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What a fun time Godstock was! I am so thankful that God allowed this event to take place. I’m also thankful for the leadership there who were happy to accommodate VOM by setting up a table (right in the front I might add! 😉 for me. There was a lot work that went into this festival and I anticipate their hard work will pay off to God’s glory, I really believe that. The photo I posted is a little low in quality since it came from my phone, but hopefully you can see it ok…

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Bibles were given out, beautiful music was being played, lots of smiles everywhere. Vendor booths with hand-made crafts, good smelling food (I was downstream as it were and my mouth watered the whole time!), it was really fun. I was able to make quite a few contacts, and a lot of people took newsletters. Some were surprised to even see a ministry like VOM. They did not know that there is a part of the Body of Christ that does not have the freedom to own a Bible openly, or that they do not have the ability to attend a true Bible believing church, therefore having to attend an “underground” house church in secret, or that they could go, or are currently, in prison for the name of Christ.

Some people realized perhaps for the first time how much peace and comfort American/“Western” Christians have in that we are tremendously blessed to worship Jesus Christ freely! This resulted in me hearing the word, “Wow” quite a bit and I was so blessed to be the one to tell them and ask for their prayers.

 I’ll admit that in the beginning of all this, I didn’t really know what I was doing! I worked diligently at maintaining a neat and orderly table and subconsciously prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words as people came along. Of course, He was faithful as He always is and I was thrilled when a few conversations turned to how wonderful it is for Christians here in America to be able to share the Gospel without fear of persecution. For the most part as we all know, this country is in a lot of trouble spiritually, morally, economically, socially and politically. Depending on who you talk to, discussions can get very heated about all that is going on. But that didn’t happen here.

With some people, you could tell by the look in their eyes that they were reasoning within themselves which eventually bubbled over and spilled out into conveying how blessed we are to have the freedom we do! When you take a step back and realize that there are people who actually suffer for the things most of us take for granted, that is a whole different mindset! And it seemed to happen right before my eyes. I got to witness a sudden realization, almost an awakening if you will, and that has never happened to me before. And yes, the awakening came in that little word- Wow.

Sadly, a lot of Christians today are so caught up with what’s going on (and I’m no exception some of the time!) they are neglecting to set their affection on heavenly things. Don’t let the earthy, worldly climate of the nation deter you from your calling. Walk worthy of your vocation as commanded in Ephesians and while you are at it, get an understanding that walking worthy in some places of the world comes at a high price. The point I’m driving at is most of the persecuted church today realize there is nothing in this world worth living for, other than to tell others about Jesus. Because they know this world is not their home, it is not permanent and how we are all strangers and pilgrims looking for a city, a city God has made.

Heb. 11:16 – “But now they [those who put their faith in Jesus] desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

So to those who are: 

Troubled on every side, yet not distressed;

Perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken;

Cast down, but not destroyed;

 

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake…

(The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth, chap. 4, vs. 8-11a)

(Photo taken from VOM's Special Newsletter, 2010)

To those are on the run, cornered in on every side from danger, have lost a spouse, child or parent for the cause of Christ, don’t give up. God says that He is preparing a place for you. I believe Him (truth be told, it doesn’t matter if I believe Him or not, He cannot deny Himself) and I believe that He is your very present help in a time of trouble. We here in the states do not know what you are going through, but we are endeavoring to remember your affliction for His Name. I am laboring to be your voice, I am asking for prayer for you, I am seeking those whose eyes need to be opened to your plight, I am calling out for the Gospel to be furthered in us all. Mostly, in every circumstance I am purely seeking God’s ultimate glory through you, and through us. And none of what I am doing is possible without Him.

My prayers for opportunities have now come in His perfect timing and He is proven over and over again how faithful He is. Although I got impatient at times, I know that everything works out according to His purposes. There were moments where I questioned my involvement with this ministry because it seemed as if nothing would ever happen.

Nevertheless, what I couldn’t get past after much self-examination was my tears. Holding myself up to scripture was what kept me on the journey, the scrutiny of my heart and how I felt about those who were hurting for Jesus told me that I must keep going; to just keep waiting until God opened a door. To put it simply and bluntly, Jesus cares about the persecuted, and so do I. In fact, I care greatly. Actually, He cares more than I ever could and since I knew that I was desiring to carry out His will it means that if I ask anything according to it, He would give me what I asked for. And I praise Him today so much because of how He is answering my prayers for them.

