Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Persecuted Church: Afghanistan

There are many reasons why I chose Afghanistan to be the next persecuted church post. Like the last post on Iraq, it is a nation that has been at the forefront for many years. The United States has been embroiled in a seemingly un-winnable war involving the Taliban following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. As is commonly known, Osama Bin Laden, the notorious Taliban leader who instigated and ordered the attacks, was being sheltered by loyal Afghanis. Although his health is in question, it is believed he is hidden away in the mountainous regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to date, has not been located and captured and continues to direct their efforts from his unknown location. However, Afghanistan is also one of the most brutal persecutors of Christians.

From a Biblical perspective in relation to where the modern nation of Afghanistan is located and its ethnicity, it is indeterminate as to which ancient peoples populated the country. It is comprised of a disparate mixture of Arabic tribes that came out of the lineage of Ishmael. The nation of Afghanistan is a relatively new nation. It was founded in 1747 when Ahmad Shah Durrani united the Pashtun tribes, creating the Durrani Empire. In the 19th century, Afghanistan fell under British and Russian rule, then won its independence in 1919. Communism reared its ugly head in the 1970's and Russia invaded it to support its growth in 1979, bringing war to the nation until 1989 when the brutal Taliban government gained power. In 2001, the United States led a NATO supported invasion into the country that toppled the Taliban government. Hamad Karzai became the first democratically elected President in December 2004. To date, the war continues to rage against pockets of Taliban insurgents and because of the geo-political make-up of the country, it has proven to be a difficult task to root them out of their hideouts. The Afghanis are a loyal and fierce race of people and because of this, finalizing military efforts there has been frustrated. Tribal factions are often the cause of much of the unrest and the NATO troops often find it difficult to secure information from these various warring groups.

There are approximately 33.6 million people in Afghanistan with a median age of 17.6 years and a life expectancy of only 44.5 years. As mentioned, the ethnicity of the people is diverse with approximately half of them being Pashtun and the remainder a mixture of other Middle Eastern tribes. Afghanistan is a Islamic Republic comprised of 80% Sunni Muslim and 19% Shia Muslim and their laws based on a mixture of civil and Sharia law. Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) estimates the number of Christians in Afghanistan to be at only 0.02%. Because of the influence of Islam, "[A]nyone who acknowledges faith in Christ experiences intense persecution, including death. Persecution normally comes from family members and neighbors, while police and government officials turn a blind eye." (VOM The Persecuted Church Global Report 2009)

Prior to the U.S-led invasion, the Taliban inflicted harsh and cruel punishment upon anyone who violated Islamic law. Women, who were seen to be mere objects of little worth and had no rights, were subject to severe forms of punishment, often enduring public beatings for seemingly minor offenses, such as exposing a body part from beneath their burkas. But to be a Christian in Afghanistan is considered to be the worst violation of Islamic law and those who openly express their faith are subject to death. (See Compass News Direct report, January 19, 2001 here http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&idelement=742&lang=en&length=short&backpage=archives&critere=Afghanistan&countryname=&rowcur=25

On January 19, 2001, the Taliban also issued declarations that any international aid organizations and missionaries, or "any non-Muslim found trying to win converts", would also be subject to execution.

Although the invasion and subsequent democratic elections brought about the toppling of the Taliban government, it has not stopped militants from enforcing Islamic law on Christians. In the summer of 2004, five Afghan men who had converted from Islam to Christianity were brutally murdered in separate incidents. One of the men, Mullah Asad Ullah, was dragged from his home and his throat slit. Naveed ul-Rehman, who had gone to visit the grieving Ullah family, was found dead on August 7. Three more were stabbed or beaten to death in the month of July. In 2007, a group of Korean missionaries were kidnapped and held and one murdered by the Taliban for refusing to deny Christ.

The most recent murder was of British Christian aid worker, Gayle Williams, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in October 2008. According to VOM, the media reported her crime as "spreading Christian propaganda". President Karzai had received warnings from the Afghanistan Islamic Council "not to allow foreign missions into the country, especially to the impoverished area. The attack followed threats by the council to exact severe consequences if the government did not stop Christians from preaching and evangelizing." (VOM Global Report 2009) Following her death, international aid workers have become troubled over the increase of persecution in the surrounding countryside and also a failure of the government to stop militants from entering the cities as well.

As you can see from the small amount of information I have provided in this post, to be a Christian in Afghanistan means certain death. Perhaps that's why, in spite of the efforts of faithful missionaries and organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs, the number of Christians is so tragically small. However, in my search to provide you with a clear picture of the persecution they endure, there are those who, in spite of it, continue to faithfully bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their nation. They endure because they know Who stands by their side in the battle. They are faithful, bold, courageous and their desire is to win souls over to Jesus Christ for His glory. As the Apostle Paul did, they cling to God's strength and deliverance.

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (2Timothy 4:17-18 NIV)

Thank you for allowing me to share with you the worldwide persecuted church. I pray these posts will inspire you to be in prayer for our Afghan brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as others who also suffer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

His Name

“Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.”

Psalm 29:1-2

Have you ever considered the names of our God? I once sent an email that asked my friends and family to list as many of them as they could without fudging and looking them up in Scripture. It is amazing to consider the number of them. Even more amazing are the meanings behind each one.

The earliest record of God's name is found inscribed on ancient stones in the Holy Land and is simply the symbol "L". We know He spoke His name to the patriarchs
. "Moses said to God, 'Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you," and they ask me, "What is His name?" Then what shall I tell them?' God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 13,14 (NIV)

The Jews consider the Lord's name so sacred and fear offending Him to the point of not speaking His name. They even go so far as to not print His name in its entirety, rather, write it as "G-d". But we take comfort in knowing His most precious name - Jesus. And as He illustrated in Scripture, when He was before Caiaphas and the council of leaders before condemning Him, "They all asked, 'Are you then the Son of God?' He replied, 'You are right in saying I AM.' " He declared His divinity, incensing them, and they accused Him of blasphemy and placed Him on the cross. (Luke 22:70 NIV)

His Name is to be revered and honored. His Name speaks of a multitude of love, grace, peace and comfort. There is not enough space on this blog to list them all for He is the compilation of all things eternal and He is worthy of our worship and adoration. I have listed a few of them, but if you have any others you would like to add, please do so!

