “this is the most beautiful story I’ve ever seen.” Now aware of what was going on, the teacher stepped in and told C he was not allowed to share these …

The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks (1780-1849)

Study reveals the nature of animals as God created them

A report released by Dr. Joel Berger of the Wildlife Conversation Society says the fear of predators is not a natural instinct in animals. It is a learned behavior. This revelation is a bit of a shock for many evolutionists who believe the fear of predators is a naturally evolving instinct that enabled species to survive. Berger came to this conclusion after studying the relationship between prey and predator in 19 ecosystems in Russia, Greenland, Canada and the US. He focused specifically on elk, moose, bison and caribou and their natural predators wolves, tigers and bears. He compared systems where predators existed with those where they didn’t. He noticed that prey-animals only feared predators, if they regularly encountered them.  Once the predators were removed, prey animals lost a fear of their natural enemies. In his study, Berger played sound recordings of predators around test animals that had no predators in their area and compared their reactions to similar species that regularly encountered predators in their surroundings. Berger said “elk in the mountains of Siberia — who …

The Kremlin and St. Basil Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Photo: Mariano Mantel/Flickr/Creative Commons

Russian government makes it illegal for believers to share their faith privately

The Russian government just passed a bill severely curtailing religious expression in that country. According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin has already signed off on the bill and it will come into effect on July 20, 2o16 The legislation was part of a package of bills intended to counter terrorism. However, many are concerned due to its broad reach, the law could be used by local authorities to persecute the Christian church. Among the many features of the bill, evangelism would be limited to regular church services and would only be allowed by people licensed with an organization registered with the government. Essentially, this would stop church members from sharing their faith privately. This can include something as innocent as reading a Bible in the presence of non-believing friends. It also forbids using the internet to share one’s faith which means that people and churches could run foul of the law by simply inviting someone to church via an email. The law that was first drafted in April also prevents believers from holding church …

Inside Egypt's cave church where 70,000 meet in services on a weekly basis. The church can seat 20,000 inside and thousands more outside. Photo: vagabondblogger/Flickr/Creative Commons

Egyptian cave church has 70,000 people attending services every week

I was surprised to find out one of the largest churches in the world is found in Egypt. With the increased activity of Muslim militants, Christians are increasingly under threat in the Middle East and many are leaving. But in the midst of this turmoil, a church thrives in Mokattam mountain located southeast of Cairo, Egypt. Over 70,000 people attend the weekly services held at the Coptic church built into the mountain, that is part of the ancient Monastery of Saint Simon. The church itself holds about 20,000 people including those who sit inside and out. There are also several other chapels built in caves inside the mountain that connect with the main sanctuary. Though a Coptic church, it has a definite Charismatic flavor as you can see in a video of a service below as the congregation sings “Emmanuel”: So who attends this church? Most of them are Zabbaleens, literally “garbage people.” They etch out a living pouring through Cairo’s (population 6.8 million) massive garbage dumps. The Zabbaleens were originally farmers who came to …

The cost of freedom. Photo: Mark Sardella/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes you just have to pay the bribe

I was reading a story that brought back some old memories. Rev. Canon Andrew White, otherwise known as the Vicar of Baghdad, was at one point the only Anglican Priest willing to live in Baghdad, Iraq. Because of his prominence, there were fears he would be assassinated by Islamic terrorist and last year the Anglican church transferred him to a church in Jordan. Reports are circulating that he was recently suspended by an organization he works for — the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRM). FRRM has launched an inquiry over allegations the Vicar used the organization’s funds to free Christian women being sold in a sex slave market by the Islamic terrorist organization — ISIS. White has since denied using FRRM funds for this. But the incident reminded me of something my wife and I went through over 20 years ago. We were unable to have children and this led us to adopt overseas. We adopted our daughter from Peru. As we entered the adoption process, we had to pay …

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews turning to Christ. Photo: Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem Claudius Prober/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report on Israeli website states hundreds of Orthodox Jews are accepting Jesus

An article published on a Hebrew website, MyNet, intended to warn Jews living in Petach Tikva, Israel of Christians/Messianic Jews preaching Jesus has instead revealed hundreds of Orthodox Jews are accepting Christ as the Jewish Messiah. Kehila News, a Messianic website, was the first to report on the curious article on MyNet which functions as a news portal for the Israeli City of Petach Tikva.  Kehila describes the reaction among Orthodox Jews as a “spiritual meltdown.” Located in Central Israel, Petach Tikva has a population of 225,00, of which 70,000 are considered Orthodox Jews or haredim. The strength of the Orthodox population is seen in the 300 synagogues and eight ritual baths in the city. MyNet accused Christians/Messianic Jews of sharing propaganda. Even the city’s acting Mayor Uriel Boso waded into the controversy voicing his concern. Boso specifically cited Jews for Jesus as one of the main offending groups. According to Kehila, Boso described the number of Jews becoming Christians as a “dire phenomena.” The article on MyNet is in Hebrew, and below is a rough …

Solar concern: The Sun is shooting blanks

Paul Dorian is a noted meteorologist and sun watcher and earlier this month he expressed his concerns that the sun shot blanks twice in June. This takes place when the sun looks blank because of a lack of sun spots or solar activity. He said that the sun went completely blank on June 4 and solar activity did not start-up again until June 8th and then again on June 23. In between those two blank periods, Dorian described the sun spots as “sporadic.” According to NASA the sun goes through a 11-year cycle of increased and decreased sun spot activity called a “solar maximum” and “solar minimum.” This is the normal life of the sun. Dorian says the recent spur in blanks indicates the sun is entering the minimum part of its cycle. However, in what he describes as the “Weakest solar cycle in more than a century,” the extreme nature of the minimum is concerning him. This could be paving the way for a much more alarming solar event called a “Maunder minimum.” Similar …

Donald Trump Photo: Nathan Congleton/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did Donald Trump become a born-again Christian?

