Showing posts from September, 2013

Who Is Your Paul? Who Is Your Timothy?

Timothy was young at the time that he encountered the Apostle Paul (1 Tim. 4:12).  Since they themselves had "genuine faith," Eunice, Timothy's mother, and Lois, his grandmother, imparted spiritual truth to Timothy from his childhood (2  Tim. 1:5 3:14, 15).  He had a Greek father (Acts 16:1-3) who did not have a decidedly positive spiritual impact on him, if one could boldly ascertain that from both what is said in Scripture and what is not said, especially in contrast to his mom and grandmom. 
By the beginning of the second missionary journey, Timothy accompanied Paul and ministered alongside the apostle (see:  Acts 16; 2 Timothy 3:14, 15). Later, Timothy represented the apostle to Thessalonica (1 Th. 3:1-2) Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17) and even Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:2-4).  As his mentor, Paul took special interest in young Timothy and even wrote two letters to him which we have today as part of the New Testament.  The apostle undoubtedly invested a lot of time and energy tr…

President Obama Brings up American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran to Rouhani and More Web-sightings

The "Hell" of A Syrian Hospital-- a story of how rebel-held area hospitals lack medicine, experienced caregivers, safe water -- and the list goes on with horrendous results.  It's not that outsiders don't care.  The Syrian government won't let the Red Cross and others into rebel-held areas.
Please understand I hate the trivialization of Hell by utilizing the term to speak of terrors, traumas and troubles in this life, thus the quotes around the word in the link to the article.

Seven Reasons Pastors Burn Out
September 28, 2013
by Thom Rainer
Speaking of pastors.  Kindle Deal -- $1.99 On Being a Pastor: Understanding our Calling and Work  Derek Prime and Alistair Begg by Moody Press, 300 pages
Kindle Deal for Ladies -- $1.99 Devotional book in Kindle format
The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings [Kindle Edition]
Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Author)

Obama Urges Iranian President to Release Pastor Saeed BY ANUGRAH KUMAR Finally! An action by the American president on behalf o…

‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’

Imagine for a moment, in Nigeria, an Islamic imam and his son are killed by Christians and their mosque set on fire. How do you think Western media would respond?  You no longer have to imagine, change the imam to a pastor and the mosque to a church and you have a real story that is being ignored by the press.

The silence of our friends – the extinction of Christianity in the Middle East
23 September 2013 9:31 by Ed West

The article states, "The last month and a half has seen perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in seven centuries, with dozens of churches torched. Yet the western media has mainly focussed on army assaults on the Muslim Brotherhood, and no major political figure has said anything about the sectarian attacks."

How we survived terror at Nairobi's Westgate mall What it was like at the Westgate mall, from two of those who survived
by Aidan Hartley 28 September 2013

The gunmen approached them and — standing feet away from the Belchers — one announc…

The US Almost Nuked North Carolina, Could Militant Mall Takeover Happen Here and Other Web Sightings

Atom bomb nearly exploded over North Carolina in 1961: UK paperReuters – Fri, 20 Sep, 2013 Various articles report:

Fallout could have spread over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and even New York City, the paper said, threatening the lives of millions of people.

260 times more powerful than the device that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a declassified report published Friday in The Guardian.
The accident happened just three days after President John F Kennedy was inaugurated in January 1961.

image from:
Scores Are Killed by Suicide Bomb Attack at Historic Church in Pakistan

Tunisian women 'waging sex jihad in Syria'
The article states:

Tunisian women have travelled to Syria to wage "sex jihad" by comforting Islamist fighters battling the regime there, Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou has told MPs.

"They have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100" militants, the ministe…

"Amazing that Christians have come to do this. Our Muslim brothers have not helped at all"

Syrian Refugees 'Horrified' at Possible US Strike, Just Want to Be Left Alone, Says Christian Relief Agency Head

Summary from the article:

"I stood up last week and I announced to the crowd that we have food for them," the World Compassion Ministries founder said.

"We are doing this because we are Christians. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus has instructed us to take care of the poor. And that's why we are doing these things," he added.

When asked by the refugee camp leader why Christians would help Muslims, Law quoted from Matthew 25:

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me."

The response from the Muslim refugees has been one of gratitude, with the camp leader saying: "This is amazing that Christians have come to do this. Our Muslim brothers have not…

Generational Conflict Is Resolvable: A Review of Sticking Points by Haydn Shaw

In my possession are various books, each one profiling one generation. Several hundred pages would have to be devoured in order to grasp the four generations currently in today’s workforce. What Haydn Shaw does is address these four generations in summary form in one 288 page volume.

