September 08, 2008

Pray for those who are persecuted.

This is my 601st post.

For those of you on Facebook, you will know what "flair" is, I have created a couple pieces of flair. My latest is a black button, that says "Chuck Norris Wears John McCain Jammies" It is a black button with white writing. It is rising in the ranks, I think it might be the 200,000 most popular button. O.k. 200,000 doesn't sound like much, but considering the button I created for Same Kind of Different as Me is like 1,000,000th, 200,000 is quite an accomplishment. Go...find it, add it, send it, help me rise to 100,000!!

Today is my 2nd class for Christian Spiritual Formation, can't wait. Tomorrow I will post my favorite thing I learned in class today.

Our church service (late service which is called Refresh) yesterday was about the people martyred for Christ, and those being martyred today. I read a wonderful book about modern day martyrs several years ago, it is called Hearts Of Fire, it is so inspirational. I have re-read it many more times. When I read that book or am on the Voices of the Martyr's Website, it grows my faith exponentially and it allows me to be aware for people who live in our world today who are being persecuted for their beliefs. In America it is so "not the in thing" to be a conservative Christian. At times we can feel weary about speaking of our love of Christ for fear of someone thinking we are a Jesus Freak (yes I am a Jesus Freak), or maybe we could be judged harshly because of other "Christians" who have spewed hate and judgement on people of alternative lifestyles and other sinners. Did Jesus ever spew hate? No. He did however have some harsh things to say to the Pharisee's and to the people who were trying to make a profit by using the temple courts as a shopping mall. These "Christians" will never change hearts by their hate and judgement, or at least that is not how my heart changed after I had walked away from Christ's will for me, it was through the faithful love of Christ who called me to Him in His mercy and grace. Love changes things, the love of Jesus transforms. Jesus calls us to love and truth together, one without the other is incomplete.
In our country our faith costs us so little, it is almost taken for granted at times. In persecuted countries, there is nothing taken for granted, you know that if you speak of Christ you could be murdered, many times by your own family members who don't want shame to come on their family. Each of the persecuted Martyrs and each of us were put right where we are, with the family we were born into, the life that surrounds us, each of us were made for such a time as this. Each one of us is called to shine Jesus' light through our eyes and hands to others. We must all run the race together, being mindful and prayerful for each other to not lose our faith, either because it is taken for granted, or because we are afraid of brutality. In Christ Alone We Stand Together United.
I went to the Voices of the Martyr's Website, website today to find a picture of someone who is currently standing up for their faith in Jesus and is being persecuted for it. I found this precious little girl.

To read her story click here.

This awesome young man goes to our church. His name is Serge and he is a running machine at ACU. He lived through the Genocide in Rwanda, and lost his faith because of his experiences. His own church members who were from a different tribe were the one's killing his family and friends. He has been beaten because he wasn't in the "right" tribe. His persecution turned him away from His beliefs, but the love of Jesus and those who Jesus used here on earth to be His hands and feet, hearts and smiles towards Serge brought Serge back to Christ in a renewed way. He plans to go back to Rwanda to help unify and help heal, because he was healed.