All posts tagged: God

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 …

Photo of the Heart shaped leaf that fell at Laura's feet as she meditated on God's love for her.

Struggling to believe God’s love?

[by Laura Fauchon] For many years I struggled to understand God’s love. The unsettling events of my life (sexual and physical abuse ) often kept me awake at night. I would cry myself to sleep asking God to help me and take the pain away. How could a loving God be so absent and seemingly distant during these times? Although I grew up being taught that God loved me and died on the cross for my sins and that He heard my prayers, I felt He did not care. I would struggle with being told God is a very present help in times of trouble. If this was true, then where was He? A wise and godly woman years ago helped me on my journey to healing.  It was through her mentoring and fellowship that I began to heal from the hurt and pain I endured. Coming to the realization that this abuse was not my fault was a stepping stone to my healing.  Then, by the grace of God, I was able to forgive …

The breath of life.

Breath

Have you ever felt the need to slow down and just breath? To let your lungs fill with air and just be totally refreshed? I know I have. The book of Genesis tells us God breathed the very first breath of life into man. ‘The Lord formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of the spirit of life and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7 Amplified Bible) Isn’t it amazing that God is the source of life and He ‘breathed’ this life into man. In the Old Testament, Job’s friend Elihu said it well: ‘The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4 NIV) In Hebrew ‘ruach’ is the word for breath, wind or spirit according to Strong’s Dictionary. There is a force in this word, like there is in the wind. This wind can blow (breath) wherever it wills and accomplish what it wants in my life (John 3:8). One day last month it was extremely …

Michelangelo's Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel Photo: Bill Read/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are we hard-wired to believe in God?

According to the Book of Genesis, God created humans in His likeness and image (Genesis 1:26). We were created to manifest in human form the characteristics of God. Along with this humans were created to connect with God allowing us to communicate and fellowship with our Heavenly Father. This is how God intended our relationship to function at the beginning. It took a while, but modern researchers are finally admitting what people have known for centuries — humans are hard-wired to believe in God. Not all scientists are convinced this is the case as it does cause some troubling concerns for those embedded in the evolutionary side of the debate. But nevertheless an increasing number are concluding that humans are built to believe in God. Charisma recently reported on a round table discussion shown on the National Geographic Channel addressing this very issue. On the program, Shaheen Lakhan, who holds multiple doctorates, states: “Psychologists and anthropologists deemed that children left to their own devices would have some conception of God. Some attribute this to our …

A photo taken somewhere in China entitled "Finger of God." Chez Andre 1/Flickr/Creative Commons

The God of atheists?

Elizabeth King wrote an interesting article for The Washington Post in early February 2016. An atheist she states in the title: “I’m an atheist. So why can’t I shake God? King says she grew up in a Christian home with her mom and step dad. She called herself a born-again Christian who went to Church twice a week. But that all changed when she turned 16 and she began to question all things God and Biblical. In the end she seems to blame her youth pastors who were unable to provide satisfactory answers as to why homosexuality was a sin or why premarital sex was wrong. From these unanswered questions, King slowly graduated to becoming a full-blown atheist. But psychologist Paul Vitz has a different opinion on what causes atheism. In 1999, he wrote a controversial book,  Faith of the Fathers: The Psychology of Atheism. He believes that people’s atheism is based on a person’s relationship with their father. Poor or absent fathers create many atheists, he believes. In his book, he delves into the …

Survey reveals critical difference between Christianity and other world religions

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014 revealed how different Christianity is from the world’s other main religions. The dramatic difference showed up when Pew asked people if they believed in a personal God or if they considered God an impersonal force or an “it.” The key being a personal God is one you can have a relationship with. According to the survey, 70% of Christians believed in a personal God. Among Christians, Evangelicals scored the highest with 80% believing in a personal God. But in one sense I was shocked that 20% didn’t believe this. Among Catholics only 61% believed in a personal God. Even though they were on the low side for Christianity, the Catholic percentage was double that of the other four main world religions. Pew found that only 25% of the Jews surveyed considered Jehovah a personal God. They were higher than the Buddhists where only 23% believed the same, but lower than Muslims and Hindus where 32% of respondents believed in a personal god. I was surprised by …

Has persecution come to the schools of America?

