All posts filed under: z97

The pool of Siloam constructed by King Hezekiah. Since Jerusalem did not have a water source, its original inhabitants the Jebusites had constructed an access to the springs below the city. King David used this access to take the city. This led King Hezekian to construct a new access and pool to provide water that was much less vulnerable. Source: Wikipedia

Did archaeologists uncover Isaiah’s signature?

  Archaeologists working in the old part of Jerusalem uncovered what some believe might be the seal (bulla) impression of the prophet Isaiah. A person pressed their bulla into soft clay or wax leaving an image that verified a document was from them. In one sense it was a confirming signature of authenticity. Due to damage (top half missing, left side worn), they can’t be absolutely certain it belongs to the Prophet Isaiah. But here is what they do know. The small seal contains an image of  a doe found in the top third and largely missing portion. A grazing doe was a traditional sign of blessing. The middle part of the round clay impression contains the Hebrew name for Isaiah “Yesha’yah(u), missing the “u” due to damage. Then beneath that but on the worn left side is the word “nvy.” If the letter “aleph” was added at the end of “nvy” it would read “navi” translated “prophet” and essentially would say the bulla belonged to the Prophet Isaiah. However, if there was no “aleph” …

A Pumkin Pi Credit: Jason Borneman/Flickr/Creative Commons

How about a piece of pi (π)?

“And he made a molten sea,ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line* of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” (1 Kings 7:23) In this passage of scripture, we read about Solomon’s Bronze Laver which was a huge basin used for washing all of the temple implements, thus purifying them. This passage has been the topic of much debate. Let’s take a look at why. Solomon’s bronze laver was measured as being 10 cubits across (the diameter) and a line of 30 cubits around (the circumference). This makes the circumference exactly 3 times the diameter. However, mathematically the diameter times three does not make a circle. If you remember your high school math, in order to create a circle you must multiply the diameter by the value of PI (π) which is 3.1415926. This gives you the length of the circumference needed to create a circle. So how do we resolve this problem? Is the Scripture in error as the skeptics …

Nick Foles running for a touchdown in 24-16 victory over the Redskins in 2013. Credit: Mr.Shultz/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

What are the odds? It reveals God is in control!

What are the odds that the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the two most important football games in the US and the most important football game in Canada would be Bible-believing Christians. Not just run of the mill Christians, but men serious about their faith. The latest was the Superbowl game played on Sunday, when the Philadelphia Eagles upset the Superbowl-laden New England Patriots 41 – 33. The last time the Eagles won a major championship was in 1960 when they won the NFL league title. They have never won a Superbowl that was initiated in 1966 as a championship game between the AFL and NFL. The most outstanding player of Superbowl LII was the Eagles back-up QB Nick Foles. But for a season ending injury to their starting quarterback Carl Wentz, another sincere believer, Foles would not have played. Over the years, Foles has spoken repeatedly of his faith and recently in an interview with CBN said that he wanted to be a pastor when his football days are over. He is currently taking …

Credit: Serita Vossen/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does it mean the meek will inherit the earth?

What did Jesus mean when He said the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)? Depending on what dictionary you use, the English word meek leaves different impressions — gentle, submissive, compliant, spineless, humble and maybe even a bit cowardly. But is this what Jesus meant? I am not sure meek is the right English translation for the Greek word “praus” used in this verse which is how the King James translated it. HELPS word studies describes “praus” this way: 4236 praótēs– properly, temperate, displaying the right blend of force and reserve (gentleness). 4236 /praótēs (“strength in gentleness”) avoids unnecessary harshness, yet without compromising or being too slow to use necessary force. The word depicts a person with power, but one who knows when to use it and when not to. It also describes a person who “avoids unnecessary harshness.” But “praus” does not portray a person who is weak or cowardly. Though the word can be translated “gentle” it is not in the sense that we imagine. The word was used to describe war …

Credit: Jona Nalder/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Curse of Borderline Personality Disorder

Years ago, I needed to buy some small piece of hardware. Since I live in Canada, I went to Canadian Tire, and since I had two small sons, I took them with me. The boys were six and four years old, I think, and they were thrilled. When we walked into the store, they sprinted away from me and disappeared down some shopping aisle. That store had tires, and car parts, and tools, and toys, and more, and I knew I had lost them. I was not happy about this, so I bought the thing I needed and waited by the front door; they had to surface some time. When I finally saw them, I was shocked. The oldest boy had a sick look of panic on his face, and the little one had a blank desperate look as he followed his brother. They thought their father had abandoned them, and the emotions were real to them. Puppy love feels real to the puppy. I still feel guilty about that, and I never did it …

