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Posted in America, American Dream, business, Christian entrepreneur, Christian finance, christianity and finances, Christianity and riches, Christians Get Rich, entrepreneur, entrepreneurial spirit, family finance, financial stewardship, Financial Talk, financial,, get rich, God and riches, opportunities, riches, think and grow rich
Christianity in Laos: persecution and revival
They get persecuted by their government, spurned by their neighbors, thrown out of their houses. Still the Laotian Christians are growing and evangelizing successfully, fomenting one of Asia’s great underground revivals.
Pei, a 52-year-old widow, illustrates what you can expect to suffer in a nation whose communist government promotes atheism and whose animists and Buddhists think you offend local gods by accepting “the God of America.”
When Pei heard the gospel via a salesman, she embraced the message of salvation by faith and forsook the worship of her ancestors. Secretly, she received discipleship for four months.
When she felt strong enough and bold enough, Pei ventured to share her faith with her daughter and son-in-law.
“Both her daughter and son-in-law immediately began to violently criticize her,” a Christian leader told Christian Aid Mission (CAM). “They told her if she did not stop believing Jesus, they would report her to the police, put her in jail or kick her out of the house, because the son-in-law is a policeman.”
Pei remained steadfast in her faith, while her daughter and husband remained steadfast in their anger.
“In June, while they were yelling at her to leave the house, they grabbed all her clothes and threw them out of the house,” the leader said. “They told her to live with her people who shared about Jesus with her. They told her to never return to the house.”
In Laos, the constitution allows for freedom of faith, in theory. But the government, which espouses atheism, has restricted the practice of Christianity. Officials, hearkening back to the sufferings of the Vietnam War they blame on America, see Christianity as a propagandist arm of militaristic capitalism.
The hostility towards Christians is not only practiced by the government. Laotians are mostly Buddhist or animists and see conversion to Christianity as a grave offense against the local gods.
“You people believe in America’s god,” a villager was told by a local official, as narrated to UCA News. “Don’t you remember what America did to our country?” Read the rest: Christianity in Laos — persecution and revival.
Posted in America, animist, Buddhism, Christ, Christian, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, christianity in asia, evangelism, how to evangelize?, Laos, missionaries, missionary, persecution of Christians, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged christian aid mission, God of America, local gods, vietnam, vietnam war
Nikki Cannon, building African American wealth in Los Angeles
People told Nikki Cannon’s mom, diagnosed with dyslexia, to be a typist. With bigger ambitions, she, notwithstanding, graduated with a bachelor degree, a master’s and a Phd. She became a university professor and a consultant for the U.S. Congress on social justice.
Triumphing over tough times was always part of Nikki’s life. Today she holds six professional licenses and an MBA and is building a team of financial professionals with World Financial Group. “I definitely did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth,” she told The Pace.
While she was in high school in Hawaii, her mother packed one suitcase and she and Nikki fled a physically abusive husband/step-dad. Mom and daughter landed in LAX, got a hostel room for two weeks and ate at soup kitchens until Mom got a job at Burger King.
Yup, a PhD flipping burgers. “She made it work,” Nikki says. “Honestly, I don’t feel like I came from poverty. I had a great childhood. There was never any obstacle that she was not going to overcome.” Eventually, mom landed a job with Children Protective Services and segued back to academia. For her part, Nikki was a stellar student at Los Angeles High School who, ironically, didn’t plan to go to college.
“Have you heard back from any of the colleges you applied to?” a college counselor called after her one day. No, she responded. She wanted to take time off to help out Mom. He looked at her grades and her SAT. It was too late for the UCs and Cal States, but she could still apply for private schools. At his insistence, she applied to four universities and was accepted into all four. Read the rest: Nikki Cannon financial advisor
Posted in African Americans, America, American Dream, financial advisor, Financial Talk, financial,, generational wealth, personal finances,, retirement, think and grow rich, wealth, wealth gap
Tagged Christianity, church, Kermit Cannon, Nikki Cannon, tuition, usc, World Financial Group
Supermodel Kathy Ireland’s journey to Christ
God was a yeller, or so Kathy Ireland thought.
At the church she grew up in, the pastor preached a screechy, judgmental message and she superimposed the image of her pastor on God. She thought that God must be like that.
“There was a part of me that was kind of scared of God,” Ireland says on an I am Second video. “The church that I attended as a child, the leader there would kind of yell.”
She jumped into modeling at age 16 and was featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Mademoiselle and the racy Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition multiple times.
Ireland flew off to Paris to start modeling at age18. “It sounds so much more glamorous than it was,” she admits.
