[by Dean Smith] The fight between Manny Pacquiao, 36, and Floyd Mayweather, 38, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas has been billed the fight of the century. Whether it will end that way or not, the ticket prices are certainly there. Though tickets were initially priced between $1,500 to $7,500, in the secondary market they rapidly escalated in value. Some tickets on the main floor of the MGM Grand were listed at $50,000 each. The median ticket price on SeatGeek was over $10,500 compared to just $3,290 for last year’s NFL Super Bowl tickets. This makes it the most expensive sporting event ever. Boxing fans have been calling for a fight between Pacquiao (57-5-2) and Mayweather (47-0) to settle who is the undisputed best fighter in the world. Pacquiao now holds the position as the best pound-for-pound fighter and Mayweather is listed as second and was the former number one pound-for-pound fighter. But many are unaware of Pacquiao’s faith in Christ. Manny is from the Philippines. Oddly he was born in the same …
[by Sandy McIntosh] For 30 years or more, from at least 1968 to 1998, Northern Ireland experienced “the Troubles.” I remember when the evening news always had two stories, violence in the Middle East, and violence in Ireland. For Christians like me, it was astounding that people who identified as Christian were so devoted to killing each other, in Ireland. All Christians were disgraced by the violence in Ireland. The city of Glasgow, in Scotland, is known as the toughest and meanest industrial city in Britain, not a good place for a coward, or an argument. During “the Troubles” my friend Sandy traveled from Glasgow, with a friend, to see what was happening in Northern Ireland. Two tough guys from Glasgow got off the boat in Belfast, looked around briefly, and went right back to Glasgow. They didn’t feel safe.
[by Dean Smith] A video released on the Twitter account of a website used by the Islamic State (IS) purports to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. The same website has shown verified beheadings of westerners. According to the video producers, the execution took place in Tripoli Province, Libya by a group claiming association with IS. On the video, armed IS members march a group dressed in orange down to a beach near Tripoli, Libya’s capital city. Before their execution, one IS member says:
[by Dean Smith] Mario Joseph is a Catholic teacher/evangelist living and ministering in India. He differs from a priest in that he is married with children. He also differs in another respect — he was a Muslim imam before his conversion. He grew up in an area of India that was predominantly Muslim and Hindu with few Christians. His family were strong Muslims and Mario was sent to Qur’an school at the age of 8. By the time he was 18, Mario was serving as an imam in his local mosque. In this video, Mario provides the fascinating details of his conversion from Islam to Christianity. It starts, oddly enough, because of question asked in a mosque where he was teaching. He was telling those gathered that Jesus was not God, when someone shouted out: “Who is Jesus?” It was because of this question, Mario searched the Qur’an to find out more about Christ. What he discovered puzzled him. According to Mario, the Qur’an only mentions Mohammad four times, while Jesus Christ is mentioned 25. …
[by Dean Smith] In an interview with Wade-O Radio, Christian rapper Jackie Hill-Perry, 25, told the world she was formerly a lesbian and that God had changed her life. According to an article in the Washington Times, as the news spread through social media, she faced mixed reaction – about 60% responded positively to her announcement and 40% were critical. Jackie has about 65,000 social media followers. She spoke of a number of tweets from one girl who called Jackie “delusional, in denial and brainwashed.” It all started when Jackie responded to a song by rapper Macklemore who speaking of same-sex relationships said “I can’t change even if I tried, even if I wanted to.”
[by Dean Smith] LifeWay Research, a Nashville-based research and polling group, recently asked Americans their opinions on Christian theology. The online survey was commissioned by Ligonier Ministries based in Orlando, Florida. Their polling considered the opinions of both non-churched and church attenders and sorted the latter group according to various expressions of the Christian faith — Catholic, protestant and Evangelicals. While the survey showed that many Americans agreed on the theological basics, things got a bit confusing when you drilled down on the specifics of their faith. This is when the odd heresy began to show up — even among Bible-believing, Evangelical Christians.
[by Dean Smith] I have always enjoyed Shia LaBeouf as an actor — from his childhood acting career in the TV comedy series “Even Stevens” to his role in “Transformers.” He is a great actor, but his life of late has been troubling. Over the past year or so he has been accused of plagiarism for a short film he produced and even arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct during a New York Broadway show — Cabaret. So, I was a bit surprised to hear he had become a Christian during the filming of his most recent film “Fury,” a World War II epic. In the movie — which also stars Brad Pitt who plays “Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier,” the tank commander — Shia plays “Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan” a member of the tank crew who is a Christian.
[by Dean Smith] While in the U.S., Houston City Council has subpoenaed the speeches, notes, emails and even texts of five pastors concerning any discussions they had on homosexuality, gender identity and the city’s openly gay mayor Annise Parker with threats of imprisonment or fines if they don’t comply, on the other side of the world a woman is fighting for her life for much the same reason — the freedom to be a Christian and believe in the Bible. It is only the severity of the punishment that is different. Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, 46, languishes in jail, after a Pakistani court sentenced her to hanging for blaspheming Muhammad. She recently lost an appeal to have this death sentence over turned. The reality is, the extremist state is punishing Asia because she would not recant her Christian faith and become a Muslim.
