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The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Kenya Reflections: Part 1 (On Being Different)

Posted by Godefroi on June 24, 2010

Happy, Hopeful

Thoughts from my wife, God bless her:

“When I was in Kenya, I didn’t blend very well. In fact I was an anomaly everywhere I went. I saw a few more white women in Kisumu, but they were just passing through, and so was I. In the villages and schools we visited with people, and most of them were glad we were there. I tried to meet people and just be friendly, but language was often difficult. Surprisingly, it seemed to me that the biggest barrier was shyness. I guess it makes sense that I would not be shy after having traveled so far to visit with the Christians of Kenya, but they were often shy of being met. I was a curiosity, a source of blessing, and a window to the world beyond, but I was unfamilar and imposing. I bungled customs; trying to take the basin from the woman who held it while I washed my hands (I figured it was her to turn wash so we could eat together), sitting in the middle of the church instead of in the seats that had been reserved for the “honored guests,” insisting on helping to carry water jugs with some other women. The Kenyans often wished to maintain a respectful distance – not all of them, and not in an unfriendly way – and I spent the first few days crashing recklessly from one awkward situation to another. I had traveled a long way to close that distance, not reinforce it, but as the week wore on I became more accustomed both to the part the Kenyans expected me to play and to being laughed at when I just didn’t quite “fit” somehow.

Now that I am home, it is clear to me that this was the greatest blessing and revelation of the journey for me personally. Yes, we saw scores of people dedicate themselves to Christ nearly everywhere we went (literally SCORES, as in multiple groups of 20). Yes, we witnessed miraculous healing. God even allowed me the assurance that a young girl was ushered into the kingdom of heaven after she died on the side of the road. None of these things are commonplace, and all of them are powerful. But far and away the most powerful experience for me is the first hand knowledge that I can be that different and still be me.

I remember when I wrestled with the decision to let God lead me. I wondered, as I think most do, how I could do God’s will and still be me? If He had jurisdiction over everything, did I get to pick anything I did? God is so big, I thought that I would just be swallowed up and become some kind of religious automoton. I couldn’t see how I could let God be My Lord in practice without losing something of myself, as if lordship over myself was the essence of who I am. This is why one must follow Christ by faith. It isn’t until after you give God the benefit of the doubt and throw caution to the wind that you realize those fears are completely unfounded. No one can tell you how it is – you either give God the keys and see how it is, or you don’t and you continue to wonder.

At any rate, being different is often uncomfortable. In Kenya, I didn’thave a choice – I was different by definition. Even if I spent years in Kenya and immersed myself in the cultures and languages, I would still stick out like a sore thumb. But in the States, we have to choose to be different, and it’s hard. Even Jesus acknowledged how difficult it was for Him to go back to the people He had grown up with and be different. There are understood expectations. There are assumed modes of conduct. We are completely unconscious of them until we feel the pull to be different. Then even the smallest changes seem to bump up against an insurmountable barrier. Being different feels forced – imposed – because we have to choose it andit’s a lot of work. To go to Kenya and find that “different” can be a partof my identity rather than an addition to it, was a real eye-opener. For the first time I realized that “different” and “same” are definitions imposed on people from outside. “Different” is dependent upon the surroundings and has nothing to do with the individual. It has no meaning what so ever without some outside point of reference. Clearly that outside point of reference has no real significance to me personally. I am the same person in Kenya and the States. Why should I shun being “different”? What difference does it make?

What is it about people that we continually see ourselves through the eyes of others? Why do we define ourselves in terms of external factors? Are we so ignorant of what or who we are? Shouldn’t we know ourselves more intimately than our neighbors do? Why then do we look to them in order to assess ourselves? I have now had the first-hand experience of being awkwardly “different” fora week and yet being the “same” person the whole time. It’s embarrassing that I had to travel almost half-way around the world to see how weak those words are. I look around me and see some people striving for “sameness.” Surely they are really after something more solid – unity or fellowship perhaps. Others go out of their way to be shockingly “different,” even if they make sure to do it in groups. Again, they must be looking for something more – maybe recognition or a sense of power. No wonder being different feels forced or imposed – it is. It’s a definition imposed on the individual as a result of comparison with the group. It’s a meaningless assessment of who someone is.

We saw all those people come to Christ because they encountered the Truth about Him and it was compelling. We witnessed salvation and healing because of the power of the faith that followed. In America, those experiences are different. I think about the joy I felt at being a part of it, and I hope I can hang on to “different” even now that I am home. The Truth is still setting me free.”

Posted in Christianity, Church, Food for Thought, Personal | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

48 Hours

Posted by Godefroi on April 28, 2010

Wow – only two more days til we take off, to bring God’s Word to hungry believers in Kenya.  Please pray for our mission, and safe return.

