All posts tagged: Gospel

Get Out of Jail Free!

Some of us are put in prison, others make our prisons. It’s no fun being in prison. I spent time working in one of Canada’s penitentiaries and there is a real sense of the walls closing in. Hopelessness and tension are everywhere. Wherever I went, I had an armed guard escorting me. To get to my area, I had to go through a metal detector, put my belongings through an x-ray machine, and go through five security gates. At every point, I had to wait for the go ahead before I could proceed.    Sharp shooters were stationed at four sentry towers to shoot any prisoner who dared to escape into the brutal no man’s land. It is a side of the justice that few of us see or want to see. This is a secure prison. And inside is a man. He is a regretful man who did very bad things. His cell has cement block walls and an open toilet. He is locked in by an electronically controlled steel door with a small …

How a strange musical instrument opened the door for the Gospel

God Reports talks about the intriguing dream given to Caleb Byerly, a missionary to the Philippines, that opened the door to the Gospel being preached to a small isolated tribal group numbering about 100,000 in that country. Caleb was home in North Carolina in 2014 when he received a descriptive dream that so impacted him, he wrote down all its details the next day. In the dream, he was in a mountainous region of the Philippines, and he encountered a group of people he had never heard of before called the Tinananon. The leader of the group was also carrying a musical instrument and when the chief started playing it the people began dancing and singing. During his dream, Caleb focused on the unusual round bowl-like instrument that had strings attached on the outer edge that crisscrossed and were attached to a cone in the centre of the bowl. Caleb felt that God was inviting him to reach out to this group. But his confidence in the dream faded as he could find no reference …

Book of Life

It is customary for essayists and journalists to write a year-end review or to make predictions for the new year. 2020 was a year that was difficult for many people. But how bad was it really? One year saw a flood that destroyed the entire world except for Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. Now that was a bad year. Other years saw wars and disasters, genocide and infanticide. And these things are still going on today. They are underreported since COVID is what sells this year. Wars still happen. Hurricanes, droughts, floods, volcanoes still happen. Whole peoples are being targeted and executed. And of course, we legally kill more babies now than at any other time in history. Every day people are being murdered. Children are being raped. People are being attacked. These are bad things. The kind of things that used to be reported. The kind of things that go on every single day. And then there are the good things. Babies are being born. People get married. Lives …

The nerd rapture: Are we in a religious revolution?

One rule about religion is that things change when communication changes. The first Christians spoke and wrote on scrolls. Things changed with bound books, and then printing presses, which produced the Protestant Reformation. Radio, and television, and now the Internet have radically changed human communication, and we can expect big changes in the way people find God. Some people call this the nerd rapture. We are connected by the Web, and this year we are isolated by a virus pandemic. Expect changes. In the time of scrolls and preachers, Jesus told His followers to communicate: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16: 15 and 16) That is easier to do that now, than any time in history. The speaker on the TEDx video predicts a religious revolution based on communication. He mixes in his own advice, but he is correct with his basic prediction.

Sneaking the Gospel into North Korea

The communist regime of North Korea is completely closed to the Gospel. Their president Kim Jong-un, who has been missing in recent months, has taken on a god-like persona in that country. According to North Korean media he drove his first car at age three and was winning yacht races by the age of nine.

Photo: ndsunewsdept/Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolina State University requires permit to talk about Jesus

Grace Christian Life (GCL) is a Christian organization registered with North Carolina State University. The organization recently launched a lawsuit against the university alleging they need a permit if they wanted to talk to anyone about Jesus at the university or even invite them to attend religious events. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization that takes on free speech issues for Christians, is representing the GCL. According to the group, they received a permit from the university to set up a table displaying materials about their organization. However, they were not allowed to leave their table or distribute materials. ADF believes under the US constitution, the university is not allowed to limit free speech of any group or person, Christian or not. However, in this case it alleges the university even went further and specifically limited the free speech of the Christian organization, while giving other groups freedom to hand out their materials. On its website, ADF alleges: “The group obtained a permit to set up a table in the student union in January …

How Leonard Knight’s dream became Salvation Mountain

If you ever wander into the Colorado Desert, Northeast of Niland, California, you will come across a strange place called Salvation Mountain. It testifies of one man’s faith, dream and determination. (Click here to view photos of Salvation Mountain.) After accepting Christ in 1967, Leonard Knight (1931 – 2014) had a dream to build a hot air balloon with the message “God is Love” emblazoned in bold red color on the fabric. After failing to raise enough money to buy one, he decided to sew his own. While working as a truck driver in Quartzite, Arizona in 1984, Leonard tried to fly it, but the balloon wouldn’t hold air. Defeated, he was preparing to move on when he decided to stay an extra week and build a small monument to Christ along the banks of a now dried river bed across the border in California. He grabbed a bag of cement, some paint and set to work. This was the beginning of Salvation Mountain and until his death, Leonard never left.

Bad Elephant

[By Earl Blacklock] Out of all the animals in the three-ring circus, none are as beloved as the circus elephant. The sight of the awesome beast, tenderly carrying a flower of a girl on its back, is usually the highlight of a circus performance. Bozo was a master of the circus ring, beloved by families and performers alike. Then its behaviour changed. It became enraged at the slightest provocation, and even went after its keeper with murderous intent. It was clear Bozo was dangerous, and the decision was made to kill it. But this was the circus, in a time different from our own. The manager decided that if the animal had to be killed, it might as well make the circus some additional revenue, so he sold tickets to the execution.