Her mother, who had accepted Jesus when Ireland was a teen, slipped a Bible in her luggage. She didn’t feel comfortable staying at a home provided in Paris. She often locked herself in her room, and other models who stayed there ominously called it “the dungeon.”
One night, lonely, bored, jet-lagged, Ireland found the Bible and began to thumb through its pages, a novelty for her.
“I randomly opened up to the Gospel of Matthew,” Ireland says. “As I read, my life was forever changed.”
Ireland had been a rebellious teenager who questioned authority. She wondered about truth and what was right and wrong.
When she examined the Bible for the first time, she realized it contained the truth.
“I think one of the things that grabbed a hold of me was that Jesus wasn’t anything like I thought,” Ireland continues. “He wasn’t condemning. He wasn’t yelling. Instead, He was loving, and He was leading.”
Ireland discovered that modeling is a world flush with exploitation. “Particularly as a young woman out in the world for the first time, in a world that often times felt dominated by men of questionable character, it gave me such comfort to know that Jesus loves women and honors them,” she says. Read the rest: Kathy Ireland Christian.
Product of rape wins beauty pageant
When Valerie Gatto’s uncommon beauty allowed her to win the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in 2014, it was impossible to imagine she was a product of rape.
Her mom was only 19 and planning on law school when she was attacked at knifepoint, raped and nearly killed.
The assailant wanted to prevent his victim from going to the cops by silencing her permanently, but an unusual flash of light scared him and he ran from the scene.
How does light emerge from the depths of darkness and despair?
“Mom always told me I was her light,” she told LifeSite News.
Valerie found out about her conception in the third grade when, when she wondered why she didn’t have a father like other kids and asked her mom.
Absorbing this difficult news, she never accepted an attitude of victimhood. Her mother, who had to abandon her plans for law school to take care of her baby, brought her to church and got Valerie involved in social outreach.
She was raised by her mother and grandparents in a stable, loving home.
“I knew God put me here for a purpose, and He’s the reason my mother and I were saved,” she told CBN. Mom “always would tell me I was her light. I am the light to illuminate the darkness for all to see, and I look at it from that moment of conception, there has been that light associated with darkness.”
Valerie got involved in clothing drives, giving gifts to children in hospital care, and Operation Dear Abby, which gives cards to U.S. military members stationed overseas, according to LifeSite.
“I live my life not thinking of it as something negative but looking at how to turn a negative into a positive,” Valerie told CBN Read the rest abortion in case of rape.
Russian Armenian ex-atheist Christian rapper who signs black artists for his label
At age 10, Ruslan became a decided atheist after his father, immigrating from Azerbaijan with the family, dumped his mother and married another woman.
“At the time, my mom was so distraught over this, she stopped going to this Armenian Orthodox church where we found a lot of community,” he says on a video on his YouTube channel. “I was 10, 11 or 12, and I was literally convinced that there was no God. I was saying, ‘I’m an atheist,’ at a very young age.”
But when Ruslan, who today is a top Christian hip hop artist, got to high school, he was torn between girls: one was Christian, the other was Jehovah’s Witness. He decided to settle the dispute of whether Jesus was God by studying. He read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and the encyclopedic New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.
The verdict came in.
“I — based on a very intellectual rational experience — came to faith,” he says. “My faith wasn’t hinged upon an experience. It hinged on the evidence that Jesus was God and He resurrected from the death.”
Ruslan Karaoglanov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan to a Russian mother who had been adopted by an Armenian family and an Armenian father. As an infant in the 1980s, he contracted an acute urinary tract infection, and a doctor at a remote clinic on the Caspian Sea performed a circumcision to save his life.
Five years later, Muslim extremists fanned out through the region to massacre Christian men and boys. Toting automatic weapons, rebels fighting the Soviet Army very nearly killed Ruslan, but his mom argued they were Muslims and showed her son’s circumcision as proof (in that region of the world, Christians do not usually circumcise while Muslims do).
“No! No! No!” Marina shouted in Russian, as narrated by Christianity Today. “We’re not Armenians. Look, my son is circumcised!”
The ruse worked.
The reign of terror didn’t abate, and finally the family applied for visas to America on the basis of religious persecution. They settled in San Diego in 1990.
Little Ruslan spoke only Russian and was one of just five a few “white” kids mixed with “black and brown” youngsters at school. His apartment complex and community had roughly the same ratio.
So while he studied English, Ruslan also learned “basketball, break dancing, graffiti and rap,” he wrote to God Reports via Instagram DM. “My experience with the black community is they tend to be very gracious and welcoming of outsiders. Specifically black church folk. I’ve never felt out of place or anything. Always the opposite.”
