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Showing posts from September, 2010

"You Never Know"

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A phrase that some people use that I'm starting to find annoying is “you never know.” Occasionally I hear believers say something like, “You never know what God will do.” It must grieve the Holy Spirit to hear His people say clichés like that. The truth is we can know what God is doing if we are sensitive to His leading. Jesus said in John 16:13 that the Spirit of God “will guide you into all truth” and “will tell you things to come.”
Another often-used phrase similar to this is “God moves in mysterious ways.” Some believers quote this like it came out of the Bible. This saying actually originated from an 18th century hymn written by William Cowper. The promises of God are not mysterious but His methods of bringing them to pass can be. As Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
It’s true that som…

Pancakes and Prayer

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I figured this would happen sooner or later. The Kansas City-based ministry IHOP (International House of Prayer) has been sued by the other IHOP…the International House of Pancakes for trademark dilution and infringement. The California-based restaurant chain claims it made several attempts to persuade the ministry to change their name to avoid confusing the public. The lawsuit was prompted by the ministry’s expansion plans plus some of their branches are now serving food (it’s actually a coffee shop called Higher Grounds that sells coffee and bagels…no pancakes).
In one way, I'm a little more supportive of the restaurant. After all, they trademarked the initials IHOP 26 years before Mike Bickle founded International House of Prayer. Mike could settle this matter out of court by renaming the ministry to something like Worldwide House of Prayer. Other ministries have changed their names for various reasons. For example, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship was originally cal…

Christian Nightclubs

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A few weeks ago following a service at a Christian campground, I picked up a newsletter written by that night’s speaker, a minister who I know and respect. The newsletter included an article entitled “False Prophets & Damnable Doctrines.” Most of what he wrote I agreed with except for him criticizing Christian nightclubs. This minister didn’t think God could use such a venue for His glory.
In 1997, I briefly volunteered at the New Union (now called Club 3 Degrees), a Christian nightclub in Minneapolis affiliated with a Full Gospel church I attended in the Twin Cities area. This club was started by a couple who desire to reach out to young people who normally wouldn’t attend a church service. I can relate to their vision since I used to work as a disco DJ. Until I got born again, I erroneously believed God was against modern music. Yet the Bible says in many places, “Sing to the Lord a new song.”
Getting back to the New Union/Club 3 Degrees, this club hosts concerts …

Holy Fire?

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This Saturday will be the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In response, a church in Gainesville, Florida is planning to burn copies of the Koran. Senior Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center has declared, "It is indeed a radical message but a very clear, radical message to Muslims, to Sharia law, that that is not welcome in America." This upcoming event has drawn protests from both Christians and Muslims. The city of Gainesville has refused to grant a burn permit to Dove World Outreach Center. Nevertheless, the church is going forward with its “International Burn A Koran Day.”
One might point out there is Scriptural precedent for burning books that oppose God’s word. Acts chapter 19 describes a group of sorcerers in Ephesus who publicly renounced their faith in the occult…
18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them…

This Land Is My Land

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Despite my spending much time in Florida, I never experienced a hurricane there. The only time I have was in September 2003 while staying with friends just outside Washington, DC. That month, Hurricane Isabel hit the area with high winds, torrential rains, and flooding. I questioned how a storm that like could come to the nation’s capital until I saw on TV then-President George W. Bush hosting King Abdullah of Jordan at Camp David with the purpose of discussing the so-called “road map to peace."
Over the last two decades, other disasters have occurred at the same time the U.S. government enacted foreign policy against Israel (for the latest information on this issue, check out www.watch.org). This week Hurricane Earl approached the east coast of the United States while President Obama met with Middle Eastern leaders in an attempt to negotiate a peace settlement. The President said from the White House, “I have the utmost confidence in him [Mahmoud Abbas - President of the P…