Following the recent acts of terrorism and religious extremism on the streets of that ever serene city of Paris, Mike Evans asks a question, How do we pray for Paris? He then goes ahead and outlines four important points:
In the case of the attacks in Paris the intent was to shock and, by shocking, to stimulate nationwide fear and alarm. Even more importantly, terrorism, as practiced by Islamic State, recognizes no difference between civilians and military personnel, because their war is not primarily against a specific nation or state but against a culture.
How should we react as Christians?
1. Mourn with those who mourn.
Families have lost loved ones; many have been seriously or permanently injured and face an uncertain future. Pray for the churches in the Paris area as they reach out to families, neighbors, and friends who have been victims of these attacks that they may not only help them rebuild their lives but also be signposts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. …Read More!
Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!
If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask? …Read More!
Egypt has influenced a lot in the course of History. To Christians it provided a place for refuge for some of its key figures. Speaking of which even Jesus Christ was taken to Egypt when King Herod’s murderous rage grew to a crescendo. Alexandria was one of the great Christian centers in the early church. It was there were the first catechetical school was established by Pantanaeus in 190 AD, producing great scholars such as Athenagoras, Clement, Didymus and Origen. Today it burns and the screams on the streets beg the rest of the world to pray for it’s inhabitants. An exceedingly vulnerable circle is the Christian community in Egypt.
If you get a few moments today please pray for Egypt. Pray that …
* The current violence will end soon
* The effective rule of law and order will be re-established for the benefit of all citizens
* There will be effective protection of church and other property against attacks by extremists
* Egypt will be governed for the benefit of all its citizens, with people of different persuasions able to live alongside one another peaceably
* Egyptian Christians will have opportunity to play an increasingly prominent and effective role in addressing the needs of all Egyptians and helping to bring healing and reconciliation in the country
If you want to understand what is going on in Egypt from an Egyptian Christian perspective read here. In Egypt, the majority of the churches belong to The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt, or commonly, the Coptic Church. Coptic tradition traces their history from Mark the Evangelist whom they say founded the church in Alexandria about 41-43 AD, according to the historian Eusebius of Caesarea. We might think that the Copts have always been a persecuted church, but they are proud of their “golden age” in the first 1,000 years from their foundation. Read more on Egyptian Coptic Christians here.
There is a general complacency in the world today. Scoffers laugh at Christians and their message of “repentance for the day of the Lord is nigh”. The zeal of some has waned and they have eased into slumber and a malaise. There is little regard for the things of God in popular circles. I am reminded of this story…
Did you hear about the farmer who agreed to a contest with his neighbor, an atheist? The atheist said, “Tell you what. You plant your crops and work your field 6 days a week, taking Sundays off to worship God. I’ll work my field 7 days a week and in the fall we’ll see who has the biggest crop.” When October came and the crops were gathered in, the atheist dropped by to see the results. Sure enough, his harvest was larger than the Christian’s. “What do you say now?” he sneered. The Christian replied, “God doesn’t settle all His accounts in October.”
That good old day is coming when the Just Judge and Holy God will settle all accounts surely. Are we ready?
[Quoting A.W. Pink] This is a very solemn question, and we must restrict ourselves to what the Scriptures say by way of reply.
“You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul”. (Deuteronomy 13:3).
From those words it is clear that God allows teachers of error for the same reason as He does persecutors of His people: to test their love, to try their fidelity, to show that their loyalty to him is such that they will not give ear unto His enemies. Error has always been more popular than the Truth, for it lets down the bars and fosters fleshly indulgence, but for that very reason it is obnoxious to the godly. …Read More!
-You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit._ – Matthew 7:16–17
One’s basic character—attitudes, inner motives, loyalties, standards—eventually manifests itself in his or her life. Christians produce good fruit in their attitudes and actions. But unbelievers, especially false prophets, will eventually manifest bad fruit.
False teachers can hide their true fruit for a time behind ecclesiastical trappings, evangelical vocabulary, and false fellowship. But how they behave when not around Christians will soon enough reveal their true loyalties and convictions. …Read More!