Ruslan free-styled with his friends from age 10 and performed at open mic night by age 12. He bought as many hip hop CDs as he could and started gravitating towards the gang culture of the hip hop in that era. For attempting to break in to a house, he was arrested and put on probation at age 12.
As part of his probation, he was required to do community service, so he decided to perform it at a church where a lady named Charee, an ex convict who converted radically to Christ, attended. He cleaned the church but also heard the Word. People kept prophesying to him: “You’re going to do things for the Lord.”
Afterwards, his mom still worried and wondered how to help her son escape the bad influences, so she moved to San Marcos, to the immediate north of San Diego. Ruslan got better grades, stayed out of trouble and stayed in the rap game. “Yo, you’re really dope,” friends told him repeatedly.
“I was super into basketball and thought I was going to play for the NBA. In my sophomore year, I got cut from my JV basketball team” at Vista High School, Ruslan says on a video. “Ever since then, I made the mental switch that I was going to take music more seriously. I started entering all the talent shows. I won second place in our high school’s battle of the bands in 2001.” Read the rest: Ruslan Russian Armenian ex atheist Christian immigrant rapper.
Posted in America, American Dream, Armenia, Armenian, art, basketball, being cool, blessings, California, Christ, Christian, Christian hip hop, Christian leadership, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, christian music, Christian news, Christian rap, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, church, conversion, hip hop, rap, resurrection, Ruslan, Russia, russian
Tagged Armenian Orthodox, atheism, Azerbaijan, Baku, Caspian Sea, circumcision, divorce, dream junkies, Evidence that demands a verdict, Islam, Jon Keith, josh mcdowell, Kings Dream Entertainment, Lee Strobel, marriage, muslim, New Evidence that demands a verdict, oceanside, Paul Russell, persecution of Christians, Ruslan Karagoglanov, San Diego, San Marcos, soviet union, The Case for Christ, urinary infection, Vista High School
Revival in public schools through Christians in athletics
Whenever Christians complain about declining attendance in established churches, Josh Brodt pipes up about the thousands of kids who accept Jesus every year. Revival is happening in our public schools, he says.
“We’ve seen quite a revival taking place in the San Fernando Valley,” says Josh, 34. “Students are hungry for something real, something more than what the world offers. It’s clear to me that students need genuine faith in something more than themselves, and they’re searching for that.
“It’s been phenomenal to see.”
Josh works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which coordinates with students to bring professional and college athletes to talk to high school sports teams. He personally meets with coaches and students at 15 high schools.
Last academic year, FCA workers in the San Fernando Valley, a part of Los Angeles that holds about half its population, saw 459 kids get saved, and they gave away 2,000 Bibles. The year prior, 900 students accepted Jesus, he says.
“A lot of students feel like outsiders, like they don’t have a place to belong, a place to call their own.” Josh says. “FCA is a place where people can belong, a spiritual community where students can feel comfortable.”
“On campuses people are desperate for God, they’re desperate for Jesus,” he adds. “A lot of them are recognizing that, and they’re making decisions towards that end.”
Media and sociological reports harp on declining memberships in established protestant churches and the growth of “nones,” people who report to Census and other surveys as having no religion.
But these depressing numbers don’t tell the whole story. While “established” churches may be declining and closing, those same surveys don’t catch the number of new churches opening simply because they don’t register them.
And while the number of “nones” grows significantly, the hopelessness of a meaningless and moral-less worldview make for a ripe harvest field. Read more about revival in public schools.
Posted in America, athletics, Christian, Christian high school, Christian news, Christianity, Christianity in Athletics, declining membership churches, faith, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, God, God's work, Jesus, Los Angeles, nones, San Fernando Valley
Tagged football, soccer, volleyball
Ask for prayer? Go to jail. New wackiness for the U.S. Air Force
Attorney Michael Weinstein, who “trolls” open Christians on military bases, is now attacking Brigadier General John Teichert, newly installed wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base, because his personal website calls for Christians to pray at lunchtime for the United States.
Weinstein called for a military investigation of the “disgraceful, illegal and brazen promotion of (Treichert’s) personal flavor of his weaponized version of Christianity.”
Weinstein is the leader of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which contrary to what the name suggests suppresses — not defends — religious freedom. Weinstein’s complaint to Defense Secretary James Mattis supposedly represents 41 airmen from Edward’s Air Force Base in California.
“General Teichert should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a Wing wearing a general’s stars,” Weinstein said, as reported on Fox News. Treichert is a “fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator,” Weinstein says.
Todd Starnes, writing for Fox News, called the allegations “so outlandish they deserve no response.”
