All posts filed under: z72

Swan Quarter, North Carolina Credit: Ingrid Lemme/Wikipedia

Moved by the Hand of God

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV) We live in a fallen world where sin and natural disasters run rampant. This was not the world God intended for us, but it is the one man chose. People ask how could God allow this to happen, my answer it is the life we wanted. Though the world is no longer good, there is a promise in Romans that God will work things together for good in difficult times for those called by God. Perhaps this story out of a hurricane that hit North Carolina in 1876 involving the Providence Methodist Church in Swan Quarter best illustrates this verse. Today, it still has as its motto: “Moved by the Hand of God.” The story vetted by Snopes started two years earlier in 1874 when the congregation wanted to build a church on land owned by a man named Samuel Slader. The land was high …

Credit: Arjan Olsder/Flickr/Creative Commons

Letting go of your unrealistic expectations of others

For three days I battled with the expectations I had put on a particular person in our church. I would relinquish the expectation and then take it back. I fought with this expectation for three days and equally long nights. I was practically foaming at the mouth. By the end I was frazzled and worn out. My expectations were a weight on my mind and I was unable to release them.  A heaviness fell on me making it almost impossible to relinquish them. It was a tug-a-war of letting go and then pulling back, over and over in my mind. I had to put an end to this struggle and the hopes, fears and expectations that had become tangled up in my mind. I had become a prisoner of the expectations I had put on someone else. Selena C. Snow, a Clinical psychologist in Rockvileed, MD, says expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure. She adds that “unrealistic expectations assume a level of control, that we don’t actually have …

Tampa Bay filled with water Credit: tarobot/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did hurricane Irma confirm Exodus 14:21?

Tampa Bay’s bay is normally filled with ocean and fish, but on Sunday morning, September 10, 2017, some residents of Tampa were seen walking out into the bay. It was so dry people weren’t even sinking into the mud. It is a result of a rare phenomena called a bulge that can occur in the eye of a hurricane. The low pressure in the center essentially acts as a suction sucking up the water and along with its winds converging into the center, the water begins to pile up at the core of the hurricane. This results in dry land in areas around the storm. And  it didn’t just happen in Tampa Bay, a similar event took place in the Bahamas where water was essentially sucked away exposing miles of beach once covered with water. Bahamas-based Twitter user, @Kaydi_K, reported:  “‘I am in disbelief right now… This is Long Island, Bahamas and the ocean water is missing!!! That’s as far as they see #HurricaneIrma”. Washington Post meteorologist Angela Fitz explained what happened this way: “In …

Credit: Michael Mazzamuto/Flickr/Creative Commons

Foot prints in the sand disrupting evolutionary theory

The discovery of human footprints embedded in sedimentary rock on the island of Crete a couple of weeks back is causing major problems for those promoting evolutionary theory. Somebody was basically taking a leisurely walk on a beach that later hardened into rock. According to those who have studied the 50 feet of tracks, these footprints basically match today’s human foot print with a large big toe and the ball found on the heel. Both of which are not found in apes that have distinctly different feet. But here is the problem. Based on the fossils discovered in nearby sediment, evolutionists believe the human footprints are 5.7 million years old. This is disrupting the theory that man evolved from apes somewhere in Africa. As the National Post noted the discovery suggests “human ancestors may have existed in Crete at the same time as they evolved in Africa.” Of course, Crete is closer to the Biblical origins of humanity, the Middle East. The discovery also has humans existing with much older animals, again this is not …

The Sea of Galilee, Israel Credit: Cajetan Barretto/Flickr/Creative Commons

Territorial Spirits: The bay of pigs

In my series on Territorial spirits, I have been talking about the hierarchical structure in the demonic realm where satan has put evil spirits over countries and even provinces or states within a country and I suspect cities as well. In his classic explanation of spiritual warfare, Mark says to plunder a house you must first bind the spiritual strongman (Mark 3:22-27). As we explained earlier, the region of Palestine ruled by Pontius Pilate was broken up into three provinces or states ruled by a Tetrarch. Having just dealt with the ruling evil spirit in Capernaum (the Tetrarch of Herod), the next encounter with a territorial spirit takes place in Mark 5: 1-20 in a region called the Gerasenes. In a very unusual way, this second encounter shows the demonic’s connection to territory on earth. The story actually starts a few verses earlier. The disciples were on the shore of the sea of Galilee, when Jesus said “Let us go over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). By crossing over, the disciples had actually entered …