He is Elohim - The Triune God

You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Three in One. All-powerful, Almighty, Supreme and Holy; The One true God.

Psalm 19:1

He is Yahweh - The Lord

You are Divinely Lord of all creation;
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”

Genesis 2:4

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders You have done.”

Psalm 40:5a

He is El Elyon - Our God Most High

You are God above all other gods; Sovereign and True. Honor Him for He is sacred.

Psalm 7:17

He is El Roi - The God Who Sees

“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; From His dwelling place He watches all who live on the earth - He who forms the hearts of all, Who considers everything they do.”

Psalm 33:13-15

He is El Shaddai - God Almighty Is His Name

“I Am God Almighty; walk before Me and be blameless."

Genesis 17:1

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Psalm 91:1

He Is Yahweh Yireh - The Lord God Will Provide

“The Lord watches over all who love Him…”

Psalm 134:20a

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, Even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”

Psalm 139:9-10

He is Yahweh Nissi - The Lord Is My Banner

Your cloud of righteousness goes before us, O Mighty God.
We will shout for joy when You are victorious And will lift up our banners in the Name of our God.”

Psalm 20:5

Adonai is His Name - The Lord

You are above all creation and the nations you have established.
One day, “All nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelation 15:4d-f

Yahweh Elohe Yisrael is His Name - Lord God of Israel

For You said,
“I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Jeremiah 31:33b

My God is Yahweh Shalom - The Lord Is Peace

We need not fear, for our God is with us. Our Lord said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

“The Lord gives strength to His people; The Lord blesses His people with peace.”

Psalm 29:11

He is Qedosh Yisrael - The Holy One of Israel

You are upright and true, Lord;
In all ways You are faithful and just.

“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 12:6

Yahweh Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts

Your army goes before us. Great and mighty is Your strength, O Lord, For victory will be Yours.
“They will be mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession.”

Malachi 3:17

Ascribe to Him His rightful Name! Faithful Friend, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Son of Man, Son of God, Deliverer, Redeemer, Saviour…


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"There, but for the grace of God..."

I just spent a few moments looking for an image on Google to use on a new Afghanistan persecution article I plan on posting in a few days. But my search was a brief one. My eyes, as they roamed from page to page, began to ache and burn as I viewed images I would rather not have ever seen. I felt as though a fist seized my heart in a cruel grip, squeezing until I could no longer stand it. I was forced to leave it for another day.

I have discovered through my image searches that there is no limit to what can be seen on the internet. We all know that. Anything with the potential for good can also be used for the most vile and wicked means. Man knows no limits to sin. And no matter how innocent and benign your search entry is, you will see things that are intended to offend your faith and our God. That's how the enemy works. If he cannot have your soul, he will certainly remind you he is still actively involved in attempting to destroy as many as possible. The images confirm that.

As sickening as most of the images were, it was a brief introduction to the people within them. They are members of our family. They are brothers and sisters who share a common faith. They were once unsaved sinners, too. Yet, they received salvation through Jesus Christ and were adopted into His family as we, also, were included. Their only crime was the misfortune of being born in a nation that governs with a brutality most Americans are unable to comprehend. And because we do not understand, we are apt to forget them. We live in relative peace. They live in constant fear. Our plates our full. Their children hunger. Our beds are warm. They have no blanket. We go home to our families each day. They are torn from their homes and thrown in prisons. We are able to speak freely of our faith without reprisal. When they do, they are beaten, tortured, shot, chopped to pieces, beheaded, and their bodies are left to rot in the sun. The images do not lie, and it is to our shame that we fail to remember them more often.

I am not sure if having a very active imagination is a gift or a curse. My mind's eye is often able to create pictures in amazing detail. When I read a good book, for instance, it is as though the scenes appear like a movie and can make for a very entertaining experience. However, I also bear the burden of rarely being able to remove a disturbing image from my mind, no matter how hard I try. Although the Lord makes it easier for me when I ask and softens the frame's edges, today's images are burned there. They will remain because I believe it was intended for me to retain them as a constant reminder that my brothers and sisters suffer for the Gospel. It is a reminder to be in constant prayer for them as they boldly present Jesus to their dark nations in spite of what doing so may bring. I praise God for their faithfulness. And as I contemplate on my freedom to write this, I am humbled by their deeds and by these words, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I hope the image I have presented also moves you to be in constant prayer for Christ's suffering children. They have asked that we do so. It is a reminder that what our brothers and sisters suffer could just as easily come to our shores. Please remember them

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Blink

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”

Matthew 6:22-23a (NIV)

What do we see in the eyes of other men? When we look intently upon a man’s face, our tendency is to only see the outward appearance, the physical features and the characteristics that speak of his make-up. We see shapes and sizes, colors and skin tones, flaws and defects, or signs of beauty and comeliness. Sadly, we often make determinations about the type of person he or she is by only seeing what is on the obvious exterior. Even a person’s walk, the things he does, his mode of behavior and method of socializing, is seen by us as proof of what he is all about. What we fail to see is that, in spite of a man’s outward appearance and how good or bad he seems to us, God has provided us with a window in which we can look into a man’s soul and get a brief glimpse of what might possibly reside there.