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My utmost goal for you is to consistently and continually stir you up into praying for the persecuted. Your hearts need to grow for those who are hurting for our Lord, as does mine. You have tremendous capacity and ability to help me in this work. Even the basest, yet most powerful way of co-laboring, should be in prayer for them. They are worth your time. JESUS is worth it. Ask Him tonight what His will is for you regarding the persecuted church- He will answer.

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In the future, I’ll probably post less on the meetings and work more on covering stories of current day martyrs and persecution. I have been planning on building up a recommended reading list, so look forward to that sometime soon. But before I go, I want to throw in a couple tips for any other area reps who may be reading this, or are new and don’t have much experience (not that I have much, but everything is a learning experience!). These are just little helpful hints that I learned today.

If you have been allowed to set up at table and display materials for VOM at an outdoor event, here are some tips. 

  • Even if you’ve been assured a table, try to bring an extra table from home anyway. I almost didn’t get one because someone forgot to tell me I needed to bring it! Its just better to have it with you in case of an emergency, that way you are not without.
  • Don’t forget tape and extra pens. Pens for signing up people for newsletters, and tape so you can tape up global maps or posters advertising for action packs.
  • I have found that carrying everything; all the literature, books, newsletters, business cards, table covering in a big suitcase is helpful. You can just open up the case and start laying it out on the table. It’s more organized!
  • This is a biggie: wind can be a problem! Bring paperweights- could be anything heavy that is small and looks presentable, but not too sentimental in the event is flies off the table and breaks!
  • Make a small sign that reads, “FREE” and put it by the newsletters and program information packets. There were vendors there who were selling goods and I felt like people were passing me by because they thought *everything* I had was for sale, which wasn’t true. I constantly felt like I was trying woo people to the table by telling them most of my stuff was free when I could have saved my voice and had more people stop by if I just had a sign.
  • Having a global poster map in plain view was extremely helpful. It gave everyone an immediate view of exactly how many countries are either restricted or hostile. I don’t think many people know just how much of the world is against Christianity, so it was nice to have in plain view and be able to explain.

 

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In closing, I want to leave on this note in the event I’m not able to post again. I say this because no person is promised tomorrow, we’re not even promised another hour. So for those who don’t know Jesus Christ personally; listen to me, this world can dissolve into powder, this world can fall off its axis, this world could burn into vapor, but if you don’t know HIM you have a much bigger problem to worry about than what happens currently in “this world”. And if you’re living for it, you’re a fool! I love you, but you’re caring more about the temporal than the eternal at the detriment of your very soul. Do not trifle with your soul. Literal saving faith is so much more than simple intellectual assent. What I mean by that is anyone can just believe in God, but guess what? So do the demons; in fact, they tremble (looks like they appear to have a leg up on most of us!).

The reality is you can know the Truth, it is within your grasp. There are those who are willing to suffer and die for it its that important… Don’t harden your hearts, but listen closely to what the afflicted for Christ can share with you. Open yourself up enough to know what True Love really is:

 

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. –Isaiah 32:2

 

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. –2 Peter 3:18

 

Until the Lord allows the next post-

Yours In Christ,

Joy

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A week or two ago, I received an email on CFC events possibly going on in my area. The email went out asking if there were any volunteers and I was naturally interested since I have yet to establish a speaking engagement. This particular event would have been for training in the area of how to promote VOM as a charity, of which I was really eager to know all about.

Unfortunately after getting the details in order and mapping it all out, the event was cancelled. So that is my bad news. But its really not that bad since most likely there will be another event in the future.

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The good news is that I will finally be

speaking at my church!

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On behalf of the persecuted, I will present VOM to our Juniors on Sept. 12th. These will be children ranging from 5-13 which means I will have to rearrange my message a little bit to gear it towards a younger audience, but that shouldn’t be a problem. VOM’s Kids of Courage newsletter will be a great help to me and it will be my resource throughout.

I’m really excited about this, so please pray that my words will not be my own, but will be the Holy Spirit’s. My fervent prayer is that the children’s hearts will blossom open and envelop our hurting brothers and sisters in restricted/hostile nations much to the glory of our Father in Heaven. I firmly believe that the prayers of children often hold more power than those of some adults, I really do.

