Saturday, June 21, 2008

Re: "Christianity Could Die Out Within A Century"

Re: Christianity Could Die Out Within A Century"

Only ignorant and vacuous people will think of the death of Christianity.

Christianity will outlive them and their next generations forever.

Christianity is the only and absolute way to knowing the one and only true God.

All others are false and as Jesus Christ said, "By their fruits, you shall know them."

If there was no Islam, there would have been no 9/11 and no 7/7 and there would have been no war in Iraq. And all our beloved ones killed in 9/11 and 7/7 and in Iraq would have been alive and well today.

There was Christianity before Great Britain and there will be Christianity after Great Britain.

"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

~ John 14:6 (New International Reader's Version).

A world without Christianity would be hell!

~ By MichaelChima just now

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Instrument of Peace

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

1. Instrument of Peace

"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."1

For today's Daily Encounter I would like to use the Prayer of St. Francis both for the devotional and the prayer:

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light, and

Where there is sadness, joy."

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much Seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
"Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
In Jesus' name. Amen."

1. James 3:18 (NIV).


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fly With the Eagles

Thursday, June 12, 2008

1. Fly With the Eagles

"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."1

A friend of mine has trouble with Japanese bonsai trees in that she sees tiny trees with great potential inhibited because they have been root-bound by man. Others have trouble seeing animals and birds trapped in cages for the same reason. For example, how do eagles feel in cages in zoos? These magnificent birds, created to soar to the heights of mountaintops, do they get frustrated? Are they fulfilled? How could they be?

Too many of us, who were created to reach our total God-given human and spiritual potential, are trapped in a cage of our own or of another's making. We fail to resolve the problems in our life that hold us back. True, we may have been wounded in the past, but God wants us to be healed, to be made whole, to be free to fly, to soar to the heights of all that he has for us.

We have a choice, we can scratch in the dirt with the turkeys or we can rise up to follow Christ and fly with the eagles to the heights that God envisioned for us to reach. That choice is ours.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to fully grasp the fact that you have a wonderful plan for MY life. Help me to discover what this is, and create in me a restlessness until I discover it. And help me to begin fulfilling that plan today by seeking you until I discover it. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Follow Your Bubbles

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1. Follow Your Bubbles

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."1

Vern Treat tells about a scuba diver who said that when you're in deep water, you're encircled by light, so there's no way you can tell which way is up because the water diffuses the light. You're also totally weightless, so you have no sense of gravity. The only way you can tell which way to get out of the water is to go the direction the bubbles are going.

Surrounded in an aura of light and weightless, it's very easy to lose all sense of direction and get disoriented. You may sense that this way is up and that your air bubbles are going sideways. You may be so convinced that your perception is true that you decide to ignore your bubbles and go the way you think is up.

One of the first things we were told when learning to scuba-dive, Trent said, was to always trust your bubbles—to always follow your bubbles. No matter how you feel, no matter what you think, your bubbles are always right.

Life can be like that at times too. If we base the rules of life on our feelings, perception or what we think, we can be very easily led astray. The philosophy, "If it feels good it must be right," is a dangerous guide to follow because our feelings can play all sorts of tricks on us. If something is wrong, it is wrong regardless of how we feel or what we think. True, it's important that we don't deny or repress our feelings, because we can learn to trust them; but what we can't always trust is our interpretation of them.

The only safe guide to follow when it comes to the rules of life is to trust God and his Word, the Bible. Therein lie the "bubbles of life" to follow. These "bubbles" are always right. Always!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word, the Bible, and for giving us principles for healthy living and loving. Give me a love for your Word and the desire to hide it in my heart so I won't sin against you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Psalm 119:11 (NIV).


Little Sins

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

1. Little Sins

"Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom."1

In their book, Living a Power-Filled Life, Bill Tucker with Pat Maxwell talk about a four-hundred-year-old tree that crashed to the forest floor Over the centuries it had been struck by lightning fourteen times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake. In the end, however, it was killed by little beetles. Boring under the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until the giant of the forest lay broken on the ground.

How true it is, it's the little things in life, which at the time seem harmless, but when you put them all together, they can cause great devastation. As another has said, "Many a marital grave has been dug by a lot of little digs." And as the ditty puts it:

It's the little things that bother us
and put us on the rack,
you can sit upon a mountain
but you can't sit on a tack!

But the biggest danger of all is found in our so-called "little sins." Eventually they will catch up with us and inch by silent inch will drive us farther and farther away from God. And as Edmund Burke said, "By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation."