When God created man, He, in His infinite wisdom, placed the eyes of man at the loftiest location possible on the human body. This gave man the ability to see what lay around, above, and beyond his immediate vicinity. Our Creator also fashioned expression around the eyes; the brow which can form our face into frowns, smiles, or surprise; the wrinkles that spring around our eyes and accentuate the mood we are in. The eyes are the key body part that can mold our faces with expressions of joy, sorrow, anger, shame and regret. What is even more fascinating is that God positioned the eyes of man so that when men were face-to-face, they were given the ability to look into each others eyes. Moreover, it is there, face-to-face and gazing into the windows of another man’s soul, that we can determine his true character, if he will allow us.

I have been in many situations where my attempt to make and keep contact with another person’s eyes is a difficult task to perform. It has always been my contention that if a man will not look me in the eye when he is speaking, he could possibly be twisting the truth or trying to hide something. This has been confirmed by human behaviorists who, for instance, believe a person is lying when they shift their eyes to the left while speaking. Another oddity is how we all move our eyes upward while trying to recall something that has escaped our memory, or downward when we are embarrassed or ashamed. However, the most frustrating to me is when I am engaged in a conversation and the person to whom I am speaking refuses to ever meet my eyes. His own eyes dart back and forth and flit every direction but into my own. Others watch my mouth when I speak as though they were deaf and had to read my lips. It is as if this type of person keeps their eyes running from my own in an attempt to prevent me from seeing into them and discovering what truly lies there. They throw up a veil over their eyes warning us we are attempting to invade forbidden territory.

As children, we have all played the staring contest. The idea of the game was to see which person could out-stare the other before blinking. It is part of my character to insist that others meet my eyes while speaking without “blinking”, for it’s within the eyes I find what I am seeking about that person. As I raised my own children, they knew that Mom meant business when I told them, “Look into my eyes and tell me the truth.” It was in this intimate moment of eye contact that revealed to me whether or not the truth was being told. In other words, if they blinked they were in big trouble.

How many of us are able to stand in front of a mirror for great length and gaze into our own eyes without blinking? I have often found it to be a brief and uncomfortable moment because the reflection I see reminds me there is possibly a fault or failing I have refused to see within myself and bring to light. I believe it is God’s intent that we not only look into other’s eyes, but that we also take a glimpse from time to time into our own. That plank that is lodged there may be bigger than we are willing to admit.

Jesus Christ taught that the “eye is the lamp of the body.” The eyes reflect what they are fixed on. If we are able to look into the eyes of others, it is sometimes obvious that if they are fixed on the world and self, the darkness will be seen within them. However, if the eye is fixed on God, when we look into it, His inner light will shine outward. Our Lord also instructed us that if the windows to our souls reflect His light, then our bodies would follow suit. What dwells within man becomes evident on the exterior and nothing more is left to question and doubt.

When I look into the eyes of other men, my desire is to see a common reflection. I want to physically see what dwells within my fellowman, to be able to search the depths of his eyes for a glimpse of the Light that longs to reside there. If it does not and what I see is only darkness, then I hope he is able to see the Light reflect from my own and wonder about it without blinking.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ancient Eyes

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

“Jesus looked at him…” (Luke 18:18-30)

How well the Lord sees into the heart of man. His eyes probe the depths of the heart and search out the hidden things; the things that lie in dark recesses and shadowed corners. His eyes cause our secret desires, our lusts, our need for riches, power and self-control to flee from their piercing gaze. Nothing can be secreted away that His look will not bring to light.

“…he became very sad…”

The man’s riches and power were more important than what Jesus’ reply revealed. It grieved him to hear what was required of him. His unwillingness to place God above all things caused him to turn from the One Who could see into his heart and give him what he asked.

“How hard it is…”

There is nothing hidden that He will not expose and make us to feel sorrow for harboring. Jesus did not merely look at the exterior of this man. He looked into his heart to see what was most precious to him, what was most dear, and where his loyalty and devotion lay. The interior of the man’s heart revealed his true nature and the treasures he desired. They were things he had accumulated on earth; the wealth he had amassed and the power he had assumed. Jesus knew beforehand what the man’s response would be. His eyes had pierced the core of his heart and He knew the treasures it contained.

What do you see within my own heart, Lord? Are there things stored within it that grieve You? Look deeply with Your ancient eyes and search out the things to which I still cling. Shine Your light into the dark corners where there may be secret things hidden. Pull up their roots and tendrils and cast them into the fire. Cleanse and purify me, for I want not just part of me, but all of me to belong to You, and You alone.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Damage Control

I would like to have been a fly on the wall in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as they frantically moved to undo the damage that the release of their recent "extremism" report inflicted upon the image of Obama's Administration. Perhaps the DHS Director, Janet Napolitano, received one of those late night phone calls politely suggesting she spend the rest of the wee hours coming up with some form of damage control, especially following her statement that she "stands by the report". In defense of it, she stated:

"Let me be clear: we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. We don't have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence."

Did she actually use the word "terrorism"? Shame on her! Napolitano is the one who found it necessary to change terms that were used by the Bush Administration in their fight against terrorism. She re-defined "terrorism" into the benign and silly term, "man-caused disasters". Her reasoning? "[T]o move [the United States] away from the politics of fear". I hate to tell her this, but that's like comparing apples to oranges. Or better put, the Pope to Osama bin Laden. Terrorism is what it is. The events of 9/11 described and defined it and there is no changing the syntax of the definition.

Needless to say, outrage is a mild term to apply to what many Americans felt upon hearing of it. She may have lost more sleep lastnight because today, she released an apology, if you want to call it that, to our brave veterans. She continued to stand in defense of the report by stating she apologizes "to the extent veterans read it as an accusation." As Veterans For Freedom Chairman, Pete Hegseth, said, it is "one of those non-apology apologies". Our government officials seem to have had lots of practice with that lately.

