Published October 20th, 2014 by

For centuries, men of deep religious faith have been depicted with a full grown beard. For some this is a sign of their devotion to their beliefs, while for others it is a following of what they believe to be doctrine by their religion. Whatever the case may be when you paint a picture of a religious leader, most of the time he will be bearded.

According to Leviticus 19:27: “do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” This has led to several interpretations and debate over what is acceptable in a number of religions which follow the word of the Old Testament.

For most, a beard is nothing more than a symbol of his membership into his religion, although there are those who take their wearing of a beard very seriously. This has even led to legal debate in prisons, where the institution tries to put limits the length of beards, while prisoners attempt to exercise their religious freedom.

jesus

Most religious leaders, including Jesus, are depicted wearing full beards that are unkempt and messy. As deep as your spiritual belief may be, it is not necessary to keep yours in a similar fashion. Instead, you should try to fit in with societal norms to some extent by using a beard trimmer often and following these beard grooming tips:

  • Invest in a beard trimmer. This is essential if you want to keep a beard that looks clean. You will be using a beard trimmer at least once a week, so this is a good investment to make.
  • Make sure that you choose a suitable style. Our faces are all different, and so is the way our beards grow. Experiment by growing out a full beard first and then trimming it down until the style complements your face.
  • The length is important. As already mentioned, there are some faiths who feel that a beard should be allowed to grow its own course. This is not practical for most people today except for the Amish. Instead, try to find a length that works with your style and life, while still paying homage to your religious beliefs.
  • Treat your beard the same way as you treat your hair. Washing your beard as regularly as you wash your hair is critical. Consider the proximity of a beard to your mouth and now consider the possibility of food making its way into the hair. You will want to wash this at least daily to maintain a clean look.

This is in no way meant to criticize or dictate how you choose to express your faith. These are merely suggestions for how you could meld your religious beliefs with a modern society.

For some, the unruly beards that were worn by Jesus and other important religious figures depict a lifestyle of such spiritual intensity that there was simply no time to keep up with a growing beard. While this may be true, in today’s world it is more practical to take a few moments from your praying to keep your beard groomed.

Click here for tips on proper church attire.…

Read More The Long Standing Relationship Between Faith and Facial Hair

Published August 7th, 2014 by

It’s in all our hearts to help those in need. With so many countries and cities in greater need than our own, we send out groups of people from our local churches to help those less fortunate. On these ministry trips, homes, churches, schools and sanctuaries are built to help less fortunate people with shelter, spirituality, education and safety. Though so much is donated and volunteered, we still must keep our fellow missionaries safe and properly looked after.

We’ve recently heard the story of a Christian man from Vancouver who endured the worst international travels you can imagine. As a Canadian citizen, he was equipped with his passport, additional ID and all the necessary documents he needed while flying to Haiti for this mission trip. Getting across the border was a long process, unfortunately this man’s documents were not all up to date and had a mistake that the border patrol did not take too lightly. For legal reasons, we can not disclose the error. However, as you can imagine, his journey was off to a bumpy start. This poor man who is just trying to make his way to help those less fortunate is now being hassled by patrol and interrogated due to one honest mistake. After some hours and finally working out the kinks, the border patrol let him through only for him to just barely make his flight with the rest of the missionary crew.

When he had arrived in Haiti, all seemed back to normal for the time being. The crew had arrived in the community that they were there to help rebuild, and construction was underway. The team had grown as a group and through teamwork and prayer, they had built a new community for the locals of the city. Life changing experiences took place, and they all learned so much about themselves, their faith, and those less fortunate countries that still exist today. However, this innocent man’s troubles were not over yet. Battling some medical difficulties in this foreign country and accidentally compromising his travel documents along with many other personal belongings, he was not in a good place. After this, he had a run in with the local law enforcement and was once again faced with the issues he had at the border on the way out of Canada.