I’m going to go onto VOM’s web site to schedule the meeting. If you are in the White Lake/Waterford/Highland/Pontiac area, feel free to drop in!

Place: Oxbow Baptist, White Lake, MI
Time: Sept. 12th, 11am

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Once the meeting is held, I will post the results. Stay tuned!

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I have a sinking feeling that I’m going to be held accountable for what I’ve written in Part 1 from 7-13.

Ultimately I am responsible for the words, therefore I must live by them, correct? The old adage that says, ‘practice what you preach’ is creeping into my mind like a sneaky little rat. Or, maybe I’m just over-exaggerating and the Holy Spirit is simply suggesting that I clear a few things up!

Either way, as I sit here tonight I’m asking if I’ve done damage to the word, “suffer” or the word, “suffering“ in the eyes of my readers. I’m tossing this idea around that maybe I should have substituted it with the word, “persecution” instead. Why?

Because the definition of what constitutes suffering is in the eye of the beholder. 

Sunday morning, my pastor preached on suffering as a tool used by God to either; a) mature us, or b) discipline us (what are the odds he would preach on something I wrote about only a few days earlier. Not coincidence, but providence!). The book of first Peter was used a lot (as you can imagine). The pastor wondered out loud how many congregants there that morning were possibly suffering from financial difficulties… Or, in other words, how many of us in the pews were suffering over how our bills were going to be paid?

After hearing about the Nigerian massacre back in March, I have a real hard time with those who claim to suffer over finances. Now, there were more topics preached than just suffering over finances, but I have to ask: 1) is what I’m feeling righteous indignation and, 2) is it appropriate? I genuinely ask because I have a sense of conviction typing this right now. Could it be the enemy, or am I just flat-out wrong? Somebody help me, here. In some sick sense I know all about struggling financially; I’ve been poor by America’s standards just about all my life (I live in a trailer for crying out loud!).

And I’m not here to speak negatively in any way, shape or form about my church or its leadership. Please don’t think that because they have been there for me when no one else was. They never forgot about me, they have prayed for me many, many years. It’s the enemy that can take all the credit for wrapping those poor souls into believing LIES about our Heavenly Father. When you worry about how you will pay your light bill, or how your rent is going to get paid, get these verses sunk into the depths of your heart:

Jesus uses some strong phrases here that require obedience if you follow Him:

Matt. 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (or money).

25: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26: Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30: Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32: (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 

I’m not a betting person, but I’ll lay a dime to a donut that the persecuted church lives off of these verses. It really is the air they breathe every single day. And to say we here in the states can struggle over finances or even material things smacks of disobedience to me. I don’t believe Jesus ever promises us cars or electricity or even a dwelling place:

Mt:8:19-20: 19: “And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” 

Basically, I believe Jesus is saying, “You can follow me, but I’m homeless. Are you prepared to face the same?

There may be those who disagree with me and what I am saying about these verses, however you can’t argue the fact that Jesus said had nowhere to lay His head that night. As far as I know throughout scripture, Jesus stayed with people or lodged in their homes as He did not have his own dwelling place.

We in America are living within the richest nation on earth. In fact, I read in a book (David Platt’s, Radical) that if you have your own dwelling place, a car, a refrigerator of food and a closet of clothes, you are 83% wealthier than the entire WORLD (I’ll get a more accurate quote when I get the book back- it’s loaned out to someone right now). Can you picture that? EIGHTY-THREE PERCENT of the earth’s population does not have what you have and unless you have a heart of stone, that is incredible! And until we experience the suffering the Nigerian Christians did, the loss of precious children and babies all because of their witness, I don’t think we can say we know anything.

Next on the agenda that I quickly want to touch on is our physical health. Our church prayer list has many people on it, greatly suffering with pain and terminal cancer. There are some very Godly people riddled with pain there, eagerly anticipating their heavenly homecoming because their time on this planet is limited. Many people on the list are more than just a name to me, including my husband’s grandmother who is very, very sick right now. Am I saying that their suffering shouldn‘t be recognized? Absolutely not, God forbid! Please know that in my heart I would never want to even touch that type of topic with intolerance or frustration. The thought makes me queasy!

The whole point that I was trying to make in the blog was that suffering for being a Christian specifically, is a whole other ballpark on a whole different planet. You will see below in what I’m going to tell you that counterfeit suffering for being a Christian does exist. It is with great regret that I didn’t include this in my last blog to further enlightened the audience as to where I was coming from.