Let us take a brief look at Janet Napolitano. You remember her, right? She is the one that seemingly came out of nowhere and was appointed to one of the most important positions in the White House. Napolitano was the Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009. But before becoming Arizona's Governor, I learned that she was the attorney for Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas sexual harrassment hearings. As far as having national security experience, however, she is mysteriously void of any. And I'm sorry folks, but I want someone in that position who has more than just basic knowledge and a minimal understanding of our enemies!

Following the release of her report, Napolitano was even successful at raising the eyebrows and ire of the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi. He fired off a letter to her, expressing that he was "dumbfounded" that such a report would be released. Maybe there's hope for Rep. Thompson. That is, if he decides he wants to be a player or a non-player in this current Administration. Time will tell.

On the Republican side, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio, also spoke out against Napolitano's report, stating it was "offensive and unacceptable". And House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Lamar Smith (R), Texas, made this statement:

"Their left-wing assessment identifies actual terrorist organizations, like the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. The right-wing report uses broad generalizations about veterans, pro-life groups, federalists and supporters of gun rights. That's like saying if you love puppies, you might be susceptible to recruitment by the Animal Liberation Front. It is ridiculous and deeply offensive to millions of Americans." (FoxNews.com, April 16, 2009)

My purpose in bringing this out to our readers is not in being judgmental or acting like an alarmist. I know of no one - and I mean NO one - who wants nut cases like the McVeighs and his ilk secretly plotting against innocent Americans and wreaking violence on our nation. That form of thinking goes against everything I have been taught and stand for. I want my government to effectively protect America's borders and her citizens. However, I admire and agree with Rep. Smith that this report goes much farther in its assessments and accusations than Napolitano and the Obama Admininstration are willing to admit.

The "broad generalizations" within the text of the report hint that anyone who stands for life and liberty from an oppressive government will be watched closely. It threatens the very foundation upon which this nation was built. It suggests a growing influence among "right-wing extremists" and slyly places law-abiding citizens, especially Christians who adhere to God's "ideology", within that category. What I am seeing across our nation is not an increase in "extremists"; rather a growing number of concerned citizens who fear that America is under attack from an "extreme left-wing" movement bent on tearing down her time-honored foundations.

I have provided the following link which will direct you to the DHS report in its entirety. Carefully read it for yourself and make your own determination:


Although these things disturb me, they do not frighten me. I know Who is still in charge, Who holds the balance of all things in His hand. I am able to recall my Lord's warnings of the world and what is in it. And I am prepared to face whatever challenges may come.

I will stand on The Rock of ALL ages. And I will not be moved!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Shall Not Be Moved!

I am a little more than troubled over the release of a recent unclassified report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) entitled: "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" that was dated April 7, 2009. This report addresses the possible threat of "radical Americans" who object to such issues as illegal immigration, increasing Federal power, firearms restrictions, and the loss of United States sovereignty.

There is also a disturbing accusation in this report concerning returning war veterans posing a threat to national security because of a possible resentment some may harbor. In other words, our government fears those who have fought for our freedoms may return and become a Timothy McVeigh. In addressing this issue, the report states: "the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."

But the report doesn't stop there. "Extremism" has taken on a whole new meaning by our newly-elected government. It also includes those who stand for the unborn. "It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration", the report states.

Furthermore, the report warns that "'end times' prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as the violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement."

Last month a report was issued by the "Missouri Information Analysis Center" and released to Missouri's law enforcement agencies. It was compiled with the aid of the Department of Homeland Security. WorldNet Daily reports that it "warned law enforcement agencies to watch for suspicious individuals who may have bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes." (April 12, 2009) Because of the outcry against it by the Missouri highway patrol, an order to cease its distribution was issued and a promise to investigate its origin and purpose was made by the highway patrol Chief, James Keathley.

In the past, a report such as this would perhaps have been classified a little differently. If there had been a dark motive such as this brewing within the hallowed halls of Washington DC, the government would not have wanted to let the left hand know what the right hand was doing. But in our current Administration, that seems not to be the case. Their bold arrogance defies any common reasoning. Why raise the ire of millions of Americans by singling out individuals with faith, or those who object to an oppressive government that is bent on removing our Constitutional rights and freedoms of speech? Are they so arrogant they believe we won't notice and cry foul when people like myself - one of those "Christians" who opposes their own ideologies as an abomination to God and a destruction of what this nation was founded on - object and speak out?

Perhaps there is a more sinister reason behind the report's release. I am not a "conspiracy" nut, folks. I am a Christian American who fears for the loss of her individual liberties, and among those liberties is the ability to object when my rights of worship are threatened. I am one who will speak out when my government moves to make it common practice to kill the unborn. I will defend God's values, both ethical and moral. Although I am not a "survivalist" who believes we should stockpile food and ammunition, I am also one who believes we are in the "end times" and are awaiting the rapture of Christ's church which, by the way, I believe is closer than we think. If this makes me an "extremist" or a possible "terrorist", and if my government wants to add me to a "list" and perceive me to be a threat, then let them do it.

As the old song goes, "Like a tree that's planted by the waters, I shall not be moved!"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Counting On His Providence

I was sitting at my table this morning catching up on a couple of day's worth of devotions because of Easter travel, and I glanced out at the overcast sky. I heard the trees sighing in the cold wind, their tops swaying and groaning as gusts blew in. Occasionally, the clouds would let loose with a brief sprinkling of icy rain. My first reaction was that it was going to be another cold Spring day amidst what seemed to be an endless winter and wondered if summer would ever come to these mountains.