God is a ‘myth’ controversy at Texas school heats up

In an earlier post, I reported on Jordan Wooley, a seventh grader who attends West Memorial Junior High School in Katy, Texas. She alleged on Monday, October 26, 2015, her reading teacher gave the class a poll assignment which included a question asking if God was “fact, opinion or myth.” The teacher told the students that the only correct answer to the question was “myth” and that they would lose marks with any other answer. Jordan alleged this resulted in a heated discussion in class as students challenged the answer. The teacher refused to back down and Jordan refused to back down from her faith. Later that evening, Jordan made a presentation about what happened in her class to a school board meeting. The superintendent said the administration would look into the allegations. On Wednesday, the superintendent released a statement on the controversy. Though stating the assignment was “ill-conceived,” the school had interviewed several students and none verified Jordan’s story. He added that there was a question about God in class, but the word myth …

What is going on inside school classrooms?

Student alleges Texas teacher required classmates to deny their faith in order to pass assignment

According to an article on Breitbart, a teacher in Katy, Texas provided her seventh grade reading class a disturbing assignment that required them to deny their faith to pass. On Monday, October 26, 2015, the teacher allegedly told the students to answer a poll asking if God was “fact, opinion or myth.” The teacher added that if the students answered anything but “myth” they would score poorly on the assignment. Jordan Wooley is  a straight A student at West Memorial Junior High School. She decided to stand for her faith and take a failing grade for the assignment. When she went home, Jordan told her parents about what had happened in class. Her parents immediately phoned the principal of the school to complain. The principal promised to look into the situation. Jordan and another student decided to take their complaint to the school board that was meeting the same night. However, her friend who went home and cried after the class was unable to join Jordan because she was still upset. Jordan’s mother, Chantel, videoed …

Is your problem a giant or an optical illusion?

[by Dean Smith] I love castles. One of my bucket list goals is to visit England and explore at least a couple ancient fortresses. However, there is one, Bodiam Castle, that I may take a pass on. Located in Kent, it is a popular castle and because of its huge moat very photogenic. You may have already seen pictures of it. But there is something strange about this castle. It is not all that it seems. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was given permission to build the castle in 1385. He had been a faithful servant to King Richard II fighting for the English king in the Hundred Years War. It seems back then, like a car, you had to have a license or “crenellate” as it was called then to build a castle. I guess Kings wanted to control who built castles because they could be used for you or against you.

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A Woman’s Perspective: Change

[by Linda Wilson] When everything is changing, it feels like shifting ground beneath my feet. I have felt this many times and I’m sure I will feel it again. After all things change: people move on, children grow up, careers end. The list is unending really. Change is inevitable, whether I like it or not. I went through a season of change this past summer and fall. Firstly, I was dealing with some health issues and reduced work hours. Also, in October my daughter had surgery and my husband had some medical tests, both on the same day. But the biggest change came when my son moved away for work after graduating from university.

Rethinking the “desires of your heart”

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NASV) Many have used this verse believing if we seek after God, He will give us everything we desire — a big home, a great job, a new car…. the list is endless. But is this how we should interpret this verse? As we struggle with sin, we know in our mind it is wrong and we realize we need to stop.  But the biggest part of our struggle is that we still want this sin. We still desire the pleasure it brings or the rush it gives us. Some even miss it, when they try to stop.  So it is a battle between what our mind knows and what our heart wants. Maybe God wants to change your desires so you no longer want the porn or the new pair of shoes or the drugs or whatever bondage enslaves you. Instead of praying for the big house, ask God to give you the actual “desires of your …

The Closer You Get The Bigger It Is

[by Wayne Johnston] While standing on top of Castle Butte in the Badlands of southern Saskatchewan with a few friends, we noticed a small group of boulders in the middle of the next valley. We set off to explore them, and after a long walk, we were surprised to find a large group of massive odd-shaped boulders. Our small group all seemed to feel the same – “these rocks sure didn’t look that big from the top of that 200-foot butte”. The closer you get, the bigger it is! Sometimes it’s like that with God – the closer I get to Him, the bigger He is. Theologically I know God is spirit and that He is all powerful and all present. The problem is not with God, however, it’s our perception of Him.