I remember reading this article I’m about to talk on quite a few years ago and it has always remained with me. The article was about a woman who was high up in the ranks of her denomination as she had racked up some type of influence, and she was lamenting over how much she was suffering because of her religion. Why was she suffering? Because she was too knowledgeable about the Bible. Apparently, she was considered an “outcast” because she was so smart and no one wanted anything to do with her. Her spiritual family had labeled her a black sheep and now she was crushed.

I won’t go into what denomination she was because that is not important. Come to think on it, I don’t even remember where I read it. The important issue that remained all these years what that she was glorifying her intellect and not the person of Jesus Christ. And I’m thinking in my mind, if you are that smart about the bible wouldn’t you know this? Wouldn’t you know that you are to glorify Him, and Him alone? Unfortunately, the answer to those questions is found in 1 Cor. 2:14. If she didn’t have the Holy Spirit within her illuminating the scriptures the sad reality is she wouldn’t have known these things.

1 Cor. 2:14 – “But the natural man (the unregenerate man) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

I don’t believe the scriptures were foolish to this woman, I believe she didn’t know them because she was spiritually blind. Most of all, I think we can be confident of this:

  • There was no glory given to the Creator,
  • There was no furtherance of the Gospel, and 
  • No person received the plan of salvation.

Therefore, her suffering was counterfeit. And I’m not saying these three things are pre-requisites, but you know what I mean. She glorified her pain and the tragedy of having a big brain (or not-so-big brain depending on your point of view) and not the person of our precious Lord.

That’s the difference.

 

Well, that’s all. Thanks for letting me ramble.

Yours In Christ,

Joy

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How many of us in America know what it is to suffer? How many of us have had our cars break down- only to throw our arms up in the air and shout, “Why me, Lord?!”

Is this suffering?

Maybe someone at the office doesn’t like us much, maybe we have a boss that picks on us, maybe it’s a neighbor who goes out of their way to make our lives a living hell. Does this constitute suffering in the eyes of Almighty God? 

                  I believe many of us sleeping in our cozy cotton beds at night have no idea what suffering is. I believe many of us are confused over what constitutes real suffering and what does not. Counterfeit suffering glorifies the created, whereas true suffering glorifies the creator. 

                  We have to be careful to distinguish the truth of true suffering and be diligent to never let it lead to glorifying something other than God. Because this can be very easy to do! Especially when it seems as if the entire world is against a particular person or even a group of people. We are admonished in scripture over and over again to never give glory to a person, or to anything created. Isaiah says “Our righteousness are as filthy rags…” The terms ‘filthy rags’ being likened to menstrual rags (if you can believe that) and as fallen human beings, there is no one righteous, no not one. 

                  So, how does a sinful human being become glorified, or worthy of glory? When our eyes are not focused on Jesus Christ, or in other words when it is counterfeit (and I will come back to this statement a few paragraphs down). The dictionary defines counterfeit as,

“Forged or fraudulent- an imitation. To make a copy with intent of defraud; to practice deception.”

                  When we focus on the glorified suffering of a person, maybe it isn’t always with an intent to defraud, however this can certainly happen. In Christendom, when this does happen, the focal point becomes misdirected or taken away from what is true, and in the end the pure intent of the Gospel is what suffers. And this is tragic. 

                  On Saturday, I finally got to meet my team leaders with VOM, Mr. Ken and Mrs. Nancy (I‘ll leave out their last names for privacy 😉 ). It was a wonderful experience to be able to put faces to the voices! The weather was perfect, the park was beautiful, Miss Nancy made us a delicious lunch and I even got to meet several other couples endeavoring to also ‘remember them in bonds‘ (Heb. 13:3). 

                  Ideas were shared, friendships were developed and sweet fellowship was had by all. It was also relaxing and informative! Ken and Nancy even gave us a book, DVD and CD which is what is leading me to talk about  real vs. fake suffering. Here a group pic!

(From left to right: Dave & Sandy, Nancy & Ken, Kathy & Rod, Bill & Sharon, Me, and Mike & Suzy) 

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                  The book Ken and Nancy gave is called, “Wear The Crown” by Bill Drake and VOM. It has inspiring stories and photos of modern day martyrs and I highly, highly recommend it (someday soon I promise to implement a page of my recommended reading list). I pretty much finished it by that evening after I came home (I just couldn’t wait!). I had tears in my eyes quite a few times as it moved me emotionally in so many ways. I have to say this book was a little bit different than other books on martyrs that I have read in that it followed up after the persecution parts by how God moved during and after these tragedies.

