Feb 15

5 Minute Challenge – Maldives

 

Population: 320,000 (few Christians)

Every citizen has to be Muslim on these remote islands. The Maldivian government views itself as the protector and defender of Islam and enjoys full support by its citizens. Churches are forbidden, evangelism is banned and the import of Christian literature is prohibited. Believers hide their faith from their families and, when discovered, are pressured to convert to Islam. In October, a foreign Christian teacher was imprisoned for 15 days and then deported after police found a Bible in his house.

 

 

Pray:

  • For the few indigenous Christians to have courage amidst the secrecy
  • Many young people seek education outside the islands. Pray that they would have the opportunity to hear the gospel
  • Maldivian society contends with huge social problems of drug and alcohol abuse, marriage breakdown and child abuse. Pray that people will discover God’s forgiveness.

 

Feb 13

HUMOR: The Secret of Tech Support

Feb 12

Feb 12 – Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

[from www.americanminute.com]

Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the exact same day, FEBRUARY 12, 1809, but their lives had opposite effects.

Lincoln is best known for freeing millions of slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, claiming all men are created equal.

Darwin’s theory of evolution claims men are not equal as some are more evolved, and has been used by totalitarian regimes to enslave millions.

Lincoln’s last act in office was to put on all National Coin the motto, “In God We Trust.”

Darwin’s theory has been used to deny of God.

Lincoln, the first Republican President, addressed the Indiana Regiment, March 17, 1865:

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

On April 6, 1859, Lincoln wrote to H.L. Pierce:

“This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God, cannot long retain it.”

After the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln told his Cabinet, September 22, 1862, as reported Treasury Secretary Salmon Portland Chase:

“The time for the annunciation of the emancipation policy can no longer be delayed. Public sentiment will sustain it, many of my warmest friends and supporters demand it, and I have promised God that I will do it.”

When asked by Secretary Chase to explain, Lincoln replied:

“I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves.”

In his Second Inaugural, March 4, 1865, just 45 days before his assassination, Lincoln stated:

“If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove,

and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came,

shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?…

If God will that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsmen’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said

‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”

Lincoln stated in his Second Annual Message, December 1, 1862:

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free…We shall nobly save – or meanly lose – the last, best hope of earth…The way is plain…which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”

In his Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863, Lincoln stated:

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

In contrast, Darwin published his “Origin of Species,” 1859, and in 1871, his “Descent of Man,” in which he wrote:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated…

We civilized men, on the other hand…build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick…Thus the weak members propagate their kind.

No one who had attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man…Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed…

Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world…

The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

Darwin’s concept justified the racism of the Dred Scott v Sanford Decision, 1856, written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who was appointed by Democrat President Andrew Jackson:

“Slaves had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order…so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

Darwin’s theory influenced Margaret Sanger, who promoted “eugenics” and “forced sterilization” to eliminate inferior races. Sanger founded a 501(c)3 called Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger, in her book Pivot of Civilization, 1922, called for the:

“Elimination of ‘human weeds’…overrunning the human garden; for the cessation of ‘charity’ because it prolonged the lives of the unfit; for the segregation of ‘morons, misfits, and the maladjusted’; and for the sterilization of genetically inferior races.”

Sanger advised Nazi Party member Ernst Rudin, father of “racial hygiene,” who educated on the dangers of hereditary defectives.

Nazi’s considered the German “Aryan” race as “ubermensch,” supermen, being more advanced in the supposed human evolution.

When Germany’s economy fell, Hitler’s national healthcare plan of socialized medicine had to cut expenses, such as keeping alive handicapped, insane, chronically ill, elderly and those with dementia. They were considered “lebensunwertes leben” – life unworthy of life, and sent to the gas chambers.

Soon criminals, convicts, street bums, beggars and gypsies, considered “leeches” on the State, met the same fate.

Eventually, in a perverted effort to rid the human gene pool of less evolved “untermensch”- under mankind, Hitler’s immoral plan sent 6 million Jews, along with millions of others, to the holocaust gas chambers and ovens.