Just because atheists don’t believe in God, it doesn’t mean they don’t have faith. In his recent book, Religions and Extraterrestrial life, Astronomer David Weintraub from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University said 55% of atheists believe in aliens. According to the Daily Mail, in his book, Weintraub released the results of a poll on what different religious groups believe when it comes to little green men from mars. Of course, atheists have solid scientific proof for their belief in aliens. I mean we have the government cover-up of Area 51 in Nevada, USA, where an alien space craft supposedly crashed. Depending on what conspiracy theory you subscribe too, some of the aliens were still alive after the crash and kept hidden by the government for years in a secret facility located miles below the surface of the earth. And of course, these atheists can point to all those weather balloons, err UFOs, flying through the sky. Some were even captured on video and of course if it’s on YouTube, it must be true. Then there is the solid …
I was reading a post on NBC.com about Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. According to reports, there is a 90% chance he will seek the Republican nomination for President. Of course, this doesn’t mean he will win the Republican nomination and if he does that he will win the American presidency in elections scheduled for 2016. But he is definitely a Christian and the NBC article focused on some statements Cruz recently made at a Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. Throughout his career, Cruz has been forthright about his Christian faith. In a rare move, Cruz spoke about his troubled life because of the alcoholic lifestyle of both his parents. In his speech, Ted said that faith in Christ rescued his family. When he was three years old, his father abandoned the family. Cruz said:
As Israel and Hamas continue to battle in the Gaza strip, CNN released a stunning interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef, 36, a former Hamas and son of Hamas founder Hassan Yousef. His father, a powerful Sheik living in the West Bank, helped start the terrorist organization in 1987. But Mosab not only left Hamas, he also left the Muslim faith and became a Christian. The conflict started a few weeks ago when the terrorist group Hamas, that now controls Gaza, unleashed an unrelenting barrage of missiles on Israel. A key part of Hamas’ defense strategy includes hiding its forces within civilian populations hoping civilian deaths would turn public opinion against Israel. But the media, which is traditionally anti Israel, is starting to see Hamas for what it really is — a brutally violent, terrorist organization. In the CNN interview, Mosab said:
Ali Pektash was a Turkish-born Muslim. He was an alcoholic and his life was falling apart. Because of these struggles, family and friends urged Ali to make a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca believing this journey would help him get his life back together. Mecca is located in Saudi Arabia where alcohol is banned. His friends thought this time away from drink might break his addiction. They also hoped the religious experience of Mecca would change his life.
In England, many Christians believe they are not receiving the same protection under British law as other religious groups. And it is more than just a feeling. As deputy president of England’s Supreme Court, Lady Hale is one of Britain’s most senior judges. In a lecture to Yale Law School in the US this past March, she said England is becoming “less respectful” of Christians compared to other countries. Ironically, this includes some countries with less of a Christian heritage than England. Based on laws in the European Union, England is taking what Hale described as a “hard-line” approach in religious discrimination cases. And in most instances, Christians are on the losing end of the battle.
UPDATED JULY 28, 2014: Through federal mediation, the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Dr. Mike Adams have reached an agreement on his winning lawsuit involving discrimination. UNC has agreed to pay Dr. Adams: $615,000 for attorney fees and costs; and $50,000 in back pay. The UNC has further agreed: To pay Dr. Adams an annual salary of $75,000; To use reviewers from outside his department when conducting annual evaluations; and To drop all cases it has against Dr. Adams. UPDATED APRIL 9, 2014: The jury announced its decision today. The University of North Carolina (UNC) must pay Dr. Mike Adams $50,000 and award him a full professorship back to 2007 because the university discriminated against Adams due to his conservative Christian views. Alliance Defending Freedom lead counsel Kevin Theriot said after the announcement: “This is a great day not only for Dr. Adams but for all who value academic freedom. The court’s order reminds universities that they cannot retaliate against those who simply express opinions that some officials do not like.” Read the full …
A militant Islamic group in Northern Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is demanding Christians living in the region pay a ‘protection tax’ to make sure the militants won’t kill them. The ruling affects the province of Raqqa. Al Raqqa, the provincial capital population 300,000, fell to rebel insurgents in March 2013. Prior to the Syrian civil war there were 3,000 Christians living in Al Raqqa. According to reports, ISIS is requiring every wealthy adult Christian male pay a Jizya tax of four golden dinars, middle class males two golden dinars and poor ones, one dinar. Four golden dinars is about $750 US. They can pay the tax over two payments.
People like me – though still allowed to speak – are allowed on to mainstream national broadcasting only under strict conditions: that we are ‘balanced’ by at least three other people who disagree with us so that our views, actually held by millions, are made to look like an eccentric minority opinion. — Peter Hitchens, May 29, 2011, The Mail on Sunday Peter Hitchens, author and award-winning journalist, is the younger brother of Christopher Hitchens (deceased) a renown atheist. Christopher, an American and a socialist, was a vocal opponent of Christianity till he died of cancer in 2011. For a time, Christopher was even a writer for the International Socialist. During his career as an author and journalist, Christopher publicly criticized Christianity in particular, but other religions as well. He wrote a book called God is not Great where he stated that religion poisons everything. Curiously, Peter — born on Malta in 1951, son of a career naval officer — started off similar to his brother.
