All posts tagged Persecution

Finding Our Family

“Basically, we are on a quest to find our family,” my husband told his Sunday School class.

That phrase stuck with me.

Our job as believers, isn’t to attend church and put on programs or even to have fellowship. Our job, is to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Take a look at I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” ESV

That is our message. We aren’t responsible if people believe or do not believe–that’s the Spirit’s part. Our part is to share.

In the past, I sure have complicated the message. I got side-tracked. When I look back at it, I believe it’s spiritual warfare. Scripture says Satan roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. He loves nothing more than for Christians to have committees and spend their time bickering over carpet color and concentrating on who’s going to the Super Bowl or the World Series.

I know, because I’ve been there. Or what about when I complain about my circumstances when they are AMAZING. I mean, I know where I’m headed when I die, my life is hidden in Christ. I have the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word to guide me. I can work. I can worship. I can love. I can serve.

So I’m on this planet to tell others the good news. A message of grace–God’s unmerited favor. He sent His Son to earth to pay the penalty for my sins.

So I proudly lift up the name of Jesus. My Savior. My Lord. My King.

So I’m sharing it with you. Because who knows, maybe we’re family.

And speaking of family. Our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering all over the world because they name the name of Christ. Beheadings, crucifixions, and rapes are all part of the persecution that my family is enduring because they love Jesus more than they love this life.

Remember them. Pray for them. Ask the Lord to give you a burden for them. Send them money. That’s what I call my IIH stock. Investing in heaven.

It pays eternal dividends. And when we get to heaven, we’ll meet the rest of our family.

Are You Really Celebrating Christmas?


Today’s post isn’t for sissies. It’s not Christmasy. In fact, in may be offensive to you.

But some words need to be said or written.

In a post I received through my email, I learned of a man who is in prison for his faith in a place–well let’s just say, it’s not an American prison with weight-lifting or college classes. The man’s face is deformed from beatings.

What’s his offense?

Owning a Bible. That’s it.

What keeps him going? According to the ones who know him, only one thought keeps him going–seeing Jesus.

You see, people in this country know that once they believe in Jesus they make a choice between life and death.

Many in this country celebrate the baby in Bethlehem, but are they worshipping the King in heaven? Are you? Maybe I’m way off base, (to use a baseball term) but I suppose that many who buy gifts, attend church, and say prayers at Christmas, don’t really believe.

Because you see, believing in the baby isn’t enough. Understanding why He came and why you need Him is a must.

The Bible states in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Falling short means missing the mark. And friends, you need Jesus.

If there were a shooting contest with a target and we all had rifles, I’d miss the whole target, much less the very center. (In fact, if I ever do that, you should vacate the premises.) You may be an expert marksman and hit it dead center, so let me give you another analogy.

Let’s say we stood on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. The Gulf of Mexico spread out before us. We both decided to swim to Texas. You  may get farther than I could, but face it, neither of us would make it. Imagine sin on your back. Sin isn’t just not doing certain things, basically it’s living your life apart from God. Not worshiping or obeying, or caring. We all sin everyday. So that sin weight is weighing us down and we CANNOT achieve a relationship with God with a trace of sin in our lives.

We’re all disqualified.

That is where the baby in Bethlehem comes in. He came from heaven to be born to live a perfect life in our place. He died, and His blood paid the penalty of our sin.

But He didn’t stay dead. God raised Jesus from the dead to show His death was enough. Enough to take our sin. He shot the perfect shot, He swam all the way. His risen life proved it.

Because He is risen, I know I will rise.

My friend, hear this passage from I Corinthians 15: 54-57, “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable and this mortal will have put on immortality then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory, O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’”

So what now? You have a choice; believe on Him to be your Savior, or reject Him and face God’s wrath–and there is judgment coming, make no mistake.

It’s that simple.

So I have a question for you; Will you celebrate Christmas and Worship the King.

Your eternal destiny depends on it. Email me if you have questions. I’d love to chat.