Unfortunately this had followed him back to the airport when all was said and done. As his file now had some (recent) activity on it, he was held back once again by border security. This time it was not as easy as getting out of Canada due to his damaged passport. He had a difficult time proving his citizenship due to his lack of documentation, and he had a very rough time making it back into Canada. After a missed flight, he was allowed to board a plane back to Vancouver. This hasn’t been the end of it though. He is now dealing with a local immigration lawyer on how to best iron out the bumps he faced during his travels. As these issues become a part of his past, he has mentioned that never again will he travel internationally without the consultation of a lawyer to ensure all his documents and papers are properly filled out.…

Read More Helping a brother in need: The tale of a Christian immigration

Published July 28th, 2014 by

Shoes for church

As what our elders say, we have to be at our best whenever we go to Church. This means that going to Church for the right reasons with the right motivation, may it be to pray for something or simply to reflect. Also, along with our best behavior.

However, what many of us tend to forget especially nowadays is looking decent and presentable in visiting the Church. We tend to mix up our cocktail dress with the Sunday dress.

Now let us guide you from head to toe in becoming a better member of the Church.

Avoid wearing too flashy, sparkly or colored outfits. Tone down and be dainty. The purpose is to visit the Church and pray not draw attention.

Second are your accessories. Keep it simple! In the Church, less is more. The more you show off, the more people would doubt your sincerity.

The most missed out detail is the choice of footwear. High heels look very fascinating and sexy on women. High heels make you look tall, make your legs look longer and at the same time show them off! However, in a place like the Church one must be careful in selecting the right high heels, you can visit TwoComfyShoes and read their reviews on comfortable heels for women. Let us help you with that!

Kitten Heel

The safest among the high heels collection that is suitable for Church. Kitten heel can fit both moms and young adults. It has this edgy but subtle look and feel.

Kitten Heel Peep-Toe D’Orsay

This type of high heels fits moms and let’s not forget, the grandmas as well! Most of them are only half to one inch high so there’s no worrying how to walk on them! You will look funky but calm! No worries about assisting your mom or grandma, this footwear is suitable for all ages. What a good way to feel on Sunday for worship and family!

Pumps

Almond-Toe and Pointed-Toe pumps are so trendy that you can wear them from school to work to parties and to Church. The only difference these two have is the shape of the front part of the shoe. The Almond-Toe high heel has slightly rounded tip. The Pointed-Toe on the other hand is fully pointed. If you still want to retain and give clues about your fierce personality, then the Pointed-Toe is your mate. Whichever among the two you like most, just do not wear more than 3-inches high heels! Wearing pumps will earn you professional points from your peers of the Church but wearing more than 3-inches will earn you glances and stares.

Wedges

Wedges are perfect for summer! The season wherein you just want your feet to breathe and see the whole world! This type of high heels can never go wrong. If you’re wearing a dress, the wide width wedge sandals will make the whole outfit more semi-formal. On the other hand, if you’re wearing jeans then the wedge sandals will make you look more laid back and casual. Check out this article on wide width wedge sandals to help you with your buying decision.

Do not wear Platform high heels to Church. We get it, you want to look fabulous and just could not wait to try on your new pair of high heels but please not in the Church! Not only will you get stares but also wearing them will actually steal your concentration and purpose in visiting the Church. You will only feel uncomfortable and you’ll be constantly thinking about walking correctly and being well balanced rather than say a prayer.…

Read More Proper Church Footwear

Published July 28th, 2014 by

Hunting is the favorite pastime of so many of us that love the great outdoors and enjoy recreational activities that are both challenging and relaxing. But in our modern world, there’s rarely a need for people to hunt for subsistence, and so those who don’t hunt and may not understand hunting tend to call into question the morality of hunting and the practice of shooting and killing seemingly defenseless wildlife. But just how valid are these concerns? Is hunting, indeed, morally wrong? Are stores that earn copious amounts of money off the practice (like cabelas and bass pro shops) morally wrong?