Joseph Stalin followed suit in the Soviet Union, exterminating through intentional famines, forced labor and executions an estimated 27 million “inferior” Ukrainians.

Mao Zedong followed this example with his atheistic Communist Party policies causing an estimated 80 million deaths in China.

These not too distant genocides resemble the Islamic teaching that Jews are from apes, Christians are from swine, and Kafir infidels are inferior “dhimmi” – not equal to believing Muslim males, which led to a sharia political system that in 1,400 years contributed to an estimated 270 million deaths.

History reveals frightful consequences can occur if governments adopt Darwin’s utilitarian value of human life and departs from Lincoln’s belief, “that all men are created equal.”

Feb 11

NYC churches prohibited from meeting in schools

Starting tomorrow, churches who have been meeting in New York City schools will be locked out. It has been the decision of Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Board of Education to prevent churches from meeting in schools. This affects approximately 70 churches in the NYC area. Read more about this issue.

Feb 10

A Prayer of St. Therese of Lisieux

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

source

Feb 09

5 Minute Challenge – Uzbekistan

The strict monitoring of all Christian activities has intensified, even in the Orthodox Church. Outreach, training and youth activities are forbidden in unregistered churches – and in the last ten years only one new church was granted registration. Private Bible study meetings are always in danger of being closed down. Churches are raided and literature and other materials confiscated. Printing or importing Christian literature is prohibited. Christians are fined or given short-term prison sentences. When brought to court, fair treatment is not ensured.

“Two days ago the police raided our house,” Lazar said. “They took away all the Bibles and Christian books that we had in the house.” He is a Church leader in Uzbekistan, a country which does not often get mentioned in the news, but is known by Open Doors for the persecution of Christians. The roots of Communism have not seemed to wither yet. Uzbek Christians strive to live with faith in God’s promises, despite the fear of surveillance, intimidation and imprisonment.

Pray:

  • For pastors trying to lead their churches with limited resources
  • For courage for Muslim-background believers who experience great pressure from family and society
  • A 27-year-old convert from Islam is currently serving 10 years in prison on false charges. Pray for his release.

 

Feb 06

Hershey’s Petition

Ask Hershey to make ALL their chocolate fair trade!

Please sign this petition!

 

Feb 03

5 Minute Challenge – Yemen

In January of 2011, the people of Yemen joined numerous other Arab countries and began protesting. Initially Yemenis went peacefully to the streets to protest unemployment in the country, the economic conditions and corruption. Yemen is the poorest Arab country with a GDP per capita that is about one tenth of that in neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia. This is not only because of lack of oil, but more so because of widespread corruption, low education levels, violence and mismanagement. Right now the Yemeni’s are facing massive unemployment. Official statistics say that one out of every three Yemenis is unemployed, especially younger citizens. Almost half of the population lives under poverty line.

The country has four official churches, three Catholic and one Anglican, for the several hundreds of expat Christians living in the country. The number of Muslim background believers has increased from an estimated 500 to 1,000 Christians.

When a Muslim becomes a Christian, he or she often faces persecution from family and the government. They are not allowed to have their own gatherings, so th ey meet in secret locations. Christians are on both sides of the political spectrum in Yemen, but they keep their mutual peace and unity in Christ.

The Constitution of Yemen declares Islam as the State religion, and Shari’a, the Islamic law, as the source of all legislation. The Government forbids conversion from Islam and proselytizing of Muslims. Family and the government are the main sources of oppression and persecution.

The few hundred Christians from a Muslim background meet secretly as they face persecution from authorities, family and extremist Islamic groups. In the north, no church buildings are allowed. There is some religious freedom for foreigners, but evangelism is prohibited. There are four official churches in Aden for the several thousands of Christian expats and refugees living in the country, but large numbers have left as a result of the Arab Spring riots.

Pray:

  • Thank God that Christians, despite their political differences, have maintained unity in Christ
  • For four foreign Christians kidnapped in 2009 who remain missing
  • Presidential elections are due in February 2012. Pray for peace and stability for this deeply divided country.

