Posts Tagged ‘human-rights’

“…but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

Picture a large meadow of yellow flowers bowing to a gentle breeze. This golden pond of beauty is densely populated on the outer edges by trees that stand stoic throughout the course of time. The summer sun hangs lazily alone in the afternoon sky against a canvass of aqua blue. The air is punctuated periodically by God’s curious creatures that fly about on cue — assuring the casual observer that life is more than worrying about the next event.

But that’s not all.

The sound of a rushing river nearby captures the essence of energy as it follows its familiar path toward the open sea. All marvel at its ability to remain constant. Nothing stops its flow. Its strength is undeniable. Its will, undeterred. The river beckons those who are thirsty to partake of its power to quench. For the filthy, it calls them to bathe in its capacity to cleanse. For everyone who seeks healing, it invites them to take a leap of faith and jump in.

Similarly, Father thank you for being the ever-present river of life in our lives. May the richness of your presence flow from us to others so that they may see your mercy and grace. May those who feel discouraged or depressed find supernatural strength in your heavenly reservoir of love.

The story of the Exodus is a story of miracles – but in the beginning when Moses first showed up in front of Pharaoh to deliver the people of Israel from 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were really tempted and became a little ticked off because of the initial hardships that they had to go through.

Exodus 5:18-23 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.” The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O LORD, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

The very people that Moses had tried to help were now leveling their anger at Moses because all of a sudden they were told that they would have to gather their own straw for making bricks. They were concerned about offending their slave-masters, fearing that they would kill them.

The Israelites were so used to their slavery that they didn’t want their lives disrupted even though theirt freedom was at hand. Resigned to this miserable life, they absolutely failed to apprehend or appreciate the freedom that was soon approaching. Yes, there was a temporary price: increased hardship and great pressure would set the stage for their final deliverance.

The same can happen to us. It has often been said “The darkest night is just before the dawn”…

Maybe the enemy senses his impending defeat and pulls out all the stops to keep it from happening. Maybe the Lord loves a good story with a really dramatic and climactic ending and great glory for His Name…in any case –

Don’t let yourself remain accustomed to any form of bondage – look for and believe for the freedom that God has given us through His Son. Expect a life of great victory over sin and demonic oppression – Why? Because that is His promise to us!

Yesterday I became very angry regarding our leaders and I let my opinion be known. This morning the Lord sent me this article that led me to a great deal of conviction. Funny how that works, isn’t it?…:) So here it is, the article that led me to repentance.

And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” Acts 23:5

The high priest just had Paul slapped in the face for sharing the Gospel. Paul then insults the high priest, which most of us probably would do if we weren’t too afraid. After this he is told he insulted the high priest and we have Acts 23:5. This can be a hard verse to swallow; we aren’t supposed to speak evil of a ruler. But what if we don’t agree? Too bad, do not speak evil of a ruler. A ruler can refer to your boss, supervisor, elected official, the president, maybe some other leader in your life. But why shouldn’t we speak evil of a ruler? Some might say because it hurts our witness, which it does. But, it is deeper. Lets look at the verse Paul references:

You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. Exodus 22:28

When we speak evil of a ruler, we are questioning God’s authority to appoint those who are in charge (Romans 13:1-3). Does this mean we have to be happy with how everything is going? No.  Does this mean we can’t respectfully disagree? Yes. We need to remember to trust God and not speak to others about how horrible the ruler is and how we could do better.  If we truly believe God is in charge, then we can trust that he will put the right people over us at the right time and in the right circumstances. As Christians we need to make an effort to curb negative speech about our rulers and repent when necessary, because we are really cutting down God.

Think of a something kind to say today about the rulers around you.

because-of-the-cross-titleCBN News story….Detroit is picture perfect from a distance. But up close it’s a picture of urban decay. High poverty rates, high crime rates, and high unemployment are driving people away.

Detroit Police Sgt. John Bennett has patrolled the city’s streets for more than 16 years.

