What’s wrong with America – Part One

Have you wondered what is wrong with America lately. I would like to spend some time with this blog exploring this issue.

Without a doubt,  the hottest issue in America is gay marriage.  Ask anyone on the street and they will have an opinion on this very issues.  Countless states have ballot measures defining a marriage is between  man and a woman.  Overwhelmingly the people have voted to reaffirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The politicians in the cities of Boston and Chicago  have even gone so far to suggest that would not want to allow a Chick-fil-A franchise business in their city because of the CEO’s belief that marriage is between a man and a woman as defined in the Bible.    Today we saw the public overwhelmingly support Chick-A Fil franchisees all across America.

America is on a slipper slope in regards to this issue.  The definition of marriage is not defined by man, but instead it has been defined by God.  The Bible is clear on this definition. If we attempt to redefine God’s word, it will only lead to his judgment.

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Christian Persecution – Mexico

One of the things I want to make sure I address in this blog is what is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.  It seems more and more we hear, Christians are being persecuted at an alarming rate.  This is something we are not surprised to hear if you remember Jesus words in chapter 15 of the gospel of John,  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that the it hated me first…If they persecute me, they will persecute you also.”  In another passage in the gospel of Matthew chapter 24 Jesus says, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved…”  I think of the many brothers and sisters in Christ who have died because they have put their faith in Jesus, do you think they regret it?  Imagine the insistence where they die and the next moment they are before the throne of God and here the words ” Well done, good and faithful servant.”   

Well here is another articles from the Voice of the Martyrs.

Christian Persecution – Mexico

On August 23, three Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, were brutally killed by their neighbor after he blamed them for his daughter’s stomach ailment. Antonio Gomez blamed his Christian neighbor, Pedro Gomez Diaz and his family, for his 11-year-old daughter’s stomach ailment and accused the Christian family of practicing witchcraft, Compass Direct News reported.

Gomez and seven of his friends entered the Christian family’s home and attacked them with machetes. Pedro, his wife, Marcela, and their oldest son, Rene, were hacked to death. Six of the other Diaz children were seriously wounded. At last report, the eight men involved in the attack were being held in a jail, Compass Direct News added.

The Voice of the Martyrs actively supports persecuted Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, with literature and other resources following incidents of persecution. VOM encourages you to pray for their protection and courage during challenging times. Pray for the surviving Diaz family as they mourn their parents and oldest sibling. Ask God to give them comfort in knowing that Christ is victorious over death.

Los Angeles Metrolink victims -Sunday Shock

Friday when I saw the footage on the TV of the train crash in Chatsworth, I avoid as much as possible the coverage. I knew it was a huge tragedy, and I did not want the kids seeing any coverage on the TV. I had recently  used the Metrolink train to goto the Burbank Airport, but I had never imagined an accident to this magnitude could happen.

The front page of the Sunday paper had a list of the names, ages, and where the deceased had lived in the paper.  I scrolled across the names and noticed the name Paul Long.  I looked at his age and the city and I knew this was my old English teacher from Jr High School at Grace Brethren.  I continued reading the article and came across a little paragraph on him.  It seems that his wife and son were also on the train but they survived. I spent two years learning from Mr. Long every aspect of English and Literature but the biggest impact was I met a man who love Jesus Christ and lived it out every day.  The Simi Valley Acorn has an article on Paul Long.

I was sad  that he had died in the train crash but I also knew he had a  passion in his heart for Jesus Christ.  I knew at the moment I was reading the article that he was before the throne of God.  As a Christian, there is a peace knowing that when you die, you will spend an eternity with God.  Not because of anything you do but because of what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross.

Later that evening when we went to church our pastor, Francis, talked about few other victims of the crash who attend our church.  He mentioned the same thing I was thinking earlier.  That those who had passed away, were also at peace now.  At one moment they were in a train, heard the screeching sound of the the trains colliding and the next moment they were before the throne of God. 

This was a horrific accident with the loss of many lives but the greater tragedy is those who have rejected Jesus Christ and will spend an eternity in hell.

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness  that comes from God and is by faith.  Philippians 3:7-10

List of Names of those who passed away:

The victims

Simi Valley
Alan Lloyd Buckley, 59
Ronald Grace, 55
Michael Hammersly, 45
Yi Chao, 71
Atul Vyas, 20
Roger Spacey, 60
Spree DeSha, 35
Walter Arney Fuller, 54
Gregory Lintner, 48
Donna Lynn Remata, 49
Moorpark
Paul Long, 54
Howard Barry Pompel, 69
Maria Elena Villalobos, 18
Aida Magdaleno, 19
Beverly Mosely, 57
Thousand Oaks
Christopher Aiken, 38
Ernest Stephen Kish II, 47
Camarillo
Dennis Arnold, 75
Doyle Jay Souser, 56
Ventura
Dean Lafoy Brower, 51
Santa Paula
Manuel Macias, 31
Outside Ventura County
Charles Peck, 58
Jacob Hefter, 18
Robert Sanchez, 46
Kari Hsieh

Christian Persecution – Saudi Arabia

  I grabbed this article of the website of the Voice of the Martyrs.  Please keep our Christian brothers and sisters in prayer in Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Man Killed Daughter for Converting to Christianity

Recently, a Saudi member of the religious police cut his daughter’s tongue off and burned her to death for converting to Christianity.

The father, who works for the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, killed his daughter following a debate on religion, according to a report by the United Arab Emirates-based Gulf News.

