True stories for children who love God. Don't mention Jesus: "What's church and state, Mom," asked seven-year old Sallie.
"Why do you ask?" answered her mother.
"My teacher told me to keep them apart and not talk about Jesus. She said I should save that talk for Sundays."
The Victory of the Cross: "'Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!' Fanny Crosby, who wrote that joyful hymn, was truly blessed with an unwavering confidence in God's loving grace! Born into a humble family in 1820, she became totally blind through a medical error six weeks later. But her overwhelming lifelong response was gratefulness, not bitterness or complaints. ... Some years earlier, a young man in Prussia [part of the old German empire] was learning that same lesson..."
Video: Christ's Call: "Follow My Footsteps."
The Cross of Christ: Feared, banned, trivialized... yet Triumphant: "For decades, America has been torn by a mysterious love-hate relationship with the cross. The media mocks it. Liberal bureaucrats and politicians fear it. City and library administrators tend to ban it, and countless schools and teachers have censored it. But Christians love it! In 1946, Dr. Brock Chisholm, a Canadian psychiatrist and the first head of the World Health Organization (a UN agency working with UNESCO) exposed the globalist hatred for Christ and the cross.... His two-part strategy would first focus on 'gentle' psycho-social manipulation based on behavioral science. If that didn't purge society of its need for the cross and Christ, violence and coercion would follow..." The Cross
How Can We Deal with Pain and Hardship? "Another pat answer is that, if our prayer to be relieved of suffering is not answered, it must be because of lack of faith.... But lack of faith is not the only reason why men endure suffering.... When God refused to heal Paul’s 'thorn in the flesh,' he said nothing about a lack of faith. Rather, he said, 'My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'” (2 Cor.12:9)
His Wonderful Word - worth dying for! "In the sixteenth century, Spain's King Philip II took a hard line against those who would try to interpret Scripture for themselves. Anyone found studying the Bible during this time was hanged, burned at the stake, drowned, torn in pieces, or buried alive.
"The inquisitors from the king were sent to inspect the house of the mayor of Brugge to see if any Bible studies were taking place there. In their search, they discovered a Bible. All present denied knowing anything about it. Then a young maidservant came in.... [She said] 'this book is mine... and it is more precious to me than anything!'... She was sentenced to die..."
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' ... Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God's Help for Hard Times: Renewing our Minds: "We are talking about a tremendous transformation. It should be visible to others, but its internal effect should be far greater than what others can perceive. If a person is not significantly changed by their salvation, then we are entitled to wonder whether their salvation was genuine.... We need to so live that the difference between Christians and non-Christians is inescapable. We need to stand, boldly and clearly, for what we believe..." See Overcoming Pain and Hardship
Jesus is the Way: "God's Way differs radically from man's way. No wonder it makes little sense to man's human nature and today's pleasure-seeking crowds. For God's way up is down. His way to victory comes through humility. His way to joy leads through pain. His path to life leads through death ["dying to self"]. And in the midst of it all, He is there with us!"
Bible finds way back into school: "For years, World Changers had honored Religious Freedom Day by providing free Bibles to interested students by placing them on tables in Florida schools where they could be voluntarily picked up during non-instructional time.But in 2009, Florida’s Collier County School officials banned World Changers’ Bible distribution, claiming Bibles do not provide educational benefit to the students and violate the so-called separation of church and state. Yet with the help of Liberty Counsel, a federal judge ruled in favor of World Changers, permitting the Bible distributions to begin again. 'The First Amendment does not tolerate discrimination against private religious viewpoints because of a mythical wall of separation between church and state,' said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. 'Equal access means equal access for all viewpoints, including religious viewpoints.'” See Victory in Christ
The Night of Weeping: "This sermon may not fit American churches today. But it did fit 19th century Scottish church. Amidst the poverty, illness, and daily struggles to feed families and overcome obstacles, this message brought hope and victory through uncompromising churches.
"In our times, the joy of His Word is all too often quenched by the bright lights of contemporary thrills and shallow distractions. Let us pray that our wonderful Lord will use Pastor Bonar's words to shine the light of His glory into our hearts this day -- and that we will recognize and live by it!"
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
The Old Cross and The New - What changed? "Unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique..." See His Word and compare with the next link:
More than Conquerors in Christ! "...the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the saint who follows Him.... Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us. The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super joy of going clean through it...
"'We are more than conquerors' through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them.... 'I am exceeding joyful [even in the midst of] tribulation.'”
“Reimagining” God: "In today’s shifting Christianity, people think it is simply a matter of 'moving the fence' in order to be more inclusive. They don’t understand that we can’t broaden the truth of Who the Lord Jesus Christ is any more than we can broaden the truth of Who God is.
"The Word of God tells us the truth of Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and, again, the truth and faith that are in the Word of God give us the Christian faith, not the faith of another religion. ...The Lord Jesus Christ does not “move the fence!” That is, He does not change the truth of Who He is to be more inclusive.
"The truth is what it is whether people believe it or not. "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (2 Corinthians 11:4)
"The Lord is my Shepherd! I shall not want." Psalm 23:1: "When David penned the words to Psalm 23, he attested in unquestioning words to the faithfulness of God. Verse 1 is one of the boldest statements found in Scripture because it testifies to the faithfulness of God from a man who had a unique relationship with the Lord. Here was a man after God’s own heart, a man who grew to believe that God is always faithful no matter what our position in life may be....
