Tag Archive | persecution

A Brit of Fresh Air!!

Everyday, countless unknown believers share their faith, at work, home, school, etc, all outside of any limelight or attention,  However, it’s a little rare to hear the Lord’s message of redemption and forgiveness shared on cable TV by a highly respected journalist.  But that’s just what Brit Hume did!  

Watch this 3-minute video of his discussion with Bill O-Reilly on Fox:

Justin  Taylor offers a detailed and insightful discussion on this interview at his website, The Gospel Coalition.   Also, check out an exceptional Q&A interview with Mr. Hume by Sarah Pullman Bailey of Christianity Today.

I was so encouraged by this news worthy piece and my sentiments couldn’t be expressed better than what Paul Werner of the National Review concluded in his article, “Hume’s Gentle Witness“:

“Brit Hume is rightly recognized as one of the finest journalists of his generation. He also turns out to be a man of deep Christian faith who isn’t afraid to say so. That makes him not only rare, but very nearly unique. And admirable. “

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“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:11-16

  

Thank you, Mr. Hume!

I Hold the Truth

Today (and always) I’m thankful for my very own Bible.  What a commodity!! A priceless gift and treasure!

I’m guilty blessed to have more than one.  My favourite, and most used. is the New American Standard Version, because that’s where I started when God opened my eyes to His Grace in 1972.  But many others fill our library of treasured books: KJV, RSV, ESV, NIV, The Living Bible, large print versions, parallel versions, Spanish and French Bibles, and more.  Each one shouts:

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…”
Luke 12:48

In spite of such increased responsibility, I am extremely thankful!   There are countless believers in other countries who don’t have any Bible to call their own.   Or if they do, they’re breaking the law.  Voice of the Martyrs  presents maps/media displaying countries which either restrict or are hostile to the Bible and Christianity.  Check it out here:

http://www.persecution.com/public/restrictednations.aspx?clickfrom=bWFpbl9tZW51

When you read your Bible, whether in print, online, on your Ipod, or whatever, thank the Lord for the Truth you hold in your hand.  And pray for those who don’t or can’t.

Hope for More

I haven’t written a post lately, with the intent purpose of keeping the last post on the Lord’s faithfulness foremost on my heart and on the blog.  This beautiful assurance, can comfort us through most anything in this life!

But I still forget!!  Why?!  Probably because I’m focusing on THIS life and not the ultimate plan the Lord has for me, my family, and every single person that has ever lived.  I’m trying to make sense of all the sufferings of others or myself, the trials, pains, difficulties, tragedies, and bad news all around me.  But it doesn’t make sense.  It only confuses matters more when I look for satisfaction, peace, and ‘good feelings’ in this life and bruised world.

Then I recall what I’m supposed to do:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down the the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless.”  2 Peter 3:13,14

It’s not about all that I have or don’t have, the successes and failures, or as Spurgeon says, “the losses and crosses”… for as Peter said,

“…[be] firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”  I Peter 5:9,10

“…He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away…”

“and He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold I am making all things new.’  And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.‘”  Revelation 20:4, 5

What a Hope we have!!

The song that comes to mind as I determine to keep an eternal perspective, with hope for something much more than this life is, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.”  I know, I’ve posted it before ( Look to Jesus – 2), but it bears repeating.  If not for anyone else, at least, for me.  🙂

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

[Chorus]
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Chorus

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Chorus

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

 

This is in the Blue Music Box…#19…sung by Mary Barrett!!  Listen and be at peace, knowing our Lord holds us, and this fallen world, in His gracious and loving hands!   Hope!!

Forgotten??

I haven’t forgotten how to blog, and I hope you haven’t forgotten me.  John and I have been spending the past week-plus with our daughters and their husbands, along with my mom, celebrating our “Family Christmas in January,” an annual event we began in 2006.  Since there hasn’t been any internet access, my writing has suffered a bit, but my social skills have greatly improved!!   I’ve really enjoyed being “in the moment!”  Time with family is too precious to share with a computer!

