I got an email from a friend today and the words are so very true it brought me back to reality and made me realise that this will happen as long as I am a Christian, because Satan does not like it. I must admit that the past few weeks my faith has been slightly off course, I dare say it has been non-existent, not only that but also that I have had the cheek to question God and his plan for my life.
I have been going through things that have not been great, at work and at home. I have had to make some tough decisions, whether they were the right ones I don’t know but I trust that God has directed me in the path that he wants me to go.
And in the weeks ahead there will be even more tough decisions to make. But hey they say what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger.
Here is a copy of the email and I am sure you will agree that all of us at some point in our lives have felt like this.
This is simply put, but so profound!
Once upon a time, a serpent chased a firefly.
The latter fled rapidly, afraid of the ferocious predator, but the serpent didn’t even think about giving up.
The firefly fled one day and the serpent didn’t give up; two days, and
On the third day, now clearly weakened, the firefly stopped and asked the
Can I ask you three questions?*
I don’t usually proceed this way with anyone, but since I’m going to devour you anyway, you may ask**.*
Am I part of your food chain?* *
Did I harm you in any way?* *
So then, why do you want to finish me off?* * Because I can’t stand to see you shine.*
Many times, we don’t understand the reason for persecution, anger, lies, slander, why they make up stories about us, etc. . .
But here is one of the reasons:*
*They simply can’t stand to see you shine!!*
** **IN THIS NEW YEAR MAKE SURE U SHINE… LIKE NEVER BEFORE…****
I was having a discussion with a friend yesterday; about Christianity and when we gave our lives to the Lord Etc. You see the thing is I have been a “Christian” all my life, but it is only NOW in the past few months that I have had that “TOTAL CONVERSION” so to speak. What I mean by that is that I am now at that point where God takes precedence over EVERYTHING in my life. My friend said the same thing, he has been a Christian his whole life but he too had a time in his life where he had that same “TOTAL CONVERSION” which was a few years ago.
In my previous post I mentioned that I had come across certain areas in my life where I still wanted to have control and not hand over the reins to God, and that is true. Then I started to think to myself how I could claim to have had this TOTAL CONVERSION, if I didn’t surrender ALL of me to the Lord. My friends and other bloggers all made the same point that we will struggle with this till the day we die. In fact 1 friend told me that he discovers things every day that he needs to hand over to God.
So the more I think about it the more I realise that like my friend said there will be MANY more times like this in my life that I have not handed over the control to God. The main thing is that I am aware of it and know that God is working in me, because he is bringing these things to my attention, telling me “let me have that part of your life…”
Like my friend said in a year from now I am going to look back and I am going to see how I have grown. The thing is I am doing that now already. I am looking back only as far back as when I started this Blog, and I have Grown SO MUCH and learnt so much. It’s amazing. God has been with me every step of the way, guiding every step I took.
Today I stand in amazement at how far I have come, I never once thought I would be able to let go of past hurts and experiences, but I have. I cannot remember how I coped without God, I can’t remember my life without him, I remember the big events in my life but small things seem so distant. The big things whether good or bad I see now that they were there for me for the purpose of making me stronger. Many times I have asked God “where were you when…..? Why did you let that happen…..? Etc. looking back God was there he always was. I chose to shut him out, but he remained by my side throughout my life and for that I am grateful. So every experience in my life was a part of who I am today and made me the person I am today. Had I not been through all of that, would I be sitting here and looking back at how I have grown??? I don’t thinks so.
So when you think God has left your side, think again HE IS THERE, HE IS ALWAYS THERE!!!!
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Joshua 1:5 – No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
1 Chronicles 28:20 -And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.
I humbly accept and with heartfelt thanks to Michele – By His Grace for nominating me for this beautiful award. It is truly an honor.
Blogging for me had been a huge role player in my walk with Jesus, it has kept me focused and for that I am grateful, I a truly blessed to have received this award and that my blog makes an impact. For this award I will say 10 things you don’t know about me, after which, I will mention 6 others worthy of receiving this award:
1) I am so madly in love with Jesus I cant explain the feeling
2) I have a male cat called tinkerbelle( he is y baby thats where the blog name came from) and i have a female cat named archiem we call her archibald – LOL if you really want to know why ask!!!
