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Archive for November, 2005

God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man


1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust."

 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
       and from the deadly pestilence.

 4 He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

 5 You will not fear the terror of night,
       nor the arrow that flies by day,

 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
       nor the plague that destroys at midday.

 7 A thousand may fall at your side,
       ten thousand at your right hand,
       but it will not come near you.

 8 You will only observe with your eyes
       and see the punishment of the wicked.

 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-

 10 then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.

 11 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;

 12 they will lift you up in their hands,
       so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
       you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him. 

 16 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."
Psalm 91 (NIV)

When I was a young child, I had so many fears. Many a night I would imagine there was a monster under my bed who was waiting to get me as soon as I put a foot to the floor. I would hide under my blankets and fear would paralyse me. I would try to call out to my parents but I couldn’t get my voice above a whisper. We also had a closet in our bedroom which because it wouldn’t latch properly would sometimes creak open in the middle of the night and terrify my brothers and I. Children have very active imaginations. With my kids it wasn’t monsters, but thunderstorms and being left alone. The only monster that ever frightened one of them was a muppet call Monster from the Muppet Movie. When I was 19 I used to have panic attacks where fear would grip me to the point I thought it was actually going to kill me, that I would drop dead from a heart attack or a brain seizure at any moment.

Everyone is afraid of something. With me it’s a fear of flying. It doesn’t make sense because flying is one of the safest modes of travel there is. It seems that there is a whole book load of names that have been given to the different types of fears people have. They are called phobias. Many of the fears are imaginary and irrational, but the feeling of fear is real and can cripple us from being who God has meant us to be.

The greatest of all fears is death. What is going to happen to me when I die? For the Christian there should be no fear of death at all. Christ conquered death and the grave through His victory on the cross. Death for us means going home. It is a graduation. It means no more sickness or pain or sorrow. It means being present with our Lord. Eternal joy. For those who don’t know Christ or have rejected Him they have a very real reason to fear death. They face hell which is eternal separation from God and as much as they deny it or try to push that fear away it will one day catch up with them, unless they come to the place of repentance with God.

Psalm 91 is a great reminder of God’s care and love for us. He has promised to see us through each and every situation. Are you afraid of something? Pray that psalm. You don’t even have to fear the devil. There is the story of a missionary to Africa who one night heard some noises at the end of his bed. He looked up and saw satan standing there looking menacing. He said to the devil: "Oh it’s you!" turned around and went right back to sleep. That should be our attitude as well towards fear. God is in control and He never once loses it. Trust Him. He’s much bigger than the boogie man.

 

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Foolishness


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
   "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

 26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Cor. 1:18-31

This passage that I read this morning in my devotions is pretty self-explanatory. Unless God opens the eyes of a non-believer, he or she will think of us as fools. The message of the cross is so different from everything else the world teaches. Christians are the most persecuted and mocked group in the world today. We along with the Jews bear the brunt of this world’s scorn and hatred. Why? Because through us the message of truth is shown to the world. But the fact is this world and most of it’s people are blind and will never see the truth.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Cor. 4:3-5

Satan is the god of this world. He is the one who hates us and the Jews. The Jews because they are the nation that God used to bring salvation to the world through His Son Jesus Christ and to us because we have found that message and carry it to the world. Satan will try everything to wipe us off the face of the earth and can I tell you that the persecution of Christians around the world will increase. Will you stand for Him no matter what happens? We are strangers and aliens in this world. This is not our home and though I may be a Canadian citizen, my true citizenship is in heaven. We must stand in the truth we have been given. Too many churches and denominations are now compromising and are no longer standing in that truth. They have embraced the lie. We can not look to or hope to be accepted by this world because it never will accept us. They will always hate us and human nature is such that you always hate that which you don’t understand. We can’t compromise the gospel to win the world’s favour.

Jesus said in John 15:19: If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Rejoice in the message of the cross today. Even though you may look foolish. Even though others may laugh at you and ridicule you and believe me they will, because they don’t understand. So dance, sing and let them see the light you have been given and many eyes and hearts that are around you may just be opened to that light and truth and become a fool just like us.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

Threat to Burn Indian Believers Thwarted


Thank-you to all of those of you who prayed!
 
Working through a professional Christian news network, Gospel for Asia has learned that the threat against 60 believers in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has been thwarted.

A reporter from Compass Direct news service said that members of a Believers Church there met peacefully Sunday, November 20, despite death and arson threats from Hindu extremists.