Jan 31

Things that lead to burnout!

[taken from techrepublic and directed at IT professionals]

1: Never say no

As the saying goes, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Trying to do so will result in certain failure due to over commitment, missed deadlines, and having everyone upset in the attempt to make everyone happy. Instead, commit to pleasing “some of the people some of the time,” through existing governance structures.

2: Skip the vacation

American workers get and use less vacation than our global counterparts. This is a travesty, but it’s one over which workers might exercise some control. Time away from the office is absolutely essential for recharging the batteries and renewing the spirit. Failure to “get away from it all” leaves workers with no opportunity for renewal and can also negatively affect family and personal relationships.

3: Skip lunch

Early in my IT career, I used to work through lunch every day. I didn’t feel like I needed it, and I was more interested in getting work done than in eating. However, I soon learned that lunch is about more than lunch. Everyone needs food to make it through the day, and that short break can be as good as a 15-minute catnap in helping you remain productive the rest of the day. If you constantly skip lunch, you’re also missing an opportunity to engage with coworkers in a different setting. Over time, failure to take these short breaks might make you more easily stressed out — and eventually burned out.

4: Work insane hours

Logic would seem to indicate that you could accomplish twice as much in 80 hours per week than in 40. At some point, more time results in diminishing returns. If you push it too much, you’ll end up constantly tired and sick and not doing anyone any good. There will probably be crunch times during the year when crazy hours will be the norm and expected. But if this happens year round, your organization will quickly burn itself out. Constantly working crazy, insane hours should not be a point of pride. It should be a sign that something is wrong and a warning that you’ll probably get burned out at some point.

5: Disregard family time

For years, articles have been written about jealousy between those with families who need “family time” and those without families who are left to “pick up the slack.” Those with families who attempt to forgo family time will pay the price in a lot of ways. Stress levels will increase as they try to make up for this lost time. And those all-important family ties will begin to suffer, leading to an employee who is bitter and disengaged and wondering why he can’t ever eat with his kids. If you want to avoid burnout, embrace and enjoy time with your family.

6: Fail to watch your health

How many of you exercise every day? How many of you watch every calorie you eat? How many of you weigh more than you did when you started your current job? This is one rule I’ve broken so badly it’s not even funny. Since leaving my previous position, I’ve made it a point to eat better and have started losing weight. If you’re in a stressful job, you may be a “stress eater,” and you may suffer from the fact that stress can lead to weight gain and other health problems if not properly managed. So do what you can to get some exercise (take the stairs, walk to lunch, etc.) and try to eat better and not chow down on junk food while you work. This is much easier said than done!

7: Forgo hobbies

For me, tech started as a hobby before becoming my career. But I sometimes wonder if I need something else outside IT to keep me going. I’m an IT executive by position, but I love playing with tech toys every so often. That’s one of the reasons I write. I get to learn more and play with cool new stuff. Find something you enjoy doing and make a point of doing it!

8: Go it alone

Find a network of peers in other similar organizations and work together, if possible.
Use consultants when you need to. Not everything needs to be “built here.”

9: Create unrealistic expectations

Expectation management is one of the hardest things to get right. You need to make sure that people realize you’re working with a sense of urgency. But at the same time, you don’t want to burn yourself out or overtax your staff. If you create unrealistic expectations by overpromising or under-delivering, you’re going to stress yourself out to the point of exhaustion.

10: Pull all-nighters

When I would pull all-nighters to get a job done, I unintentionally set an expectation that this is the norm when, in fact, it’s not. Constant all-nighters are a sign that something is terribly wrong. Either your organization has no clue how to schedule work or you’ve taken on too much. Fix it before you burn yourself out. Sure, the occasional all-nighter may still happen from time to time — but don’t let it become routine.

Jan 29

“My Hope Is In You” lyrics – Third Day

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul
In you, O God, I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

My hope is in you
Show me your ways
Guide me in Truth
In all my days
My hope is in you

I am, O Lord, filled with your love
You are, O God, my salvation
Guard my life and rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out…

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