Bird of Prey

Obviously, there is no clear answer to this much-debated topic, but the argument against hunting being morally justified does have merit. Generations ago when hunting was one of the few ways that a man could feed himself and those around him, it was an absolute necessity, but times have changed. Meat is certainly an important part of most diets, but large sections of the population abstain from eating eat and live perfectly healthy lives; in fact, some may argue that they live healthier lives. In this sense, meat is more of a luxury than a necessity, and one could argue that it’s not worth killing another living being over a luxury. Moreover, most hunters these days don’t even shoot animals for the purposes of food; they do so more for sport, which could be looked at as even more of a luxury than killing animals for food. If there’s gray area with regard to killing animals for food, then doing so for pure pleasure certainly straddles the line of what is moral. If you are looking at starting to hunt, is it more ethical to use a bow and arrow or a rifle? Should you use a tool like a rangefinder or scope when you go? How much is technology amounts to it being unfair to the animal?

There is also deep concern about the pain and suffering hunted animals go through when they are shot and ultimately killed. Since humans and animals don’t speak the same language, we often lose sight of their pain and their loss of life. When this is factored into the equation, especially in the sense that this is done mostly for recreational purposes, it’s easy to see why there are concerns about the morality of hunting. After all, hunting is far from a fair fight; one party has the tools, knowledge, and awareness to kill the other. Meanwhile, for the hunted animal, they are already trying to do whatever they have to in order to survive, only to have their habitat intruded upon and a more advanced civilization with advanced weapons hunt them without cause. Can anything this unfair be considered moral?

The response to these concerns from hunters is that they are actually more environmentally aware and concerned with conservation than the average person, as they have incentive to keep animal populations as high as possible and animal habitats as vast as possible. Moreover, the fees for hunting licenses go to fund habitat creation and wildlife management projects, which in turn help populations, therefore helping species and local ecosystems. That’s all true, but just because a system that is set up is sensible, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s moral. Couldn’t these projects be funded in some other way? More to the point, why do some members of a species have to perish in a violent way in order for the species to survive and flourish? On the surface, that sounds as morally ambiguous as warfare, with the caveat that hunted animals …

Read More Is Hunting Morally Wrong?

Published July 21st, 2014 by

I’ve been using the same personal trainer for several years now. Having a trainer has made all the difference in achieving my fitness goals. Up until last week I can say we had an incredible relationship. Thrive Fitness always pushed me hard, even on days when I didn’t feel like working out. So what happened?

He showed up at the gym wearing a shirt that had “HMRWJD” and underneath it, it said “one more than satan”. If you didn’t catch what HMRWJD is – it stands for “How Many Reps Would Jesus Do” mocking the old staple “What Would Jesus Do?” I’m not a particularly serious person but as a pasture I take my faith incredibly seriously. And I know he wasn’t meaning to be offensive and he probably didn’t even think of it when he put that shirt on that day. And while I’m not one to hold grudges or bemoan folks for their attire I think it’s fair to say it was a little unprofessional. After all, he was showing up  to his place of work where he trained clients.

Upon returning home I took a few minutes to google these shirts to see what else was out there. It turns out there is a slew of them and every single one of them is more then a little classless. It’s akin to me wearing a shirt that promotes jesus, over say another religion. I know many religious folks who do, do this but in my mind that too isn’t correct. Folks can feel the lord within them, they don’t need a t-shirt to remind them that he exists. A little tacky I would say.

As I mentioned, I no longer train with that gym. I’m not going to hold a grudge, but I’m also not going to work out at a place that marginalizes my spiritual beliefs (and my job). So for anyone thinking about buying any shirt that could be thought of as offensive – be careful. You don’t know who you’re going to insult and the actions they might take with it. In my case it was my wallet closed up shop.

I’m a firm believer in the right to believe in whatever faith you want (if any at all) but please don’t take that as a signal that you should wear shirts which make fun of a religion.

What’re your thoughts? Do you think I took it too far?…

Read More Offensive Shirts: “Reps For Jesus”

Published July 11th, 2014 by

homeschool tableAs public schools become more and more full of poor educational standards and anti-Biblical culture, many parents are looking for alternative schooling options for their children. While a private Christian school education might be beneficial and safer, they are also very expensive and may not be located in smaller communities. Another alternative public school that many Christian families have been adopting is that of homeschooling. There are many benefits that homeschooling has when viewed from an educational as well as a Christian perspective.