                  We often read stories of martyrs where the believer refuses to deny their faith in Christ, they die and that is the end of the story. We are inclined to say in our hearts, “What faith! If only I could be as strong…” And we never really hear about the furtherance of the Gospel due to their deaths. 

                  In scripture when the apostle Paul was imprisoned he spoke about how the Gospel was furthered because of his bonds (or chains). People were talking! News was being spread like wildfire, just as it does today when we hear stories of persecution. 

                  And this book details aftermaths, if you will, on how God furthers the Gospel through the deaths of these martyrs. People get saved because of what happens and that is the glorifying result of true suffering folks! When a brother or sister is called home violently or tragically because of their witness, or because they refused to deny their faith, and the glory is given to Jesus Christ, there is an outpouring of the Gospel. This is what is true… it is what leads the lost to the Light of the World and that is genuine! 

                  The reason I say this is because when we read these stories, and we shed our tears for the families of the fallen it is so very easy to focus on the pain of earthly loss and not the things of heaven. For, we do not have the vision God does, we cannot see the future and how this will all eventually play out. Thus, our downfall and the turning away of our sight from Jesus Christ. What shame and disobedience! We are commanded in Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  

                  There was one couple documented in this book that gave me the idea for this post today. I originally wanted to strictly talk about the VOM meeting on Saturday, but the stories in this book whirl-winded me into blogging about the heartbreak of glorifying people and not the person of Jesus Christ (and how easy it is for all of us to do). 

                  The couple I want to share with you felt a calling to the country of Turkey (many of the Apostle Paul‘s missionary journeys were to cities in Turkey). Their names are David and Jenni Goodman. They immersed themselves in the culture; dressing, cooking, speaking the language, everything Turkish, all to shine the light of the Gospel to the people of this country; basically to introduce as many as they could to Jesus Christ in a mostly muslim populated land. 

                  After around 2 years of living in Turkey in June 1977, just a few weeks before Jenni gave birth to their first child, David was shot point blank up to 5 times one morning when he answered a knock at the door. This is what is stated in the last couple paragraphs of their story and it is what caught my full attention and had to read it a couple times: 

“It is good that David and Jenni’s story can finally be related, although if its purpose is to draw attention to them and their testimonies, neither of them would want it told.

The only benefit in it is to point people to God, to give glory to Him, and to raise up workers for His Kingdom.

“If the telling of this story can cause more people to pray or go, then it is of value,” says Jenni. “But if it is just to glorify a man, then it is of no value.”

                  Wow. What an incredible statement. There were many things that happened because of David’s death, which are too long to document here, but one touching follow-up is David’s well-tended tombstone in a non-muslim part of a Turkish graveyard that will be seen by untold amount of people. It says,

D. David Goodman. Follower of Jesus.
But as for you, be strong and do not give up,
for your work will be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7

 

                  David gave his life for the sake of the Gospel as a follower of Jesus. Was he aware of the danger? I’m sure he was. Did he know he could lose his life? I’m sure he did. But the bottom line for all of us followers of Christ is that we have already died… and even so,  we ALWAYS have a tomorrow whether that be on earth or immediate transportation into the presence of our Lord through the death of our bodies. This is the crux of the matter for all missionaries whether they travel to foreign lands or travel across the street.

Col. 3:3 – For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

 

Let us all, in everything we do, give glory to the only man worthy of it… Jesus Christ.

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                  Before I go, I want to ask for prayers. Our 5-Day Club will begin next Monday, the 20th. This is a vacation-type Bible school that will go on in my neighborhood. There will be games, prizes, Bible stories, Bibles given out, and most of all the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ will be preached. Please pray that it would be fruitful more than anything. A lot of neighborhood kids in the park came last year, and although my park had the most of all the groups in our church, we are praying for more this year. Also, please pray for protection as well. Thank you all, love you! 

John 20:31 –  But these (words) are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

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May God bless you all,

Yours In Christ,

Joy

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Reporting from ChinaAid:

ChinaAid recently received another report from inside sources in China that Gao Zhisheng has been severely beaten by authorities. The report stated his current living condition is worse than death and that Gao is crying daily in pain and desperation.