Blame: The Ultimate Cop-out

Lately, I found myself repeating an old pattern in my life. It’s the one where I suddenly don’t feel good enough or I feel shame about something or an unpleasant memory pops up and I blame someone else for the problem. I recognize in those moments, I have chosen to become a victim and end up dumping my emotional garbage on my unsuspecting husband. He gets to take the garbage out! In a moment, my own personal trash is transferred to him and for a few seconds “I feel better.” But, the “rush” does not last long and soon those sick emotions return. I realize now why many of us like to blame others. It provides a temporary rush that numbs our senses and makes us feel better. But like all addictions, drugs, alcohol or gambling, the problem is not solved. It returns with a vengeance and we need to dump our frustration, anger and unchecked feelings again and again. Blaming someone else becomes our temporary fix. We become addicted to it because of the …

Casas colgadas de Cuenca, Spain Credit: Jose Luis Mieza/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spain’s song at Eurovision written by two Evangelical Christians

Eurovision is an international singing contest held annually in Europe. It started in 1973 and features winners from participating European countries who hold national competitions to select their representative. It differs from North American singing competitions like The Voice in that participants must sing an original song. But it doesn’t have to be written by the people singing it. In fact, the major emphasis seems to be the song over the performers, though obviously they need to be talented as well. With a growing Evangelical population, Spain will be represented at this year’s competition with a song written by two Evangelical Christians, Sylvia Santoro and her nephew Raul Gomez. Sylvia wrote the words and Raul supplied the music. The love song entitled, Tu Canción, won the Spanish leg of the event with 43% of the vote, beating out eight competitors. It was sung by a group called Almaia, composed of two singers Amaia and Alfred. So far the song has over 750,000 views on YouTube. Married with two children, Sylvia is a popular gospel singer among …

There are no racial barriers in God’s church

I don’t think we fully appreciate the significance of what happened when the Holy Spirit fell upon a group of gentiles as Peter was preaching in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48). It took a vision for Peter, where God declared a number of animals clean, and an angelic visit for Cornelius to get these two groups together. After the Holy Spirit fell, it caused such a controversy in the early church they called a meeting to figure out what do to with the hundreds of gentiles becoming Christians. But a few Bible verses and even archaeology provide a hint of what a radical change this was for the early church that was initially made up of solely Jews. In 1871 a stone slab from the Jewish Temple that existed in Jesus day was discovered by archaeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau. On the slab written in Greek was: “No foreigner is allowed to enter the courtyard and enclosure surrounding the temple. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue.” Greek was …

Andrea Bocelli singing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2015 Credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Singing sensation Andrea Bocelli nearly aborted

The Grammy Awards are held annually by The Recording Academy to honor singing achievements primarily in the English-speaking world. This year’s awards were held in New York’s Madison Square Gardens on January 28th and some described it as more political than musical. This may explain why its ratings are down 24% over the last year. Aside from the singing awards, one of the highlights of these type of events are the dresses and suits worn by celebrities. This year was no different. But the one that seems to have gained the spot light, was an anti-abortion dress worn by American singer and song writer Joy Villa. On her dress she painted an image of a baby in the womb and her handbag had the word “choose life” written on it. In an interview with Foxnews, Villa said she was honoring her decision to give up a child for adoption when she was 21, during a crisis pregnancy. Villa added that the image was “a painting of my daughter when I was eight months pregnant.” When …

Crossing a river in Kerala State, India Credit: Michel Coutty/Flickr/Creative Commons

Hindus, Muslims, and Human Evolution

Something is happening in the world, and it’s like storm clouds gathering. On January 20, India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mr. Satyapal Singh made statements that were critical of Darwinian Evolution, including has belief that the subject should not be taught in schools in India. RELATED: India’s Education Minister Slammed After Claiming That Evolution Is ‘Scientifically Wrong’ About six months before that, the government of Turkey made similar statements. RELATED: Evolution Will No Longer Be Taught in Turkish Schools India is governed by religious Hindus, and Turkey is governed by religious Muslims. They don’t have the same religious beliefs, but something about Darwinian Evolution really bothers both groups. It’s one thing they agree on. It’s easy for English-speaking westerners to think they are the leaders in human progress, but there are other voices. Darwin’s theory for the origin of the species, evolution, is a logic escalator. In a department store, you don’t need to climb the stairs, you only need to make one small step and the machine will carry you to …