Why your ways are not God’s ways

In Isaiah 55:8, God says that His ways are not man’s way and He explains in the next verse that His ways are higher than man’s. In this second verse, God is referring to His long-term goals and plans that man —  with His finite mind — is incapable of understanding. God is always peering into next week and next year, and is desiring to coordinate our steps in the present to fulfill longer-term goals. Proverb 14:12 has a similar theme:”There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Situations come up in our lives that in the short-term seem the right thing to do. In fact, they could be down-right beneficial. But this decision heads us down a certain path and God says that the “end” or long-term result of this decision — which could be months or even years away — is death or destruction.

Why do I have a wrong perception of God?

A 1994 study reported in the Journal of Scientific Study of Religion revealed children perceive God in much the same way they perceive their parents. The researchers studied 49 children from a middle to upper-middle class Christian Reformed church and 94 children attending a nursery school, a Head Start day care program and two elementary schools. Each of these 143 children were presented with a set of characteristics such as patience, kindness and warmth and asked to rank how much these attributes applied to both their parents and to God.

Credit: matt kornatz/Flickr/Creative Commons

When your dentist says there is no God because of suffering in the world!

I couldn’t tell you how many times I have heard people say they can’t believe in God because He allows suffering and evil on the earth such as wars and famines. Much of this is caused by a misunderstanding of earth’s ownership which this video by cvcnow.com portrays. In Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Satan made a curious offer to Jesus. If the Lord worshiped Satan, he would give Jesus the nations of the world. 

Dabbling along the edges of sin

Loran Nordgren – a senior lecturer on management at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill – with his team of researchers released a study on how to escape greed and lust. The key is to avoid temptation. Though written from a secular perspective, Nordgren’s message proclaims Biblical truth. In the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon warns about the adulteress: 

Belief in God helps people with anxiety and depression

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. (Psalm 56:3 NASV) A study by researchers at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, USA concluded belief in God significantly helped people with psychiatric illnesses. McLean hospital is a psychiatric affiliate with Harvard Medical School. The researchers followed 159 patients at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program who were there for various psychiatric illnesses including anxiety and depression. 

Phil Robertson: “You can only run the ole’ sex, drugs and rock and roll so far.”

“I am Second” — a ministry based in Dallas, Texas — started five years ago. Their vision is producing videos of people’s lives transformed by the Gospel of Christ. In their most recent production (watch it at the end of this post), Duck Dynasty’s Phil and Kay Robertson, their son Jep and grandson Reed share testimonies of how the Holy Spirit turned their lives around. In an interview with Fox411, the film’s producer Scott Mayo says “They have this incredible story about their life and faith, and wanted to tell this story to inspire others… just because they are on TV doesn’t make them perfect.”

Mark of the beast, a cross-country race and November 11th

When Codie Thacker received her bib with the number she would represent in the race, it  sickened her. Her coach, Gina Croley, aware of Codie’s Christian faith, knew immediately there was trouble. Codie attends Whitley County High School in Williamsburg, KY. She was racing in a regional cross-country race — the winner would move on to the state championship. The number Codie received — 666 — represented the Mark of the Beast or Antichrist mentioned in the Book of Revelation. 

A Mighty Fortress is our God — our wedding song

A unique rendition of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God, my favourite hymn, sung by Brian Doerksen. My wife basically planned our wedding many years ago. I only wanted one thing. I wanted her to come down the aisle with this song. I know this is not a traditional wedding song, but it was a powerful entrance. Brian Doerksen is a song writer and worship leader based in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. 

Another Divine appointment? Buffalo bus driver saves suicidal woman

His co-workers call him “Big Country” because he is a “big man with a big heart.”  Darnell Barton is a bus driver in Buffalo, New York. On August 18, 2013, he was transporting a couple dozen teenagers from McKinley High School. While crossing a bridge on the Scajaquada Expressway, Darnell noticed a woman had climbed over the guard rail on the overpass and was standing on a small ledge leaning out over the highway below. Darnell, 37, knew the woman in her 20s was contemplating suicide. He immediately stopped his bus in the middle of traffic, opened his bus door and called out the woman: “Miss you all right? Ma’am are you ok? Are you ok?” You can watch the rescue recorded on the bus video camera at the end of the article. 