“The Air Force appears to be doing exactly what it should upon receiving a complaint from Mikey Weinstein: ignoring him,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry says. “Like so many complaints by the MRFF, this complaint is vindictive, intolerant and completely without merit. Bigoted demands that an officer be thrown in military prison because he prays for others should be rejected out of hand.”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation attacks any public display of the Christian faith on military bases, Starnes says. “The group is typically triggered by Nativity scenes and Bibles placed on Missing Man tables.”
The military has guidelines to prevent overt proselytizing in the name of the Air Force, but the controversy stems from the general’s private and personal website.
“Bible-believing Americans should take time to specifically pray for our nation at lunchtime every day,” the website says. It also features a prayer list – including among others President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Congress and the military.
Retired Army Col. Phil Wright, the executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, sees MRFF’s accusations as egregious.
“One of [Weinstein’s] attacks is that [Teichert] is proselytizing, forcing his religion onto someone,” Wright says. “But you have to go to the website. No one is forced to go, and you can turn it off at any moment.
“This general, on his own time, as an expression of his faith, with a non-military website from a non-military computer can state his beliefs.” Read the rest of John Teichert in trouble for asking for prayer.
Former Neo Nazi Ken Parker now attends black church
A year ago, Ken Parker marched with the Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, putting feet to his affinity with the white nationalist movement. Since then, he’s gotten saved, repented of racism, gotten baptized and attends an almost all black church in Jacksonville, Florida.
“When we make it to Heaven, Heaven’s not just gonna be one race. There’s gonna be all kinds of races up there,” says Pastor William McKinnon III of the All Saints Holiness Church where Ken and his fiancé attend.
Ken started riling up racial hatred when he got out of the Navy and couldn’t land a job. He found a scapegoat in minorities.
First he joined the KKK and ascended up the ranks to become the Grand Dragon Master. But the white-hooded men who burned crosses weren’t racist enough for Ken. So somewhere in his six years out of the Navy, he joined the Neo-Nazis.
The Charlottesville, Virginia, protest was supposedly to save historical monuments but it quickly flared into violent clashes that left one person dead.
“It was thinly veiled to save our monuments, to save our heritage,” Ken told NBC news. “But we knew when we went in there that it was gonna turn into a racially heated situation, and it wasn’t going to work out good for either side.”
Ken spilled his virulent hate with proclamations of “white power.” He hated Jews and gays too.
But he started having misgivings when interviewed by a filmmaker documenting the white nationalist movements. Those doubts culminated in a 180-degree reversal when his neighbor, a black pastor, invited him to a barbecue. After chatting with people at the end of the pool party, Pastor William invited Ken and his fiancé to church.
Ken thought it was worth a try.
When he showed up he found that he, his fiancé, and another church member were the only three white people in the 70-person congregation. As he listened to the worship music and the sermon, he found his heart softening.
That morning he accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord and was born again — completing the transition from racist to redeemed!
Ken gave his testimony one day before the congregation.
“I said I was a grand dragon of the KKK, and then the Klan wasn’t hateful enough for me, so I decided to become a Nazi — and a lot of them, their jaws about hit the floor and their eyes got real big,” Ken remembers. “But after the service, not a single one of them had anything negative to say. They’re all coming up and hugging me and shaking my hand, you know, building me up instead of tearing me down.” Finish the story Neo Nazi saved in black church.
Posted in African Americans, America, charlottesville, Christ, Christian, Christian love, Christian news, Christianity, florida, jacksonville, Jesus, KKK, neo nazis, north carolina, race relations, Racism
Tagged Ken Parker, white, white supremacy
Success is everything? Hahaha.
Her drug was success.
April grew up in the small beach town of St. Augustine, Florida, and it was a good life. She and her sister would always have fun together.
Her parents were stable and although they didn’t grow up in the church they still taught her to follow a good moral path.
Throughout high school, April was driven to succeed. She got straight A’s and wanted to please her parents. There was nothing wrong with that — except that it went overboard. Her expectations became unrealistic and she obsessed on over-achieving.
“I never tried drugs or anything like that, but success was my drug.” She was constantly focusing on what she needed to do or how she could improve. And she regretted any little thing that she believed she should have done better.
“It’s not bad to seek success in a sense but it can take over,” she says on a video of the Prescott Potter’s House. “It definitely took over my life.”
A high school friend invited her to a church concert and play where she was introduced to the idea that Jesus wanted to enter her heart, a completely foreign concept to her.
When she heard what they were talking about she was confused.
They play was about two soldiers. One of the soldiers was about to die. As he was passing the other soldier explained to him that he needed to accept Jesus in his heart before it was too late.
“I never knew God wanted a relationship or anything to do with our lives.”
