Jun 10, 2011

Paint, Pottery, Photography and Illustration Join to Make World Impact

The arts has had a profound impact upon the world. Everyone loves the arts whether performing, technical or visual. Looking at ancient art, we can see that it was an important element to all cultures. In recent times, art therapy has been shown to be a very helpful tool for working with traumatized children. Recent earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other natural or human disasters present society with people who need to process and heal from their traumatic experiences.

One organization that is trying to make a difference is OM Arts International. Whether it is through painters, dancers, musicians, potters, photographers, illusionists, videographers or other gifted artist who are specialist in their field, OM Arts seeks to mobilize these people to go around the world and bring a message of hope. For more information go to:  www.arts.om.org

Apr 7, 2011

The 10 Commandments for Kids.

The 10 commandments are not just for kids. Every adult should memorize them and abide by them. Imagine what would happen to our world if people actually followed the ten commandments that were given to Moses by God. They are laid out in detail in Exodus 20 in the Bible. It is part of the Law given to the 12 tribes of Israel which they were unable to keep. They are not the only ones, however. Have you been able to keep all ten all of your life? If you have broken just one of them just once, then that means that you will need to spend eternity separated from God in a burning lake of fire. Not a pleasant thought. But you should think about it seriously because your eternal destination depends on it. Knowing that man could not keep God's holy law, God made a plan of salvation in order to save mankind from spending eternity in hell. His plan is known as the "new promise" and outlined in the New Testament. The plan was for God himself to come to earth in the form of a man Jesus and suffer and die for your sins. Now how amazing is that? Is there anyone else who can die for your sins so that they will be totally removed so that you can enter into God's presence? Read more in your own language about this "man" Jesus.

Mar 26, 2011

More than Just the Muslim Brotherhood Stirring the Arab World.

Recently the Arab world has been rocked by recent revolutions and uprisings by its citizens against their governments. Absolute dictatorships have ruled the Middle East and North Africa for the past 60 years and the people are finally fed up with it.  Arabs are some of the most oppressed peoples in the world. 

It all started with a Tunisian fruit seller who set himself on fire as a result of his helpless situation.  This led to a revolution in Tunisia that toppled the autocratic government in just a few days.  No one ever expected this to happen. The Arab people have been “enslaved” by their governments and police forces for decades.  As a result, the Arab people have always known deep inside that they have little power and freedom.

Mubarak and Sadat moments before the assassination.
But when the Arab people from Morocco all the way to Oman witnessed the fall of Tunisia, they were emboldened to see the same thing happen in their own countries.  "If Tunisia could do it, so can we!"  Egypt was the next to fall.  No one ever expected that the almighty reign of President Mubarak would fall after only 17 days of bloodless protests led by the youth of the country.  He had absolute power for 30 years and seemed invincible.  Furthermore, to have government ministers arrested and indicted on charges of corruption and murder is unbelievable.

Goliath has been slain in Egypt and Egyptians, both Muslims and Christians, are now proud to be Egyptian for the first time in decades.  Of course, reform doesn’t happen overnight and there is a long, painful road ahead, but the Egyptian people finally had the courage to stand up for themselves and find some dignity as citizens of Egypt.

The situation in Libya and Yemen is different in that these countries are tribal in nature.  Who knows what will happen if the central government collapses.  Will they become another Somalia?  A big difference between these two countries and Egypt is that the military has fired upon its own people.  This has led to more deaths and violence. 

Needless to say, Arab leaders have been shaking in their boots.  Even Oman and Bahrain, peaceful countries you never hear of in the news, are having their share of protests.  It is surprising to see protests in Oman where Sultan Qaboos is generally well-liked.  There are even protests in Saudi Arabia, the giant of them all. Last week, two thousand troops from Saudi Arabia and five hundred from the UAE entered into Bahrain to quell the protests there.  The kings of the Arabian Peninsula are supporting each other against opposition to their absolute power.