He begins by giving various anecdotes from his teaching seminars to employers and managers. Traditionalists and Boomers complain about the younger generations and Generation X’ers gripe about the Boomers above them or the Millennials below them. He offers insight and solutions in every case, seeking to open the understanding of corporations and their leadership teams as to what makes each one of these divergent groups tick and how to get them to work together.

Having come from different times, each generation has strengths and perspectives relative to that time. Shaw compares it to entering someone else’s country and learning their ways rather than insisting on one’s own customs while on their turf…

The New Savages: Barbarians of the Current World Disorder

Note: I don't claim to be an expert on early American colonial and settler life and the conflict with Native Americans.  If my history is at all off, alert me to it and understand that I am seeking to make a comparison with the current conflict, not to demean, diminish or alter history to my own ends.  

In the early period of American history, colonialists and settlers had two different types of Native Americans to deal with. There were the ones who sought to peacefully co-exist with the pale-faces and yet have a land for themselves that had been theirs for centuries. In addition, there were those who were rightly called savages. Warring tribes without regard for age or gender would assault the pale-faced intruders with stealth and severity. One of the most feared techniques was the scalping of their victims. As word spread, fear did too and all Native Americans got lumped in with their savage counterparts. Slanderous generalizations caused much death, destruction and ill-fee…

The Good News: What God is Doing in the Midst of the Syrian Crisis (and how you can help)

image from TWR Hope for Syria website
Christian radio is impacting the Syrian crisis

"We bring you comfort and peace in the name of Jesus"

One woman called from Aleppo, Syria's largest city, to tell of a serious bread shortage and to urge Christians to share with others. Trust in God to provide from day to day, she said, and share your bread rather than let it go bad amid the power outages.

A follow-up caller endorsed the woman's appeal for more sharing and recounted his own experience. When he gave one of his two loaves of bread to a neighbor who asked for help, the Lord provided the caller with two more loaves the very next day, he told the program hosts.
If you would like to help bring hope through TWR to Syria, click here
Also the iTunes app in Arabic for TWR Arabic programs schedule

God is multiplying your gifts among Syrian refugees

image from Baptist Global Response Syria crisis page
September 5th, 2013
Associated Project: Syria Crisis

How Long, O Lord? The Cry of the Persecuted

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.  They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”  Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.Revelation 6:9-11 (NIV)

The cry of the martyrs given above I understand fully.  When wholesale slaughter happens against a Christian population under an evil ruler/group, one can get how the cries would ring out, "How long, O Lord?"  

What is harder to understand, though, is the response.  The Lord states that it would continue to happen until everyone who is to die a martyr's death does.  

It is apparently within the will of God that His people suffer for His name.  And it is also evi…

Kindle Deals and other e-book offers -- Updated on 09/23/13

The Art of Caregiving
Free on kindle for a limited time -- now 2.99 (09/25/13) 160 pages, save $14.99 Also free on other devices. Check yours to find out if it is free there too.

Amazon summary:  Written to encourage the caregiver, The Art of Caregiving will be a candle of joyful hope to the one whose life has taken on unique new challenges when a loved one faces cancer.

Cancer treatment is often a nighttime journey through a wilderness, during which patients and their caregivers are confronted with worry and fear; a journey where the slightest flicker of hope means more than words can express.

Michael S. Barry shows how, with God's help, you can be the light of hope for those who bear the burden of illness.

Reinventing Rachel
Free on kindle for a limited time -- now 2.99 (09/25/13) Also free on other devices. Check yours to find out if it is free there too.

Save $14.99, 370 pages Amazon summary: God let Rachel Westing down. For twenty-six years she’s done everything by the book; she …

Faith that Good Will Overcome Evil: the Egyptian Christian Response to Persecution

SAT-7 studio
Overcoming Persecution  with the Egyptian Church  Read how SAT-7 is telling the story of how  Christians in Egypt despite suffering, hardship and loss are ministering even to their persecutors.  - also, for those of you who know of people who lump the Muslim response into one negative basket, note how many Muslims defended their Christian neighbors from attack.
About SAT-7:  Since the first program aired in 1996, SAT-7 broadcasts have brought quality Christian television programming directly into millions of homes throughout the Middle East and North Africa. SAT-7 airs 5 channels in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish languages to a known audience of over 15 million viewers!