Court orders Christians to quit using Allah to refer to Jehovah

On October 14, 2013, a Malaysian court ordered Christians and other non muslims to quit using Allah when referring to God. For Christians this included its usage in church services, worship songs and even scripture. The court added that only Muslims would be allowed to use Allah. Islam is the predominate religion in Malaysia making up 61% of the population. It is also the country’s official religion. The court case involved a Catholic publication called The Herald that used Allah to reference God in its articles — a policy Muslims aggressively opposed. In 2009, The Herald was taken to court to force it to stop using Allah. The Herald won that court challenge. However, the case was appealed and recently overturned. The Herald says it will probably appeal. Most western Christians are shocked believers would use Allah to describe our Biblical God. But the issue is not as simple as it appears on the surface. 

God is booking appointments for you

Antoinette Tuff had an appointment and so did Esther. Both had an appointment where God allowed their paths to cross with people in desperate situations. In the book of Esther, we read about a young Jewish woman God raised up to save the Israelites from genocide during their captivity in Persia. After the Persian King’s first wife fell out of favour, Esther was selected the next Queen because of her beauty. When a plot to exterminate the Jews was uncovered, Queen Esther was in a unique position to do something to stop it. But she was terrified, as approaching the King unannounced could result in her execution. 

Did a Dutch researcher discover evidence of God’s promise to Abraham?

When God called Abraham to leave the ancient city of Ur to found a new country, it promised to be a perilous journey. Abraham would encounter a wide range of peoples — some who would be friendly, others his foes and many indifferent. God knowing Abraham’s concerns made a promise to His patriarch: And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 NASV) It was an interesting verse as God promised to bless those who blessed Abraham. It’s a promise I believe not only follows the physical descendants of Abraham, but his spiritual ones as well — those grafted into the root (Romans 11: 11-24). 

What’s in a name?

Educators have known for years that elementary students will taunt kids with unusual names. In a study of this phenomenon, two psychologists, Herbert Harari and John McDavid, uncovered the powerful perceptions tied to names.[1] They had papers — supposedly written by grade four and five students — turned into teachers for marking. The only element changed in these reports was the name of the person who wrote it. Some of the papers were supposedly written by students with popular names such as David and Michael, while others by students with unusual names such as Hubert and Elmer. Despite the fact these papers were identical, David and Michael scored on average a full grade higher than the other two names. 

Doctors amazed: Did God heal Hal Hart of cancer?

When Hal Hart was told in 2012 his cancer was inoperable by an oncologist in Jackson, MS, Hal turned to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas  — a renown specialist in cancer treatment — in one last desperate attempt for a cure. Though he never smoked, in 2008 Hal was diagnosed with Lung cancer. He immediately had surgery, but by 2011, the cancer had returned and was rapidly spreading through his body. In 2012, doctors told Hal to prepare for the worst. At this point, Hal was was diagnosed with

What Stormy teaches us about trials, trust, faith and hearing the voice of God

[by Dean Smith] In 2010, Beka and her horse Stormy competed in the “Extreme Cowboy Race,” part of the Equine Affair held annually at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Over 100,000 people attended the four-day affair. Though dozens of riders apply to compete only 30 are accepted. The event features obstacle courses, timed and judged events. But there was something about Stormy that set him apart from every other horse in that year’s event. Stormy is completely blind. This amazing story in many ways illustrates the believers faith walk with God. But perhaps the greatest lesson we learn is the vital connection between trust and faith. When she was 8-years old, Beka thought her parents were taking her to Dairy Queen to celebrate her birthday, instead they took Beka to a farm and introduced her to Stormy, a three-year old, unbroken horse they had bought for her. Beka said she immediately fell in love with this gangly colt, and despite being bucked off on her first ride attempt, she stubbornly broke the horse and …

Want to stop smoking, go to church

A Gallup survey conducted in 2012 shows a strong connection between smoking and church attendance. Gallup referred to the connection as “linear” meaning the more often a person attended church the less likely they were to smoke. Of the 353,571 people surveyed, Gallup found if they attended church at least once a week only 12% smoked. If they attended “almost every week” 14% of them smoked. Those who attended church once a month, 22% smoked.  This trend continued

God Standard Time

[by Dean Smith] Physicist Itzhak Bars of the University of Southern California (USC) has an interesting theory. He believes there is another dimension of time (other than the one that keeps track of how old we are) and is conducting research to prove his theory. In his article, Are we missing a dimension of time, Telegraph reporter Roger Highfield quotes Bars who says, “There isn’t just one dimension of time. There are two. One whole dimension of time and another of space have until now gone entirely unnoticed by us.” “Time is no longer a simple line from the past to the future,