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    • By Ragamuffin_John in Ragamusings
      Possessed, possessing,
      free will felt sovereignly. When owned, none owing* in this unity. Convinced by His character within history, as evinced by birth, brotherhood, innocent bloodletting, borrowed tomb birthing a resurrection, His honesty demands I listen to Him, Who, although so caring, is wholly other in view of His holiness,* yet the budding miracle is Jesus did nothing but what Abba said, took guilt and despairing, put two deaths to bed. We have communion with the Son of Man, Who made us his own, bonds apostrophic, Jesus's, Christ's, such mercy, one and the same, we belong to Him, kinship with a King. ______ * We owe Christ our allegiance, but must avoid a earn-our-way approach   ** https://carm.org/dictionary-wholly-other  
    • By David Ettinger in David Ettinger's Blog
      Ignoring the Cries
      Christians in the Middle East are experiencing devastating persecution as Muslim extremists brutalize them with satanic glee. They cry for help from the West, but their cries are ignored. Their cries grow louder each day as they endure horrors Westerners cannot begin to imagine. How do you wrap your brain around the beheading of 5-year-old girls?
      In reply to the desperate cries of the persecuted in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern and African countries, the West’s response can best be described as “piddling” – some food supplies here, some weaponry there, a few shekels distributed among the masses.
      How can the West be so unfeeling toward these innocents who are being mercilessly butchered? We find a clue in a story about the murderous Boko Haram, the menace of Nigeria. We read: “Boko Haram has been waging war on the government since 2009, seeking to drive out all Christians from the country”[1]
      There’s your reason. The war is against Christianity – whose existence is hated and whose people’s lives are of no account – and as far as the world is concerned, this is entirely satisfactory.
      Way Out in the Open
      It used to be that Christian persecution was a “secret” thing. The two primary culprits – the former Soviet Union and China – kept their oppression hidden and safely nestled within their own borders. China, still in the Christian-persecution racket, continues attempts to hide its behavior, but is not having much success.
      In fact, no country which persecutes Christians is having any success hiding its crimes because – with the exception of China and North Korea ­– they have no desire to hide them. In most Muslim and Hindu-dominated nations of the Middle East and Africa, the eradication of Christianity is government policy; it is mandated and encouraged. Christian persecution is not only no longer hidden, but is way out in the open. Visit the websites of such ministries as Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors USA, and Christian Freedom International and you will find detailed accounts and statistics on Christian persecution. There are no more secrets.
      Not only are there no more secrets, but now the gory exploits are splashed all over social media as Boko Haram and ISIS mirthfully display their acts of beheading, rape, and torture for all to see.
      Where is the Compassion?
      Of course, it should be the Arab and African nations which band together to knock out ISIS and Boko Haram since they operate within their borders. However, this will never happen seeing how the brunt of the carnage is inflicted upon Christians. The terrorists will also kill Muslims who get in their way, and this disturbs Muslim leaders, but so long as the focus is on Christians, the Middle Eastern nations won’t stop them. After all, ISIS and Boko Haram are doing their bidding.
      But what about the West? What about compassionate Europe? Why hasn’t the United States – “the world’s policeman” – stepped up? There is little doubt the combined military forces of the U.S. and European Union can destroy both ISIS and Boko Haram in fairly short order. Why haven’t they? After all, this is not a political issue, but a humanitarian one. The terrorists are not slaughtering soldiers, but innocent men, women, and children who have no way to defend themselves. Where is the West?
      The True Reason
      The true reason for the world’s abandonment of Christians is that Christian lives don’t matter. They don’t matter because this is the way Satan wants it.
      The Bible tells us that Satan is the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). God has given Satan authority to wreak havoc on earth. One of his major goals is to destroy God’s people. In His sovereignty, God has permitted Satan to have his way ­– to a point. And the unsaved world is, to one degree or another, in agreement with Satan. Oh sure, the world may not approve of beheading innocents, particularly children, but, like Satan, the majority of the global population is favors ridding the world of Christianity.
      Jesus clearly stated: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:19). The world hates Jesus, and by association Christians, because Jesus – and His followers – “testify … that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7). In other words, the hatred directed toward Christians is perfectly natural; however, as we draw closer to the end of the age, the hatred will heighten, intensify, and result in more violent persecution.
      Christian Lives DO Matter