Here’s a verse from one of Fanny Crosby’s most famous hymns:

“O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer the promise of God. The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

Here’s the chorus:

“Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice. O come to the Father through Jesus the Son, and give Him the Glory great things He hath done.

Give Him glory this Christmas beloved. And just like the saint in prison with the deformed face, you’ll see Jesus one day.

And it will be worth it.



Blood-Soaked Ground

These people chose different times of the day to meet. They knew it was dangerous–they couldn’t help themselves. Study, prayer, and worship meant more to them than safety. They paid dearly for it.

One morning, not so long ago, in the third-world country of Nigeria, at 7 AM, 300 Christians met for prayer. Muslim extremists drove their car fast into the crowd of believers. It detonated 50 feet away sparing many lives.

Not the car drivers. The bomb blew a large crater into the ground.

Not some Christians. Three died. Fifty wounded.

The question is, what happened to those people when they died?

The men in the car thought they would meet up with 70 virgins in heaven. Did they?

The Christians say that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Universalists say they all went to heaven.

That doesn’t seem right.

Who do we believe?

I’m banking on the Bible. On Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

That’s pretty clear to me.

In America, at least for now, we can worship however we choose. But we could be killed in a car wreck. Or get cancer. Or die of old age. Then what?

If God is God. Creator. Sustainer. Supreme Leader. It’s important what He thinks, not what we think.

Think about it. Ask the creator about it. Read the book of John.

Remember the blood-soaked ground. Remember the blood-stained cross.



“Miriam, you know what my favorite time of day is?”

“No idea, Pauline. Dinner?”

“Let me show you.” I led her into my son’s bedroom and opened the shades. “Look at the light filter through the blinds and onto the bed? I love that. In the morning, in my bedroom, light peeks through, sometimes an orange color…”

“Yea. I love that, too. A fall sun.”

“Me, too. Then the light brightens and moves across my bed. I think of how amazing God is when that happens.”

That was yesterday. Today, I got up and made my bed and thought of a Christian sister in Pakistan. She’s been living in a 6 x 8′ cell for over two years. She has two daughters about 9 and 11. She’s there for sharing Jesus at work in the fruit fields.

Two politicians have tried to have her released from the false charges. One was killed by his bodyguard, another gunned down in front of his home.

I wondered if she ever saw light anymore. The thought made me stand still.

I took action. First, I thanked the Lord for the ability to see, and the freedom I take for granted to see light filter through my bedroom each morning.

Second, I prayed for her. Romans 12: 4,5 states, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

I am part of her eternal family. When she is separated from her husband and daughters, I suffer with her.

Then, I prayed that she could see some sunlight.

I realized that she may indeed be seeing light. The light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture is chocked full of those passages.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?” Ps. 27: 1

John 1: 9 says, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”

A few chapters later, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8: 12.

She has Jesus. And He promises to be near.

Still, we have the privilege of praying for this dear sister. And appreciating the Light.

Monday’s Musings—A Caring Life

‘My body is theirs to do what they want with it.’ That is what S. M. said of his captors.

He’s awaiting execution by hanging in Afghanistan. His crime—converting to Christianity. He’s been beaten, tortured, and sexually abused for his faith. Formerly a Red Cross worker, he is a father and an amputee with a prosthetic leg.

Tom and I read a link to our Christian brother’s story on Facebook last night. We sat in our pale green bedroom as rose-scented candles reflected off of our queen-sized poster bed. We were speechless—so we prayed.

Tom began, “Lord, we have no idea what that is like. Encourage him.” He went on to pray for his family, his health, his life, his death, even his entrance into heaven. I couldn’t speak. Part of my family was hurting so I ached.

I don’t understand that. In the book, Trusting God, Jerry Bridges makes a Biblical case for God’s sovereignty, His wisdom, and His love. I shared that with my husband. The only thing we could come up with is that we as believers are aliens here, like Abraham, looking for a better land.

2 Corinthians 4: 16, 17 states: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”

It’s impossible to understand that with our finite minds, so it must be viewed through the lens of faith. The heart of trust.

But still, we care, we hurt, we pray.