"...as Jeremiah so aptly put it, 'This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23).
"Are you aware of God orchestrating your life? By faith, you can trust Him to lead you on a daily basis, for the Word of God says 'the just shall live by faith' (Romans 1:17). That means we can and should be trusting Him to lead us by the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis." See My Hope
Testing the Genuineness of our Faith: "Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators."
Quote from 1784. "The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts." (John Jay, letter to Peter Augustus Jay)
Outside the Camp: "Let us go out to Him outside the camp." (Hebrews 13:13)
"Jesus, bearing His cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was 'not of the world.' His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world....
"...Christ’s people must 'go out to Him.' They must take their position 'outside the camp,' as witness-bearers for the truth.... You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world." See Suffering with Jesus
The Old Rugged Cross: “'O most merciful Christ,' wrote the faithful reformer Jan Hus as he waited for his execution in 1415 AD, 'give us a courageous spirit, so that it may be ready. And if the flesh is weak, may your grace go before it, for without you we can do nothing.'
"In the eyes of the church establishment, Hus had committed heresy. He believed that everyone should be allowed to read the Bible in their own language -- an unthinkable notion in a culture that reserved God's Word for elite students of Latin. He also opposed the pope's money-raising efforts to sell indulgences (the false assurance that people could buy or earn pardon for sin instead of trusting in Christ's redemption through the cross)."
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter1:6-7
Angela Merkel Calls Christianity the ‘World’s Most Persecuted Faith’: "Merkel's address in ... the German province of Schleswig-Holstein included the passing comment that 'Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.' ...Human Rights Watch's (HRW) Germany director, Wenzel Michalski, found Merkel's conception totally senseless' given that all religious persecution is equally wrong, irrespective of faith.... The United Nations Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, echoed Montag in assessing Merkel's qualification of Christianity as 'not especially helpful.'....
"Yet the German branch of the international aid society for persecuted Christians, Open Doors, supported Merkel. A spokesman for the organization expressed its findings that 80% of all religiously persecuted individuals worldwide were Christian. ...the two greatest opponents globally of religious freedom in general and Christianity in particular are various followers of Muhammad and Marx....In a time of almost universal political correctness, the Lutheran pastor's daughter Merkel deserves praise for her refreshing honesty."(November 2012)
Video. Wise words from an "old-fashioned, narrow-minded, fossilized person" (1879AD)
Testing the Genuineness of our Faith: "Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators.
"When a calm reigns on the sea...the ship does not move to its harbor.... Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven."
"In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Hope We Have in Christ: 'To give a reason for the hope that is in you' is not at all the same things as convincing by rational argument why that hope is in us. The work of the Spirit of God in us transcends reason.... And when a Christian says 'the reason I am so-and -so is because I have received the Holy Spirit,' or 'I have received from God something which has made this possible,' it doesn't contradict reason. It transcends it, and is an answer concerning the hope that is in you." See Struck down, but not destroyed
92 Year-Old Woman Stops an Attacker Cold in his Tracks: "A 92 year-old Memphis woman used the powerful words of the Lord to turn back a mugger in a Wal-Mart parking lot. You don’t need guns or weapons when you have the power of the Lord and this brave woman was able to sway the heart of the man." See Faith
The Village that Lived by the Bible: "It was early in 1945 when, as a war correspondent on Okinawa, I first came upon Shimabuku, the strangest and most inspiring community I ever saw. Huddled beneath its groves of banyan and twisted pine trees, this remote village of some 1000 souls was in the path of the 'American' advance and so received a severe shelling. But when an advance patrol swept up to the village compound, the soldiers stopped dead in their tracks. Barring their way were two little old men; they bowed low and began to speak....
"I don't get it. Seems we're being welcomed as 'fellow Christians.' One says he's the mayor of the village..."
Bibles fall like rain: "Recently a team from South Korea launched 30 balloons carrying New Testaments, Scripture verses and other Gospel messages into North Korea. With a typhoon fast approaching the Korean peninsula, heavy rain and wind carried the balloons directly north into the isolated country. 'The gospel is the good news which will save the dry branches in North Korea like a welcome rain,' one of the missionaries exclaimed during prayer before the launch. ...They successfully sent 1,000 Bibles and 90,000 gospel flyers into North Korea. More than 7,900 New Testaments have been sent to North Korea this year alone...." See Victory in Christ
Be Watchful! "This was the life of the early Christians; they went everywhere with their lives in their hands. We [in America] are not in this day called to pass through the same fearful persecutions. But if we were, the Lord would give us grace to bear the test.... Our danger is lest we grow rich and become proud, lest we give ourselves up to the fashions of this present evil world, and lose our faith. ...may God...display his omnipotence in you, that you may be able to say, in all these softer things, as well as in the rougher, ' We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.' "
The Watchman: "...if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned... he is taken away in his iniquity...' ...I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me." (Ezekiel 33:6-7)
Bright Hope in Dark Days: "Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb. But now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope. 'Thou art my hope in the day of evil.'" Jeremiah 17:17
When Iron Gates Yield: [Note: Geoffrey Bull, British missionary to Tibet, was imprisoned when Chinese Communists conquered and occupied Tibet in 1950. The brainwashing strategies used to conform his mind to Communist collective thinking is still used in China today. More sophisticated version of this Marxist-Hegelelian process are now used in schools, corporations and churches around the world. I thank God for using Bull to show us how to resist mind-dulling indoctrination and reminds us to stand firm in Christ no matter how great the pressure to compromise.]