"We were able to meet without incident," said Ramish Masih, the son of Pastor Feroz Masih.
The church meets in Masih’s house in the town of Baijnath.

On November 4, members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, assaulted the elder Masih. After beating him, they told Masih that if he and his 60 church members failed to take part in a "re-conversion" ceremony on November 20, they would burn them to death.

However, a senior VHP member said the VHP would not "re-convert" the Christians against their will. The planned re-conversion ceremony was apparently dropped due to police intervention.

Police had warned VHP members that they would be held responsible for any harm done to Masih or his church members, senior police official Ravinder Singh Jamwal said.

Jamwal also said all citizens had a constitutional right to practice and preach their respective religions, and Masih had the right to preach and distribute Christian tracts.

Police Inspector Sureshta Thakur of the Baijnath police station said she had warned the VHP and its supporters against taking the law into their own hands.

"There are many illiterate people in Baijnath who can easily be misled to believe that Christians are forcibly converting Hindus," she said. "These misconceptions are the root of the problem."

When the church asked Thakur for police protection for the worship service on November 20, however, she refused, saying, "Only the district collector has the authority to sanction police protection."

Thakur sent two police constables to visit Masih’s house on November 19. She also tried to arrange a meeting between Masih and the six attackers named in this police complaint. All six of the attackers, however, had gone into hiding and could not be contacted.

Masih’s son said he did not want the attackers punished, but that he hoped local officials would protect the Christian minority.

He also rejected the claims of "forced" or fraudulent" conversion made against his father, saying such false accusations are a mere pretext for attacking and harassing Christians.

"Recently, I arranged a press conference in which many of our church members said they had accepted Christianity out of their own free will, because they had been healed of their diseases," he added.

A recent police inquiry found that Masih had not converted anyone by force or by fraudulent means.

 
 
 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

Forgiving Others


"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matt. 6: 14-15

Many Christians hold on to grudges, not understanding the danger that they are putting themselves in. The scriptures are very clear, if you cannot forgive someone for sinning against you; God cannot forgive you your sins. Sin destroys and brings death. It has been proven by secular doctors that when you hold a grudge and cannot forgive someone, the higher the chances are of you developing heart disease, arthritis and other forms of sickness.

My father was an alcoholic and would frequently beat my mother. I would hide under my bed trying to escape her cries and my anger towards my father would grow. When I reached 18 and my parent’s marriage ended, I wanted nothing to do with him. I wished he were dead. I remember if I’d see him coming down the street, I’d cross to the other side in order to avoid him. I was very unforgiving towards my father and it ate away at my body and spirit. I suffered from anxiety attacks and depression. I would try to get away from the anger by turning to sex and parties. At 24 my body was worn out and I developed severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was told that by the time I reached 30 years old I’d be in a wheelchair. It was during this time I turned back to God.

I had accepted Jesus into my heart at 8 years old and remembered the joy I had at that time, but I had fallen away as I grew older. I asked Jesus to restore me, wash me, cleanse me and heal me. My hands and jaw that had been disfigured by the disease were restored and my faith in Jesus was renewed. I realized through reading God’s word where my illness came from and that I had to forgive my father. I sought him out and told him that I loved him and forgave him and asked for his forgiveness as well. We both wept and he asked Jesus into his heart a few moths later.

Where is your heart today? Do you have trouble forgiving someone who hurt you? We are to walk in forgiveness. How many times are you to forgive? Jesus said seventy times seven a day. (Matt 18:21-22) If Christ, when He was on the cross and all our sins were laid upon Him could say, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." We have no excuse. We must forgive as He forgave otherwise we put ourselves in danger. Check your heart and forgive those who have sinned against you. I promise you it will bring healing to your life.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

Please Pray!


 
As of November 21st I have no news as yet, But I am looking for updates on the situation and will post them as soon as I have anything.
 
– Gerry
 
Radicals threaten to burn Christians to death
Warn of consequences if they don’t reconvert to Hinduism by Sunday

Posted: November 17, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

More than 60 Christian coverts in northern India will be burned to death if they refuse to return to Hinduism by Sunday, a group of extremists has warned.

The radical Hindus severely beat the converts’ pastor, Feroz Masih, in a Nov. 4 attack in the state of Himachal Pradesh, accusing him of "forcibly converting" Hindus, reported Compass Direct, a news service that monitors persecution of Christians.

Masih sustained internal injuries requiring medical treatment and still is recovering.