While she was sitting through the play she thought to herself, Wow, these people have something that I don’t have.
She observed the people in the church and noted a big difference. They had peace; she had stress. She was timid about accepting Jesus but inwardly, “I knew I wanted that.”
By the end of the night they had an altar call, and as much as she resisted, arguing with herself that she was already a good person, she found herself making the decision.
“Now I know it was God tugging on my heart,” April says. She wound up at the altar receiving Jesus into her heart. Read more Keys to Success.
Posted in America, American Dream, Christianity, Financial Talk, florida, Jesus, money, success
Tagged Christian testimony, Potter's House, Prescott, St Augustine
From hunting terrorists to being haunted by flashbacks: How Wesley Pinnick is making the transition from soldier to civilian
One of the hardest transitions for Wesley Pinnick from hunting terrorists in Iraq to civilian life in America was the loss of brotherhood he felt in the military.
“A lot of guys who go in the military have blood brothers, but they go in the military and they say, ‘You’re closer to me than a blood brother’ because you literally spend a year or years all of your time together,” Wesley says. “Those guys I went to combat with know everything about my life. You have nothing else to do but play dominoes and talk. It’s emotional bond that you have with these guys.”
Of course there was post traumatic stress disorder. Of course the shift from adrenaline jolts while dodging bullets to the drudgery of a day job was difficult. But it was the bond that was formed with those brothers — and then was broken when he returned to America — that hit him hard.
“When I got home, I realized, I’m never going to be as close with anybody ever again as I have with these guys — even to the point of when I get married, will I ever be this close to my wife?” he wondered.
Wesley is lucky. He found a church and fellowship with Christian brothers that, if not as close, was a decent approximation. He ran a discipleship house with new converts to help them break free from drugs, alcohol and other habitual sins as they learned to follow Jesus at the Door Church in Tucson.
As the U.S. war on terror extends itself with no end in sight, the U.S. is seeing increasing numbers of soldiers who struggle with traumas. Wesley’s story points the way to one great help for these soldiers — Jesus and the bond of brotherhood that can form in the church.
“The question is how do I live a life when I’ve already done potentially the greatest things I will ever do with my life, and I’m 21?” Wesley says. “What I really needed was people I could depend on and who could depend on me. I needed that camaraderie.”
Today, Wesley is a pastor in Long Beach, CA. But how he left his childhood church and enlisted to raise hell in Iraq is the story of a prodigal son.
Wesley knew nothing but church as a kid and teen. His dad was a minister in the Door Church, and he never had a friend outside the church. He felt burned out on the “unreasonable expectations” imposed on church kids.
“The reason I joined the military was to get away from church,” he says. “I backslid because I didn’t see any reason for me to stay saved. I didn’t want to mark out the next 30, 40 years in the church.”
So he bolted. Instead of fighting the devil, he fought terrorists. He and his buddies blasted open doors with C-4 plastic explosive and hauled off suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists in 2004 at the start of the war in Mosul.
“It was a very traumatic experience in a lot of ways,” says Wesley, who fast-tracked to sergeant in two years. “I still don’t know how to talk about that.”
He was in the middle of the desert without God. Between the deaths of two buddies, he suddenly decided to re-start his relationship with Jesus by praying at night in bed.
“One day I just said, ‘God, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to have a relationship with You, but I want to have a relationship with You,’” he remembers. “‘I don’t have a church, a pastor or a Bible. I don’t know how this is going to work, but I’m willing to do it.’ But looking back, those six months were some of the most intense moments I had with God in my entire relationship with God over the course of my entire life.”
Surprisingly, it wasn’t the constant brushes with death that drove him to Jesus, he says. In fact, the exact opposite happens: soldiers who have escaped unscathed from conflict wrongly believe they are invulnerable. Read the rest of overcoming PTSD through God.
Marijuana-smoking Shiva devotee could only get free from weed through Jesus
From a very young age, Nepal-born Surya Bhandari had a fervent desire to please the Hindu god Shiva. Because Shiva smoked marijuana, Surya sought to please him by smoking weed himself — starting at age 8.
Then in the sixth grade he learned about the dangers of tuberculosis and cancer from smoking and began to question the wisdom of the god. Also, kids at school started pointing at him as a “bad kid” for his cannabis consumption.
“In my little mind, I started thinking, ‘Why do they call me bad?’” Surya remembers. “‘This great god Shiva smokes marijuana. Why would they call me bad? Is it really bad? If I am bad, then this god Shiva is bad. If he is bad, is he really a god?’”
He belonged to the priestly Brahman class, but he turned his back on Hinduism, called himself an “atheist,” started using other drugs and alcohol.