With that in mind, I’ll keep this post brief.  The link below is from Voice of the Martyrs, and includes a video about Iraqi Christians who are suffering in the midst of everything going on in the Middle East.  The message shared is from former Governor David Beasley, who has worked on numerous humanitarian projects in the Middle East since leaving politics.  He says that “the United States has failed in its responsibility to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have been forced to flee religious persecution in Iraq.”

Let us not be among those who forget, but rather, remember our brothers and sisters in Christ, “as though we too, were in chains.” 

http://www.persecutionblog.com/2008/12/former-governor-david-beasley-discusses-christian-persecution.html

Pray for the Persecuted

Yesterday, November 9th, was “International Day of Prayer” for the Persecuted Church.  Though I had hoped to post this earlier, I’m acutely aware that God’s listening heart and loving responses are not limited to a single day.  With that in mind, let us continue daily in prayer for Christians around the world who suffer persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ.  As we pray for them, may we not neglect to express thankfulness for our abundant blessings and freedom to worship.  Lord, keep us from complacency and discontentment!

Here’s some guidelines for prayer, gleaned from the Voice of the Martyrs:

PRAY that:

     The Lord will give courage to His people who are enduring persecution for His Name
     The Lord will place His restraining hand on those who seek to harm His people
     Churches facing government opposition will stand firm in their ministry
     Christians will have opportunities to reach out with the Gospel without fear of intimidation or harassment
     Servants of the Lord will be able to deliver Bibles and Christian literature to places where they are most needed
     Christians who have been left without pastors and teachers may be kept strong in their faith
     Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith will be released safely
     The Lord will restrain the callousness and brutality of prison guards in their treatment of Christians in prison
     Pray against the increasing problem of young Christian girls being kidnapped, raped and forced to marry
     Those who have lost loved ones by martyrdom will be comforted and strengthened by God during their grief
     Christian pastors will be kept from danger and strengthened in their faith as they care for the people of God
     New converts may be protected and provided for should their family turn against them.
     The current laws in many restricted nations forbidding evangelism, missionary activity and religious instruction, will be repealed.

We can also help these precious believers in more tangible, physical ways.  Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs websites share a variety of means in which we can assist the suffering, such as buying Bibles for those in restricted nations, writing letters to those in prison, sending blankets and other needful items for families (called “Action Packs”) and so much more.  And with Christmas around the corner, there’s gift ideas available, like contributing towards a bicycle for itinerant pastors, etc.  

Prayer is still the greatest need….

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”  Hebrews 13:3

Thankful for God’s Word

It is important to comprehend the price that was paid so that we can have our own Bibles to read every day.  Almost as important is remembering to take advantage of that freedom every day.” 

Jesus Freaks II

And I would say, it is equally important to take advantage of that freedom.  This quote expresses my appreciation for the Word of God, especially after I’ve read it cover to cover.  Coupled with the books I’ve read about the persecuted church and of the many who dedicated their lives to ensure the Word passed from one generation to the next, I am humbled, blessed and in awe, to be so enriched to hold and inquire of the Word of God.  What responsibility, accountability, knowledge, treasure, spiritual wealth, and stewardship I’ve been been entrusted!!

‘To whom much is given, much is required.’  I’ve been given the complete written Word of God, on whose pages shout the love, mercy, judgement, and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Himself.  The blood of those “of whom the world is not worthy” has mixed with our Saviour’s, to place His truth into my hands!  I am eternally grateful!! (quote:me)

To fully appreciate the blessings, history, and cost in life to have one Bible, or for some, dozens, I recommend reading up on church history, the persecuted church, and biographies of the apostles and early church leaders.  In an earlier post, I discussed why I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  Now you can read about the devotion of those who sacrificed everything for Jesus and the truth of His Word: 

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1959.

Chenu, Bruno, et al. The Book of Christian Martyrs. Translated by John Bowden, NY: Crossroads Publishing Company, 1990.

dc Talk.  Jesus Freaks I.  Tulsa, OK: Albury Publishing, 1999.

dc Talk.  Jesus Freaks II.  Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2002.

Foxe, John. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Edited by Harold J. Chadwick, Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2001.

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language 2nd Ed, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 1996.

Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ.  Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1967.

This is just for starters.  If you like, check out the following links to learn more about present-day believers who still risk their lives if they own a Bible, go to church, or share their faith:

Open Doors

Voice of the Martyrs