"According to Marxism the standard of morality arises from our political standpoint, which in turn is determined by our economic condition. Thus if I have no money to buy bread, I will take the political stand of siding with the oppressed masses. This means that to steal from the landlord becomes right; I am not guilt of theft. I am only taking back what he has exploited from my class." [The same argument is used to justify the slaughter of whites in Zimbabwe and other neo-communist countries]
Enduring Faith. The Village That Lived By The Bible: "It was early in 1945 when, as a war correspondent on Okinawa, I first came upon Shimabuku, the strangest and most inspiring community I ever saw. Huddled beneath its groves of banyan and twisted pine trees, this remote village of some 1000 souls was in the path of the 'American' advance and so received a severe shelling. But when an advance patrol swept up to the village compound, the soldiers stopped dead in their tracks.
"Barring their way were two little old men; they bowed low and began to speak. The battle-hardened sergeant, wary of tricks, held up his hand, summoned an interpreter. The interpreter shook his head and said, "I don't get it. Seems we're being welcomed as 'fellow Christians.' One says he's the mayor of the village, the other's the schoolmaster. That's a Bible the older one has in his hand..."
Nearer My God to Thee: This video clip shows a scene from the 1958 movie version of the Titanic: "A Night To Remember"
A marvel of God's care! An amazing testimony to God's grace!
The world is not my home: [Good reminder in the midst of bad news]
The Way: "Jesus is the Way -- the only way -- to abundant life with God today and forever. Yet, millions of seekers choose spiritual paths that lead to bondage, hopelessness and despair.... At life's most significant crossroads, they pick their pathway for its temporary attractions.... 'Why follow that narrow, old road when fast, new super-highways beckon?' shout the voices of popular culture. 'Why be so divisive?"
Our life in Christ is an adventure: "It seems but yesterday when I first hitchhiked to the jungles. I wonder what would of it been like if I would of said no, left it to another to go? Though it has been hard, many difficulties along the way, the times of loneliness, failures, and the trials and testing of our faith, my greatest regret is, I did not respond sooner. Oh, what a wonderful adventure it has been to trust Him." See His Life in us
Throat slashed, woman reads Bible to her attacker: "...a woman spent at least an hour reading the Bible to her attacker after he slashed her throat Wednesday night. 'She even invited him to her church,' said Shelby Police Capt. Rick Stafford. 'He kept saying he was sorry, and then walked away.'
"Lindsay Wood and her son came home from church around 8:30 p.m. The son... heard his mother talking to the man.... Moments later, the man pulled out a knife. He swung the blade and sliced into the right side of Wood's neck. After the attack, Wood started speaking to the man about Bible verses and church.... Wood didn’t call 911 until 10:24 p.m. after the attacker left.... She was listed in stable condition Thursday in the intensive care unit...'"
His Wonderful Word - worth dying for! "In the sixteenth century, Spain's King Philip II took a hard line against those who would try to interpret Scripture for themselves. Anyone found studying the Bible during this time was hanged, burned at the stake, drowned, torn in pieces, or buried alive....
"...they discovered a Bible. All present denied knowing anything about it. Then a young maidservant came in. When asked about the Bible, she declared, 'I am reading it!'.... She was sentenced to die by suffocation, sealed in the city wall. Just before her execution, she was asked by an official, 'So young and beautiful and yet to die?' She replied, 'My Savior died for me. I will also die for him.”
"When finally one single brick remained to complete the wall, she was told again, 'Repent! Just say a single word of repentance!' Instead she voiced her single desire to be with Jesus and added, 'O Lord, forgive my killers!'”"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; ...perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed — always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)
The amazing grace of Christmas morn: "The authentic story of the redeeming power of the Christmas message is illustrated in the incredible life of an English slaver named John Newton....His mother was a godly woman who died when John was 7, and he recalled as the sweetest remembrance of childhood the soft and tender voice of his mother at prayer. His father married again, and John at 11 went to sea with him....
"The captain of the Harwich traded him to the skipper of a slaving ship, bound for West Africa to take aboard wretched human cargo.... John fell ill, and when the captain sailed he left John in his wife’s care. The ship was barely over the horizon when he was thrown into a pigsty.... Word spread through the district that a black woman was keeping a white slave, and many came to taunt him.... When the captain returned five years later... [he] agreed to take him home to England. 'The voyage quite broke my constitution,' he recalled, “and the effects would always remain with me as a needful memento of the service of wages and sin.” Newton's best loved hymn:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see!
God's Guidelines for Christian Thinking: "It is because we will not bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ that all the perplexities are produced regarding methods of thinking that look like [but disagree with] Christianity. Strands are taken out of Jesus Christ’s teaching, the Bible is exploited to agree with certain principles, but the Truth, our Lord Jesus Christ is ignored.... If we base our thinking on principles instead of on a Person we shall go wrong.... The one great truth to keep steadfastly before us is the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the Truth."
How shall I serve You, Lord? "It is not what I do for you but what You do through me. This is how I shall lay my life before You, my Lord and King."
