Tuesday, August 7, 2007


It’s Tuesday! Last night while dreaming or half-awake I was being ministered to with remembered Bible quotes even as I fought off minions working hard to capitalize on every last nerve in my body and on every diseased thought (old audio tracks) in my brain about “not measuring up”. It was all pretty amazing!

I would start to have a bad dream about being in some crisis, unable to function or escape -- and then a choir of angels and reassuring passages from the Bible would segue in, becoming incrementally louder until I would notice and focus on them instead of the situation before me, and the crisis would then shrink and fade and calm would prevail… It’s so lovely that I no longer have to fight against my nerves or obstacles without benefit of all the promises I’ve discovered in God’s Word. “I am with you always… You can do all things through Christ Who gives you strength… If God is for me, who can prevail against me… For I know the plans I have for you… Be not afraid…. I have overcome the world… rest… be still and know that I am God…”

Let me tell you -- This is a TOTAL BLESSING right about now! It always is but when a nervous system feels “in crisis” (when the fight or flight response kicks in and there’s nothing you can do to out-run the perceived “danger”) having these Bible verses rise to my consciousness without having to go looking for them feels like the Holy Spirit ministering to me! And of course that’s exactly what it is because I haven’t memorized any Bible verses at all. (My mind isn’t very good at memorization these days so trying to memorize frustrates the starch out of me.)

HA HA HA HA HA!! The head copywriter gave me a dose of his unique, profound insight while I was writing this today – and it happens to have struck a chord as well as my funny bone, exactly what I need right now. So here it is. I told him I was nervous about the appearance and he emailed his concern and wise counsel, to wit:

“Slow deep breaths. For god's sake, you're addressing a roomful of Trekkies- one of the theoretically least judgemental aggregates of individuals ever to gather on the planet. If the terrible acting on the show didn't put them off, what makes you think anything you might possibly do could make it happen now?”

I work with a couple of cards, can you tell? The copywriters here are just about the funniest people I know – and I do my best to keep pace in the wit department, but try to modulate it around here because I’m the LOUD kind of funny, and my “roomie” (a gentlemanly, quiet kind of side-splitting guy whose office I share) can’t hear himself think when I’m myself, so I play “church mouse” as much as possible – usually unsuccessfully, I might add!

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Something Pastor Alan from Church For The Nations sent in an email today:

Dear CFTNers,

Thank you for your prayers last week as I addressed the Cedar Falls Bible Conference. The Conference addresses went well and the crowd was very responsive to the messages. It is always good to know there are faithful people backing one's efforts in prayer. Thank you. This week, I am sending you excerpts from an article that should interest you and one that you are not likely to hear about otherwise.
For the Nations,
Pastor Alan

The Martyrs No One Cares About

By Michelle MalkinCNSNews.com

Commentary August 01, 2007

The blood of innocent Christian missionaries spills on Afghan sands. The world watches and yawns. The United Nations offers nothing more than a formal expression of "concern."

Where is the global uproar over the human rights abuses unfolding before our eyes?For two weeks, a group of South Korean Christians has been held hostage by Taliban thugs in Afghanistan . This is the largest group of foreign hostages taken in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001.

What was their offense? Were they smuggling arms into the country? No. Inciting violence? No. They were peaceful believers in Christ on short-term medical and humanitarian missions.

Seventeen of the 23 hostages are females. Most of them are nurses who provide social services and relief.

Over the past few days, the bloodthirsty jihadists have demanded that South Korea immediately withdraw troops from the Middle East , pay ransom and trade the civilian missionaries for imprisoned Taliban fighters. The Taliban leaders have made good on threats to kill the kidnapped Christians while Afghan officials plead fecklessly that their monstrous behavior is "un-Islamic."

Two men, 29-year-old Shim Sung-min and 42-year-old Pastor Bae Hyeong-gyu, have already been shot to death and dumped in the name of Allah. Bae was a married father with a 9-year-old daughter. According to Korean media, he was from a devout Christian family from the island province of Jeju . He helped found the Saemmul Church south of Seoul, which sent the volunteers to Afghanistan.

Across Asia , media coverage is 24/7. Strangers have held nightly prayer vigils.

But the human rights crowd in America has been largely AWOL. And so has most of our mainstream media.

I noted the media shoulder-shrugging about jihadist targeting of Christian missionaries five years ago during the kidnapping and murder of American Christian missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham in the Philippines. The silence is rooted in viewing committed Christians as alien others.

At best, there is a collective callousness. At worst, there is outright contempt.

Curiously, those who argue that we need to "understand" Islamic terrorists demonstrate little effort to "understand" the Christian evangelical missionaries who risk their lives to spread the gospel -- not by sword, but through acts of compassion, healing and education. An estimated 16,000 Korean mission workers risk their lives across the globe -- from Africa to the Middle East, China and North Korea.

These are true practitioners of a religion of peace, not the hate-mongers with bombs and AK-47s strapped to their chests who slay instead of pray their way to martyrdom.

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