“This Shiva destroyed my life,” he reasoned. “I’m not able to quit smoking marijuana. Someday I’m going to get TB or cancer and I’m going to die, and this god is responsible.
“I became so angry.”
One day he had a dream of being chased by a tall figure clad in a white gown. He thought it was a ghost. It scared him so badly that he didn’t want to go to his usual taekwondo that morning and instead decided to distract himself by reading one of his older brother’s books.
His older brother had either left home or been kicked out — he wasn’t really sure — because he had secretly become a Christian and was attending underground meetings somewhere downtown.
As Surya thumbed through the volumes on the bookcase, he happened to pull out a slim volume, opened it and saw — to his utter surprise — a picture of the same white-clad figure. Suddenly his fear abated, and he continued to read eagerly. “It was God, not a ghost,” he concluded.
From that moment on, he wanted to become a Christian. But attending a church was no easy matter in those days in Nepal. Carrying a Bible was a crime worse than drug trafficking.
But Surya was determined. He begged an old friend of his brother to tell him where he could find the underground church that his brother attended. The young man was backslidden at the time and didn’t want to say anything. But after days of begging, Surya got him to relent and give him some rough directions.
The first chance he got he went eight miles away from his village to Pokhara. He liked the songs and listened intently without understanding much of the sermon. To his surprise after the service, nobody approached him or talked to him to explain things, and he was too shy to ask.
Maybe people were afraid of the strict anti-proselytizing laws. They could get into a lot of trouble if they were perceived as trying to convert someone. Also, some may have been cautious, because a newcomer might be a spy from the police.
But Surya didn’t understand all of this at the time. It seemed to him that God’s people were indifferent. The next time Surya went to church it was the same. Nobody talked to him. So he quit going.
Then he did something that brought great shame on his family. He flunked out of school. His parents scolded him constantly and his brothers beat him.
So he took to the streets. He would leave before anybody woke up. He would come home, entering through the window, after everybody was in bed. HIs grandmother always saved him some food.
He tried but found that he couldn’t quit drugs. Everybody in town called him a bad kid. Even the principal of the school saw fit to take him aside and rebuke him for bringing shame on his family.
All this was too much for Suryam and he began to contemplate suicide.
“I loved my father so much. I did not want to bring shame on my father,” he says, reasoning to himself at the time: “If I can’t bring a good name for him, I have no right to live.”
He decided to throw himself off a cliff and into a river near his town. Read the rest of Chrisitanity in Nepal
Posted in America, Christian love, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Financial Talk, God, Hinduism, Jesus, kathmandu, Los Angeles, marijuana, nepal, pokhara, revival, San Fernando Valley, Shiva
Tagged Surya Bhandari
Born-again Palestinian pastor holds hope for Israel, Palestine
As a Palestinian born-again pastor in Los Angeles, Sameer Dabit sees himself as a bridge-maker.
“My dad grew up with a lot of wounds, so I grew up with the mindset of hating Jews and hating Muslims,” Sameer says. “When I got saved at age 16 and started reading scriptures for myself and learning more about God and history, I started to realize, ‘Hey wait a minute. I shouldn’t hate anybody.’”
Slowly, he began to form his own convictions about what he believes.
Sameer’s Arab father was born in Palestine in 1948 and was forced to move when the Jews took over the newly formed nation of Israel. So he resented the Jews.
But as an orthodox Christian, he also resented the Muslim Palestinians who subjected him to cruel jeering and constant antagonism in school, Sameer says.
When he came of age, dad decided to leave behind the nightmare of the Middle East, move to the United States, study and make his life in L.A. He worked hard at the front desk of a hotel, saved his money and bought properties.
Sameer got to know the simmering anger in his father for the injustices suffered, but he identified himself first and foremost as an American. He changed his name to Sam so that it was easier for classmates and elicited fewer questions about his origins. He loved football.
“I assimilated to America,” he says. “I identified myself more as American than Palestinian.”
Then he did something that went beyond his newfound cultural identification. He accepted Jesus into his heart.
At a basketball clinic run by a church, he liked the dynamic music, heard about the forgiveness of sins and wound up wondering why this environment was drastically different from the reverence and mysticism of his family’s religious practice.
Joining the born-again Christians in America created conflict with his dad, who wondered why his son left their church, got re-baptized and hung out with evangelicals who supported Zionism.
“It started to bring an interesting conflict between my dad and me,” says Sameer, now 31. “I was trying to help him understand that I understood where he was coming from. Whatever someone had done to him or his family, I don’t agree with. He was abused. But at the same time, I believe everyone has a right to a place to live, and at the time, the Jewish people were distributed around the world and suffered the Holocaust. That wasn’t right as well. They did need a place to live. Israel needed to be established again, and obviously that was Biblical.