[UPDATED JUNE 29, 2016] If you want to have an interesting, perhaps even heated discussion, bring up Donald Trump with  your friends. People either love him or hate, there is little middle ground. But it looks like he is the Republican’s presumptive nominee for president and will be facing off with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee for the Democrats. Dr. James Dobson, founder of the Christian organization Focus on the Family, recently reported that Donald Trump has become a born-again Christian. Dobson did not lead Trump to Christ but is reporting that he personally knows the person who did, but is not giving his name. In a meeting with several Evangelical Christians, Dobson said, “I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long. I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian.” In reference to Trumps language and rough edges, Dobson added, “You have got to cut him some slack. He didn’t grow up like we did.” Because of the interest in the news about Trump’s conversion, Dobson released …

Pier 14, San Francisco Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

US government debt passes $19,000,000,000,000

On June 2, 2016, the debt of the American federal government was $19.2 trillion ($19,229,279,536,522). According to justfacts.com, that works out to over $59,400 for every person living in the US or $154,300 for every American household. At some point, this debt must be paid and this means future taxpayers will be called to account either through significant reductions in services, higher taxes or probably both. You can control your own destiny or do it Greek style when your debtors call the shots. I love the video below because it explains how government debt simply passes on the responsibility for excessive spending to the next generation. In order to pay down its $19 trillion debt, the US federal government must first get rid of its yearly deficit. Deficits represent any shortfall between revenues and spending on a yearly basis. Debt is simply the total accumulated deficits. Unfortunately, the US government is in no hurry to deal with its yearly shortfall, as its deficit in 2015 was $439 billion. Though it has been going down over the …

Why do Islamic terrorists want to attack the Vatican? Photo: vgm8383/Flickr/Creative Commons

Italian police thwart Muslim extremist terrorist attack on the Vatican

In early May, Italian police reported they stopped a planned ISIS terrorist attack on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome. They believe six people were involved in this plot — three men and three women. Four  Moroccans were arrested. Two others, a Moroccan man and his Italian wife have apparently fled to either Iraq or Syria. The police became aware of the plot through phone taps of conversations between members of the group. In a transcript released to the public, one of the arrested men allegedly said: “I swear I will be the first to attack them in this Italy of the crusaders, I swear I’ll attack it, in the Vatican, God willing.” This isn’t the first time that the Italian police thwarted a terrorist attack on the Vatican. Last year, at almost exactly the same time, Italian police broke up an Al-Qaeda plot planned against the Vatican that may have included a possible assassination attempt on the Pope. Nine people were arrested (Afghans and Pakistanis) in raids and police were looking for …

Laura Bretan (America's Got Talent TouTube Capture)

Romanian Pentecostal girl wows judges at ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition

Last week, Laura Bretan, 13, wowed the judges on America’s Got Talent with her rendition of Nessum Dorma (None Shall Sleep) from the opera Turandot. Laura along with her Romanian-American parents attend Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, Illinois. Charisma News reports her singing talent was first noticed by her mother when Laura sang along with songs in the show Snow White. By 8, Laura was singing in her church and would go on to win talent shows including the Apollo Theater amateur show. She has even sung at the annual conventions of the Romanian Pentecostal Assembly Church. During her amazing audition at America’s Got talent, she was sent through to the next round by former Spice Girl Mel B. (Melanie Janine Brown) who jumped up to push the Golden Buzzer. Each judge is allowed to put a performer through without having them go to a vote. However, that may have not been necessary as even the usually critical Simon Cowell was overwhelmed by Laura’s talent stating: “I have never heard anything like that in …

Hamburg, Germany Photo: Arne Bornheim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did the Bible predict thousands of Muslims converting to Christ in Europe?

Several media outlets are reporting that churches across Europe are seeing thousands of Middle Eastern refugees, most of them Muslims, turning to Christ. Recently the Pastor of a Persian Church in Hamburg, Germany baptized 600 Muslims in one service, largely Afghans and Pakistanis. And it was done for all to see as a local TV station — ARD TV — showed up with its cameras in tow to film the momentous event.. In the same city, Pentecostal Pastor Albert Babjan just baptized 80 former Muslims who had converted to Christ. So far this year, Babjan has baptized 196 Muslims and expects the number could reach 500 by December. In an interview with the German newspaper Stern, Babjan said that many of the converts are turning to Christianity because of their disappointment in Islam. They are tired of the Islamic extremists’ fear and intimidation tactics in the countries from which they fled. Stern interviewed one of the recently baptized Christian converts that Babjan had just baptized and described the difference between Christianity and Islam this way: …

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 …

Photo: John Curley/Flickr/Creative Commons

Free Dating Advice, and that MGTOW thing

I learned a new word, new for me, “MGTOW.” It’s pronounced migtow, and it means Men Going Their Own Way. “M.G.T.O.W – Men Going Their Own Way is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word:“No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn’t.“ Note that most MGTOW Internet sites include strong language; swearing, and crude statements about women. MGTOW is an emerging movement that could change society like feminism before it. We should not underestimate this new force. Also note, Christians like Paul rejected the corrupt society around them and went another way; and claimed their rights: “Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? And …