Friday, December 24, 2004

Important Update

For those of you who regularly read this site I would like to first offer my sincere appreciation. Many of you have sent emails with questions to be answered, thoughts for site improvement, general encouragement and even a few who disagree with me. Without these emails I would have little reason to continue. However, it is time for a little break. Right now as you read this there are over 280 million people in this world who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Some face discrimination, others are beaten, tortured, imprisoned or even being killed for their faith. Think about that for a moment; 280 million people, that is about the population of the entire United States. For those of you reading this who are Christians, these people are no different than you or me in the sense that they love Jesus with all their heart, mind and soul. The only difference is that we were blessed to live in an environment of freedom and they weren’t. For the past several years I have felt the Lord calling me to a short-term mission trip to support the persecuted church. I will be gone on this trip through the end of the second week of January and therefore will not be able to make additional postings. Due to the sensitive nature of the trip as well as the severe repercussions that could come as a result, I cannot tell you where I am going or what I’ll be doing. Some have asked me about the potential dangers of this trip. Believe me I have prayed about it long and hard. One of the main verses I keep coming back to is Hebrews 13:3 which says “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” I’ve come to the conclusion that if the Apostle Paul, unarguably the greatest missionary of all time, had given up when he was repeatedly beaten, imprisoned, or stoned and left for dead, than odds are that you and I probably wouldn’t have a relationship with Christ today. I feel as though I NEED to go.

With that being said, I’d like to ask a favor. First, to those of you who are followers of Jesus Christ. One of the greatest blessings Christians have is the ability to pray for one another. I humbly ask for your prayers over the next few weeks. I ask for your prayers for health, wisdom, safety and protection while I am gone. I also ask that you pray for the members of the persecuted church. Pray that the Lord would encourage them and give them strength.

For those of you that are not followers of Jesus Christ I’d ask that you pause for a moment to reflect on your current situation. Many of you live in the United States where we have so many freedoms that many of us cannot imagine what it would be like not to have them. Why do you think that you were able to live under this freedom and are not one of the hundreds of thousands of starving children in Africa? Is it luck? Is it chance? Or could it be that you were given an incredible blessing by a Sovereign God who desires to have a personal relationship with you? I would argue it is the latter of the two. Acts 17:26 reads “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the EXACT places where they should live.”

Again I’d like to thank you for reading my site. Please remember to come back in early to mid January when I will begin posting again. I have several topics already in mind ranging from the Christian perspective of civil disobedience all the way to a series on Mormonism.

If you’d like to learn more information about the persecuted church or what their specific prayer requests are, I would recommend these two organizations. For information from Open Doors CLICK HERE. For information from Voice of the Martyrs CLICK HERE (you don’t have to sign up to use the site but registration is free).

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