“It was an interesting balance that I had to help him understand,” he says. “That’s why my perspective is interesting because I love the Palestinian people. I love the Jewish people. I love the Muslim people. I love the Christian people. I love that place.
“I desire to see Jesus restore it all. I know ultimately He will when He returns, but I believe He’s preparing His bride to receive Him in Israel as well as everywhere around the world.” Read the rest about Palestinian pastor thinks peace in Middle East possible through Jesus.
Posted in America, bible, Christ, Christian, Christian leadership, Christian love, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, fellowship, God, God's work, Israel, Jesus, Los Angeles, multicultural churches, muslim, palestine, palestinian christians, polarization in america, San Fernando Valley
Parachute students bring firepower to Lighthouse Christian Academy’s 7th straight soccer win
It really came as no surprise that it was LCA’s Japanese students who finally picked the lock to the Santa Clarita Valley International’s defense Thursday to spark a win at Westwood Recreational Center.
Shun Fukushigi — who plays the type of soccer they play in Heaven – laser-directed a corner to countryman Akihiro Oku, who headered into the net, breaking a defensive deadlock that had lasted half an hour.
SCVi is a new charter school with a new soccer program, so it’s understandable that their team was in bit of a disarray at the first meetup with our Santa Monica Christian school. Lighthouse Christian Academy — undefeated this season at seven games — expected to steamroll again Thursday but they hit roadblocks.
SCVi Coach Ken Erenberg had his troops dig in trenches and hold off an onslaught of blistering fire.
“We did a few little changes. This is a first year team,” Erenberg said. “Unfortunately, we look like a first-year program. I couldn’t be more proud for the first 30 minutes being scoreless. I’m like wow, these guys are great. I have a new goal keeper, and he was unbelievable. I think he made 20 saves. I was proud of the way our team played.”
But once Shun and Aki worked their magic, the goals started flowing. The final scoreline — 8-1 — doesn’t do justice to the real story of what happened on the pitch. The Stallions were like a totally different team, more organized and determined, than the away game. Read the rest: foreign high school students in Santa Monica bring success to soccer team.
Why do so many Muslims hate America?
While floodwaters threatened innumerable lives in Houston, Muslims half way around the world rejoiced openly on social media that calamity had befallen the “infidels” in America.
“Allah, destroy them more and more because they destroyed our countries,” Bushra Atwani commented on a Facebook post showing flood waters flowing.
“I had fire in my heart against America,” wrote Ali Albaghdadi. “But when I saw this video, all the fire is gone. I’ve become very happy. America is the head of the snake. We prayed for that. We asked Allah to destroy America like they destroyed our country.”
The outpouring of hate, the disturbing gush of glee among Muslims who see the devastation in Texas, makes one wonder what kind of religion they have.
“We ask Allah to protect the Iraqi people there and kill everyone else,” wrote Qasim AL Gohrabi. Houston has a sizeable Iraqi population.
“This is Allah’s punishment for everybody who is against us,” wrote Ahmed El Zrafy. “I ask Allah to not help them, to leave them to their fate.”
Sadly, the comments, which were interpreted by a translator and not software, are not a smattering of isolated fringe elements but represent wide swathes of Muslim opinion. In the view of the translator who reviewed the comments, about 80% wish evil upon America. Those expressing grief usually do so because they have a friend of relative living in Houston.
A Pew Research poll in 2014 found 85% of Egyptians hate America and 62% of Pakistan also express anti-American sentiment, as reported by Foreign Policy. By contrast, Israel holds the second highest regard in the world for the United States, with an 81% favorable outlook, according to Pew.
“We tend to see more negative sentiment among Muslims in the Middle East, such as those from Egypt and Jordan,” noted Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at Pew, as reported by the BBC. Read the rest of the article about what Muslims think about America.
Note: This article’s purpose is NOT to stir up hate and violence against Muslims. As Christians we must love those who persecute us. The purpose is to fight the leftist delusion that Muslims are an oppressed minority that need to be appeased. The policy of appeasement failed with Hitler, so why is it be retaken by the Left?
Posted in America, Christianity, Houston, Hurricane Harvey, Islam
Tagged comparative religions, Egypt, God reports, Israel, Jesus, Muslims, Pakistan
Mike Pence, a solid Christian influence in the White House
While at Phi Gamma Delta in college, Mike Pence was intrigued by a fraternity brother’s gold cross — and even more intrigued by what he said about the necklace pendant.
“Remember, Mike, you have got to wear it in your heart before you wear it around your neck,” his “big brother” told him, according to the New York Times.
