10/18/09

It's time.

For the last few weeks, this is what I've been feeling:













But I've decided it's time.  The launch of the newer and much better blog. 
Sorry blogspot. I've converted to the pressing of words.


10/5/09

Islamic Extremists in Somalia Kill Another Church Leader

Do I take my freedom to read a Bible for granted? Need to pray for those around the world who are not free to read, let alone hold a Bible.
Islamic militants in Somalia this week killed a woman who led an underground Christian movement in the war-torn country. 
 
Sources told Compass that a leader of Islamic extremist 
al Shabaab militia in Lower Juba identified only as Sheikh Arbow shot to death 46-year-old Mariam Muhina Hussein at 2 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 28) in Marerey village after discovering she had six Bibles. Marerey is eight kilometers (five miles) from Jilib, part of the neighboring Middle Juba region. 
 
Local sources said that on Sunday (Sept. 27) Arbow sent his wife to the house of Hussein, a Somali Bantu, to confirm the presence of the Bibles. Pretending to be interested in Christianity, the militia leader’s wife confirmed the existence of the Bibles. 
 
The sources said Hussein readily agreed to discuss Christianity with Arbow’s wife and read parts of the Bible with her. When Arbow’s wife requested one of the Bibles, however, Hussein demurred. 
 
“She told her that it might not be safe for her, preferring instead that she could visit her regularly for discussions,” said one source. “She then left and promised to visit again soon.” 
 
The next day, Arbow arrived at Hussein’s house with other men and, in a friendly manner, claimed that he wanted to check something in the Bible. Knowing only that Arbow was a fellow ethnic Somali Bantu and having met his wife the previous day, Hussein innocently gave one to him, sources said. 
 
“Immediately, Arbow told her that their mission was to look for Christians who have defiled the Islamic religion,” a source said. “There and then she lacked words to say. She was ordered to get the other Bibles out, and she did.” 
 
Upon receiving the Bibles, sources said, Arbow fired three bullets at Hussein, who died instantly.
 
The Bibles were published in Swahili; besides this East African 
lingua franca, Bantus in Lower Juba also speak Kiswahili. 
 
Compass has confirmed the killing with various sources in Nairobi and Somalia who cannot be identified for security reasons. 
 
Hussein’s death comes a few weeks after the rebel militants killed another one of the leaders of Somalia’s Christian movement for distributing Bibles. 
Al shabaab militants shot 69-year-old Omar Khalafe on Sept. 15 at a checkpoint they controlled 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Merca, a Christian source told Compass.
 
 
Al Shabaab, said to have links with al Qaeda terrorists, controls much of southern parts of Somalia, as well as other areas of the nation. Besides striving to topple President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the militants also seek to impose sharia (Islamic law).
 
In August 
al Shabaab extremists seeking evidence that a Somali man had converted from Islam to Christianity shot him dead near the Somali border with Kenya, sources said. The rebels killed 41-year-old Ahmed Matan in Bulahawa, Somalia on Aug. 18.
 
In Mahadday Weyne, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, 
al ShabaabIslamists on July 20 shot to death another convert from Islam, Mohammed Sheikh Abdiraman, at 7 a.m., eyewitnesses told Compass. The militants also reportedly beheaded seven Christians on July 10. Reuters reported that they were killed in Baidoa for being Christians and “spies.” 
 
On Feb. 21 
al shabaab militants beheaded two young boys in Somalia because their Christian father refused to divulge information about a church leader, according to Musa Mohammed Yusuf, the 55-year-old father who was living in a Kenya refugee camp when he spoke with Compass. 

9/29/09

insight

There's a power in poverty 
That breaks principalities
And brings the authorities 
Down to their knees
There's a brewing frustration 
And ageless temptation
To fight for control by some manipulation

The God of the Kingdoms and the God of the Nations
The God of creation 
Sends this revelation
Through the homeless and penniless
Jesus the son
The poor will inherit the Kingdom to come

Where will we turn 
When our world falls apart
And all of the treasures we've stored in our barns
Can't buy the Kingdom of God
Who will we praise when we've praised all our lives
Men who build kingdoms 
And men who build fame
But heaven does not know their names
What will we fear when all that remains
Is God on his throne, with a child in his arms 
And love in his eyes
And the sound of his heart cries

J. Upton


9/24/09

beggars

all you great men of power, you who boast of your feats-
politicians and entrepreneurs-
can you safeguard your breath in the night while you sleep?
keep your heart beating steady and sure?
as your lie in your bed, does the thought haunt your head
that you're really, rather small?
if there's one thing i know in this life: we are beggars all.

all you champions of science and rulers of men,
can you summon the sun from its sleep?
does the earth seek your counsel on how fast to spin?
can you shut up the gates of the deep?
don't you know that all things hang, as if by a string,
over the darkness- poised to fall?
if there's one things i know in this life: we are beggars all.

all you big shots that swagger and stride with conceit,
did you devise how your frame would be formed?
if you'd be raised in a palace, or live out in the streets?
did you choose the place or the hour you'd be born?
tell me what can you claim? not a thing- not your name.
tell me if you can recall,
just one thing, that's not a gift in this life?

can you hear what's been said?
can you see now that everything is grace after all?
if there's one things I know in this life: we are beggars all.

d. kensrue '09

9/23/09

No Words Needed














9/17/09

International Day of Prayer : Nov. 8th

But we don't have to wait until then to start praying. Duh.

It's good to pray for persecuted Christians in general... but let's try to be specific too.

There's so much going on in so many places. But we have to start somewhere.

Here is some recent information that I read on Nigeria:

In a country where tribal living still exists, whole Christian villages have been burned down and destroyed by Muslim radicals. Nigerian Christians not only worry about lack of food, education, and resources, but they are also under significant pressure to convert to Islam or be killed.
Twelve northern states have imposed Islamic law in the past eight years, and there have been repeated outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence, claiming many lives. More than 100 Christians were killed during 2008 and the destruction of many churches and kidnapping of believers continued through the year. In November of 2008, communal violence in the city of Jos resulted in six pastors killed, 40 churches destroyed, and 369 Christians critically injured.
There is much bribery and severe corruption in Nigeria. For instance: recently, the former Governor of the state came to a small Christian village in northern Nigeria. The Christians there are constantly struggling with poverty, so the Governor brought money, cloth, and other material benefits. However, he offered all of this to the village on the condition that they become Muslims.
'Since there is poverty here, that was a real temptation for us,' a Christian told Open Doors. 'But we declined [the offer]... we try to remember that it is better to remain poor and cling to our faith than to have riches and betray our beliefs.'

What I can pray about for Nigeria....

:: For comfort and healing for those caught up in the violence
:: That in the midst of poverty and harsh circumstances, the joy and purpose of the truth would be evident to the Christians in Nigeria
:: For Christian parents raising their children in a society dominated by Islam, especially for the spouses of widows and murdered pastors.


9/16/09

Restoring Eden

Postmodern thought or just hippie christians... or both... what do you think?



Either way, I think the idea of RestoringEden is pretty neat.







photo via FlowerDust