Why They Love - or Hate - Tim Tebow: "I'm not a big football fan, but I will admit to liking Tim Tebow, and you can probably guess why. Anyone who saw what he did in the last 4 minutes of the Denver Broncos' football game with that 95-yard drive against the NY Jets the other night --how he humbly prayed...and the OTHER PLAYERS put their hands on him and prayed with him while the stadium rocked and rolled around them -- could not come away without a profound sense that something unusual had happened." See Spiritual Warfare
You are my Hiding Place: "Jesus, my Lord, is my Hiding Place today and forever. Yet, every day I have a choice to make: Will I rest peacefully in His plan and provision? Or will I try to run from Him as Jonah did. If I would be foolish enough to turn away, I trust that my Shepherd will correct me -- and I had better listen!
"My heart's desire is to live in total union with my King -- every hour of every day. And since I 'have died with Christ,' my 'life is hidden with Christ in God.' When I rest in Him, I am confident that 'in the time of trouble He shall hide me'..."
"Thou art my Hiding Place; Thou dost preserve from trouble... and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7
God's Sovereignty: "...there cannot be a single circumstance over which He has not supreme control. ...There is not: a trial, a temptation, an affliction of body or soul, a loss, a cross, a painful bereavement, a grief, a disappointment... which is not in under His sovereign domain."
The "God of Hope ": I live in two worlds: an earthly nation and a heavenly kingdom. Earthly circumstances may, at times, dictate my thoughts and emotions; but when I look up, I see my heavenly King who reigns over all. He has prepared a magnificent future for His beloved friends. Like a beacon of light, that vision of eternal fellowship with my Lord beckons me onward in spite of obstacles and opposition. Like Paul, I aim to 'press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
My High Tower: Seeing the world from His perspective
You are my Hiding Place: "Outside my kitchen window, four children played hide-and-seek. I had to laugh at some of their funny hiding places.... Into my mind flashed hiding places that felt cozy enough to sleep in. Others were cramped, cold and hard. Like some of the strange places God selects for His children, I thought.
"My hiding place in God -- the place or circumstance where His love guards me -- may not be comfortable by my finite human standard. But whether pleasant or painful for the moment, it fits His plan for my protection.
"...as I rest in Him, He will accomplish His purpose." See The School of Joyful Endurance
Video: Street Witnessing with Gang Members: "Ray Comfort witnesses to gang members in south central Los Angeles."
God's Sovereignty: "...if all things are put under Jesus' feet, there cannot be a single circumstance over which He has not supreme control. Everything in providence and everything in grace are alike subject to His disposal."
"...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are -
~ hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed...
~ perplexed, but not in despair
~ persecuted, but not forsaken;
~struck down, but not destroyed
always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Bright Hope in Dark Days: "Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb. But now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope." See Joshua 1:9
(Part 3) A Small Price to Pay - Misha's Choice: "This was during Stalin’s harsh reign over our country. He had designs to have all the houses of prayer closed and, after a time of respite during the war, his iron fist was coming down hard once more on the believers. Not only was he trying to annihilate the church, he was also trying to infiltrate the church by planting his own men in it to control its affairs. These men were not believers.
"No one under thirty was allowed to be baptized. No one under eighteen was allowed to attend church services. The pastors were only to preach what was mandated by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. And these were only a few of the rules designed to scatter the believers....
"I was at a loss for words. I had used up everything in my vocabulary that I could think of to ask God to come down and visit my soul. I felt completely empty."
(Part 2) A Small Price to Pay: "(Misha is now eleven years old) "I remember being hungry most of the time. All of us were. But we did not often talk about it....During all this time, Mama made sure our spiritual education did not suffer. She not only taught us the truth of God, she lived it. For several months, we lived in Kirghizia with an elderly woman we called Auntie Natasha....I remember something that happened one night while we were there..." The first part of this book would be good for family reading with children.
(Part 1) A Small Price to Pay: "There was a noise at the front door. The officer leapt to his feet...and grabbed Papa by his coat, jerking him into the room.... 'Ivan Khorev, you are under arrest.'...
"I know God must have prepared my father for this time, because there was no panic, no alarm at all as he looked at the strange scene he had come home to after his long night at work. I am sure he had seen the Black Raven parked in front of our apartment building. Everyone in the city knew that when that vehicle was outside, someone was being arrested and taken to prison. His eyes rested on Mama for a moment, then he looked at us children. As the two soldiers moved toward him again, Papa held up his hand. “Wait! We will pray together before I leave with you.” See The School of Joyful Endurance
Be Watchful! "Our danger is lest we grow rich and become proud, lest we give ourselves up to the fashions of this present evil world, and lose our faith.... I fear that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her integrity in these soft and silken days than in those rougher times. We must be awake now, for we traverse the enchanted ground, and are most likely to fall asleep to our own undoing, unless our faith in Jesus be a reality, and our love to Jesus a vehement flame."
Holy Familiarity: “There is a holy familiarity with God which cannot be too much enjoyed, but there is a flippant familiarity with God which cannot be too much abhorred! The Lord is King. His will is not to be questioned!"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..."Hebrews 12:1-2
Video. Holy is the Lord: Beautiful song with pictures by Thomas Faunce!
Mary's Trust and Obedience: "When Mary said 'Yes' to God, she faced the risk of shame, rejection, exclusion -- even death. Normally, pregnancy before marriage was a violation of God's moral code, but hers was not a normal situation. Mary herself didn't know how God would give her this miracle baby -- and then protect her and the child from the likely onslaughts. Yet, she wholeheartedly surrendered to God's will.
