All posts tagged: Testimony

Whose Story is it Anyway?

Over the years I listened to more than a few testimonies. In Christian circles these are simply stories about what God did in our lives. A while back, as in a long time ago before we had running water and electricity, I had a job as a Family Worker. This meant that Fridays were court days. I would testify to a family’s ability to care for their own children.  This was not as much fun as one would think. The connection is not that being a Christian preacher is way more fun. The connection is that both require one thing to be credible and valid. Both require the truth. Jesus said the truth will set you free. In court, no matter how hurtful the consequences of my testimony were to the parents, I had to tell the truth. If I didn’t tell the truth and the judge made a decision even partly based on what I said the family could be torn apart or a child could be put in harm’s way. Telling the truth …

Victoria, BC Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who’s the Prize?

Many years ago I lived in a far away land. No not the one that is in a distant galaxy! I lived in Lotus Land. All the unfortunate souls who did not live there referred to it as Victoria, BC. Living there was wonderful, especially compared to Saskatchewan in January.  I lived close enough to Beacon Hill Park to hear the peacocks sounding like cats first thing in the morning. The ocean, the climate, the flowers, and the lack of high paying jobs…I could go on but you get the picture. I walked a lot more then. You could actually recognize people from a long way off by more than the colour and shape of their parka. “Must be Andy waddling towards us. I recognize his green parka and those are definitely his huge boots clumping along.” I love being outdoors but it is a challenge in the winter. In fact, if you do see me outside, all you will see is my eyes and that’s only because I found it unwise to cover them …

Alice Cooper performing at Alexandra Palace in London, England 2011 Credit: Kimon Froussios/Flickr/Creative Commons

Alice Cooper, ‘shock’ rock star and Christian

If there was anyone who I thought would never become a Christian, rock star Alice Cooper, 70, would have been on that list. Yet 40 years ago Cooper got a wake-up call when after bingeing on alcohol he started throwing up blood. During his heyday that featured such mega hits as “Schools out,” he was known as the “Godfather of Shock Rock.” His stage shows took on horror show themes including fake blood, guillotines, electric chairs, snakes and tortured baby dolls. But today Cooper publicly states he has embraced Christ and is preparing to play the role of Herod in NBC’s live version of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. In an interview with New York Daily’s Confidential, Cooper recalled his decision to become a Christian. He came from a Christian background, his grandfather was an evangelist and his dad a pastor and after leaving home, Cooper fled Christianity. But he was drinking buddies with other famous rock stars of the day such as Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison of the Doors both who died at …

Istanbul, Turkey Credit: Filip Knezic/Flickr/Creative Commons

New York Times tells remarkable story of how a Muslim Jihadist became a Christian

At the end of March, New York Time’s journalist Patrick Kingsley wrote an unusual article  on the stunning conversion of a Muslim Jihadist to Christ. He stumbled upon the man while visiting a basement room filled with 22 Christian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey. Kingsley noted many had Muslim sounding names. Though Kingsley noted that it is not unusual for Muslims to convert to Christ as a ruse to claim asylum in other countries, there was one man, Bashir Mohammad, 25 who did not fit that narrative. He was a Christian, who wasn’t interested in asylum. It was also obvious he had a leading role with this group. As Kingsley talked with Bashir, he found out more about his story. At age 15, Bashir began listening to extremist preachers calling for violence. This led him to eventually join the Nusra Front, an off shoot of Al Qaeda, that was seeking to set up a Muslim Caliphate in Syria. Fighting with this group, Bashir witnessed prisoners being run over with bulldozers and another prisoner forced to drink …

Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio (1571 - 1610): Wikipedia

Proof of the resurrection

Like today, the early church had its doubters and haters. After Christ rose from the dead the Jewish Sanhedrin purposefully spread rumors that it was all one big scam and the disciples had stolen Christ’s body from the tomb (Matthew 28:11-15). Year’s later this rumor still had legs and was widely circulated among the Jews. And at times, the Apostle Paul felt  a need to point at the evidence of the resurrection, listing the people (such as Peter, the 12 disciples) the crowds (many who were still alive) and others who saw the Lord after His death (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). But these eye-witness testimonies were not the primary evidence for the early church of Christ’s resurrection. They had something else. During the early days of the church they were under siege from the Jewish authorities and the believers asked for courage and power: 29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take …

Justin Bieber in Oslo, Norway, October 29, 2015 Photo: NRK P3/Flickr

Justin Bieber takes ‘Billboard’ reporter to church

I have been following Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s faith journey over the past few months.  I believe Justin’s faith journey is sincere, but it is filled with foibles, like wearing a a Marilyn Manson t-shirt to Hillsong worship conference in Australia earlier this year. But it is good for the church because we need to lighten up, not on sin, but on the persona that the church and its members are without sin and that somehow we have earned the right to cast the first stone when someone doesn’t immediately meet our expectations. The latest story about the mega rock star involves Justin’s interview with a reporter from Billboard. Justin, 21, actually convinces reporter Chris Martin to join him at church. The two end up at a service at the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where Judah Smith was a guest speaker. Smith pastors The City Church in Seattle, Washington. Justin and the reporter sat in the front row. Though there were only about 400 people in attendance, one …