3) I have a budgie called snoflake with whom tinkerbelle is the best of friends they they touch beak to nose every morning to say hello almost like they kissing
4) I go by a few nick names: tweedeldee, pinky and Marie Biscuit5) I never really knew my biological father and only met him once when I was 5 years old. I remember him lying to me and my brother.
6) When i was little i had this pink elephant plush toy called moemfie (LOL) that i took with me everywhere like a security blanket, until one day i left it on the train, i have been searching my whole life for another pink elephant but alas have not been able to find one
7) It is my birthday in a few weeks YAY… cant wait….
8) I tend to laugh REALLY loud soetimes and once i have the giggles it takes a LOT to get me to stop i can laught about something for hours
9) I once was addicted to farmville on facebook where i would set my alarm in the middle of the night to water my crops, crazy I KNOW, but i had a DARN good looking farm
10) I am a qualified massage therapist
The 6 worthy of honor
I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I have. They have been a blessing to me and they all share the massive love for God that I have. Thanks again to Michele and many blessings to everyone!
I read an article a few minutes ago, about an Iranian Pastor who has been in prison for standing his ground in what he believes, this post has rattled me like you cannot believe, I sit here and it feels like my heart has been ripped out as if it were someone in my family that this has happened to. I tried to reblog the post but for some reason it did not work, in this post was a link I went to read the story of this Pastor, and have just copied and pasted it as it was stated there. I will also provide you with a few more links of other sites regarding to this Pastor.
He has been sentenced to death and yet he still stands strong for Jesus, how many of us have been put in such a situation where you either renounce your faith and belief in the Almighty God or you die, not many I am sure, it ust be very hard for him, but I admire his commitment. I pray that God make a way for him and that he be released and to continue spreading the word of God.
Full Story of Youcef Nadarkhani
We first reported the arrest of pastor Youcef in the fall of 2009. If you’d like to assist us in our work for the persecuted church you can do so here.
Here is a brief history of Youcef Nadarkhani, leading up to his current situation.
**UPDATE** – Youcef is still under the death sentence for apostasy. In June the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence as it is based upon fatwas of the Supreme Leader. On September 25-28 hearings were held by the Gilan provincial court to determine if he was a Muslim. On the 26th they determined that Youcef was a Muslim because his parents were when he was born. All witnesses stated that he did not practice Islam, yet the court inexplicably determined he was a national apostate. At each hearing he was commanded to recant and each time he refused. Two hearings were held after the verbal determination was made by the judges. There is a serious concern that he could be executed at any time because according to Sharia Law you are to be given three days to recant if you are an apostate. He was commanded to recant three straight days after the judges made their determination. The attorney’s for pastor Youcef are stating that, by law, the written verdict must be delivered within seven days. To this date the written verdict for Pastor Youcef has not been delivered. The court has promised another delay for the express purpose to give him more time to recant and return to Islam.
Youcef is 34 years old and is from Rasht, in the Gilan province of Iran. For the past ten years he has been a pastor in a network of house churches. He was previously imprisoned in December of 2006, the charges being apostasy (leaving Islam for Christianity) and evangelism (spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), but was released two weeks later.
He is married and has two sons, Daniel age 9 and Yoel age 7. They were attending a local school when the government decided that all children should be taught about Islam, including those from Christian families. Youcef went to the school and protested this based on the Iranian constitution, which allows for freedom to practice religion. As a result, the secret police called him before the political tribunal in Rasht, Iran on October 12, 2009. At that time he was arrested, charged for protesting, and has been in prison in Lakan (which is seven miles south of Rasht) ever since. Later the charges changed to apostasy and evangelism to Muslims.
Youcef is imprisoned in the Lakan prison, a city close to Rasht. Over the time of his incarceration he has mostly has had access to an attorney, and has been allowed visits from his wife, children, and friends. However, for the first month in prison and for several months around the time of his trial he was in solitary confinement. They have used various methods to try to convert him back to Islam, including giving him pills, apparently in an attempt to claim that he was insane.
Because Youcef’s faith remained strong, they decided to arrest his wife in order to place more pressure on him. On June 18th, 2010 Fatemah Pasindedih was arrested, charged with apostasy and placed in prison in Lakan. During this time their boys went to live with a relative. Both Youcef and his wife Fatemah were threatened by authorities that their children would be taken away and given to a Muslim family. Youcef was not swayed to turn back to Islam, so his wife was put on trial without an attorney, and sentenced to life in prison. An attorney was later hired and the sentence appealed. The sentence and conviction were overturned and she was released.
On September 21 and 22, 2010, Youcef was put on trial, and verbally given the sentence of death. A written verdict was delayed and then delivered, on November 13, 2010, by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He is to be executed by hanging for the crime of apostasy. Twenty days are allowed to appeal the sentence with the Supreme Court of Iran.
On December 5, 2010 the verdict was appealed to the Supreme Court, but on June 28, 2011 we learned that the Supreme Court reached a decision. The third chamber of the Supreme Court in Qom upheld his conviction for apostasy and the death sentence. They have commanded the local court to re-examine whether or not he was a practicing Muslim from ages 15 to 19. If it is determined he was a practicing Muslim he will be given another chance to recant and then he will be executed.
The re-examination of his case was held September 25th through 28th. From the very beginning it was demanded he recant. Even before the case was heard or the trial completed. During one hearing he was told to recant and he responded, “You ask me to recant. Recant means to return. What do you wish me to return to? The blasphemy that I was in before Christ?” The judges responded, “To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.” Youcef replied, “I cannot.” The Muslim attorney that is working to help him had this to say about his client, ”Physically he looks weak but emotionally his belief in Christ is keeping his spirits high.”
Based upon Islamic Sharia Law an apostate is to be given three days to recant. There is a very real concern that he could be executed at any time. The attorney’s suggest that first a written verdict will be delivered, by law within a week, and secondly they will have the opportunity to appeal the verdict.
Nonetheless, there are no assurances that he will not be executed. It could happen at any time. This is the way that the Iranian government operates with executions. They do not give advance notice and it is done in secret.
We cannot wait another moment, we have to contact our elected officials. We need to fast and pray for his deliverance. Contact the international news media, international human rights organizations and the government. Go to http://presenttruthmn.com/persecuted-christians/ to get more details on how to contact someone.
My heart goes out to this man, if I could get on a plane right now and help him I would but I cannot, there is nothing in this world that is more powerful than PRAYER, Please friends lets all pray for this man.
Up until a few hours ago, I had no clue what I would write about today, but God has a way of revealing to you exactly what is needed and when, I have decided that every thought that makes me feel at peace and good is from God, so I will obey him and write this post.
Today I will write about Christians dealing with conflict and my friend and colleague, for the sake of anonymity I will call him Frikkie (A little humour for you my friendJ)
I have mentioned Frikkie in a few blog posts; he was one of the people that have been instrumental in me giving my life back to the Lord.
Before I go any further I would like to provide you with some scriptures so that you can have a better understanding of this post.
Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Colossians 3:13 – Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
My friend is dealing with conflict in the work place, he is victimised by one person and unfortunately this person is in a higher management position, had I been in his shoes, I do not think that I would have been as calm and collected as he is. I take my hat off to him and I would often wonder how he actually manages to stay so calm. You see Frikkie is a born again Christian and he has Jesus on his side.
I look at him and have the utmost respect for him, as he is a true example of what it really is to be a Christian and to be more Christ like in his everyday life.
I felt the need to pray for him last night, and at that time I was not sure what for, I thought perhaps it was for his safety but it wasn’t. I sat here and thought to myself, about the way he is being treated, if you knew him as a person you would agree with me that how he has been treated is WRONG. Plain and simple, he goes out of his way to help others, he never has a bad word to say about anyone, he does not swear, does not speak to people disrespectfully even though this is how he is treated on a daily basis. He has respect for anyone and everyone that crosses his path, and makes people feel good. Everyone in our office considers him to be one of the friendliest people around, and yet there is that one person that does everything to make his life a living hell, now that is where a light suddenly came on in my head, or should I rather say at that time God revealed something to me.
He reminded me of something I said on one of my previous posts, that being a Christian is NOT easy, in fact it is a very tough road to travel, because once you surrender to Jesus, satan will do EVERYTHING he can to make you stumble and fall, in your walk with Jesus. So in this case where my friend is concerned Satan is using this one person to attack him, so it’s not the actual person, the driving force here is satan, once we are able to realise that the battle if halfway won, because then we can call in the BIG SHOT, the one who is more powerful than satan can EVER dream of being, we need to let God take the wheel in our fight with satan, once we allow him to direct our next step there is no way that satan will have victory.
Being a Christian is a true test of one’s faith in Jesus, because it is when you become a Christian that the battle begins. This is where the most important decision lies in our lives. Who do we trust and rely on?
I am still busy reading the book walking in your own shoes by Robert H. Schuller, and I am currently on the last chapter but last night he made a very good analogy on faith and trusting the Lord in times of need.
He used a blind girl as an example; she is standing on a windowsill of a top floor of a burning building, she cannot see a thing, she hears the fire fighters telling to her that she can jump there is a net that will catch her, and yet she does not jump, she is paralyzed with fear at the thought of Jumping because she cannot see the net. She struggles to trust the fire fighters enough to save her life, but then suddenly her father speaks to her and tells her to Jump that he is there and everything will be ok. Then suddenly her whole perspective changes and she jumps, although she cannot see the net, why did she jump? … Because she had faith in her father and trusted him enough to believe him when he said everything will be ok.
Now we can relate to that blind girl as us not being sure of the safety net of Jesus, but then he speaks to us through his word and says trust me it will be ok you will be safe.
I will go back to my point, that when you become a Christian, you begin a battle, a battle with satan, we are blind, there is a safety net called Jesus, and he is telling us that it is ok to Jump he is there.
1 Samuel 17:47 – Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.
2 Timothy 2:1-4 – You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Ephesians 6:10-20 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand pin the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to.
I thank the lord for giving me the insight to do this post today and I dedicate this post and every other post to my Almighty God, in him I have found my strength to go into battle for him.
I also want to dedicate this to my friend, you are stronger than what you think, you are a mighty warrior for Jesus, and I have the utmost respect for you in the way you have handled this situation, this world needs more people like you in it. I pray that this battle you are now fighting will be one that will make you stronger and more determined to fight for what is right. I know God will be with you every step of the way; he will carry you and give you the tools you need to overcome this obstacle. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. May God Bless you abundantly, in your Journey with him.
For anyone reading this all I ask of you is that you please lift my friend up in prayer. He has some very difficult choices to make and he might not see what’s on the other side of the mountain but with prayer and faith he will know what the right move will be as God will reveal it to him.
May you all have a blessed day.
I read a blog this morning called “Are you willing?” I found it to be not only very inspirational but also posed an extremely important question and that is “Are YOU willing?” … Well are you? I have based my blog on the same topic, hopefully it helps somebody who reads it.
Us as Christians all say that we love the Lord, and that we live to do His Will, but how many of us truly are prepared to follow him when he says, this is what I have planned for you, this is what I want YOU to do for ME, especially when that task that he has given to us comes with difficult decisions, whether it be to sell up all your belongings and resign from your job and travel the places only the bravest would go? Or to be told that a life of marriage and family are not in your future as it will interfere with what the Lord has planned for your life, now I do not know anyone that has had to make that decision, and I don’t know if anyone has ever had to make that choice, but I am almost certain that people have had to make difficult decisions like those in order to truly serve the Lord and to do his Will.
So my question is are you fully committed to the Lord, are you prepared to make whatever decision needs to be made to follow him 100%, I have to be very honest, I have not yet had to make the hard decisions, or should I say I don’t think that I have made any of those hard decisions, I have made that choice to follow God and do his will, but one day I too will have a decision to make one that will be hard, and one that will prove just how committed I am and willing I am to follow the Lord, I just pray that when that day comes, not only will I know how to differentiate what is from the Lord and what is not but that I will have the strength to follow through with my promise to the Lord and that was to do HIS will, to do everything he wanted me to do & go everywhere he wanted me to go. Me as a human being relying on my own strength will never be able to make the choice but me with God in me can do anything, he will never give us a task that we cannot complete, he will give it to us because we are the best people to complete it at that given moment. For me that is an honour and a privilege to be trusted so much that God has so much faith that I can complete the task he has set out for me to do.
So how committed are you?
Well well well…. you certainly are a persistent little bugger aren’t you, you are right there waiting for me to fall waiting for me to give into my weaknesses, waiting just waiting… not so patiently might I add. Today I feel the pressure more than most, nothing in particular has happened that makes today worse than the others, in fact I do not know why today is so hard, but it is. I am sure that makes you happy too, so happy because soon you will succeed, you will be victorious over me … THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK.
Yes today is hard, VERY HARD, I have so many things going through my mind, how I am going to pay all my bills at the end of the month, how I am going to manage to get to work every day, how the problems seem to just be getting bigger. Right now I feel like screaming as it seems there is no way out, I AM ONLY HUMAN after all.
Let me just tell you one thing, you can wait and wait and wait, because this time around I REFUSE to let go of the Lord, I refuse to forget HIS promise and his LOVE, I am nothing without HIM. My life would be senseless, I knew it would not be easy; in fact the attacks from you would increase and just get worse. On my own I would have fallen, I am so grateful that I am NOT ON MY OWN. That one fact must annoy you to no end. Well guess what that will not change, I will have the Lord by my side ALL THE TIME, I know your attacks will not stop, I would be fooling myself if I thought for one single minute that would happen. I am just GLAD, GLAD that I am not alone, YES SATAN, I am holding God’s hand every step of the way.
So here is my message to you… BACK OFF AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM, TO YOUR WORLD OF EVIL, JUST DON’T EXPECT ME TO COME WITH YOU THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN SO GIVE UP ON ME BECAUSE YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME. WHILE YOU AT IT GET YOUR CLAWS OUT OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ALL THE PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT, BECAUSE WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE WE WILL BEAT YOU…. GO AHEAD… GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT. JUST REMEMBER YOUR BEST SHOT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou saved me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:3-4
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. Psalm 138:7
Years ago I went to a woman of worth meeting that our church held every couple of months, the pastor’s wife surprised us all with a pair of pearl earrings, and what she said was that the pearls were formed as a result of suffering, at first I was confused as to how she could say that until she explained it, so I will now try and explain this to you as best as I possibly can, maybe you too will take from this what I took from it, and that is what you go through in life makes you stronger and conditions you to cope with life, God has a reason for everything and He won’t allow more than what you are capable of coping with as the strong person you are.
How is the pearl formed?
The pearl is formed when a foreign substance enters the oyster, which then causes the oyster irritation. The oyster’s instinct then kicks in and it tries to protect itself by covering the foreign object. The oyster continues this and the foreign substance is continuously covered by this protective layer.
So a pearl is formed out of an unfavourable circumstance for the Oyster. So try and compare your life to that of the Oyster, how many times have you had unfavourable circumstances? What did you do to protect yourself from that? The way I see it is that God is the way we should protect ourselves, look at the pearl, it is beautiful. We are all pearls, formed and shaped from heart ache and pain.
Whatever I have been through, whatever the obstacles in my past and my present and future, is GOD shaping my life and me into the strong person he wants me to be he is shaping me into that PEARL.
So next time when you are tempted to ask God the question – “why GOD? Why are you allowing this to happen to me?” Maybe thank Him and praise Him instead for moulding you and shaping you into the strong person you are today, if you had no mountain to climb, who would you be and what character would you have? Think of it this way He is turning you into a warrior… a warrior for Him, to fight for Him and DIE for Him if that is what needs to be done.
I gladly lay down my life to Him, whatever He has planned for me I will do, I OWE HIM MY LIFE AFTER ALL.