How could she do that? And what can we learn from her? An Old Testament proverb gives us a key..."
Leading Me Back Through the Darkness: "By the time I entered high school, I was a hardcore atheist. I quoted Richard Dawkins in papers of mine, and read religion message boards just so I could get in arguments with Christians. I was entirely certain that I was correct, that the notion of God, or any God, was impossible. At the same time, the message boards exposed me to many other religious traditions.... If there is one thing I’ve learned from my experiences of the past few years, it’s the importance of humility. Pride comes so easily to us..." Victory in Christ
Chilean engineer gives miners sermons, music: "...trapped miners in Chile [were] listening to recordings of sermons, Bible studies and Christian music a half-mile underground, thanks to the efforts of Chilean engineer Igor Bravo. Bravo has been part of the rescue efforts for 33 trapped miners in northern Chile for weeks....
"I had to help in some Christian way,' Bravo said.... A partial collapse blocked the mine Aug. 5, leaving the miners trapped in a living room-sized chamber for more than two months." See Seeking God
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Part 1: Nazi Religion versus "Religionless" Faith: "Bonhoeffer has been vilified by conservative pastors while celebrated by liberal church leaders. Why?
"Both sides of the church spectrum have focused on a phrase Bonhoeffer used in his personal letters: 'religionless Christianity.' Both sides claim that he pushed social action and frowned on 'religion.' Both misunderstood his message!" See Following Jesus and sharing His suffering
Facing the Unexpected: "What will we do if things don't make sense to us? Will we become offended with God and abandon our faith? There was a time when many of Jesus' followers became offended with Him and left Him. The twelve Apostles were troubled, but they were loyal and remained.
"But 'from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus to the twelve, 'Will you also go away?' Then Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.'"
From Pride to Humility to Restoration: "Losses and adversities are frequently the means that the Great Shepherd uses to bring home His wandering sheep."
Worldviews of "Christians": "78% of Americans call themselves Christians. That sounds good until you ask what they mean by 'Christian.' According to a 2009 Barna poll, only nine percent of Americans have a Biblical worldview. Among Americans who call themselves born-again Christians, only 19 percent have a Biblical worldview. Among young American adults (ages 18 to 23) only one-half of one percent have a Biblical worldview....
"...our nation is literally forgetting God. Look at what Jeremiah says about people who forsake or forget God: '...My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:11-13)
The School of Joyful Endurance:
"Endurance is hardly a popular topic these days. Troubling times sow anxiety,
not peace. But that's all the more reason to welcome God's training in victorious
faith. For when we smile to Him -- even as we cry out in our deepest struggles
-- He will surely provide the strength we need to follow Him....
"In this time of rapid change, such training in endurance is priceless. America's trusted Constitutional 'rights' and freedoms are fading away, eroded by a corrupting quest for amoral license and unbiblical unity. Missing are the old certainties.... No part of this transformation is more ominous than the shift in faith and values."
The Victory of the Cross: "Few would have guessed that George Muller, a Prussian boy with a bent for trouble, would one day trust God to meet the daily needs of thousands of orphans. His early life showed no signs of such faith. Born in 1805, he made little effort to resist the temptations he faced during his first twenty years. He stole, lied, cheated, used forgery to prosper, and craved immoral thrills. Later he wrote in his diary: 'At the age of sixteen I became an inmate of a prison, dwelling with thieves and murderers.'" See Sharing His suffering
The Pursuit of God by Tozer, Chapter 9: Meekness and Rest: "A fairly accurate description of the human race might be furnished one unacquainted with it by taking the Beatitudes, turning them wrong side out and saying, `Here is your human race.' For the exact opposite of the virtues in the Beatitudes are the very qualities which distinguish human life and conduct....
vInstead of poverty of spirit we find the rankest kind of pride;
vinstead of mourners we find pleasure seekers; instead of meekness, arrogance;
vinstead of hunger after righteousness we hear men saying, `I am rich and... need of nothing';
vinstead of mercy we find cruelty;
vinstead of purity of heart, corrupt imaginings...
Into a world like this the sound of Jesus' words comes wonderful and strange Jesus says, "Come unto me, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew.11:28-29
Unanticipated Benefits of Sufferings: "If we could choose for ourselves, we would escape trials and tribulations. This is not always God's will for us, however. Despite our best-laid plans for survival and sustenance, God can override us. We may find ourselves in a situation of persecution so fierce and unrelenting that there is no escape. So what could be the possible benefit to us - and to others - should the Lord require this of us?" See Suffering
The Desperate Cry of Robinson Crusoe:
"Robinson Crusoe has been shipwrecked. Sick, feverish and miserable, he is left
on the desert island alone. He has no one to help him—none even to bring him
a drink of cold water. Accustomed to sin, he had all the vices of a sailor;
but his troubles now prompt him to seek help from the God he had ignored....
He finds a Bible in a rescued chest, and he sees this passage: 'Call upon Me
in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.'...
"Daniel Defoe, who wrote the story, was a Presbyterian minister; and though not overdone with spirituality, he knew enough of religion to be able to describe very vividly the experience of a man who is in despair...."
The song that silenced the cappuccino
machine: "After the tune
was over, she approached me. 'I apologize for singing along on that song. Did
it bother you?' she asked.