Turning my eyes back to my Bible, the brief interlude of dismay over another gloomy day was quickly replaced with one of wonder and awe as I meditated on the changing seasons. I suddenly became embarrassed and a little ashamed at how I grumble and complain about the weather. I had fallen back into the trap of selfishness over how it disrupts my plans or inconveniences me. I think I am like all of us who believe that the weather should bow and answer to me rather than God Who knows what is best and Who changes the seasons for our benefit. After all, He is Creator and His creation responds to His will. Who am I to dictate to Him?

"But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. When He thunders, the water in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses." Jeremiah 10:12-13 (NIV)

How I wish I were as obedient to God's hand as the heavens, the winds and the rain! Creation responds without question to His will. The sun and the moon rise and set at His word. The heavenly bodies remain fixed where He placed them. And the sea acknowledges the boundary He established for it. We often refuse to see through our blindness that even the cold snowy Winters and the blustery Springs have a purpose in His divine providence. Each snow flake and rain drop has a destination that is planned and intended for our benefit, and each one obediently falls where He places them.

Yet mankind, the smallest, the most vulnerable, and the weakest of all God's creation and who refuse to submit to Him, complains when He pours out upon us His seasonal blessings. We look upon them as an insult and selfishly carp that they disrupt our lives. We long for the next season, then find ourselves grumbling that it is not up to our standards. Spring is too cold and wet. Summer is too hot and dry. Fall did not linger long enough. Winter is too harsh. How our God must tire of our endless complaints!

So, for at least today, I will thank God for bringing more wind - it will hasten the melting snow. I will thank Him for bringing more rain - it will balance out the lack of winter snow and renew our fresh water reserves. I will thank Him for filling the heavens with the clouds as they move across this beautiful mountain valley. And I will look forward to whatever He brings me this summer and delight in His continued faithfulness in knowing what is best for us.

God will bring the sun and warmth in His timing. On that, I can count.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sin and Dumpsters

My Pastor gave me an incredible book the other day. It's called The Truth War by John MacArthur. It's main focus is apostosy in the church and how we as Christians must stand up and fight for the truth.

Sometimes the truth is something that people don't want to hear. They would prefer it if they were not reminded of their sin. It's easier that way. Or so they think.

I began thinking about my own sin. Things I have done in my life that I would prefer not to deal with. Things best left unspoken. I mean, after all, God has forgiven me hasn't He? Why do I need to dig up things that happened so long ago? I found I was tired of carrying loads that I couldn't dump. It was like garbage that just kept piling up and piling up and where was the dumpster? There wasn't one. So it just got rotten and more smelly. It permeated my life. It smelled like a bad temper, partying, caring more about myself than my husband and my children, cursing, and on and on. I needed to give my problems to the One who can carry them. He said
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29) Rest. That's what I needed. And rest is what I got.

On this Good Friday, I am reminded of what our Lord did for us on this day in history. Knowing me, He willingly went through a day that none of us will ever have to experience. After all of the physical punishment, the thing that was most excrutiating was bearing my sin and the wrath of His Father that was meant for me. He knew my sin. He knew yours. He knew what the world would do to you. He knew you would yield to what the world wants. He loved you to the end.

The world is telling us that life means nothing unless it is breathing air. The world is telling us that having children when they aren't planned, or not perfect, is an undue burden that women should not have to carry. The world is telling us that it is okay, in fact it is courageous for a woman to "terminate" a pregnancy. But what the world is not telling you is that in your heart you know it isn't true. So when the act is accomplished and you can't take it back, it becomes trash in your heart. It gets rotten, it gets smelly and there isn't a dumpster to throw it in. It starts manifesting itself in your life. Poor relationships, drug or alcohol abuse, general self -centeredness. You try to hide the smell with a smile. All the while you have pain beyond human cure. But there is a cure. His name is Jesus. He wants to clean up the garbage for you. He wants to cradle you and love on you and sing to you. He wants you to know that your baby is in Heaven with Him and that someday, if you will only trust in Him, you will see that child. No sin is beyond His forgiveness.

So back to the truth war. The truth is, you can't deal with your sin. Only Jesus can. If you have been a victim of the abortion lie in this world, please tell someone. Tell one of your Christian friends who know Jesus and His forgiveness. Start allowing Jesus to heal you and make His temple clean again. You won't regret it. It's eternal.

Part 4: "It Is Finished!"

"He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,

nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised,
and we esteemed Him not.

Surely He took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered Him stricken by God,

smitten by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet He did not open His mouth;

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so He did not open His mouth.

By oppression and judgment He was taken away.

And who can speak of His descendants?

For He was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people He was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in His death,

though He had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,

and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring and prolong His days,

and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

After the suffering of His soul,

He will see the light of life and be satisfied;

by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,

and He will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,

and He will divide the spoils with the strong,

because He poured out His life unto death,

and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors."

Isaiah 53


I could not think of anything that more appropriately fit the end of my four-part Easter message than the prophecy GOD spoke to Isaiah in the above passage. After completing part three yesterday, I struggled for hours trying to come up with a way to condense the events that concluded on the cross and ending up copying the passage before I went to bed.

As I drove to town this afternoon, singing along with a worship CD Dana had compiled for me, I was suddenly so overcome by emotions I almost had to pull over to the side of the road. The Holy Spirit's presence was so strong it was almost physical. Tears poured from my eyes as I listened to the song that spoke of a God that loved me so much He would give His life for me. It was as though scenes were being played out in my mind, the dramatic details vivid and humbling. I was once again overcome with grief for my part in placing Him on that tree. It was a reminder that always brings the same results when I journey to the base of the cross.

As I drove down the highway, I knew I was forgiven. That was the whole divine purpose. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16. I believe! Oh, friends, I do believe! I have embraced my Savior and all that was done for me to bring me to repentance and salvation. I love Him with a love stronger than I thought was possible. And I will love Him for all of eternity!