Curriculum Choices

When parents choose to educate their children at home, they have many options beyond what their children would find in a public or private school. Curriculum may be tailored to each specific child’s abilities and interests, as well as what the family wants to focus on. If a family is planning to take a vacation to Europe the following summer, one of the children’s learning units may be based on the geography, economics, politics, or culture of various countries in Europe. This helps to facilitate learning with personal experience which is much more difficult to do in a classroom setting. If and when the kids decide to further their learning with a college education, few know that there are even scholarships for homeschoolers available.

Bible Education

In addition to making sure that children get a well rounded education including reading, writing, and math, most Christian families believe that it is important to make sure that children receive education related to the Bible. Learning about the history of the Bible, memorizing Scripture, and learning to apply biblical principles to life can be a vital part of homeschooling a Christian home. In fact, the Bible can be applied to just about every aspect of learning including science, math, literature, history, art, music, and more.

Flexible Pace

Children who learn at home have the benefit of a great deal of one-on-one time with their teachers. Lessons can be guided to whatever pace works best for the child. If the child struggles in a certain subject, then more time can be taken in that subject. If a child is gifted or talented, he or she is able to work ahead at a pace which is challenging instead of boring. This may bring additional opportunities for graduating high school and going to college early. This type of advanced pace might make it possible for students to get scholarships for homeschoolers.

Time with Family

One of the most important ways to instill Christian values in our children is by schooling them at home. This allows them to spend time with the people in the family who we know are good influences on them. Learning as a family helps older children experience the responsibility of helping with and teaching younger children. Sibling relationships are also often much stronger when they are each other’s classmates and playmates. Time with family for a homeschooler also means that a grandma or grandpa or family friend may want to participate in lessons and learning, as well as going on “field trips”, and all of this helps to enrich experiences with relationships which might otherwise conflict with school hours.

Safety

Some parents and families live in public school systems which promote an unsafe environment. Even if the physical environment is safe (although more and more bullying continues to be reported in today’s culture), the emotional and spiritual environment may not be safe. Many schools limit a child’s right to carry or read from a Bible, others try to limit the child’s right to speak about spiritual matters. Because of this, many families choose to keep their children …

Published June 6th, 2014 by

St. Peter’s Basilica

Churches are known to be a holy place for Christians as this symbolized the house of God. This is the place where Christians gather for religious purposes. As Christianity grew, more and more churches are built, from a simple cathedral to breathtaking churches that will captivate even the non-religious. If you plan to tour the world for the best churches or just here to know the most famous churches in the world, then this list will surely captivate you to your soul.

Let’s dive in!

1. St. Peter’s Basilica

Constructed between 1506 and 1615, the church’s dome was designed by Michael Angelo in 1547. The famous church can be found in Rome, Italy with its dome rises up to a total height of 448 feet. It is the tallest dome in the world.

2. Las Lajas Cathedral

Las Lajas Sanctuary is a minor basilica church found in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, district of Ipiales and manufactured inside the ravine of the Guáitara River. The present church was implicit Gothic Revival style in 1949. The name Laja hails from the name of a sort of even sedimentary rock like shale.

3. St. Basil’s Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat prevalently known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox Church raised on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–61. Based on the request of Ivan the Terrible to remember the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it denotes the geometric focus of the city and the center point of its development since the fourteenth century.

4. Westminster Abbey

One of the symbols of London is the Westminster Abbey. An expansive Gothic church spotted simply to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is a standout amongst the most outstanding religious structures in the United Kingdom.

5. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a previous Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a historical center in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its devotion in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal church building of Constantinople, with the exception of between 1204 and 1261, when it was changed over to a Roman Catholic house of God under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader made Latin Empire. It was opened as a historical center on 1 February 1935.

6. Notre Dame

Notre Dame de otherwise called Notre Dame Cathedral or just Notre Dame, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic Church on the eastern half portion of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the house of God of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the congregation that holds the cathedra (authority seat) of the Archbishop of Paris, at present André Vingt-Trois.