'No,' I replied. 'We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?'
To my delight, she accepted my invitation. 'You choose,' I said....
Do you know any hymns?"
"Hymns? This woman didn't know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns....
".There are so many good ones. You pick one."
"Okay," I replied. "How about 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'?"....
"She slowly nodded her head...straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing. Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
"The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed..."
Job, Suffering and Spiritual Warfare: "With ropes tied around the children's small necks, the officer again promised freedom if only the parents would deny Christ. None were willing to betray their Lord. The children were hanged. The officer then called for a massive steamroller and forced the adults to lie down in its path. The deadly machine soon arrived, and they were given one last chance: 'Deny this Jesus or you will be crushed.' Again they refused. They had already given up their children; there was no turning back....
"Notice the VISIBLE foes in this North Korean drama. They were the blinded puppets of Communism -- indoctrinated in atheism and trained to hate God and His people. Meanwhile, the INVISIBLE foes were the 'spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms'.... Dedicated to the destruction of Biblical faith, they are now generally ignored in our post-modern culture....
"As Pastor Richard Wurmbrand wrote in Tortured For Christ, '...there are no nominal, halfhearted, lukewarm Christians in Russia or China. The price Christians pay is far too great.... Communist persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands.”
Testing the genuineness of our faith: "Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers....
"When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship does not move to its harbor; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven."
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter1:6-7
How blessed we are to know that God reigns in the midst of America's rapid transformation:
The school of suffering: "Most of us need the chastening of affliction. Pain is wonderful revealer. It teaches us many things we never could have known, if we had not been called to endure it. It opens windows through which we see, as we never saw before -- the beautiful things of God's love."
Clothed in Christ, our King. "His armor may or may not protect me against the storms of the world (Matthew 5:45). But it will always protect me against the assaults of Satan, whose arrows use the circumstances of the world to crush and destroy far more than could any storm.
"In other words, God may not take me out of my circumstances, but He will bring victory in the midst of the trial. He will protect me against discouragement, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness-all the destructive emotions and thought patterns that rise up inside to disturb my peace, deny my resources in Christ, and quench my joy in Him."
Outside the Camp: "Jesus, bearing His cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was 'not of the world.' His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was separate from sinners. In like manner Christ’s people must 'go out to Him.'”
His Strength in My Weakness: "I know that God is in control, and that nothing takes Him by surprise...
"...an old friend came by to visit. He had been so impacted by The Shack that he couldn't stop talking about it.... When I mentioned theological problems with the book, he ignored what I said, and kept on talking about how 'wonderful' the book was. I went through a combination of shock, disbelief, and grief... and concern about the spiritual health of the church in America."
Our Never-Ending Citizenship: "Faced with unthinkable changes in our government, schools and churches, it helps to remember that we are first and foremost citizens of Heaven. God's Kingdom is not of this world, and neither is our primary citizenship. People can take our worldly goods, but our most important treasures are the ones in Heaven, and nobody can harm those."
Hard Times Ahead: "It’s time to prepare for hard times, my friends. And, if you’re a bible believing, Christ-following Christian, I believe the coming years will be particularly troublesome. I say 'bible-believing, Christ-following Christian' because our degenerating culture has all but stripped the biblical definition of the word 'Christian' from today’s collective conscience so that it has lost much of it’s scriptural meaning, even among many of today’s attending church members. The enemies of Christ have clearly risen to great power in this country and are, even as I write, busy endeavoring finish off what remains of the church for the purpose of replacing it with a god and religion more suitable for global government....
"When our Constitution and Bill of Rights are completely discarded for the New World Order, there will be no going back to the way things were. There will only be the Word of God to edify, encourage, inspire and sustain us through the hard times ahead. Those who understand and appreciate the power of that Word know very well what I’m talking about. Those who don’t will ignore it at their own peril because to them, it is foolishness..." See Ban Truth - Reap Tyranny
Be Encouraged! "When all seems lost and hope is gone, don't you believe it! That's the time our Lord shows us some of His greatest work! And when we're close to despair -- throwing up our hands at the magnitude of [freedom-quenching] "change" here in America -- let's remember what God is doing in Iran and Sudan! ... While many pastors and lay people have been arrested, beaten and killed for their faith, His church continues to grow. In the Sudan, there are not enough pastors to keep up with the demand.... Will Americans experience persecution? See The Hand of God in History
Land of Disenchantment: "I had waited prayerfully for nearly nine years to get a message through to the outside world.... [Finally some of the prisoners] had been given permission to write home, one of the small concessions that had emerged after the bloody strikes of the previous year. I sent out an odd postcard indeed: it was signed with another man’s name, addressed to someone I had called 'uncle' as a child, and referred to myself as 'the noble nephew.' But it served its purpose, eventually reaching my father who identified my handwriting and at last had proof to show to the State Department authorities at home." See Abiding in Christ
To Live is Christ: "As he slowly came around, his eyes adjusted to the smoke. He cried out for his pastor, but no one answered. Horrified, he quickly began digging his way out of the pile of flesh and rubble. That morning, he had been among a group of 190 North Korean believers when the police stormed in, rounded them up, and harshly marched them to the town center...."