“I don’t know how much longer I’m going to stay honestly. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on,” he told CBN News.

“We’ve lost in the police department a thousand officers that haven’t been replaced in the last five to six years,” he said.

Motor City‘s problems are simply bigger than police and government. That’s why 50 area pastors are coming together to pray and to plan.

And they’re being led by Promise Keepers, a Christian organization with a mission to unite men to become warriors to change their world.

“Number one, is it is a revival, renewal, and a rediscovery of the word of God,” Promise Keepers president Dr. Raleigh Washington told CBN News. “There are a lot of solid churches in the Detroit area doing a great job, but it needs to be on a combined basis. That is why the pastors are coming together.”

With Detroit’s problems being so deep and so large, how can pastors make a difference? PK President Dr. Raleigh Washington and PK founder Bill McCartney addressed that question and more on CBN News Channel Morning News, Aug. 23.

The Promise Keepers’ “Reviving Detroit Summit” included a message from former Muslim Brotherhood terrorist Kamal Saleem. Saleem told pastors radical Islam made a conscious effort to divide the city as early as the 1960s.

Nevertheless, Washington said, “I am not preaching against Islam.”

“I am preaching for Christianity because I believe Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth and the only life,” he explained. “When I hear Islam or anyone preaching different, that goes against what the Bible says.”

Dr. Washington said it’s time for Detroit Christians of all backgrounds to stand together to pull their city from the brink of disaster.

“Racial reconciliation is critical because it undergirds oneness,” he said.

And he believes standing one with God is enough to bring revival to the Motor City.

CBN News story 8/24/13….Hundreds of Egyptian protestors, many of them Coptic Christians, rallied in front of the White House Thursday, outraged over President Barack Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Don’t support terrorists!” protestor Hale Salem said. “Don’t support terrorists! Please, Mr. Obama I voted for you — don’t support terrorists.”

“He’s asking us as Egyptians to leave the terrorists in Egypt alone? To kill us, to kill our people? It’s not gonna happen,” another protestor declared.

Muslims were also present, voicing their opposition against the Brotherhood.

“I’m a Muslim,” demonstrator Mina Khalifa said. “It’s not a Christian thing. It’s an Egyptian thing.”

Another Muslim protestor, Suzanne Elnahal, said, “They are terrorists; they have done so many problems in Egypt.”

Meanwhile, there are new concerns the old regime is making a comeback, as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and flown to a military hospital. He is now under house arrest.

But protestors say Mubarak wasn’t as bad as ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

“He’s not really a good guy, but he’s not at least a terrorist,” anti-Brotherhood demonstrator Layla Sedhom said. “But Mohammed Morsi is a terrorist. He belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The protestors say the Egyptian military is needed to keep order.

“They protect us from (the) Muslim Brotherhood,” Madline Mansour, a Coptic Christian, said. “Muslim Brotherhood kill us, kill all Christian people. Morsi is a terrorist. He belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Those at the rally say the Brotherhood has burned dozens of Christian churches, businesses, and more.

“For the Coptic Christians, they burn their houses. They’re targeting them,” one protestor said.

The protestors are also angered by Western media coverage of the situation in Egypt. They rallied against the Washington Post, accusing both the newspaper and Obama of being biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“So the Obama administration helps the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; that’s not right,” anti-Brotherhood protestor Sawers Kamel said. “That has a lot of question marks. Why? Why?”

“When you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.”—Luke 21:31

More than a third of Americans, as well as the world, believe that recent natural and political disasters point to Jesus’ imminent return. The Public Religion Research Institute says that this belief is especially strong among Protestants.

Today’s verse is one of the biblical passages that connect Christ’s second coming with weather and political-related events. Here we read about some truly extraordinary events: “the roaring and tossing of the sea” and “the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

This is an incredible portrayal of the end times. Provided to give hope and assurance to people in the middle of our suffering, it’s more poetry than instruction manual. First, Jesus talks about “signs” that will be evident to everyone. Then we are told to be alert that the last day will not close on us “suddenly like a trap.”