The pastor’s son, Ramesh, told Compass Direct the estimated 10 attackers were members of the World Hindu Council and its youth wing Bajrang Dal, which has been blamed for waves of attacks against Christians and other religious minorities since the rise of the Hindu nationalist party BJP in the late 1990s.

The attackers forced Masih, 62, to sign a document stating his willingness to participate in a ceremony Sunday in which all of the Christians would convert back to Hinduism, Ramesh said.

If the pastor or church members refuse to participate, they will be burned to death, the radicals warned.

Masih and his son lead a local congregation related to Believer’s Church in India that meets in their home in the town of Baijnath.

The radical Hindus said they would come to the house Sunday to read from the Gita, the Hindu scripture, and convert the Christians back to Hinduism.

The two church leaders sent a letter of complaint to officials at the local police station in Baijnath and the National Commission for Minorities, Compass Direct said.

The letter included the names of six of the attackers: Harbans Lal, Madan Lal, Santosh Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Jitender Kumar, and Bablu Kumar.

But Compass said the police regarded the beating as a "minor incident."

"An official complaint [regarding the attack] has not been registered, and no one has been arrested," said Constable Rakesh Kumar.

According to Kumar, the VHP attacked Masih based on the complaint of a local resident, Prakash Chand, who alleged Masih forcibly converted his wife two years ago. Kumar said police believe Masih did not use force.

Masih’s son, however, said the beating was inspired by local media reports that claimed his father was forcibly converting Hindus.

"We simply preach the message of peace and joy as given in the Bible. All the believers who attend the worship … have embraced Christianity out of their own will," he said.

The Masihs, who are connected to K.P. Yohannan’s Gospel for Asia missionary group, say they still are waiting for a police response to the death threats.

Yohannan said it’s not clear that the police will take any action, noting the area is dominated by a large temple to the Hindu god Shiva, which draws thousands of pilgrims.

The threat, he said, is reminiscent of the brutal murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two children in 1999 by Hindu radicals in the state of Orissa, who vowed to burn alive anyone who did not renounce their new faith.

"What is most important now is that we pray for this situation," said Yohannan. "These brothers and sisters have chosen by their own free will to follow Christ. I urge you to pray for their protection, and that God will surround them with His angels and turn back any violence. Please also pray for their attackers, that their hearts will be softened and that God will work a miracle in their lives."

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

So You Want to Go Back to Egypt?


Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining (against God) and questioning and doubting (among yourselves), Phillippians 2:14 (Amplified Bible)

A while ago a Pastor gave a teaching to our school students on doing everything without complaining. It did much to alter my thinking in many areas of my life. It is so easy to find fault with people, things, or circumstances in our life. Let’s face it. We all do it in one way or another whether we admit it or not. We find many things to grumble and complain about. We complain about the weather. We complain about the economy. We complain against our neighbours. We complain against our government. We complain against our parents, teachers, pastors and other authority figures. etc…. complain, complain, complain, grumble, grumble, grumble. Most of all when things don’t go our way or turn out the way we think they should, who do we blame the most? God. We must sound like a bunch of whiners to Him. I can’t stand whining and have never put up with it from my children. Whining is a turn-off to most of us.

"Dad, I don’t like these vegetables! I don’t like these clothes. I don’t want to go to bed early! Why can’t stay up? But Jimmy and Mary are allowed to! You never let me do anything! I don’t want to take that medicine. It tastes yucky. Do I really have to go to school today? I don’t want to do my chores. I want to go and play! I want this! I want that! Why won’t you let me have it? Waaah! Waaah! I want it and I want it now!" Waaah!" Annoying isn’t it? You have to realize that many of us sound that way to God. We are not content with the promises He has given us.

The children of Israel were chronic complainers. They had seen some of the greatest miracles in the Bible such as the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of Egypt. God had put a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to lead them. He provided food, water and made sure their clothes or sandals didn’t even wear out and yet they found reasons to complain. Keith Green wrote a amusing song called; "So You Want to Go Back to Egypt."

 

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where it’’s warm and secure.

Are you sorry you bought the one way ticket when you thought you were sure?

You wanted to live in the land of promise, but now it’s getting so hard.

Are you sorry you’re out here in the desert, instead of your own backyard?

Eating leeks and onions by the Nile.

Ooh what breath, but dining out in style.

Ooh, my life’s on the skids, give me the pyramids.