I Found God in Soviet Russia: The Trial of Unanswered Prayer: "As Easter Day came, in 1954, my situation seemed more desperate than at any time since the day of my arrest. Once again, I could feel my body being destroyed by overwork and malnutrition. Every bone ached with agony. I had served less than four years in Vorkuta and eleven years of my sentence still stretched endlessly before me! My constant prayers had the same tenor as a stanza of that great hymn of George Croly’s, 'Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart':"
Teach me to trust that Thou art always nigh,
Teach me the struggle of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Elderly woman witnesses to man trying to rob her: Video -- A wonderful story
I Found God in Soviet Russia: An Unexpected Opportunity: "Step by step, God’s plan in sending me to Russia was unfolding.... My own faith had been tested again and again; I had experienced what I had come to accept as miracles; I had found among the slave laborers a vast yearning for God....
"...I had been at Vorkuta for two and a half years. For the first fourteen months, I had pushed the cars of slate [in the freezing arctic climate]. Then in January, 1952... I was assigned to the mine transportation brigade.... One day I saw a switch break open.... Praying desperately, I reached back and forth, keeping that switch closed while thirty cars passed over it. A slip of a fraction of a second and I would have had my fingers severed or been crushed by a derailed car. After such narrow escapes as that, I felt more certain than ever that the hand of God must be protecting me or I could not have survived unscathed....
"Anyone who wants to understand the religious situation in Russia today [written in 1959] must try first to realize what happens to people under a government which for more than four decades has denied that God exists, has taught its children that Christianity is an old-fashioned superstition no longer acceptable to progressive scientific minds, and has set up the immediate, expedient objectives of the State as the only standard of morality." SeePurging the Memory of our Christian Roots
I Found God in Soviet Russia: Into the Land of the Godless: "'My God, my God GOD, why hast Thou forsaken me?' During that terrible journey into the Soviet Arctic in the sealed and crowded Stolopinskis (railway cars hideously designed for prisoner transportation), those words came often to my mind. There was comfort in them, knowing that Our Lord, too, had undergone complete despair. They are perhaps the most compassionate words He ever said, embracing as they do all men’s agony.
"Later, even while that journey lasted, I could say those other words which follow: 'Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.' For me this did not promise death; I was supposed to go on living until this unspeakable ordeal was completed and I could give my witness....
"It was August when the trip began, October when we finally reached Vorkuta, the slave-labor camp [described in Solzhenitsyn's book, The Gulag Archipelago], which was our destination, a name more to be feared than any other..."
I Found God in Soviet Russia -- 9: Witness for Christ: "Many a missionary would have traveled thousands of into far and unknown lands to find so hungry a flock of lost sheep. But no missionary could have come to this area, the center of a communist concentration camp. There we were by the grace of God and we endeavored to make our witness for Christ as effective as was possible.... During the latter part of 1946 and the part of 1947 we had only one thing in abundance -- time."
I Found God in Soviet Russia Chapter 5: The Miracle of Bread: "The power of prayer is demonstrated most strikingly in the hour of greatest need. ...On the morning of August 2 , when the second period of withdrawal of food began in Dresden Prison, my body was already run down from lack of proper nourishment during the previous month. The hunger pains I suffered were excruciating. ... I would have eaten anything that was brought to me, but at each mealtime my bowl was filled only with water.
"No sooner had our noon 'meal' of warm water been brought that day than a terrible clatter, an uproar broke out through the prison..... Among the rebellious prisoners was a German communist leader who had already incurred the displeasure of his Russian masters.... All his life this man had worked for the communist revolutions. Now he was already harvesting the fruits of Marxism.... He had denied God for years: he had hated religion.... But the greatest punishment of an atheist is to be cut off from God... he could not seek strength or solace through faith." See Pray for one another
I Found God in Soviet Russia (Introduction): "During the decade I spent in communist prisons and labor camps I saw many terrible things. I also saw some glorious ones. ...secret worship services were held and converts won for Christ even in Vorkuta itself, one of the slave-labor camps in the Soviet Arctic.
"...there is deep interest in the Christian religion among both groups. In spite of their forty-year exposure to official atheism, or perhaps because of it, they hunger for the spiritual values they have been denied.
"This evidence I am able to bring back to the free world, and through it the glorious tidings of a faith that cannot be killed. I have seen Christianity under the most terrible persecution it has suffered since the days of Nero, and I have seen abundant proof that faith in Christ, the Saviour, is still alive in Russia today in the very places where the Communists have tried hardest to stamp it out, the concentration camps." See Endurance with Joy
The Way of the Cross: "Instead of returning in penitence to God, and relying upon Him in the time of their threatened trouble, [ancient Israel] sought to accomplish an expensive and profitless alliance with Egypt... It was not alliance they needed... but reliance; for 'Thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not.'...
"The great sin of man has always been in this direction, a preference of his own will to the will of God; a preference of his own inclinations for God’s obligations. It is the sin of the Church today, and the explanation of her enfeebled and pitiable position in the eyes of the world."
The author of this precious little book died in 1925! Human nature doesn't change, does it?
In Their Own Words: "We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony...." (William Bradford) "We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that -- 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that built it.' I firmly believe this." (Benjamin Franklin) "What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ." (George Washington)
Searching: My journey through doubt
into faith (1959):
"...the high soul climbs
the high way, and the low soul gropes the low.
And in between, on the misty flats, the rest drift to and fro...."