Mohammed ElBaradei and his wife Aida.
In short, these uprisings are economic/political in nature (though Bahrain’s protests have devolved into sectarianism between the Shias and Sunnis).  The Arab people have lived under corrupt totalitarianism for too long.  But the question everyone is asking is “Will Islamic groups come to power as a result?”  In my opinion, this is a real possibility.  They did not lead the revolutions but they are certainly taking advantage of the chaos in order to gain more power.  For instance, there was a historic referendum in Egypt this past weekend where millions of Egyptians voted freely for the first time in their lives.  However, 77% of the vote went in favor of what the Muslim Brotherhood wanted.  In addition, Mohammed ElBaradei, a candidate for the presidency, was prevented from voting in this referendum by a group of angry thugs who threw objects and insults at him. He wanted to vote against the Muslim Brotherhood.

No one knows what will happen in the future.  It can turn out for the worse or be a catalyst for genuine change and reform.  Is it worth the risk?  Is it worth setting up a democratic process where Islamic elements can take over a country? Societal conditions have been so corrupt that sometimes only a revolution can begin a new journey towards freedom.  And there are encouraging signs such as this statement out of Tunisia after its revolution and martyrdom of a Polish Catholic priest:  "The day after the Polish Catholic priest was killed, thousands went out to shout - Tunis is yours, Tunis is mine, Tunis is not religious, we do not want Islam to govern us."

Whatever happens, God is sovereignly working out all things according to his will.  It’s not like these revolutions and the recent tsunami in Japan have caught Him by surprise!!!  He has a plan for the peace and prosperity of the Arab and Japanese people and for all the peoples of the world.  Just read Isaiah 19:25 - “The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying ‘Blessed be Egypt my people.’”  

And let’s not forget the real tragedy here.  What the Arab World needs the most is not political reform but spiritual transformation in Jesus Christ!  Look at the countries involved – Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Oman.  These are some of the most unreached nations on planet earth.  There are just a handful of known believers in each of these countries.  You can’t even put a percentage on how many known believers there are because there are so few.  So above all else, let’s pray for a spiritual revolution led by the Holy Spirit! God has promised to build his church and the Arab world is no exception. This may be just the beginning of a new phase of God’s redemptive plan for nations where a few Christians reside.

Assassination of Sadat and wounding of Mubarak.

Mar 24, 2011

A Vision of Libya's Future. Is this Prophecy?

One night in July 2007 the Lord shared His revelation concerning Libya. He began that journey by letting the Holy Spirit take me deep within myself. I began, little by little, to feel and realize the extent of my own inward
darkness. At the same time, I realized that the only way to expel and conquer such a deep inner darkness, would be in meeting my daily need of new light and insight in the Holy Spirit each day. Then, the darkness of my heart will be healed by the light of the Lord's grace.

Then the Lord Jesus came to my room and took me to a high place, a place of great heights. As I walked with Him I felt like a small child, so protected and secure, a feeling that words cannot express. He was seriously intent on taking me to new heights with Him.

I asked the Lord, "Why are you so intent on taking me to new mountains and heights?" He looked me in the eyes and said very straightforwardly, "I want you to be like my servant Moses, to climb many mountains and heights with Me, and to make effort, until the things that I want you to convey to many people and nations are fully revealed to you."

The Lord began to take me deeper and deeper into Himself, not only on the emotional level. I saw myself literally entering more and more into the depths of His being. It was then that the Lord told me, "This is the point of breakthrough and you have to grasp it, my son. The real breakthrough is when you begin to enter into My depths, and you realize the extent of My deep love for you and you have your security and protection in Me alone." In response, I surrendered to His warm embrace and a wonderful sense of paternal care enveloped my whole being. As I surrendered to Him, I felt a surge of clarity in my mind. Here, the Lord personally put His hands on my mind and said, "Let your thoughts be as Mine, and let My vision illuminate
your mind."

In the meantime, I began to see a very strange vision. I saw a very dark village surrounded by extremely thick darkness. The Lord spoke, "Do you recognize this evil land from where Arius the heretic came? Arius wanted to shake My church's belief in the truth of My divinity as the only Son of God and who wanted to nullify My church's faith in Me as God manifest in human flesh. This evil village is the land of Libya (the modern-day state of Libya in North Africa)."

Then the Holy Spirit spoke, saying, "This land belongs totally to the spirit of the anti-Christ. Evil powers and spiritual hosts of wickedness roam that land in all liberty and with the full consent of the political and spiritual
leaders in that land."