Well I don’t know how this piece of news will be taken. Some will say, “Aha! It’s the mark of the beast being unleashed!” Others will…well let me not speculate. You see The Daily Mail recently published that…
Barcodes and microchips could be found on nearly everything these days, but could humans be next?
American science fiction author Elizabeth Moon raised a few eyebrows last week when she revived the debate about whether it could be beneficial to place barcodes on babies at birth during an interview on a BBC radio program.
‘I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,’ she said on a weekly show called The Forum, according to the New York Daily News.
According to Moon, aged 67, the tools that are currently used for the purposes of surveillance and identification, such as video cameras and DNA testing, are too slow and expensive.
Placing a barcode on each person at birth, in her opinion, would solve these problems.
While the technology is already in place, civil liberties advocates have decried past efforts to make ‘barcoding’ a reality, claiming that …Read More!
If you have missed any of the previous anonymized interviews with Christians from different backgrounds please go here. Continuing with the same format today’s guest too has been anonymized (so that the glory of the testimony) goes to God. Today’s guest has spent over 18 years working in disaster zones. He has come very close to death countless times while preaching the gospel. He is one unsung hero in many respects but today he will tell us what drives him on even when he is far from family, friends and safety.
ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. Could you tell us what a typical week in your life is like?
CHRISTIAN: I don’t usually have a typical week. Travelling, ministering and lot’s of calls from folks around the world that the Lord has allowed me to encourage and minister to. Study, reading, Praying, meditating, talking to my bride, sharing with my kids.
ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?
CHRISTIAN:I had basically no Christian influence in my life as a Child. I did attend a very tiny church roughly three times in grade two. I was never one who disbelieved that God existed, I did not however have a relationship with Him.
My American friends are weird. No, I love them all so much. But when they tell me they love football and then they show me a man running about with a leather bag in his hand I quickly tell the, “No thanks, I prefer soccer!” The last couple of days have been rather difficult. Everybody seems to be singing the name “Tebow”. Oh yes, I did hear that he used to scrawl letters and numbers across his face (like John 3:16). Yup, I heard that he bends a knee before scoring a goal (what ever he does). And YESSSSS, I hear he threw a ball exactly 316 yards! But no, that was not a sign from God!!!
I think we need to be careful when making definitive statements about what God is doing. God doesn’t usually work the way we expect him to. He tends to work through losers and the downcast and the poor and the down and out. He likes to use the weak to demonstrate his strength, and the foolish to demonstrate his wisdom. Of course, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t using Tim Tebow. We just need to be careful when we call something like passing yards a divine sign.
Plus, saying that passing for 316 yards is a sign from God makes Christians look weird for the wrong reasons. …Read More!
My good friend and theologian Jim West has decided to draw the line in the sand on that issue of abstinence and pregnancy and where the moral line lies. So, shouldn’t the church be urging kids to abstain from fornication to avoid pregnancy and nasty sexually transmitted diseases? Well Jim raises the bar higher than that…
For Christians, for the Church, such a reason is totally inadequate and totally inappropriate. More correctly, teens and unmarried persons should abstain from sexual activity because such activity is contrary to the purpose and will of God and is in fact sin.
When we tell people to abstain in order to avoid pregnancy we make the commandment of God of no account. This is utterly inexcusable for Christians, theologians and the Church.
The ‘practical’ reason for abstinence, the avoidance of an unwanted child, is a reason completely foreign …Read More!
We have always lived relatively sophisticated societies (unless of course you believe we evolved from some premeval soup left by some circumstantial science experiment bang). Yet even in the visible community there are many invisible associations and friendships and fraternities. Some overtly maintain the calm innocence of a sunday school toddlers group and others covertly subtle and far from innocent.
Syncretism is the word for the day. This is the attempted blending of irreconcilable principles. Needless to say religious syncretism is the attempt to harmonise the true religion with any of the many false religions of the world. This is the basis upon which many secret organizatons such as the Order of Freemasons (also called Masonic Lodge). And this brings us to the essence of the First Commandment and what the very commandment warns us about. …Read More!