7. The Church of Hallgrímur

The Church of Hallgrã­mur is a Lutheran parish church which is likewise an extremely tall one, soaring at 74.5 meters (244 ft.) tall. It is the fourth tallest engineering structure in Iceland. It took inconceivably long to fabricate it (38 years!) Construction work started in 1945 and finished in 1986.

8. The Crystal Cathedral

The Crystal Cathedral is a Christian church building in Garden Grove, Orange County, California, United States. The building, planned by designer Philip Johnson, was finished in 1981 and seats 2,736 individuals.

9. Saint Mark’s Basilica

Known as the most popular of Venice’s temples and one of the best known illustrations of Byzantine structural engineering, Saint Mark’s Basilica is a sight to behold. It is one of the symbols of the city and the objective of each traveler in Venice. It …

Read More The 10 Most Famous Churches in the World

Published June 5th, 2014 by

Jesus Christ NRA Member 000001As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are taught to live a fulfilling life of peace, happiness and love. We are taught to love thy neighbour and to appreciate them as if they are a part of our family. Unfortunately, everyone isn’t always on the same page in relation to living a life of fulfillment. There are people who make it their goal to steal from others or physically hurt others to gain for themselves. As an American and as a Christian, we have the right to protect ourselves with any means necessary which includes defending our homes and our families by any means necessary. That is why I have an arsenal of firearms in my home in the case an intruder tries to break into my home and hurt my family.

It is important to have weapons in your home to protect yourself and it is also important to know how to use them in the case an unexpected emergency takes place. I take my family every month to a gun range so that everyone in my family is trained on the safety and functionality of the weapons in the house.

I also ensure that all of the weapons are in working order and have the appropriate accessories to help in certain situation. In my bedside drawer I have my favorite hand gun with a lightweight mounted flashlight so that I can see my target even if there is no power in the house. I find these accessories to be extremely important and I make sure I have the absolute best in terms of quality.

I had a situation one winters eve where an intruder entered the house. We live in a very safe Christian neighborhood so I was surprised by the events all together but let me tell you I was sure glad I had my weapons. The intruder broke in through the kitchen window at the back of the house while my wife and I were in the living room. It was a petty thief looking for jewelry and cash but let me tell you, he didn’t get his hands on it that’s for sure. I came running into the back kitchen as he entered the house and you should have seen the way his eyes lit up when he saw my shotgun staring him in the face. He quickly hit the deck with his hands over his head. The cops were there in minutes and took him off to the slammer.

I would hate to know how the above story would unfold in the case I didn’t have any of my tactical gear. I am looking at purchasing some night vision gear for those dark nights when I want even more protection. Nobody will be hurting my family!…

Read More God Given Rights

Published June 5th, 2014 by

The Holy BookFor many, Christianity and the Lord Jesus Christ provide direction in life. The holy book provides followers with important values to live by and a direction which above all encourages love, compassion and peace on earth. Followers do not question the vision god has for us because there is no need to question. Our path is defined by gods will and if we follow his teaching, we will live a happy and prosperous life before joining him in his Kingdom known as Heaven. For some though, there path brings them to god later in life. For some, it will be a serious trauma or a realization which will provide them a choice to follow the lord, or continue down a dark path which can often end in death.

I knew a man who lost his parents when he was about 17 years old. Both of his parents had addiction problems with drugs and alcohol and when they passed suddenly the teenager was on his own to make his own decisions. The easy path might have been to follow the same course as his parents, use drugs and alcohol to ease the pain of losing his parents and begin a path down a very dark road. Instead, the teenager found the Lord.

This is a story all to personal to me as I actually was the one to set this boy on to a path of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first time I met him he was on the street asking for change. He didn’t look like a street boy and I learned later that it was only a few days after his parents had passed that he had no money to feed himself and was reduced to begging. I asked the boy why he was on the street asking for money and he began to cry. It appeared I was the first person to ask him something sincere in quite some time and he began to tell me the 30 second version of the past few years of his life. My response to him was that although I do not have any change, I do know a place where you can find help.

Today, this teenager is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and has a successful career, a beautiful family and a relationship with god which is second to none. I take no credit for the success this young man has had but I do wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t met on the street that day.…

Read More Christianity Saves Lives