The Lord Jesus asked me frankly, "Will My [spiritual] sun ever shine on the Libyans?"

I replied, "You alone know, Lord."

He said, "What did My servant Ezekiel do when he saw no hope? when he saw that valley of very dry bones? He released God's prophetic word on that land for the land was in need of God's prophetic word."

The Lord continued encouragingly, "Libya is in need of a new conquest through God's prophetic words. Indeed, a new prophetic war must be waged so that the devil's strongholds in Libya are destroyed. You must send new prophetic writings proclaiming My purposes for Libya and My heart's desire for Libya. I will give you, as God's prophetic mouthpiece for that people, prophetic words to record and send to them. Send other writings confirming the truth of My divinity. The truth of who I am, the Son of the living God. I want you to form a new team of prophets and intercessory prayer warriors. I will send them to the borders of that country to destroy the doors and gates of hell surrounding it, so that its borders are healed.

"I, the Lord, I will open new doors for My people in Libya. I will guide you to new prophetic means by which I will conquer the kingdom of evil which resists Me.

"I will punish that obstinate pagan king (the present ruler of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi), that blind slave of evil. I will throw him into the sea. The Libyan people who have chosen to be subservient to the devil will be the first to break free from slavery to that evil ruler. I will confuse the plans of that ungrateful ruler who is obsessed with the desire to spread his own word, not Mine. I will confuse his plans in the coming time. I will increase the spiritual blindness around him, so that he will never be able to think soundly, and he will die experiencing severe delusions of grandeur. All his ways and schemes will be gone with the winds. He wanted to spread his kingdom in Africa, but his attempts will end in great remorse for I will send my salvation to
those countries"

Then the Lord said to me in person: "Speak and fear nothing, for I have a lot of people in this city."

At the end of the Lord's vision about Libya, He revealed to me the flawed approach of many of His servants in the cause of His kingdom. Many of them come equipped with ready-made, frozen plans; they want to bring about a fiery revival and real transformation in nations that are in need of living fire, not the coldness of death. Therefore, what the Lord has revealed to us, beckons us to receive it in the spirit of prayer seeking His face and presence, that He may reveal to us His ways and strategies which are from above and full of power and life. The world is now in need of such revelation, power and life, so that the nations would turn back to the King of all nations, the Lord Jesus, the heavenly bridegroom! For the heavenly bridegroom is coming back soon.

Mar 3, 2011

How to Respond to the Revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.

Most of the major cities of North Africa have been seeing massive protests. Some protests are being tolerated and dispersed with lower levels of force, as in Morocco and Algeria. Another is being brutally repressed by the government of Colonel Qaddafi in Libya using heavy military weapons against his own people to retain power.  

The significance of the events now unfolding in the Arab World is perhaps greater than

Feb 18, 2011

Bahrain Protests Results in Deaths and A Bigger Revolution in the Muslim World?

A doctor in Bahrain recovers after beating.
The recent unrest in Bahrain has caused world alarm. The recent crackdown has led to several deaths, scores injured, and full hospitals. Doctors and nurses who tried to help the injured in the center square of the capital city of Manama, ended up in the hospital themselves. The country is in shock especially the medical personnel. People are questioning the government and how this could happen in a civilized society. Anger now rages against the government. This anger will last for years to come as people will remember the tragedy of recent days. Social media sites will spread the news, and the government will not be able to squash the anger that will some day boil over. Bahrain, a key oil exporter, is vital to world oil supplies. Unrest in the Middle East will continue to send oil prices higher. World economies will feel the effect. A second recession could result in this unusual turn of events in the Muslim world. People seek hope and peace.

Feb 9, 2011

How the Web and Social Media Will Start the Next War

Recent revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain as seen around the world on TV and the web via the media such as CNN and Al Jazeera have shown us that the world wide web is now the revolutionary weapon of choice. No longer do rebels need weapons of mass destruction. They have weapons of mass communication. No longer can dictators hide behind thick veils that hide their evil actions. The internet has brought into the open the ugly politics that govern many nations around the world. The recent leaks from Wikileaks show that it is only a matter of time before something crucial is leaked that will spark an international conflict. The mass media will then flash the information around the world in minutes, uprisings will result, deaths, and then the images will be viewed by people all over the world. Technology has changed the world like never before.Will the next world conflict be the Muslims against the Jews? Or will it be the West vs. Islam? Or will the next major world conflict will be between Sunnis and Shiites? And will they be fighting over oil, water or the control of Mecca? The world will have to watch and wait, for what the Muslims of the world need is true hope.