One philosopher defined “anxiety” as “the next day.” We do not know what might happen tomorrow. A tragedy strikes someone every day: the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a spot on an X-ray. The time will come when that someone is us. Our world might collapse.

But God is in charge, no matter what happens. He is near. And he will get nearer yet in his time. That’s the sure promise of his eternal Word.

Prayer

Our Father, what a joy to know that your kingdom is near! Help me overcome my worries, as I look forward to that great day when everyone will see you in your power and glory. Amen.

I don’t expect this to be the most popular of my blogs, but I don’t mind because it’s a very important topic that most people in the work force fail to realize….praying for those who lead us.

Yesterday as I left the workplace, I saw my boss poised over just one of the many problems that he faced that day. Earlier I had watched his wife, who also runs the company, running around trying to settle personnel problems and accounting issues. Yet both of them had the added burden of trying to keep the employees motivated and trying not to look stressed. While they pulled this feat off well, I couldn’t help to think about all they go through.

Today is Friday and throughout the world, employees everywhere are elated because of the upcoming weekend. But the problem that business owners and others in charge have, is that most of them never quit working. They have a lot of responsibility that goes home with them. It doesn’t stay at the office because it’s 5 O’clock. They have invested everything they have in it. Their livelihood depends on the success of their business. So maybe we as employees can help them out. How? By praying for peace and success in the business that we are employed by. By becoming better employees and allowing Jesus to shine though us by having an exemplary work ethic. By not getting mad if they initiate a policy that we think is unfair. Policies are not always easy to institute because the person doing the enforcement will become very unpopular. Let’s try to walk a step in their shoes. And this includes our political leaders as well.

I am blessed to have two Christian bosses who are wonderful people. If you’re not, and am less than thrilled to be working for them, don’t be angry and hate, pray for them. Maybe that prayer will change their lives and business around. Believe me, they are stressed, and they need prayers for peace just like anyone else. Having said all of this I have posted a prayer below and ask that you pray this for your bosses before and during work today or whenever (since this blog is read around the world). If you can’t think of a prayer consider the one below, or just simply say a brief one. Our leaders need it.

 

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

 

Dear God, our Creator,

We come to You today praying for our boss, our supervisors and for those in authority over us in the workplace.

We begin by requesting that you will give our boss and supervisors your wisdom, guidance and the ability to lead well.  Help them to seek out and listen to sound advice and to decide how to take action in timely and efficient ways that are good for the business and good for the customers and clients who are served.  Here are some specific special requests I now make for my boss…

We pray for the family life of our boss and supervisors that they will be able to balance work and home life in healthy ways.  We pray for their spiritual life that they might come into a stronger faith in You.  We pray for their social life that they might partner with and support worthy causes in our community as You prosper them in business.  Here are some specific prayers I offer for my boss…

We intercede for them about the things only you can provide.  We pray for their physical health that it might remain strong.  We ask that they will be able to maintain a healthy physical and moral lifestyle.   We pray for Your forgiveness and mercy in any ways they have erred.  We pray for Your blessings upon them as You open new doors of opportunity before them. We stand against any emotional or spiritual attacks they might be facing and we plead the blood of Christ over them in their times of stress and crisis.  We pray that you will increase their ability to bear the responsibility of running a business.  Give them grace and fairness in dealing with employees.  Grant them a spirit of inclusiveness, respectfulness, teamwork, and self control.   Lead them not into the temptation of seeking bottom line profits through questionable or unethical means.  And deliver them from the evils of ruthless competitors.  Here are some specific needs my boss has today…

We conclude our prayer by offering out thanksgiving for our boss and supervisors.  Thank you for their ability to handle daily problems, for their experience and leadership, for their vision and dedication.  Thank you for the jobs they have provided for us and for the income these jobs provide.  May we learn how to express our gratitude to them for their guidance and mentoring.  Here are some specific ways I am thankful for my boss…

Amen.