Pence, 58, was born into an Irish immigrant family with five other siblings on a farm in the small town of Columbus, Indiana. Along with his three brothers, Pence served as an altar boy at the St. Columba parish church and attended as many as seven days a week. They grew up in Catholic school.
When he went off to Hanover College, a small liberal arts college in Indiana, he began to feel drawn to a more intimate, less ritualistic, approach to God.
“I began to meet young men and women who talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” he told CBN. “That had not been a part of my experience.”
At a Christian music festival in the spring of 1978 in Kentucky, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord and was born again.
Still, his heartstrings remained firmly entrenched with his Catholic upbringing. He called himself an “evangelical Catholic” and even considered the priesthood as a career path.
“He was part of a movement of people, I’ll call it, who had grown up Catholic and still loved many things about the Catholic Church, but also really loved the concept of having a very personal relationship with Christ,” said Patricia Bailey, who, along with her husband Mark, worked at the Pence law firm in the 1980s in Indianapolis. Pence and Mark started every day with prayer at the firm.
In law school at Indiana University, Pence met Karen, who became his wife. As their relationship turned serious, she bought a gold cross with the word “Yes” engraved on it and carried it around in her purse to be ready for the inevitable proposition. Pence calls her “his prayer warrior.” The couple has three children.
In the political arena, Pence was a Democrat. His heroes were fellow Irish American John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. But as the Democratic Party fully embraced abortion, the man who grew up a staunch Catholic found himself feeling betrayed.
After voting for Jimmy Carter in 1980, he became attracted to the politics of Ronald Reagan. He never looked back.
After two failed campaigns for Congress, Pence won election in 2000 and served in the House of Representatives until 2011. He proved himself a man of convictions, not a political opportunist, and threw his support behind the Tea Party Movement. He declared he was willing to shut down the federal government in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, the IndyStar reported. Read the rest of Mike Pence Christian.
Posted in America, Christianity, Jesus, Mike Pence, POTUS, white house
Tagged Bible, Christian, God, Hanover College, Indiana, Karen Pence, politics, president
Gratitude for others’ sacrifice
Confession: I was somewhat unpatriotic as a youth. I always saw people around the world as equal. I learned in college that the belief in one’s superiority is ethnocentrism. I mixed in a bit of Christianity: God sees all people equal.
But when I was in dire straits, this country came through for me.After 16 years as a missionary, I fled kidnappers in Guatemala to the safety of America. My Guatemalan friends told me crime was everywhere, but it’s not true. Thank God for America. Thank God for godly principles upon which it was founded — and continue to be present despite a cultural distancing from God. Thank God for the blessings of America. Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. He’s wrong; America hasn’t lost its luster.
I have seen the world, and there’s no place like America. No need to brag. America is still a light to the world, despite our many failings.
Thank God for men and women who have bravely defended our country, who have fought for freedom around the world, who have rained down upon evil men a hail of bullets and blasts. The university professors may criticize our government because we have the freedom to do so. I have been in countries where no one has the freedom to criticize governing authorities.
Today I wish to honor the dead and the living soldiers who keep America great.
Posted in America, Christianity, God
Tagged crime, Donald Trump, ethnocentrism, Faith, godly heritage, Guatemala, Jesus, Memorial Day, patriotism, United States
We are the “want more” generation. There are those fighting the uphill battle of the simplified life counter culture movement.
And we think we are simply entitled to whatever luxuries and blessings free of charge because we are Americans — or whatever the basis is.
Meanwhile, the free gift of salvation is despised and ignored. We don’t want Heavenly riches; we want earthly ones! We can’t be happy without them, and we have someone to blame if we don’t get them — because the whole society was “set up to benefit” only the richest. Or so they say.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Trump supporter.
*Picture from Pinterest.
Posted in America, Christianity, faith
Tagged Bernie, Bible, geen categorie, God, inspiraton, Jesus, random, thoughts
Because I believe in giving thanks
The freedoms I enjoy, the prosperity, the trappings of America — someone fought for those. They didn’t just drop out of the sky.
Somebody fought for those and gave them to me. Should I not say thanks?
We need to be grateful, not entitled snots. We should recognize and appreciate what soldiers have done for America — from the American Revolution onward. If you don’t think it important to appreciate the soldiers who made America great, try living in just about any other country in the world for a while (like I did: 16 years as a missionary in Guatemala). It will help you to appreciate the Home of Brave and the Land of the Free.
Soldiers: THANK YOU!
Posted in America, military, Veteran's Day
Tagged Faith, gratitude, inspiration, Jesus, missionary, motivation, patriotism, soldier, thanks