Kisumu, Kenya

Kisumu, Kenya

Asante Sana!

Posted in Christianity, Church | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

What If?

Posted by Godefroi on April 6, 2010

Hypothetically speaking, what if those crazy “Christianists” took over the government of the Unites States. 

And again hypothetically, what if the new So-Far-Right-They’re-Behind-the-Sunrise Congress appropriated government money (that’s taxes, for any uninformed) and granted – say, $38 Million* – to build a new church somewhere? 

And what if, based on that success, they proceeded to grant a $30-Million-per-year-for-seven-years* boon to a Catholic Priest, SPECIFICALLY  to assist him in evangelizing, and threw in another $89 Million* to build a church?

And then what if, getting even crazier, the Congress started GRANTING LAND to religious institutions, again specifically for evangelism or church-building?

Yeah…what if Congress did all those things?  Those would all be violations of the First Amendment ‘Establishment Clause’ (wall of separation, and all that) right?

Just wondering.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Christianity, Church, Food for Thought, History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bibles for Kenya

Posted by Godefroi on December 10, 2009

The need is great.  Funding help is greatly appreciated.

Prayers coveted.  🙂

Bibles for Kenya

Bibles for Kenya

Posted in Church | 1 Comment »

Point to Ponder

Posted by Godefroi on July 22, 2009

This is a short excerpt from David Barton’s little book America:  To Pray or Not To Pray (pp 15-19 in the version I had).  Emphases are mine.

…eight of the nine Justices on the 1962-63 Supreme Court [that is, the Warren Court that Teh One said didn’t go far enough – GdB] had been appointed to the Court following an extended history of political rather than judicial experience. Chief Justice Earl Warren had been the Governor of California for ten years prior to his appointment; Justice Hugo Black had been a U. S. Senator for ten years; Justice Felix Frankfurter had been an assistant to the Secretary of Labor and a founding member of the ACLU; Justice Arthur Goldberg had been the Secretary of Labor; Justice William Douglas was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission prior to his appointment. All of the Justices except one had similar political backgrounds. Justice Potter Stewart, a federal judge for four years prior to his appointment, was the only member of the Court with extended federal Constitutional experience prior to his appointment. Interestingly, he was also the only Justice who objected to the removal of prayer and Bible reading.  June 25, 1962, in Engel v. Vitale,  the Supreme Court [Warren court] forbade the inclusion of religious activities in major activities of daily student life by striking down school prayer and Bible reading. Never before in the history of our nation had any branch of our government taken such a stand.

Eight out of the nine “justices” on the Warren Court were UNQUALIFIED for the job.  They were not Constitutional scholars – not even JUDGES – but rather politicians.

Today’s courts frequently state that they are compelled by previous decisions to rule in a certain manner, the so-called “Wall of Separation” doctrine being one of them.  Interestingly,

…in Engel v. Vitale, only last year, these principles [the separation of prayer from the classroom] were so universally recognized that the Court, without citation of single case … reaffirmed them. (School Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp; 374 U.S. 203, 220-221, 1963)

Did you catch that?  The Engel case which banned school prayer did not cite even ONE precedent to back up the ruling.  Stare decisis has become a handy excuse to keep Constitutionally-questionable policies and practices in place.

Let me suggest to any visitors here to read Mr. Barton’s book cited above, or even better one called “Original Intent”.  You will see that the reason the Warren court did not cite any precedents is that the precedents were all against them.

Just something to think about.

Posted in Big Government, Church, Food for Thought, History | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

End Anti-Christian Bigotry!

Posted by Godefroi on November 14, 2008

Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs.  Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry wrapped in the guise of a U.N. resolution called “Combating Defamation of Religions.”  We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity.  Please read the form below carefully and declare your membership with the ACLJ by adding your name to our PETITION OPPOSING THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE.

via ACLJ.

Posted in Anti-dhimmitude, Christianity, Church, Persecution | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

A Prescription for Today’s Church

Posted by Godefroi on June 15, 2008

I found this at Town Hall, and had to share.

1. Get men who dig being rowdy back in the pulpit.

2. Could we have some sound doctrine, por favor?

3. Preach scary sermons (at least every fourth one).

4. Get rid of 99.9% of “Christian” TV.

5. Quit trying to be relevant and instead become prophetic contrarians, I’m talking contra mundus, mama!

6. Put a 10-year moratorium on “God wants you rich” sermons (yeah, that’s what we need to hear nowadays, you morons, more sermons about money, money, money!).

7. Embrace apologetics and shun shallow faith.

8. Evangelize like it’s 1999.

9. Push lazy Christians to get a life or join a Satanic Church.

10. Demand that if a Christian gets involved in the arts that their “craft” must scream excellence and not excrement.

Expansion here.