I knew then that I only had to use simple words and phrases to bring everyone to where I found myself at that point. As the poem I posted yesterday asks, I hope you join me in this final step on our journey to the cross where the Passover Lamb of God was slain and His blood poured out for the sins of us all.


"Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love." John 13:1

He washed their feet. The Passover supper. Betrayal. A promise. A warning. Instruction. A prayer. Gethsemane. His cup and His agony. Denial. He is arrested, questioned, condemned by the rulers.

He is scourged, beaten, reviled, mocked, feared and hated. A crown of thorns is placed upon His precious brow. A purple robe. His crime: a sign reading "Hail, King of the Jews" is placed around His neck. He is silent.

Voices cry out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"

He bears His own cross up Golgotha Hill as He is spat upon and mocked. He places Himself upon it. Iron spikes fix Him to that tree. Insults are "heaped" upon Him:

"He saved others," they said, "but He can't save Himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."

He forgives.

Lots are cast for His clothing.
He thirsts. Agony tears through His broken body. Darkness comes over the whole land. An earthquake. The veil is rent. A centurion. A spear.

"Surely this man was the Son of God!"


It is finished...

Or is it?

Fear. Denial. Grief...An empty tomb and a huge stone rolled away from its entrance...Grave clothes folded and laid aside...Three women and angels....A message of hope?...Can we believe?...Is it really true?...Disbelief and doubt...But wait!...

He's gone!...

He's not there!...

He appears!...



May the God of all glory, our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ, richly bless you and your families this Easter season as you recall God's glorious plan. And I pray you will share with everyone that our Lord lives and desires entrance into their hearts. May His grace be upon you.

He is risen, indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Golgotha Hill

Come and take a walk with me,
To a place we seldom go;
A place that sits upon a hill,
Where tears of sorrow flowed.

A place that speaks of love untold,
And cries of mercies deep;
Golgotha hill stands waiting there
For weary and stumbling feet.

Upon that hill there stands a cross,
Fixed firmly in the ground;
It’s there upon this tree of Grace
Salvation can be found.

With outstretched arms and bleeding brow,
 Our blessed Savior waits;
Upon this cross He bore our sins,
And opened Heaven’s gates.

So walk with me to Calvary’s cross,
Kneel below His feet;
Gaze deep within the face of Love
That drove death to defeat.

Come often to the cross of Christ,
Where blood from fountain flows;
Where cleansing tides of righteousness
Wash o’er His children below.

The tree upon Golgotha hill,
Unhindered by man and time,
Still stands upon the Rock of Grace,
And woos with Love divine.

It waits and calls to each of us,
The journey is not long;
So come and take a walk with me
Where salvation can be found.

Copyright 2007 Karen L. Brahs

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finding Myself: An Easter Story

I have been looking for an opportunity to participate with this great new blog that my Aunt Karen began. I'm excited to see how this blog is going to be used to bless a lot of people and feel privileged Aunt Karen wanted me to be a part of it.

As I was working on my personal blog, I decided that since this post involved Easter, it would be a good one to cross post and share with all of you, also.

(I've been telling my personal testimony, and this is actually Part Two. You can click here for Part One of my story if you are interested)

So, yes, my childhood testimony is my parents' story, but as time has gone on, I've seen how God has been faithful to give me my own story, a story that isn't my mom and dad's story, but Becky's story...

There are many chapters in "Becky's Story," so for this post, I'm focusing on a memory from my college years.

College was definitely a time of self-discovery. Throughout my teen years, my identity was wrapped up in being a "good" girl. I had perfect grades, I lived to please my parents and teachers, and I took pride in being a Christian. My support system was my youth group and other Christian friends. I had never even been to a "real" party.

I arrived at Washington State University one week early for orientation week. I got "oriented" all right. : ) As my parents drove away, leaving me outside the dorm, I stepped into a new and unfamiliar world. That first week was a constant party. Imagine three towers of 13 floors each, full of co-eds away from home for the first time, and no classes to go to for a week.

It was insane- booze, drugs, lots of puking. My roommate decorated her side of the room black, replaced her study lamp bulb with a black light, smoked pot laced with opium, and played Nine Inch Nails on her stereo over and over and over again.

I didn't know who to be in this new world. I didn't know who I wanted to be. I knew I didn't want to be my roommate! Ha Ha! I tried hard to find my place. Maybe this was what it meant to be "adult" and I had just been too sheltered to realize it. Maybe I was tired of being a goody-goody. Maybe I needed to live a little.

So I started living a little. I was living a double life, hanging out with my believing friends and doing some partying, too. I didn't give up on being a Christian, I just wanted to know what life was like out there.

I went to WSU for a year, tried Western Washington University for a year, and then transferred AGAIN the following year. I was a nomad. I'm thankful my parents just let me "find" myself without complaining.

I landed in a small Christian college which was a good place to land. It was refreshing and sweet to be back in a familiar world of Christian kids with similar values. I love that school. BUT I began to be troubled by the way the athletes were being treated. It seemed like they were idolized on the basketball court, and then no one knew what to do with them after that because they were "in to things" that were "sinful."

"Well, duh," I thought. They weren't there for the "quality Christian education." They were there for the FREE education.

I decided it was my mission to befriend the basketball players (didn't hurt that I had a crush on one of them...or maybe two...or three???) I was going to show them what a non-judgmental Christian was all about.

It was a noble idea, but I just got sucked into doing things that left me feeling so ashamed and not that great of a witness to these guys I wanted to share Jesus with. : )

As I drove home for Easter, I was crushed. Three years of "living a little" had left me feeling confused and ashamed and not at all ready to go to church. I felt dirty and lost and not sure who I was any more. I was supposed to be the GOOD girl!! I walked into church Easter morning and started crying. I don't think I stopped throughout that entire service.

At one point while everyone was singing, I looked up at the cross on the wall. All of a sudden, it was almost like I could see Jesus on that cross and he looked right at me, straight into my soul, and said to me, "Becky, I did this for you."

