Are You Afraid of the Holy Ghost?

When I hear of modern day “prophets” or faith healers, I cringe. When I read about the spiritual gift of healing or speaking in tongues, I scoff.

I tend to reject these things outright.

Toa Heftiba

And yet, the Bible—a collection of books I hold to be authentic, reliable, and authoritative—speaks of prophecy, spiritual gifts, tongues. God granted the disciples power to heal others.

Am I a hypocrite?

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Had it not been for actor Simon Pegg’s loose lips, Daniel Craig’s cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens might still be a secret—a private joke among cast and a personal thrill for Craig, famous for his role as James Bond in Spectre and Skyfall.

Alexander S. Kunz

In May 2015, the seventh “episode” of Star Wars was seven months from its theatrical release. But this was the first Star Wars film in a decade, and the picture had the backing of new rights holder, Disney, which had selected wunderkind JJ Abrams as director. All of these elements combined to generate the highest fan expectations since Jar Jar Binks dashed their hopes in 1999.

Therefore, fans (myself included) lapped up any news related to the film, substantiated or not. I remember one Iowa Walmart employee accidentally set out some Force Awakens toys a week early thereby revealing some plot elements of the film. 

In short, the internet-fueled water cooler talk was ablaze with frenzied anticipation for what fans hoped was a return to the genius of the original Star Wars trilogy.

What I Read In 2016

One of the reasons I wanted to become an author is because of my love of reading. I am fascinated by books, and can’t visit someone’s home or office without spying what’s on his or her shelf. (Don’t take me to a library unless you’re in it for the long haul.)

Because I always find it interesting what other people are reading, I thought you might enjoy knowing which books I have been reading. (By the way, I’m on Goodreads, and if we’re not friends, we should rectify that absurdity right now.)

Eli Francis

This list is not exhaustive. These are simply the books I read in 2016 I thought you might find interesting. (The links to each book are affiliate links, which just means I get a small commission if you buy them. It doesn’t cost you any extra.)

Restoring the Samaritan In Each of Us

I harbor a deep dark resentment in my heart for a certain type of people. Whether I know them or not, I prejudge them. They are the dregs of society. A scourge on decency and an abomination.

Aidan Meyer

I’m referring, of course, to fans of the Denver Broncos.

Allow me to elaborate.

What God Can't Do

I'm posting over at today on What God Cannot Do.

Here's how it starts:

Around the dinner table one evening my nine-year-old said, “God can do anything.”
“That’s technically wrong.” I told him.
There is one thing God cannot do. He cannot contradict himself. Because, in doing so, He would cease to be God. I don’t write these words without reverence for our Creator; this is no jest.
I bring this up to remind you and me of the stability and security of God — His changelessness.

Click over to read the rest.

6 Common Expressions We Borrowed From the Book of Matthew

Whether a student of the Bible or not, one cannot deny the titanic impact the collection of books has had on the English language (and the entire Western world in general). As one of the earliest forms of literature, these Hebrew and Greek writings set the precedent for all literature that followed.

Patrick Tomasso

We looked previously at six common phrases originating in the Old Testament, but here are six more which come from the book of Matthew alone. Not surprisingly, Jesus said all but one of these.

Does God Ever Seem Unreachable?

The lovely Debra Pedrow is featuring an article of mine on her website today about a time when a classmate and I failed to summit a volcano in the Mexican wilderness.

Anton Repponen

Here's how it begins:

In 1943 a Mexican farmer named Dionisio Pulido smelled something like rotten eggs. Thinking little of it, he continued working to prepare his land for spring planting. 

Not long after he noticed a crack forming in his field. 

Residents of Paríctuin and surrounding towns in south central Mexico had reported hearing thunder for days, even though the skies were clear. 

Within a few hours of spotting the crack, the farmer saw smoke billowing upwards from the hole. Dionisio Pulido had stumbled upon a developing volcano. 

By nightfall the volcano was in full eruption, spewing forth ash and liquified rock. The entire town would soon be under lava. After nearly ten years of eruptions, Parícutin, as the volcano came to be known, stood over 400 meters tall. 

That’s what Ben and I had come to see.