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Flight 93 blogburst: call for churches to be witnesses for the truth about the Flight 93 memorial

Posted by Godefroi on June 5, 2008

A call for America ’s churches to step up as witnesses for the truth about the Flight 93 memorial

Blogburst logo, petition

Three segments of American society get paid to investigate and report facts: academia [unless you’re Nadia Abu El Haj], the press, and government [uh…]. For two and a half years, all three have been spinning desperately to avoid and suppress the facts about Islamic and terrorist memorializing symbolism in the Flight 93 memorial.

Luckily there is a fourth segment of society that is also charged to witness truth, not for pay, but on religious principle. Asked by Pilate to account for himself, Jesus answered:

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. [Jn. 18:37.]

Those who follow Jesus are supposed to do the same, which means first of all checking and reporting the facts when the importance of an issue warrants it.

The importance of the Flight 93 memorial to our churches could not be clearer. The Islam of the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 is a religion of murder and deceit. Their self-professed strategy is to hide amongst us, pretending to be trustworthy friends, while plotting mass-murder against Christians, Jews, and all non-Muslims.

Whether this religion of deceit is the “true” Islam, as the bin Ladenists assert, or a bastardization of it, a deceptive memorial to the 9/11 terrorists is a direct challenge to the truth witnessing capacity of our society, and to the truth witnessing character of our Christian churches.

In a contest between deceit and honesty, there is no doubt which is stronger. Witness exposes and destroys deceit. If our churches enter this contest, they win. But will they enter? THAT is the test. If our churches stand by, and fail to witness truth, then the al Qaeda religion of murder and deceit may well succeed in stabbing its terrorist memorial mosque into the heartland of America .

The father of one of our Flight 93 heroes is asking America ’s churches for help

In consultation with Tom Burnett Sr., Alec Rawls has put together a flyer that all of us can take to our local churches to try to organize sanctioned fact-checking efforts that our churches can stand behind publicly two months from now.

August 2nd is the next public meeting of the Memorial Project. Tom and Alec will both be traveling to Somerset PA to rally opposition. Mancow Muller is urging his national radio audience to attend, and groups like Rolling Thunder are also being contacted.

With Mr. Burnett in attendance, even a modest turnout will bring substantial news coverage, but coverage alone is not enough. We are facing a fact-checking blockade by the mainstream media, and can only break it by enlisting churches or other independent groups to sponsor their own fact checking efforts.

Are you a member of any kind of group where interested members could set up an ad hoc committee to check a few basic facts about the planned memorial? The full group or chapter could then make an official decision whether to stand behind this fact checking publicly in a press release that Tom and Alec can announce at the August meeting.

Christian churches may be our best bet, being charged by Jesus to be witnesses for truth, and having “chapters” all over America . Thus this initial effort is addressed in particular to our churches, but any group that wants to expose important truths can perform the same service.

The flyer prints out front and back on a single sheet of paper. It has a couple of color graphics, but prints fine in black and white for inexpensive copying. If you want to participate, just add your contact info at the bottom (the file is MS Word and can be altered), then go see if you can raise some interest!

I’m going to do my part. Are you?

To join our blogbursts, just send your blog’s url.

Current advocates below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Church, Deception, Flight 93 Blogburst | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Say Goodbye to England

Posted by Godefroi on May 29, 2008

A quote from the editorial of The Church of England Newspaper, 28 May 2008

If recent reports of trends in religious observance prove to be correct, then in some 30 years the mosque will be able to claim that, religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation, and therefore needs a share in any religious establishment to reflect this….]

[…]

Charles Taylor’s new and classic work on the Secular Age charts the rise of the secular mindset and what he calls the ‘excarnation’ of Christianity as it is levered out of state policy and structures. Christianity is now regarded as bad news, the liberal elite’s attack developed in the 1960s took root in the educationalist empire, and to some extent even in areas of the church.

Today the Christian story is fading from public imagination, while Islam grows apace.

Somewhere, St. George is weeping.

But there’s hope elsewhere in Europe (though small hope) also from Brussels Journal.

A quote from Der Spiegel, 28 May 2008

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party said it would like to see Germany do its part to help out. At a press conference in Berlin, parliamentarian Erika Steinbach, the CDU’s human rights spokeswoman, said her party wanted to see Germany accept thousands of Iraqi refugees. In particular, she said, the CDU wants to extend its welcoming hand to Iraqis who have suffered religious persecution in Iraq. In particular, that means the Christians. […]

I’m not holding my breath on the success of this one, however.