I've heard of something called godly sorrow. I had it that day in that church service. It became so clear to me. I NEEDED A SAVIOR. Me! The girl who had been a Christian her whole life. Me! The GOOD girl. All of a sudden I got it.

The Bible says that our righteousness, all the good we could possibly ever accomplish, when compared to God's holiness and His goodness is nothing but filthy rags. Even when I was good, I still needed His forgiveness. And sitting there in that church, stripped of all my spiritual pride to lean on, I knew I had His forgiveness.

My identity wasn't in how good I could be. My relationship with Jesus, my eternal destination, none of it was dependent on how good I could be either. I couldn't earn it if I tried. It was just a gift. And that day I was so grateful for that gift I thought my heart would burst. I felt forgiven, I felt free, I couldn't sing loud enough or long enough. And Easter has been my favorite holiday ever since.

I walked out of church feeling clean and light and all of the burdens gone. I had discovered myself. I was His!

And all the "living" I had been doing didn't hold a candle to the abundant life of being sold out to Him. I didn't leave ready to be perfect or to "get my act together." I went back to college that week ready to just be His - period.

We all need Him. No matter how "good" we are, we aren't good enough. No matter how "bad" we are, we aren't outside the reach of his grace. He loves you.

And so do I! : )

Part 3: Prepare The Way For the Lord!

A blood covenant. A star and a promise. A child. A man. Teacher. Healer. Miracle worker. Friend. Master. Servant. The Lord to come would be all these things, and more.

The Son of Man was born in lowly circumstances; a manger among the livestock in a little village called Bethlehem. The first to know of Him were the simplest and poorest among men; shepherds who tended the temple's sacrificial lambs.

At a tender age, the age determined by Jewish tradition that a boy be presented to the Lord for consecration (Exodus 13), Jesus is recognized as the long-awaited
Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ, the "Annointed King" Who would bring peace to Israel. Two elderly servants of God, Simeon and Anna, acknowledged His presence and praised God for bringing Israel's Redeemer during their lifetimes (Luke 2:22-38). And at the age of twelve during the Feast of the Passover, after three days of searching, Jesus' parents found Him in the temple speaking to teachers of the Law on matters that even the most seasoned would marvel, and giving answers with wisdom that overshadowed their own (Luke 2:41-51). "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 21:52)

Little is spoken of Jesus' youth and His maturing into a man. But it is believed that at the approximate age of thirty years He began His ministry and preaching the way to salvation. Prior to this, God had also raised another man, John the Baptist, who was called to prepare the world for the Christ's entry. Upon being questioned by the suspicious temple Priests, John replied he was not the Christ or an incarnation of Elijah. Rather, he recited the words God gave the prophet Isaiah in his response: "A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3) And as John baptized with water, he immediately acknowledged Jesus as the Christ when he saw Him approaching. "Look, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). He watched as the Holy Spirit came "down from heaven as a dove and remain[ed] on Him" (v32) and knew his work was finished, for One greater than he was at last upon them.

As Jesus gathered His disciples and traveled all of Judea to preach His message to the Jews, He was met with a mixture of emotions. Wary trust. Disbelief. Greed. Jealousy. Anger. Fear. His teachings didn't meet with the beliefs to which the people adhered. They believed the Christ would be a conqueror, one who would drive oppressive Rome from their land and seat Himself as King to rule over them. His parables confused them. His miracles were taken for granted (Matthew 16:2-4; 8-10). He was accused of being a drunk, a glutton, of associating with sinners (Matthew 11:19) and of being "Beelzebub", or Satan (Mark 3:20-30) His own disciples were confused and unable to grasp the fullness of His message. And as Jesus moved closer to the fulfillment of God's plan, these emotions grew until hatred consumed Judea's rulers, priests and teachers of the Law, and betrayal for a few silver coins set the stage
for the beginning of the end.

I have been truly blessed by taking this walk again, by recalling from the beginning God's divine plan of salvation. I pray the words the Lord has given me have also blessed you and that as we move onto the finality, the glorious finish, it will inspire you to spread the Good News to a lost and dying world in need of a Savior.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Blood Of The Covenant: Part 2

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!'" John 1:29

God required a sacrifice of blood. From Abel to the descendants of Abraham, He commanded that atonement for His peoples' sins be made by the sacrifice of a spotless lamb. It must be innocent and perfect, without blemish, and its blood sprinkled over the altar and the people. Without this sacrifice there would be no forgiveness.

For generations God's people performed this ritual; day in and day out, desperate for God's favor to be upon them. But Yehovah grew tired of their continued sin against Him, their empty and meaningless ordinances and the blood coursing down the altar (Psalm 40:6; 51:16; Proverbs 15:8). He would provide the final sacrifice. God Almighty would step down from His heavenly throne, remove His crown of righteousness and become a man. He would become the perfect, spotless and blameless Lamb that would bring salvation to all mankind.

But let us turn back a few thousand years to Abraham and look at the amazing parallel between his obedience to God and God's response. God tested Abraham (Genesis 22:1). He asked him to sacrifice the most precious possession he had, the dearest thing to his heart - his son, Isaac. Verse 8 in the New International Version does not begin to describe God's response to the question Isaac posed to his father, "...but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" The New American Standard version comes closer to the original interpretation: "God will provide Himself the Lamb for the burnt offering, my son." But the most profound and revealing interpretation is from the Torah, which is the first three sections of the Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible which covers Genesis through Deuterotomy:

"Elohim, He will provide Himself...Elohim, He will provide Himself...the Lamb for the burnt offering...Son of Me."