 

Well there’s nothing to do but travel, and we sure travel a lot.

Cause it’s hard to keep your feet from moving when the sand gets so hot.

And in the morning it’s manna hot cakes.

We snack on manna all day.

And they sure had a winner last night for dinner,

Flaming manna souffle,.

 

Well we once complained for something new to munch.

The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch.

Ooh, such fire and smoke.

Can’t God even take a joke huh? .(no!)

 

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where old friends wait for you.

You can throw a big party and tell the whole gang,

That what they said was all true.

And this Moses acts like a big-shot, who does he think he is?

It’s true that God works lots of miracles, but Moses thinks they’re all his.

Well I’m having so much trouble even now.

Why’d he get so mad about that cow, that golden cow.

Moses sits rather idle, he just sits around.

He just sits around and writes the bible.

Oh, Moses, put down your pen.What? oh no, manna again?

Oh, manna waffles. manna burgers,

Manna bagels, fillet of manna,

Manna patties, bamanna bread!

 

The song is amusing, but the reality was God was not pleased at all with their complaining and because of their grumbling and complaints a whole generation died in the desert and never saw the land that God had promised them. Only their children did. You can read their story and all about how God dealt with them in books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

We are much more blessed than the children of Israel ever were as they didn’t have the salvation available to us or have the Holy Spirit living in them the way we do and yet we continually find reasons to complain. Like any sin it will separate you from God and hinder your prayers. Complain loud enough and you may find a lack of blessing in your life. That the promises of God for you will be out of reach and you may even be in danger of missing them all together.

Paul said in Phillipians 4:11b-12 (NIV) "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." And in 1Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV) "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." That’s the secret in learning not to complain. It is learning to be content no matter what your situation may be. Knowing that God knows what is best for you at all times even better than you know your self. Some situations may be tough to face but there is a peace that comes with surrender and letting God work. For as Romans 8:28 says, all things work together for our good.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

Hidden Sin


In the book of 2nd Samuel tells about the reign of king David over Israel. God called David a man after His own heart and yet David once tried to keep a sin hidden. In the days when a king was to lead his army into battle, David decided to stay home. As he was resting on the balcony of his palace, he noticed a woman bathing. Instead of looking away, he let his eyes rest on her and he became enticed by her beauty. He decided he must have her. After inquiring about her he found out that she was Bathsheba the wife of Uriah one of his commanders who was away at war. Even so he sent for her and she soon became pregnant by him. David hoped to hide his sin bringing back Uriah from the war and telling him to go and stay with his wife. Uriah refused and said that as long as there was a war he would not sleep in his home. David then decided that the only other way was to cover up was to let Uriah die in battle. So he commanded that he be put on the front lines. When the news came that he had been killed David took Bathsheba in to his house as his wife. David thought it was over and that his sin would never be found out. One day the prophet Nathan came to David and to him the story of a poor man who owned a lamb. That little lamb meant everything to that man. It was like a member of his family. But there was a rich man who owned many sheep. The rich man one day entertained a traveler and instead of serving him one of his own sheep, he slaughtered the poor mans lamb. David was angry at this tale and wanted to punish the rich man for what he had done. At this, Nathan told David that David was the guilty one and what he thought he had hidden God saw. David repented but his child that was born by Bathsheba died as a consequence of his sin. To read the story in it’s entirety, read 2nd Samuel chapters 11 and 12.

Do you have a sin which you keep secret? Something you hope no one will ever find out about? In Quebec one of the big problems is hidden sexual sin. Adultery, pre-marital sex, incest, sodomy, pornography, and masturbation. All of these are rampant. Perhaps you have problems with alcohol, drugs or gambling? Maybe even what you don’t think is such a big sin as lying or theft? The only one who knows is you and the Lord. And it is because the Lord knows that unless you do something to deal with that sin, He will deal with it in His way. The way He will deal with it is never pleasant. He usually exposes it to our embarrassment. A few well known tela- evangelists had their sins exposed to the entire world. Jesus said in Luke 8:17; "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light."

Why would the Lord expose my sin? Because He loves you. Sin brings death and enslavement. When someone is suffering from cancer a surgeon must cut it out before it spreads. Surgery is never pleasant. But is necessary in order to save a life. So yes having your sin exposed hurts, but having it exposed and revealed can save your life. Come to that place of repentance today before your sin is exposed. God is faithful and He will forgive you. You have pastors and elders who are willing to help you get through it. Please do it today.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!