"I did not know that I had stepped down to The Misty Flats. I was just conscious of a sudden pleasant freedom from old duties. If there was no God, why bother to go to church on Sunday, for instance?... It was a popular thing to be on The Misty Flats: you had plenty of company. And one was respected as being modern and intelligent to question the old faiths. Life drifted along so pleasantly—for a while." See Seeking God
John Owen Quotes: "Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers."
"If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation. Let this be one aspect of our daily intercession: 'God, preserve my soul, and keep my heart and all its ways so that I will not be entangled.' When this is true in our lives, a passing temptation will not overcome us. We will remain free while others lie in bondage."
Elderly woman witnesses to man trying to rob her: Be encouraged by this special video.
God's Sovereignty: "...if all things are put under Jesus' feet, there cannot be a single circumstance over which He has not supreme control. Everything in providence and everything in grace are alike subject to His disposal. There is not a trial, a temptation, an affliction of body or soul... which is not put under Jesus' feet. He can manage them... and direct them for our good and His own glory."
A Mother's Prayers: "Dhanjoy had grown up among people whose only hope in life was to appease the anger of evil spirits. He was a mischievous boy, and he fought with his father and brother. He would even grab and pull his mother's hair or throw his sandal into the food she was cooking. Meena desperately wanted her son to grow up knowing the love of Jesus, and she prayed for him often.... Now, Dhanjoy is a Bible college graduate serving the Lord full-time in the mountainous Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He has faced opposition several times from anti-Christian groups, but he continues faithfully. Dhanjoy asks for prayer that many people will receive salvation through his ministry." See Perseverance
"Our task is ... to be light in a dark world where people's natural inclination is to hate Jesus because they don't want God intruding in their lives."(David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus, February 2008 newsletter)
An urgent call for prayer -- Gaza Christians: "Worship services at Gaza Baptist Church now includes no more than 10 or 15 believers who are willing to risk publicly attending the only evangelical church in all of the Gaza Strip. ...there is a tiny group of believers who are living out their faith." See Prayer
Lord of the Valleys: "When we are entrenched by the forces of the enemy—people who would cut us down, situations which would destroy us, or tragedy which would shake our faith—victory depends on who is our king. Is it Benhadad [king of Syria, 1 Kings 20:23], who saw only the God of the hills? Or have we enlisted in the army of the King of kings, knowing that in whatever valley we find ourselves, the battle is His! And we are more than conquerors through Christ!" See Victory in Christ
God holds the key. "I had gone to China with a heart’s desire to serve Christ to the uttermost. To me there was little or no sacrifice in this. I wanted to do this more than anything else in the world. I felt no possibility of retraction. Others might fail but I would not. Others drop from the ranks but I would be loyal....
"I become a prisoner of the Communist army. It is now a question of indefinite
solitary confinement. After days and days alone I am taken out by a young official
and he talks to me seriously about the question of execution....
"'Wilt thou lay
down thy life for My sake? Wilt thou...?’"
Standing firm: "...you came to a crisis when you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit that all was right, but the weeks have gone by, and the years maybe, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion, ‘Well, after all, was I not a bit too pretentious? Was I not taking a stand a bit too high?’" See Called to Total Commitment
William Carey - Cast down but not in despair: "On March 11, 1812, Carey was teaching in Calcutta. While he was gone, a fire started in the printing room.... Despite many hours of exhaustive efforts to fight the fire, the building burned to the ground. Just five pieces of equipment were saved. Carey’s entire library, his completed Sanskrit dictionary, part of his Bengal dictionary, two grammar books, and ten translations of the Bible were lost. Gone also were the type sets for printing fourteen different languages."
Encouraging Poems.Don't Quit
A Rising Chorus: "Today, inside one of the world's most repressive societies, a growing number are turning to the Man from Galilee.... The men and women at the secret meeting spend the next several hours singing and praying. ...most of the people at the meeting converted to Christianity from Islam. And in a country governed by Islamic law, and whose population is 99-percent Muslim, such conversions carry the death penalty....
"CBN News: Are you scared? Leila: No. If it was through my own strength, of course I would be scared. But I have the Holy Spirit inside me, and He gives me the strength not to be afraid.... I meet so many students who are hungry to believe in something. My burden is to share Christ with them." See True Stories for Children
Fighting Giants on His Knees: "From the moment Gospel for Asia missionary Mitul Harjit stepped into the remote village in Jharkhand, India, the animists who lived there tried to cast spells against him.
"Mitul prayed, trusting the Lord to protect him from their incantations. He pressed on, sharing the Gospel and interceding daily for the village.
"The villagers, however, did not like Mitul and pressured his landlord to evict him. Sensing that he might put the landlord in danger, Mitul moved away from the village. On the day Mitul moved, snakes infiltrated many villagers’ homes. The animist villagers believed that the snakes were sent by evil spirits. The problem increased until finally the villagers realized that Mitul’s prayers had been protecting them. “We have done wrong! Please forgive us, and come pray for us,” the villagers begged Mitul.
"He returned, God answered his prayers, and the snakes left the village." See Victory in Christ
Missionaries Go From East to West: "A hundred years ago, American and European Christians streamed into the region to convert the Chinese and Koreans. During the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901) in China, foreign missionaries were targeted and in many cases killed.... The example set by the missionaries (mostly American and British) who came to work in Korea is still a recent memory. Like its neighbors China and Japan, the Korean peninsula was traditionally influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism...." See Missionaries to a lost world