Sins—large or small—are a spiritual cancer and unless we get the cancer, the cancer will get us. As God's word says, "Be sure your sin will find you out."2 The good news is that God also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, your Word warns us about the dangers of sin. Please help me to see and admit to my sins, confess them to you, and receive your forgiveness. And help me to resolve and overcome any habitual sin I may have in my life. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Song of Solomon 2:15 (NIV).
2. Numbers 32:23.
3. 1 John 1:9.


Hardening of the Heart

Monday, June 9, 2008

1. Hardening of the Heart

"But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said."1

"While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men's hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism."2

Some 4,000 years ago, when God called Moses to deliver the ancient people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh refused to let the people go. God kept sending plagues on the Egyptians so Pharaoh would agree to let the Israelites go, which he did. But as soon as there was relief from the plague, Pharaoh changed his mind, hardened his heart and refused to let the people go. After continual resistance, eventually God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

When we continually fail to adhere to God's Word and his message of obedience and salvation we end up hardening our hearts. Eventually God may harden our hearts too—a dangerous course to follow.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a heart that is open to your Word, that accepts your free offer of salvation, and the desire to always live in harmony with your will. And please soften any areas of my heart that I may already have hardened. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Exodus 8:15 (NIV).
2. Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889–1929)


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Christian Converts Arrested in Iran

Christian Converts Arrested in Iran

Police in the Iranian city of Shiraz cracked down against known Christian converts from Islam, arresting members of three Christian families and confiscating their books and computers.

The arrests reportedly began at approximately 5:00 a.m. on May 11, when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport and sent directly to jail. All four were subjected to hours of interrogation.

The detained Christians were identified as Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh (48) and his wife Fariba Nazemiyan Pur (40), and Amir Hussein Bab Anari (25) and his wife Fatemeh Shenasa (25). The report also indicated that although the two wives were released on the same day of their arrest, Anari was detained until May 14, and Gholamzadeh remains jailed.

About two hours after the early morning arrests of May 11, police authorities invaded the home of Hamid Allaedin Hussein (58) arresting him and his three adult children, Fatemah (28), Muhammed Ali (27), and Mojtaba (21). The family's books, CDs, computers and printers were taken as well. Hussein, his daughter and one son were released later the same day, but Mojtaba remains in prison.

On May 13, local police picked up two more former Muslims involved in a separate house church in Shiraz as the Christian converts were talking together in a city park. Both men, Mahmood Matin and a second man identified only as Arash, are still jailed. There were other arrests last month in the northern city of Amol, in Mazandaran province near the Caspian Sea. Two of the arrested converts to Christianity, one a pregnant woman, are still imprisoned with no news of their whereabouts.

Ask God for the release of those who are still in prison for their faith in the Lord (Acts 12:5). Pray that the Islamic government in Iran will allow full rights and protection for Christians in the nation.

For more information on the persecution facing Christians in Iran, go to

Resolving Conflict Creatively, Part I

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1. Resolving Conflict Creatively, Part I

"But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ."1

I recall hearing a preacher of a large church, when celebrating his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, declaring that he and his wife had never had a conflict. Chances are that one of the partners had become a doormat or a "peace at any price" person. About the only other way to live without ever having an argument or conflict is to become a hermit.

Wherever there are people, there will always be conflict at one time or another. When handled creatively, conflict can lead not only to resolution but also to personal growth. What we need to do is learn how to fight fair, to disagree agreeably, and to "fight" like a Christian.

So how do we do this?

First and foremost is to always strive to speak the truth in love. Remember that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. We, too, need to precede truth with grace; that is, to always give loving, gracious acceptance. Unless we do this, the other person will not likely feel safe to share their truth. And without the sharing of truth, there is no connection and there is no resolution of conflict.

Second, listen…listen…listen—not only with our ears, but much more so with the heart. We need to hear what the other person is saying—not just what we think they are saying. This is because we all interpret messages through our own lenses, for "we see things not as they are, but as we are." And the more dishonest we are with our own inner-self (feelings), the more our seeing and hearing "lenses" are distorted and the more we will twist messages to make them match our perception of reality. For instance, if we are insecure or don't like ourselves, we will read into what others say to put ourselves down.

(To be continued.)

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be gracious in conflict situations, to always speak the truth in love, and be much more willing to listen before I speak. Help me to hear what the other person is saying regardless of their words and to handle conflict in a Christ-like manner. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Ephesians 4:15 (NASB).