Joel Osteen Credit: Faith Church.com/Flickr/Creative Commons

Joel Osteen and the Gimli Glider

On August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas. Houston was badly damaged, and one of the casualties was Lakewood Church and its pastor Joel Osteen. One of the biggest news stories from Hurricane Harvey was the pastor’s refusal to let victims of the storm shelter in the church building. RELATED: Joel Osteen tells Hurricane Harvey victims to not have ‘poor old me mentality’ This may sound strange, but I think I agree with Joel Osteen. If you are wondering, I live very far from Houston, in Canada, and no one asked me to write this. These are some of my reasons: Disaster management includes shelter that is designed for occupation. A huge church is not a dormitory and it may put people at risk. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and people moved into a covered stadium. It was unsanitary, the police lost control, and criminals moved in with guns. People had to be rescued by force from the shelter. Feel-good self-serving charity is always wrong. Victims need useful help; donors don’t need …

Photo from Hurricane Harvey, August 30, 2017 Credit: John Chandler/Flickr/Creative Commons

US solar eclipse: Sign or coincidence? You decide

The total eclipse of the sun that cut a swath across the US on August 21, 2017 from Oregon to South Carolina has certainly garnered more than its share of attention in recent weeks with some wondering if it was a sign from God. The Bible often connects solar eclipses with end times events (Amos 8:9). In the book of Genesis, we are told that the heavens were created to be a sign to people. God would speak to us through solar events: 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (Genesis 1:14 NASV) However, eclipses are not an unusual phenomena. They happen regularly. However, the US has not seen a similar total eclipse fully crossing the country for 99 years. Are all eclipses a sign? Probably not. But to suggest none of them are is equally wrong. If this eclipse was God speaking to America, what has happened …

Li River, China Credit: Charlie fong/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

China forbids children from attending church

According to reports coming out of China, several provinces have stepped up their persecution of the Church by prohibiting children from attending religious services. Recently, over 100 churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang received notice that minors can no longer attend any type of religious activity including church and summer camps. In some jurisdictions, parents were required to sign papers saying their children will not be attending religious services. Officials threatened parents with legal action if they disobeyed. This is not the first time Zhejiang officials had taken a hard-line against Christians. In late 2015, officials ordered the removal of all crosses on government-run churches. When Christians protested, some were arrested and several churches destroyed. Related: Chinese Officials Tear Down More Christian Crosses, Beat Protesters: Breitbart It is uncertain how widespread this recent edict is, but Amnesty International reported receiving news on this prohibition from around the country. In Hunan province, politicians stated they will be investigating both government-run churches (both Catholic and protestant) and the underground churches to make sure they are not …

Canadian World War II cemetery in Holland. Dad left behind friends in Holland as he helped liberate the Netherlands from the Nazi occupation. Credit: VAC | ACC/Flickr/Creative Commons

Goodbye dad

I have not cried more than I did during the several days as we (my sister and our families) sat vigil as my dad, Ray, slowly died from cancer. A World War II vet, he was two months short of 97 years old. He served as an advanced scout for the Canadian military, meaning he travelled behind enemy lines looking for the German troops. As a young boy, I loved to listen to his war stories. Though 97 he was still living independently in the same retirement home where my mom was under care. My dad died a few days after they celebrated their 71st anniversary. Doctor’s had diagnosed him with colon cancer  two years earlier, and after surgery believed they had caught everything. Dad was a tough guy. Two years earlier at 92 he had open heart surgery to replace a valve. He was supposed to be in the hospital for a week, but they let him out early because he had recovered so fast. Meanwhile, people 40 years younger were still in the …

Various images of the Shroud of Turin

Scans of the blood found on Shroud of Turin reveal torture

Early protestant reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) was one of the first to question the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity, that some believe is the burial cloth used to wrap Christ’s body. Burned into the Shroud is an image of a man with long hair and a beard that is the basis of most modern paintings used to portray Christ today. It is believed the image was created when God miraculously raised Christ from the dead. Calvin who was not enamoured with the Roman Catholic church used scripture to refute the claim. He pointed to John 20:6-7 where it says there were two pieces of cloth, one for the body and a smaller piece of linen that the disciples wrapped around Christ’s head. Defending the shroud’s authenticity, some argue that the larger piece could still have covered the full body. And despite the fact Pope Francis prayed before the cloth in June 2015, the Roman Catholic Church has not made an official declaration on the shroud (14 feet 5 inches by 3 feet 7 inches)  kept at the Cathedral of …