Posted in Church, Food for Thought, Islam | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Prayers and Praise

Posted by Godefroi on April 30, 2008

(this occurred within my faith community – it’s not from a spam email or any other such nonsense)

 

The situation:

There’s an 11 year old young lady who is checking into a hospital in this morning for some very extensive surgery on her face. She has a mass that is growing under her left eye that is putting pressure on her eye socket. The doctor doesn’t think it is malignant, but it will require extensive surgery to remove it, (they are going in under her top lip, and up through her sinuses) and there is a great risk of excessive blood loss with the surgery, requiring transfusion.

The request:

She is carrying a “prayer pager”.  If you choose, when you pray for her and her family, you may call the pager at xxx-xxxx, press any number key, and hang up. She will be notified by the buzz that someone is praying for her, though she will not know who.

 

Her mother wrote this morning: “Keep the prayers coming – she is wearing the pager right now as we’re on the road. The kids were in awe how late the prayers came in last night and how early this morning. What a great tool to really represent your thoughts and prayers for us”.

 

I am asking you to join in keeping her and her family lifted up in prayer, and keep that little pager buzzing today!

The Result:

It’s A Miracle!! That’s what Dr. Green just told Shelley. He has never seen anything like it, there was no bleeding, her eye is back where it belongs! Our God is So Good!!!

The Lesson:

Thanks so much for praying. God has heard and answered in a powerful way!

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working] (James 5:16b)

 

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Persecution of the Day

Posted by Godefroi on March 26, 2008

From Globe and Mail.

DOHA, QATAR — Qatar’s first Christian church has no cross, no bell and no steeple.

And when thousands of worshippers gather at Our Lady of the Rosary to mark Easter, they pray no one will notice.

Of course, this is in order to be Sharia-compliant (and thereby safeguard their lives)…”If the infidels live among the Muslims, in accordance with the conditions set out by the Prophet—there is nothing wrong with it provided they pay Jizya to the Islamic treasury. Other conditions are…that they do not renovate a church or a monastery, do not rebuild ones that were destroyed, that they feed for three days any Muslim who passes by their homes…that they rise when a Muslim wishes to sit, that they do not imitate Muslims in dress and speech, nor ride horses, nor own swords, nor arm themselves with any kind of weapon: that they do not sell wine, do not show the cross, do not ring church bells, do not raise their voices during prayer […] If they violate these conditions they have no protection.”

“The idea is to be discreet because we don’t want to inflame any sensitivities. There isn’t even a signboard outside the church. No signs at all,” said Rev. Tom Veneracion.

No…we surely don’t want to inflame sensitivities, do we.

Posted in Church, Persecution | 1 Comment »

More “No-bama” Reasons

Posted by Godefroi on January 16, 2008

The ascent of Barack Obama from state senator in Illinois to a leading contender for the Presidential nomination in the span of just a few years is remarkable. Especially in light of a noticeably unremarkable record — a near-blank slate of few accomplishments and numerous missed votes.

However, in one area of foreign policy that concerns millions of Americans, he does have a record and it is a particularly troubling one…

One seemingly consistent them running throughout Barack Obama’s career is his comfort with aligning himself with people who are anti-Israel advocates. This ease around Israel animus has taken various forms…

Early on in his career he chose a church headed by a former Black Muslim who is a harsh anti-Israel advocate and who may be seen as tinged with anti-Semitism. This church is a member of a denomination whose governing body has taken a series of anti-Israel actions…

As his political fortunes and ambition climbed, he found support from George Soros, multibillionaire promoter of groups that have been consistently harsh and biased critics of the American-Israel relationship…

Now that Obama has become a leading Presidential candidate, he has assembled a body of foreign policy advisers who signal that a President Obama would likely have an approach towards Israel radically at odds with those of previous Presidents (both Republican and Democrat). A group of experts collected by the Israeli liberal newspaper Haaretz deemed him to be the candidate likely to be least supportive of Israel. He is the candidate most favored by the Arab-American community.

The anti-Israel rants of this minister [of Trinity United Community Church which Obama has attended for 20 years – GdB] have been well chronicled. Among the gems: 

The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for almost 40 years now. [This is an outright lie – GdB] It took a divestment campaign to wake the business community up concerning the South Africa issue. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community up and to wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism. [of course no mention here of the injustice and racism suffered by dhimmi Jews at the hands of the Arab Muslims for a millenium and a half- GdB]

Nevertheless, an Obama spokesman told the New York Times he is proud of his pastor and his church…

As I’ve mentioned before, what is the likelihood that he would attend a church for 20 years yet not agree with it’s outlook?

Obama has shown continued allegiance to a man who preaches racial exclusiveness, the superiority of black values over white middle-class values, and whose teaching contains anti-Israel diatribes. All these are sharply at variance with what Obama himself preaches on the campaign trail.

Read…It…All.
 

Posted in Church, Deception, Food for Thought, Israel, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »