Category Archives: history

Rachel Scott: Ten Year Anniversary of Columbine

 About a year ago around this time I was reading a wonderful book entitled “Rachel’s Tears”, the story of Rachel Scott who was killed in the Columbine school shootings for her faith ten years ago yesterday. Her story has made a big impact in my life and I consider her one of my heros. She lived out her faith in very practicle ways and she was devoted to being the hands and feet of Christ. She showed Christ’s love through befriending the friendless. When she was violently gunned down by two guys that she had actually been praying for, the last thing anyone said to her was “do you still believe in your God now?” 

 Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the Columbine shooting. A year ago on April 20th I wrote a poem about Rachel on the ninth anniversary of her death. It was one of the first poems I wrote that wasn’t for school or that had a real message to it. So while it wasn’t very good, I wanted to share it with you and also encourage you to look into Rachel’s story more. Also go check our Rachel’s Challenge also the ministry set up in her memory. Without further ado, here is my poem:

 

Was it a life wasted?

A like only tasted?

She was so young, 

A life only begun. 

Yet she was so ready

Unlike so many. 

 

Always she’ll be,

Forever seventeen.

Yes, that is a tragedy.

Yet she served as a witness,

 to the faithless.

 

Her prayers came true,

He used her as a tool

And as our tears fall

We remember she is with God.

 

It was not a life wasted,

Though only tasted.

She knew,

She was only passing through.

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Filed under Books, Everyday Life, Faith, heroes, history

History in the Making

 Tomorrow marks a day in history for our nation. Someday we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we remember the day that America got it’s first African American president. The inauguration is a huge deal and I congratulate President Obama for being the first black president, even if I do not agree with his policies. He is now my president and my leader and I am making a promise today that I will do my best to treat him with the respect he deserves.

 I have been deeply grieved by the response of many Christians over Obama’s election. Though I was hoping for John McCain to win the election and was horribly disapointed when Obama won, I still think that we need to respect him no matter what we think of him. When I say “respect” I am not saying that we condone his position on many things, one of the biggest being abortion, not at all! I don’t respect or look up to him morally or as a general person, and I sure don’t “admire” him,  but he is my president and because he has been put there by God and the people, I know I need to pray for him and that he deserves honor because of his position.

 When Bush was president the “Bush-bashing” was horrible from the media and democrats. I live in a very blue state and I have constantly seen bumper stickers and such full of hate towards him. Now that Obama has been elected I am seeing that Christian Republicans aren’t any different. From comparing Obama to Hitler to refuse to acknowledge him as our president, it is constant disrespect and almost hatred.

 We have all been forgetting that God is in control. Obama being elected to presidency is part of God’s perfect plan and He is going to use it for His glory in some way, shape, or form. My dad had as his facebook status the night after the election that he “is going to sleep like a Calvinist, because he is one”. We need to remember that it wasn’t just the American people that put him into office but it was also the most sovereign Lord of the entire universe! God is all-powerful and He has history scripted… that’s why it’s called “His story”. There is a reason that Barack is our president even though we ourselves can not see it clearly because we do not see things as God does.

 Christians have also forgot the multiple verses in the Bible about respecting those in authority over us, especially the Emperor, and during the time Paul and Peter wrote that the Emperor was Nero! He was a madman that persecuted Christians with a passion and used them as torches in his gardens, and we are called to respect even THAT. (And no matter what you think, Obama is not that bad.) Take a look at what 1 Peter 2: 13-17 says,

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people …. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

 And again in Romans 13:1,2,5-7:

” Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment… Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience…  Pay to all what is owed to them:… revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed”

 I have been guilty of not giving respect to Obama before and forgetting that God is in control so don’t think I am trying to beat you over the head with anything. I am simply asking those of you out there that call themselves Christians (including myself) to make sure that you treat Obama the same way Jesus would. Obama needs Jesus just as much as we do and we need to pray that he would come to know the saving power of the blood of Christ. But the biggest things we need to do is to just trust God. On election night I read these verses from Psalms 20 and they really convicted me. (vs. 7 & 8 ) “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,  but we rise and stand upright.”

 Let’s not just have this election be historic because of the fact that it’s our first black president, let it also be historic because of the way Christians handled it: with respect for Obama and with trust in God. Then it will truly be a day to celebrate.

 With that I will leave you to your thoughts and comments on this touchy subject. As always, I love to hear from you and find out what you think. God bless you all and may you be a light to others by the way you treat all people!

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Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, history, Holidays

Massacre of Christians in India

 I picked up this article from Andrew on his blog and I just had to share it with you all. Those of you who don’t know, God has given me a passion for India and for the lost there so this really affected me. I will be spending much time praying over the next few days and I hope you will do the same.

“Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India…We have never seen anything like this.   We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work.   But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage… And it seems to be totally under the radar of the  Western Media ….

Let me explain…. A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and “reconverting” people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa  last weekend.  Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up…”Kill the Christians!” And the horror began…. In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.

Night and day I have been in  touch with our Good News  India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa… they are right in the middle of all this chaos.In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center  by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and “finish the job.” Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.

More police have come to offer protection.  In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even  grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.  In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians  in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.

All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and  police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance  to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage,  the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a  computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers  have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road…. even  women and children.  At another orphanage run by another organization,  when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one  of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: “We stay with our  kids…. we live together or die together, but we will never abandon  what God has called us to do.” More than 5000 Christian families have  had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles  and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring  about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days…. supposedly the 14 day  mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will  die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed  down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God  can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But  now our kids and staff know what that means. So many of our kids  coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at  what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled  into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.

Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our  goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children.  Orissa will be saved… that is our heart’s cry. If we can take these  thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of  Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal,  but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission.

What  can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second,  pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at  its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order  to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help  us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge  effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations…. Prayer works!     Blessings,    Chip & Sandy Wanner    Col 2:2 MBI   /  Team Facilitators to YWAM frontlines”

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Own Your Life? (Continued, They Found the Secret)

 Well when I wrote the previous post I thought that I was done. Well obviously not. Let me start with how I decided I had more to add.

 On Sunday there was a small table with some books on it that were to give away outside the church library. They were books that usually looked older and were the ones that weren’t used as much. On that table was a book called They Found the Secret: Twenty Transformed Lives that Revealed a Touch of Eternity. I looked at the back and it had Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, John Bunyan, Oswald Chambers, and D.L. Moody so I decided to take it. I enjoy biographies, even if I already own a ton.

 This book isn’t a normal biography! Not in the least sense. Last night as I read the Introduction and the first chapter that was on Hudson Taylor I was blown away. This book isn’t of what these people did, it isn’t about what their ministry is, it isn’t about how they touched the hearts of the world. It is about their spiritual journeys. How they found the secret of life. What made them such amazing people. Let me share with you a quote from the introduction;

 “Every now and then we come across a life that is radiant, revealing a richness, a warmth, a triumph that intrigues and challenges us… Out of discouragement and defeat they have come into victory. Out of weakness and weariness they have been made strong. Out of ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness they have become efficient and enthusiastic.”

 A huge part of this was focusing solely on Christ. Caring for nothing else other than him. That is how these men and women found the secret. They came to a point in their lives were they could no longer go on without Jesus. They came to a place where they were broken and tempted, hurting and lonely, when they cried out to the Lord to fill them. To take their meager lives and make them so much better.

 Throughout the first chapter I was underlining passages and writing notes in the margins. I was just finding so much truth in this book. This is what I wrote at the bottom of the last page of the chapter:

I must decrease so that he may increase. Only Jesus should matter. I am nothing, he is everything. He is the God of everything, I am dust. I have nothing to offer, he has everything. May my life be exchanged for one far more beautiful. May he fill my every thought. May he give me rest, joy, and a peace that passes all understanding.

 So that is what I took from what I have read of this book so far. I would love you all to read this book too. I think it will be a great encouragement. Another thing I learned is to not judge a book by it’s cover. I really hope that you guys read this book and it will strengthen you all.

In Christ Alone, Nobody <><

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, heroes, history, Missions

Blogging For The Persecuted Church

 Voice Of The Martyrs has this program for bloggers called, “VOM Blogosphere Program”. The requirements is to write 2 posts a month on the persecuted church and to include a link to VOM in it. Also to put the banner on your blog. If any bloggers are interested you can go to www.persecutionblog.com.

 So what is Voice Of The Martyrs? It was started by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, Sabina is one of my personal heroes (and I am dying to read books on her) and maybe I will do a post on her in the future. They spent their lives being persecuted for their faith in Communist Romania. They came to America and started VOM to raise awareness for our brothers and sisters that are being killed, imprisoned, torchered, and mistreated. They help encourage those who are being persecuted all because they believe in Jesus and wont renounce him. To have others be in prayer for them.

 So Please go and check out www.persecution.com or www.persecutionblog.com. If you would like to write a letter to a Christian in jail go to http://www.prisoneralert.com/. So from now on at least twice a month you will hear from me stories about Christians in chains and updates from VOM and prayer requests. I hope you will enjoy it.

In Christ,

Olivia

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Independence Day (Give Thanks)

 Well I am going to take a break from my series on my heroes to do a special post for the Fourth of July.

 When we think of fourth of July in America, most of us think of swimming, camping (in you live in a camping crazy state!), parades, fireworks, grilling, and red white and blue(like this post?). But what is the fourth really about? It is our Independence day. The day the Declaration of Independence was sent to the printer. We were officially a country. We were free from the rule of Britain and we were now indepent! It must have been so exciting for all the people that fought in the revolutionary war and the people that had worked for so long to get our freedom! But how often do we forget that? How many times do we take for granted having a democracy? There are a lot of things that I do not like about America, but I am a very patriotic person. I am thankful to live in a place where we have freedom to express ourselves, have decent health care (compared to other parts of the world), and the freedom to worship God. 

 I want to say a big thank you to all the men and women who are serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan!!! We do not give our troops enough credit for risking their lives so we may have our precious freedom! We should stop complaining about Iraq and instead thank the people who chose to be true servants of our country by going to Iraq. I especially want to thank the ones that did not just sign up for the military for the free college, but who did it to serve America. Those are the true heroes!

 We have some close family friends that chose to go over to Iraq. One of them had four Jr. high/Sr. High aged kids. The other is a 20 (or so) guy. I’ll tell you some more about the first one. Mr. D. is a hero to me. Last year he felt God’s call to go to Iraq. He was in the reserves and did not need to go. He had done his duty and yet he volunteered. I think he must have surprised the military officials. It isn’t everyday that someone VOLUTEERS to go to Iraq. Mr. D. is pretty high up in rank and so they tried to get him to go somewhere else. But he wanted Iraq. Mr. D. just got back two weeks ago from his one year tour. He wasn’t put in a dangerous position (he wanted to work with people more) but still, to go to Iraq because you WANT to is a big deal. So I guess that I am in keeping with my hero theme, because he is one of my heroes. He is a man I look up to as a great Christian man and I am so glad to have him back safe and sound. I know his family is all super happy to have him back, the substitute dads (my dad was one of them) can’t compare to having your own dad to do things with you. I just want to say “thank you” to Mr. D. and all the other men and women who have served and are serving as I am writing this, in the war on terrorism.

 So this fourth of July, in the midst of all the fun and festivities, take a moment to think of those defending what we are celebrating: our independence! Take a time to pray for them, for their safety and for their families, who have given them up for a period of time so that we will still have our freedom. And to any military people reading this: Thank you again for all that you have done for this country!

~~~~Soli Deo Gloria~~~~

Nobody <><

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