Friday, March 5, 2010
Speaking to non-believing rich men, James says, "Weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you."
He speaks of how the people horded their money and belongings and they fattened themselves like a cow gorging himself before he is to be slaughtered. He speaks so harshly to these people who never helped anyone but themselves and even says to them that their money and belongings will corroded and that corrosion will eat their flesh like fire. The great thing for us is that we are saved by grace and grace alone and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord for this. For without Him, we were in this same boat. Yet at the same time I ask myself, without condemnation but with eyes to see, "Why is my reflection not that different from the fat cow? If there is repentance, the turning away from sin, then why does my lifestyle still reflect one who is living on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence?" It's time for me to change my reflection and follow Christ whole-heartedly. To live our lives as He commanded us to. To be doers of the word not just hearers getting gorged.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
On June 10, a Chinese court sentenced Christian bookstore owner, 38 year-old, Shi Weihan, to three years in prison for “illegal business operations,” and fined him US$21,975 , according to China Aid Association.
Shi Weihan operated a legal bookstore and only sold books with the government’s approval. His Holy Spirit Trading Company printed Bibles and Christian literature and distributed then freely to local house churches.
Weihan was arrested in November 2007 for printing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. He was released in January 2008 due to insufficient evidence, but was arrested again in March and held indefinitely. China Aid reported his sentence will run from November 2007 to November 2010. Believers hope that Weihan will be allowed to appeal his sentence because of medical reasons. While in prison his diabetic condition has worsened.
Please pray for Shi Weihan. Pray for his release and for his health. Pray that he will be a constant light shining in the darkest places.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
N. Korea (MNN) ― North Korea remained defiant in the face of international community condemnation by firing two more short-range missiles Tuesday after launching three on Monday, according to Reuters. More test launches are expected.
Spokesman for Open Doors USA Jerry Dykstra says this aggression emphasizes North Korea's importance on the military. "Right now there are 1.2 million people in the army of North Korea and a back-up force of 5 million of their population of 26-million." He says they're on a war footing right now.
Even though North Korea is focused on the outside, Christians aren't getting a pass. Dykstra says, "The average Christian now is under even more danger, if that's possible. There are spies everywhere. If they even see a Bible with a Christian, they are imprisoned."
The spread of Christianity is one of the greatest fears of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. "He feels that the fall of Eastern Europe, the fall of communism, was caused by Christians and that this could also happen in North Korea. That's why there's an increase in surveillance of house churches and Christians."
Meanwhile, North Korean church leaders have started a prayer campaign. "They're praying they can evangelize inside North Korea. And they really feel something is going to happen in North Korea. It may be the fall of the current regime, and they have to be ready," says Dykstra.
The North Korean society is extremely unstable. Believers see this as an opportunity to develop and reinforce their church organization.Open Doors' World Watch List has ranked North Korea as the Number One persecutor of Christians for seven years in a row. Last month, North Korea was re-designated by the U.S. State Department as one of eight "Countries of Particular Concern" for their severe religious freedom violations.North Korean believers are asking the church in the West to support them and keep them in special prayer because of their difficult situation. They are also spending additional time in prayer for each other. They are sensing that the day of opening of North Korea is near. They are actively getting ready for the changes the North Korean churches will face in the future, according to the report."Christians in North Korea are suffering terribly for their faith. Of the estimated 200,000 in political prison camps, an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 are Christians," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. "Now with the firing of several missiles and the war footing, the scrutiny of believers has increased. "What an awesome testimony that Christians inside North Korea have started a prayer campaign for evangelizing the entire country. We need to keep them in our prayers as they risk their lives for their faith."A pastor inside North Korea writes: "We thank God there are so many people who are praying for our country. Your prayers strengthen the Christians in North Korea."
Monday, May 11, 2009
I haven't posted for awhile. We have been very busy preparing for the arrival of the American group. Two men came Saturday night and are doing measuring and planning. The others are coming tonight. Things are going to get even busier with 30 Americans and and 15 Moldovans to feed at every meal starting tomorrow morning. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to update.We will leave the camp on Thursday morning at 1:30am, which will be 3:30pm Wednesday on the west coast. Our flight leaves Moldova at 5:05am to Frankfurt. We will probably not have internet access from Frankfurt. We will be in Frankfurt for 3.5 days and then will fly home and arrive at PHX Sunday night shortly after 6:00pm. It has been very nice being here and helping. It has been a lot of fun to be with Eric and Stephanie. This has been a very postive experience for both Skip and I. A learning experience, I might add. But, it is almost time to return home and resume our responsibilities there. Although we will be sad to leave here, we are just about ready to head back to the states and reunite with our family, church, friends and our dogs of course. :-)We will see most of you soon.Love,Skip and Sheryl
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
We are half way around the world. When our daughter's have difficulties we can do little from Moldova. However we can pray. Two weeks ago Jennifer found out she doesn't have a contract for next year for her job. In other words, she doesn't have a job. She also needs some expensive dental work done. We have been emailing back and forth. To be honest, her situation shook me up at first. We are not there to help. Emailing has helped and praying has definitely helped.Then we got an email yesterday that Joy and Tony (our daughter and grandson) were in a car accident in Northern California on Monday. They are both alright. Tony is absolutely fine. Joy is sore and is in some pain. That news shook us both up. I cried for awhile last night even though everything was over and done. I couldn't help it. We worry about our children no matter how old they are. Joy's car was totaled and the "kids" had to go get another one. They took care of it and we were not there if they needed to consult us. I am sure it is a growing experience for them as well as us. We like to be there for our "kids."Thankfully the Lord is always there for all of us, no matter where we are located. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He doesn't need a plane ticket to come to help us. I am thankful we serve a God who loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. Thank you Lord!
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday we went to the church in the village again. It was not a holiday this week and there were 22 people in attendance. It was all in Romanian so we understood little, but that is ok. There was one song we understood and sang it in English while it was sung in Romanian. Cool that God understood both. It is very special to worship God in two languages at once. It is indescribable.After church we went to a Greek restaurant in the Mall in Chisinau. That was a very pleasant experience. We all had a good time. Then we ran a couple of errands and went to the Metro. The Metro is like Sam's Club in the U.S. I needed to exchange U.S. currency into Moldovan Lei. For some reason I was very nervous. Stephanie went with me. They told me that whatever the lady says she will be asking if you want the whole thing exchanged. We all figured she would talk to me in Romanian. So, I was surprised when she spoke to me in English. If the money is not in good shape they will not exchange it. I was concerned because we forgot to bring brand new bills. Within a few seconds she handed me Lei and that was all there was to it. So, I was nervous and shaking for nothing. It figures! :-) So, now I have exchanged money, whoo hoo!We came home, had home made pizza and watched a movie. It was a very pleasant day.Today Skip is tiling again and I am doing more puddying with wood dough. We got more yesterday. I also made some home made macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight for Eric and Stephanie and us. We will eat that in a couple of hours. The noodles are different here, not as firm. The cheese is different too. It is soft and very tasty. Should be interesting.Sheryl