Feb 8, 2011

Who Are the Decendants of Abraham, Issac, and Ishmael and Where Do They Live?

A fantastic book on world history just happens to be the Bible. It can give us amazing insight into the mentality of the Jews and Muslims. Let's start with a man whom they both claim as their father, Abraham. Having taken things into his own hand by having a child with his handmaiden, Abraham set into motion events that still affects us today!

Jan 4, 2011

The Waldensians of Italy: Rooted in the Word.

The Pellice Valley where the Waldensians hid and trained.
At the base of the Italian Alps in northwest Italy, lies a place where the first reform movement of Europe first took place many centuries ago. The Pellice Valley, home of the Waldensians, became a base for Bible study and training. The Waldensians believed everyone should have the right to read the Holy Bible for themselves instead of relying solely upon the interpretation of the Scriptures by clergy. They devoted themselves to the study and translation of scripture during a time when this was a crime punishable by death by the Roman Catholic church. The Waldensians went out two by two throughout all of Italy and beyond to share the precious good news they so wholeheartedly embraced. They wanted people to know what the scriptures actually said, and they proclaimed salvation by grace through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9  The ministry was one of persecution and in many cases martyrdom.
Many Waldensians were martyred not far from this place.
Due to harsh persecution from the Roman Catholic church and political figures, the Waldensians were forced to flee Italy, taking the Gospel to many European countries. The Waldensians returned to Italy however and persevered until religious freedom was finally granted at the end of the 18th century. The Pellice Valley in northwest Italy has been a land of truth, freedom of choice, perseverance, and selfless service to Christ.
A Waldensian church in the Italian Alps.
It is in this very place where a new training base now stands called Forterocca. This center is a place where many come to be trained, refreshed, reformed, and inspired. Receiving spiritual nourishment and training at Forterocca, Christians are then once again sent out to bless the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Did you know?
  1. Evangelical Christians make up only 1% of the population in Italy.
  2. Although primarily Roman Catholic. less than a quarter of the Italian population attends mass regularly.
  3. Over 100,000 practicing magicians live in Italy, and the city of Turin has one of the largest satanic houses of worship in Europe.
  4. With the rising numbers of immigrant minority groups, Islam is the second largest religion in Italy today.
  5. In over 31,000 Italian villages, there is no evangelical witness.
If  you visit the region, Forterocca is an excellent place to stay.

    Dec 19, 2010

    Bible Translation a Priority for Three Australians.

    Dave, Carnsey, and Sav arrived safely home in Stanthorpe, Australia after walking 2,000 kilometers to raise awareness that there are still 2,000 languages without the Bible. The three left the city of Cairns, Australia on August 24 and arrived in Stanthorpe on the 11th of November, after walking on average more than 30 kilometers a day. Each kilometer represented a unique language that doesn’t yet have the Word of God. The team held evening meetings at local churches and town halls en route to share information about the 350 million people who don’t yet have access to the Bible in their own language.

    The three travelers experienced plenty of challenges, including cooling their feet in a creek they were later informed is inhabited by crocodiles, suffering from heatstroke, chafing, severe blisters and painful feet. Highlights included frequent newspaper, radio, and TV interviews, and seeing the first road sign that read ‘Stanthorpe’ after walking for 73 days and 1818 kilometers.

    “I’ve been surprised to hear the number of people who have followed our journey,” says Carnsey. “After watching a report on the news one night, I thought to myself, ‘when does Bible translation ever make it onto a secular news report?’”

    Dave, Carnsey, and Sav walked the final kilometer with 100 supporters who joined them on the road. They were met at the finish line by a bagpiper and 350 cheering people who released helium balloons.

    Although The 2000 Walk has finished, the task of translating the Bible into the 2,000 remaining languages will continue for many years. For more information about how to get involved in providing Bibles for people, contact Wycliffe Bible Translators (www.wycliffe.org).