Media organizations in Saudi Arabia are reporting that the victim wrote a blog under the name “Rania” a few days before her murder. According to the Saudi Arabia Ukhdoud news website, the victim wrote that her life became an ordeal after family members grew suspicious about her after a religious discussion with them. She said her brother found some Christian articles written by her as well as a cross sign on her computer screen. Since then he started to insult her and blamed the Internet for pushing her to change her religion. Gulfnews.com reported.

Saudi religious scholars frequently warn against the dangers of Christian Web sites and satellite television, which they say attract young Muslims to change their faith. They [Muslim scholars] decreed that watching these channels or browsing these websites which call for conversion to Christianity by various means is against the teachings of Islam, the Web site reported

“Our contacts have told us of new Christians simply disappearing when their families learned of their conversion,” said Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development for The Voice of the Martyrs, “but now even Arab media outlets confirm the violent response of radical Muslims to Christianity. We pray that someday this man will come to know Christ, and find forgiveness for ending his daughter’s life. Our hope is that someday he will see his daughter again, in heaven.”

The Voice of the Martyrs supports the evangelism efforts of Christians in Saudi Arabia, despite the great cost.

“We call on Christians everywhere to pray for believers facing intense persecution in Saudi Arabia because of their faith,” said Nettleton. “Pray God will encourage them and give them boldness to stand up for Christ.”

Christian Persecution – India

  I grabbed this article of the website of the Voice of the Martyrs.  Please keep our Christian brothers and sisters in prayer. 
INDIA – Violence against Christians Escalating in Orissa State

On August 23, widespread violence erupted against Christians following the assassination of World Hindu Council leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati, the alleged mastermind behind the December 2007 attacks on believers in Kandhamal, Orissa State. Saraswati was killed with four of his followers. 30 men believed to be Maoist extremists, stormed a religious center in Kandhamal and opened fire, VOM contacts reported.

“Despite evidence indicating that Maoists are responsible for Saraswati’s murder, several Hindu militant groups have blamed Christians,” VOM contacts said. “As a result, Hindu militants have launched attacks on Christians throughout the state, setting buildings on fire and beating and killing believers in at least 12 districts. The Voice of the Martyrs has been receiving numerous reports on this developing crisis. At present, it is difficult to know the full extent of what is happening to Christians in Orissa State.

VOM contacts reported churches, mission buildings and schools throughout the state have been damaged or destroyed in the attacks. In the village of Nuagaon, Kandhamal district, extremists set fire to a social centre in the village after violating a nun who was at the facility. The Bethel Association, a Christian orphanage in the district of Rayagada, was burned to the ground. The mission was home to 150 children, many of them from families who have suffered persecution for their faith.

In Bargarh district, another orphanage was torched and a young woman was burned alive after she was thrown inside the building when she tried to protect the children. At least 20 churches have reportedly been destroyed, but the extent of the damage in Orissa State has not been ascertained as reports continue to be released from the affected regions.

VOM contacts report more than 50 homes belonging to Christians have been reportedly burned to the ground by extremists in the village of Rupagaon, Kandhamal alone. “A paralyzed man was unable to escape his burning house and was killed. Houses have also been ransacked, pelted with stones and vandalized throughout the state. Christian-owned shops have been torched and looted. Many Christians have fled their homes and are seeking refuge in the jungle. Although police have attempted to protect Christians and end the attacks in Orissa, the violence has continued to occur. Militant groups have blocked roads with logs in order to keep the police away. Christian groups continue to beseech government authorities to intervene and end the violence,” VOM contacts added.

Similar attacks erupted on Christmas Eve 2007 after Hindu extremists targeted Christian homes and churches. Four Christians were killed, many injured and numerous homes and churches destroyed or damaged in the violent clashes that lasted five days. More than 18 churches and prayer houses were ransacked and torched in several areas of Kandhamal district in Orissa. In the past Hindu extremists have used anti-conversion laws to terrorize Christians.

VOM is working to gather information on these attacks and provide assistance to believers affected. Following the December attacks VOM provided assistance, by distributing thousands of Bibles and supporting some families that lost loves ones during the attack, through VOM’s Family of Martyrs fund.

VOM encourages you to continue praying for believers affected by the attacks. Ask God to protect believers who facing great challenges. Thank God for their faithfulness, and ask Him to provide for their needs.

Every Nation Sing – Album Review

Every Nation Sing is a worship album put together by Tony Hall, teaching pastor at Cornertone Ohio. This worship album has a great beat to it.  All the songs on this album are very good but my favorite has to be the song “Unexplainable Love.”  Listen to the words, let the song sink into your heart and it is amazing to think of what Christ has done for us.  There really is not one bad song on this album.  The album starts out with two good song called “Be Lifted High” and “My Exceeding Joy.”  I have listen to this album multiple times and it just gets better and better.  I even like his different version of the song,  “You are Holy.”  This song can also be heard on his first worship album, Even Alone.

I have been wondering if Tony Hall would do another album ever since he started a church in Ohio.  Tony used to lead worship at Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley.  He was defineately blessed with the gift to sing.  A few years ago he left Simi Valley to plant a church in Ohio.  I have listen to a few of his sermons over the Internet and I enjoy his style of teaching.

Psalm 43:4 – “Then I will goto the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy.”

Indescribable – Chris Tomlin Video

I ran across this video on YouTube.  Indescribable is one of my favorite worship songs.  I really like the video this person put together with this song.  It is just amazing to look at the different aspects of creation and realize the creative genius of God.  I honestly believe you have to be a fool to accept the theory of evolution.  After watching this video, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a holy awesome God that created every aspect of this planet and our universe.  How often do we spend time taking a look at what God has created and marvel at His creative ability?