The Chinese government has responded to the increased worldwide pressure for Gao Zhisheng’s release by cutting off communication with two of Gao’s siblings living in China and placing them under police surveillance.

In a November 26th interview with Radio Free Asia, Gao’s brother, Gao Zhiyi, stated, “For every question, there are three unknowns. No one knows anything. They won’t talk to us and they won’t meet with us… Even if Gao Zhisheng had committed a terrible crime, his family would still have the right to know what had happened to him!”

On Saturday, December 5th, Gao’s older brother (Zhiyi) and sister lost all communication contact when their phone lines were disabled, following the release of the RFA interview.

Now more than ever, Gao Zhisheng needs our help!

In a recent visit to Washington, D.C., ChinaAid met with several leading congressmen who have been moved by their constituents (those like you) telling Gao’s story – and they have proposed a Congressional Resolution on Gao Zhisheng’s behalf. Our American leaders have begun to listen, and with more voices, we can make that resolution a reality!

So far, 5,284 people have contacted their local U.S. Representative to speak out on behalf of Gao Zhisheng. Continue to add your voice! We have to keep the momentum going on behalf of this innocent man who himself was a defender of the persecuted.

Please take action now.

1) Encourage others to Sign the Petition to Free Gao Zhisheng. You can forward this email to all your friends.

2) Email your U.S. Representative. Even if you have already done this, you can do it again with the updated information. Encourage your friends to do likewise. Learn more about contacting your U.S. Representative

3) Join ChinaAid in fighting for prisoners of conscience like Gao Zhisheng throughout China with your financial support. Make a monthly or one time contribution now.

We thank you for your support of ChinaAid, and urge you to continue spreading the word. Gao’s story is gathering force in Washington, DC. With your help, our leaders will know that we concerned American citizens will not rest until Gao Zhisheng and his family are free to enjoy their fundamental human rights.

For more ways to take action, visit http://www.FreeGao.com.

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Please do what you can. I will be devoting my time today for Gao. If anything, pray for him and his family.

YSIC,
Joy

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0momskidIt is now 1:23pm.

The day has slipped way beyond my fingers, sad to say. I had big plans, but a couple fell through. Like church. I had every intention of going, but my 3rd daughter is getting over a cold, plus the thought of quietly studying God’s Word in the silence of my dining room sounded just too good. So I did. I studied, but I mainly worked on my scripture memorization cards which stole most of my time. Then I was disappointed in myself because I devoted prayer time to several other people and neglected the fact that today is the National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Please, I implore you all. If you can spare 5 minutes of prayer, please do so. Every little bit helps. I have prayed already, and plan to pray again and throughout the entire day.

The disappointment I feel now is due to waking up late, spending what time I did have on my own studies, and now I’m pulled in 10 different directions because of my family. Groceries, promised bike rides, leaf clean up, clothes pick up from a friend, prepping for school, nursing a sick kid, are all time stealers to me now. I feel like I can’t keep my head straight! Plus all the myriad of things I need to keep track of for tomorrow! Argh!

I’m trying to remain focused. In whatever I do today, I pray that it brings glory to Christ. Father, I pray, that you would remember those that are in bonds, that are suffering. Let them feel your presence today above all else. Give them Your love, give them the strength and assurance they need to press toward the prize, to win this race for Your Only Son. No matter the cause, no matter the pain. Please. We boldly approach your throne on their behalf. Lift them up, bless them, shine upon them all. We ask in the precious and mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

This is my prayer today. My heart is with them. My mind tries to wrap around the thoughts of their suffering and tries to imagine it. As I sit and play and have fun in the sunshine, I don’t think I can ever fully appreciate their pain. I am blessed beyond words and sometimes I feel guilty for being so blessed. The only thing I can do now is prepare. To grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior NOW, for the day may come where I can not. And that is what I need to keep in rememberance. There may come a day where we, here, in our comfort may one day face the same sufferings. Are you prepared?

YSIC,

Joy

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I want to bring attention to our brothers and sisters in Christ who do not have the freedoms we do. So many of us, myself included, take for granted the simpleness of grabbing our Bibles and walking out the door to attend our local church.

I do not know how any of us would react should this happen to us as seen in the video below. I pray that you will watch.

And if you feel led, please pray for the individuals that were forced out.

 

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