In a region characterized by high illiteracy rates, media censorship, and limited incomes, anyone with a satellite dish can turn on SAT-7 and hear the Word of God in his or her language. Give to SAT-7

Peril worsening for Egyptian Christians Sept. 9, 2013 from Mission Network News  (pic from the article)
The violence a…

In Christ, the Blade Could be Put Away

from BuzzFeed animals

Imagine the scene, once again the lamb is brought. Such a cute little animal, bleating, wiggling to be set free. He seems born to run and frolic and play. Yet not today, not ever again.

The blade is placed across his tiny throat and with one swift motion, the lamb is lifeless and his blood pours out.

Every year, this must happen. Over and over again, blood must be shed.

How the priest, let alone the people, must have longed for the day when one final sacrifice, one last grisly offering would do the job once for all.

It was likely the intent of God to build this longing into the hearts and minds of His people. For it was His intention all along to do just that.

In Christ, there is one last grisly sacrifice. A man would be offered. One that people could look at and say, "Why? What has He done deserving of death?" Yet, when He cried out that final time on the cross, it was over. The blade could be put away. No more killing would be necessary. As He said, so…

How do Persecuted Believers Show the Strength, Resilience and Faith that They Do in the Midst of Their Suffering?

Evin Prison in Iran
It is a question that is often times a riddle to Westerners.  How do persecuted believers do it?   What is it within them that enables them to withstand the extremes of persecution?

In Nigeria, a pastor's son was hacked to death by machete-wielding Boko Haram terrorists.  His response to the tragedy was that he still loved his son's attackers.  

Iranian American pastor Saeed Abedini has been held in Iran's notorious Evin prison for over a year.  Reportedly, he came out of solitary confinement, meant to break a prisoner, actually elated and encouraged from the experience.  What happened in that confinement?  More on that in a minute. 

image from International Christian Concern's website Stories abound of Christian ministers and laypeople being imprisoned, beating, etc., and seeing the situation as a God-given opportunity to minister to prison guards and fellow prisoners.  What makes them so resilient? So hopeful?  So strong?

The answer may come from Acts …

Christian Town Besieged by Islamist Radicals

What do you get when you put together the largest Egyptian Christian community with one of the largest Islamist havens?  That's what is happening in Dalga.

Egypt's largest Christian community threatened as Islamists take over town
"A town of some 120,000 — including 20,000 Christians — Dalga has been outside government control since hard-line supporters of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi drove out police and occupied their station on July 3, the day Egypt's military chief removed the president in a popularly supported coup. It was part of a wave of attacks in the southern Minya province that targeted Christians, their homes and businesses. Since then, the radicals have imposed their grip on Dalga, twice driving off attempts by the army to send in armored personnel carriers by showering them with gunfire."

"Minya was the epicenter of an Islamic militant insurgency against the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in the 1980s and 1990s. It remains a stronghold of Islamists…

Starfish, Critics and the Syrian Crisis -- Which Person Represents You?

A man was amused and said, "What do you think you are doing? Look at all the starfish! You can't possibly save them all. What possible difference can you make?"

At first, the boy was discouraged but then he picked up another starfish and tossed it in. He looked at the man and responded, "I made a difference for that one!"

The plight of the persecuted church may seem similarly discouraging and overwhelming. Which represents your response? The little boy who makes a difference for some or the older man who shrugs and discourages any effort for the sheer magnitude of the problem?
Persecution on the upswing: do we care?

(Photos courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

From the article: 
International (MNN) ― The Church is under fire. Upon reading that statement, half the people who started reading this article just moved on to something "more interesting."

And that response is troublesome.

The plight of believers gets little attention on …

Why the Plight of Syria's Christians Should Result in Many Calls for Congress to Deny a Strike Authorization

pic from The Guardian
Update:  Great development today (09/09/13) as Secretary Kerry was asked a question about what Syria could do to avert a strike.  His answer was that they could turn over their chemical weapons' stockpile to be destroyed.  Russia seizes the moment and gets Syria to agree.  A skeptical Obama said that this indeed could avert a strike but (to paraphrase), he's not holding his breath.  With Congress and the American public dead set against this, this could be the way nearly everyone wins.  Obama gets to keep his peace prize (literally and symbolically), Syria and Russia don't get the blow that strikes would represent, Congress and the American people avoid another conflict.  The only ones who loses would be al-Qaeda!  Now imagine that!  What a great way to celebrate 9-11-13!  

pic found on The Guardian