      To the world, slaughtered believers go silently to their pitiful demises, the victims of that outdated and ignorant way of life known as “Christianity.” However, God sees, hears, and knows all. He knows the anguish of these precious ones who have suffered so greatly. The world does not realize that these dear ones, upon death, are immediately ushered into Heaven.
      Psalm 72:13-14 says: “He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight.” The key to this verse is understanding that the word “life” refers, in this case, to the eternal soul. In other words, God will allow His people to be killed, but their souls are secure. And when they do die, their blood is precious to Him.
      To the world, Christian lives don’t matter. To God, they are cherished. We take solace in this and rejoice in the knowledge that when our time on this earth is over – whether we go peaceably or are chosen for martyrdom – God will be waiting to embrace us and welcome us to His heavenly abode!
      Read more by David Ettinger: https://ettingerwriting.wordpress.com/
    • By Vio in 'Cause I like it...
      I was reading through 1 Corinthians the other day in my bible, and as I finished the book up, I asked myself a rather common question for bible reading:
      "What the heck does that mean?"
      I never noticed it before, but if you look in 1 Corinthians 16:22, you'll see this: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." (KJV)
      What's that, you ask?
      Glad you asked.
      Anathema means "Cursed". Maranatha means something along the lines of "Our LORD is coming".
      This is basically saying that if someone is not saved, they will be cursed at the coming of the LORD. I don't have much of a commentary on this, but I just learned it, and thought I'd share it with you. always nice to learn.
    • By Zon Quewea in Zon Quewea
      A story was told about a little town. It was a town of a little more than 500 residents. It was a town where everyone knew each other. They were both religious but also social. In this town, was a big tree. So big enough that the branches provide a natural canopy. During a scorching sunny day, everyone gather to socialize under the tree- drinking, sometimes alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. As part of the social activities extra marital affairs are committed and gambling was also fully a part of the socialization. Less than a quarter of a mile away from this tree was a place of worship. Every Sunday people congregate to worship the Lord. But there were birds that were also apart of this population. They have their nest built in the ceilings of the Church building but they sometimes visit the big tree to enjoy the beauty of nature. Over time as the birds visit this tree, they witness a lot of fun activities of these men and women of the town. One Sunday, while asleep in their nest in morning, worship services started. Singing joyously to the Lord, many are on fire for the Lord. The birds began to observe and realize that the very people they saw under the tree are the same people in the church. Weeks after weeks, they birds could no longer hold their peace. As the preacher was preaching one day, in a chorus, the birds sounded, "these are the same people, these are the same people". This line was repeated several times that it caught the attention of the preacher. He paused to listen carefully. The birds won't stop. And the preacher decided to throw a question to the congregation. He asked: Brethren, are you hearing what I am hearing? That was not enough, he follow up. Do you understand what these birds are saying? A complete silence followed but the birds continue. Finally, there was one in the group of congregants with a contrite spirit. He answered, yes Preacher, we are living a double life.
      I wonder, if this story has any lesson for all of us today? I wonder political correctness among politicians in our society has given rise to religious correctness? I wonder, conforming to the things of this world has become a norm among us. I wonder...
    • By c taylor in cm taylor

      In my powder room reading this morning, the Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon (2 Chronicles 9). She’d been hearing all this stuff about King Solomon and finally decided to make the trip to check out the legend for herself. She loaded up the camels with spices, gems, gold and who knows what else and headed for Jerusalem.

                  Solomon received her graciously, gave her the key to the city and answered every question she had. By the end of her stay – with all she’d seen and been a party to – the wind had been knocked out of her sails. She was stunned. Breathless. The half had not been told to her.

                  Legend has it that she left town with more than the items with which King Solomon gifted her. She was also carrying his seed of which Haile Selassie was a descendant.

                  As I read the passage concerning her visit and her response to the magnificence of Solomon’s kingdom and his extravagant generosity to her, I couldn’t help but think of those times when God has answered the prayers of people I know with such exquisite grace, profound justice or with such unfathomable favor that they, like the Queen of Sheba were left … speechless. But their tears of gratitude spoke volumes. And I celebrated with them. May God pull a “King Solomon” on you today, and leave you ... breathless.

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