Elohim, God Almighty, fulfilled this promise to Abraham through His only Son, Jesus Christ. As Abraham was obedient to God and "...did not with[hold] from [God his] son, [his] only son" (v12), neither would God withhold His only Son from the world.
He would "provide Himself" as the Lamb of God Who would atone for the sins of all mankind.

No longer would there be a need to shed the blood of innocent animals, to fulfill rituals to gain God's favor and blessings. He would replace the endless sacrifices with a final one. And on the same hill that Abraham was prepared to give his only son, Isaac, God would give us a Lamb Who would pour out His precious blood upon a sinful world needing a Savior.

I pray this greatly blesses you as you recall God's faithful promise to deliver mankind from sin and death. I hope you will return as we move forward to a day of promise and hope, a day of deliverance for all who would choose to believe.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Lord's Passover: Part 1

"Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs...On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." Exodus 12:7, 12-13 (NIV)

Each year the Jewish people celebrate the Passover, or He-Pesach (for an audio pronunciation of this word click on the speaker icon next to "Pesach" here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. According to the Jewish calendar, Passover occurs on the tenth day of the first month, Nisan (Abib), and the full moon, or between March and April by today's calendar. Traditionally, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan. Both festivals are linked in time with the Christian Easter celebration.

God instructed His people to choose a year-old lamb "without defect" (12:5) and prepare it "with bitter herbs" (v8). The herbs represented the bitterness of slavery under Pharoah. "[F]rom the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day" (v18-20) the bread was to be prepared without yeast and all yeast was to be removed from the house. Because the bread would not have to rise, when the time came, it was symbolic of the peoples' ability to leave in haste. They were to eat all of the lamb the first night, burn any that was left, and eat the unleavened bread for seven days. But it was what they were to do with the blood of the spotless lamb that holds the most importance and reveals to us God's future plans for mankind.

"Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." (12:21-23)

At precisely midnight the Lord fulfilled His promise and every firstborn of man and animal was struck down (v29), except for those who had obeyed God's instructions. As He passed by the houses of His people, the lambs blood covering the door posts spared them from the destruction and prepared them for the deliverance that swiftly came.

In the next post, I would like to move you forward to another time when a Lamb's blood was spilled for deliverance, not only for the Jews, but for all mankind. I hope you return to share in the joyful celebration of this event.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Humility - Charles H. Spurgeon

"The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor." Proverbs 15:33 (NIV)

"Humiliation of soul always brings a blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self, God will fill them with His love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, 'To this will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word' (Isa 66:2). If you would climb to heaven, stoop. Do we not say of Jesus, 'He descended so that He might ascend'? So must you. You must grow downward so that you may grow upward, for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone.

God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. 'Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' (Matt 5:3), which includes all of its riches and treasures. The whole treasury of God will be given as a gift to the soul that is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it. God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity that it is safe for Him to do so. If you do not receive a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in His holy war, you would steal the crown for yourself; meeting with a new enemy, you would fall a victim. So you are kept low for your own safety.

When a man is sincerely humble and never ventures to touch as much as a grain of praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace and equips us to deal efficiently with our fellowmen. True humility is a flower that will adorn any garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case. Whether it is in prayer or praise, or in work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess." (Evening By Evening, Charles H Spurgeon, pg. 104)

Further reading:

  1. Psalm 18:27
  2. Psalm 25:9
  3. Psalm 149:4
  4. Proverbs 3:34
  5. Isaiah 26:5, 66:2
  6. Matthew 18:4, 23:12
  7. Ephesians 4:2,
  8. 1Peter 5:5,6
  9. James 4:6,10

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Praise The Lord!

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord." Psalm 27:4-6 (NIV)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Resounding "NO" to Harold Koh

When it comes to issues that affect Christians in our nation, I think it is necessary that those issues be presented on this blog. I am a political watcher. In other words, when I feel that our government is threatening Judeo/Christian values and traditions, taking steps to remove "religious" rights, or slyly attempting to seat within the current Administration someone who clearly goes against God's moral and ethical laws, I will speak out. What I would like to bring to everyone's attention is a recent report on another Obama appointee, Harold Koh.

Koh, the former Dean of Law at Yale Law School, is a Korean-American who was born in Boston. His education was extensive and he began teaching at Yale in 1985, becoming the University's Dean of Law in 2004. He served the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, receiving his confirmation in 1998. In March 2009, he resigned his position with Yale when President Obama nominated him to be Legal Advisor to the Department of State.

Koh's credentials are impressive to those who don't care about his personal beliefs and skewed interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. But if you dig deep and look under his skin, his appointment to this very important position should deeply disturb Americans. Koh has not kept his opinions to himself. Rather, he has blatantly and arrogantly voiced his opinions on issues that affect everything from the abortion issue (he supports abortion on demand) to how our Justice Department should examine specific legal cases. That is, until his recent nomination. When asked to clarify his stated positions, Koh has remained eerily silent.

Perhaps the most disturbing statement Koh has made is his endorsement of Sharia law within the United States court system. In 2007 before the Yale Club of Greenwich, "Koh claimed that in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why Sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States." I would like to encourage everyone to watch this video clip from Fox News. If you aren't completely familiar with the brutality of Sharia law, you will be when you are finished.


Koh believes that our nation's laws should also reflect international laws, or "global law", as he has put it. In other words, our Constitution is not "globally" fair and that we should re-write it to include the laws of other nations so that everyone is happy. Is he suggesting we remove the time-honored draft that adorns our Capital, that has been the envy of every nation since its inception, and toss it into the trash heap? From my perspective, that's exactly what he is saying.

I would like to encourage all of our readers to keep a wary eye on Mr. Koh. His ideals and interpretations are extremely dangerous to our nation. I believe our President's intent is to push through, hard and fast, the liberal agenda that has been slowly developing and gaining ground for the last four decades. America as we know it is rapidly eroding around us. Pray God will restore her.