A men’s group from Liberia singing a native African song — Kuo. It means “The devil is a liar.” I love their voices and incredible sound without the benefits of the best in modern electronics. Liberia’s population of 3.7 million is made up largely of Christians 85.5%, followed by Muslims at 12.5% with the remaining 2% made up of a mix of tribal religions, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh . The country considers itself a Christian nation. Stores are closed on Sunday and Christian holidays. Public schools offer Bible classes, though these are not mandatory. Located on the West Coat of Africa, Liberia is unique in that it was the only African country colonized by the United States of America.
After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit drove Him into the wilderness for what became a defining moment in His ministry. It involved a direct confrontation with satan. From this strategic battle recorded in Mathew chapter 4, we gain key insights into spiritual warfare and what defines a Christian. Both are intricately woven together.
Years ago, I read a story told by a missionary ministering in an Eskimo village in Canada’s high Arctic in what was then called the Northwest Territories. While on a hunting trip, one of the Eskimo men came across a young female wolf pup and brought it back to the village. The other dogs in town immediately recognized it was different and terrorized the poor animal.
Keith Green (1953-1982) and his wife Melody were products of the Jesus People movement as the Holy Spirit swept through the Hippie generation during the late 60s and early 70s. Keith and his wife, both Jews, were radically transformed by the Gospel of Christ in 1975, 18 months after their marriage on Christmas Day in 1973. Keith was one of the most radical Christians I knew at the time — he and his wife were totally sold out to the Kingdom of God.
This is one of my favourite Christian songs and I don’t think I am alone. Oh Happy Day, written by Edwin Hawkins in 1968, is the all-time best-selling Gospel song to date. The above video which features Edwin Hawkins does not have the best video quality, but I wanted a clip with Edwin singing his hit.
“Cause I’ve got a Mansion Builder Who ain’t through with me yet.” This post will date me, but I believe Second Chapter of Acts was one of the most unique and arguably best Christian singing groups of the last 50 years. The group was composed of two sisters Annie Herring and Nellie Greisen and brother Mathew Ward. The above song is one of their hits — Mansion Builder — performed live in 1987 in California. After their last parent (dad) died in 1970, the younger children Nellie (14) and Mathew (12) moved in with Annie and her husband Buck Herring, a music producer and recording engineer.
A&E just fired Phil Robertson because he expressed his opinions on homosexuality. They called it an indefinite hiatus, but I think everyone understands what they really meant. Phil Robertson is the senior patriarch of A&E’s popular ‘Duck Dynasty’ reality show. The program is the most watched reality show in the U.S. ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ recent Christmas program had 9 million viewers. The show is based around Duck Commander, a duck call manufacturer started by Phil and now run by the Robertson family. The Robertson clan are a strong, Christian family with a redneck edge.
In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, German psychologists Malte Friese and Michaela Wanke state prayer helps an individual with self-control. The two researchers said, “a brief period of prayer buffered the self-control depletion effect.” They added, “These results are consistent with and contribute to a growing body of work attesting to the beneficial effects of praying on self-control.”
In July 2013, James F. Fitzgerald, author of The 9/11 Prophecy — Startling Evidence of the End Times, commissioned a poll to find out if Americans believe the world has entered the end times. Fitzgerald said he was stunned by the results. According to the poll conducted by the Barna Group, 41% of Americans believe we have entered what Bible teachers have popularized as the “end times” and what the Bible describes as as the “Latter Days” (Hosea 3:5) or the “Day of the Lord” (Ezekiel 30:3). This percentage included the views of all Americans — religious and not.
Just prior to their deliverance from Egypt, God told the Israelites to protect their homes from an avenging angel — that would strike down the first-born of Egypt — by marking the lintels and doorposts of their homes with the red blood from a sacrificial lamb (Exodus 12: 7, 8). This became the basis of the Jewish Passover. Now centuries later, the story is repeating itself in the same country, but with a bizarre twist. According to the Christian Science Monitor, mulsim extremists in parts of Egypt are marking Christian homes and businesses with
New York: The Robertson family of the popular Duck Dynasty reality show were in New York recently to promote the show’s upcoming fourth season. A&E had put the family up in the luxurious Trump International Hotel. While at the hotel, Jase Robertson asked a staff member for directions to a washroom. Told to follow, Jase was led outside the hotel. The staffer pointed down the street and wished him good luck. I loved the attitude of Jase, who — along with most of the male members of the family — sports a full blown beard. In an interview with Live, Jase laughed off the incident saying he was a victim of “facial profiling” as the staffer undoubtedly thought he was a homeless man. The fact Jase was also wearing camouflage pants probably didn’t help. This isn’t the first time this has happened. On a previous visit to New York, someone put money in Willie’s coffee cup. Read the full story here: Duck Dynasty star kicked out of Trump Hotel Related: Duck Dynasty on faith, family …