Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

'Father' and 'Son'  ERASED from New Bible Translations!


Wycliffe Bible Translators


Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) 



BIBLE translators and publishers producing BIBLES (The WORD of ALMIGHTY GOD)are NOW producing Bibles that REMOVE "Father," "Son" and "Son of God" from New editions of the BIBLE because these TRUTH'S are offensive to Muslims.

Deeply concerned Christian missionaries, Bible translators, Pastors, and National Church Leaders have come together with a public petition to stop these organizations.  They claim a public petition is their last recourse because meetings with these organizations' leaders, staff resignations over this issue, criticism, and appeals have failed to persuade these agencies to retain "Father" and "Son" in the text of all their NEW translations.

The main issues of this controversy surround new Arabic and Turkish translations. Here are three examples native speakers give: 

First, Wycliffe and (SIL) have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic 'allah' instead of "Father" and "Messiah" instead of "Son." 

Second, Frontiers and (SIL) have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes "Father" in reference to God and replaces it with "allah," and removes or redefines "Son." 

For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, "Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit" instead of "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab American who runs Middle East Resources, terms these organization's efforts as "a western imperialistic attempt that's inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology." 

Third, Frontiers and (SIL) have produced a new Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew that uses Turkish equivalents of "guardian" for "Father" and "representative" or "proxy" for "Son." 

Turkish pastor Rev. Fikret Böcek states: "This translation is 'an all-American idea' with absolutely no respect for the 'sacredness' of Scripture, or even of the growing Turkish church." 

Listen to the Word of GOD...
If anyone takes words away from this book, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book  Revelation 22:19

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
Deuteronomy 12:32

Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Proverbs 30:6


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life begins at Conception

You've heard of pets waking up their owners to the fact that their home is on fire? Well, this baby appears to have known something wasn't right.
(Atlanta, GA)—You've heard of pets waking up their owners to the fact that their home is on fire, or alarming someone that there is something seriously wrong with their master?

preborn babyWell, Sara McDonald was almost 8 months pregnant when, while deep asleep one night, her baby kicked her so hard it woke her up.

That, in itself, isn't unusual. What is remarkable, is that upon awakening, Sara discovered that her husband Thomas, in bed next to her, had stopped breathing, had no pulse, and was turning purple from lack of oxygen.

Subsequently, Sara reportedly called 911 and performed CPR on her husband until help arrived. When officers arrived, they say it appeared Thomas was "deceased," but efforts to resuscitate him eventually proved successful.

McDonald was quoted as calling it a "miracle" and said, "It's like my baby saved my husband's life. And he's not even here yet and he saved his dad's life. It's an amazing feeling and I don't think anyone else can say that."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mark Wahlberg on Faith

This is an incredible testimony by a Movie Star about where he came from and how he starts each day with GOD!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Witch converts to being Christian

Christie Martin

Christie is a convert to Catholicism from the New Age and Neopaganism. She is a homeschooling former schoolteacher and an adoptive, foster, and birth mom of five (and counting). 

My conversion to the Catholic Church took about three seconds. I was an arrogant fool sitting in on my very first Mass and watching it like I'd watch a National Geographic nature film. I was analyzing away, "Those pews are so phallic, who are they kidding that this isn't all about a patriarchy?" when I heard something Jewish. A cantor sang the Psalm. It caught my attention and stopped the haughty drift of my thoughts. I began to be interested. What else might they have stolen from the Jews?

This led to other discoveries, like the parading of the Gospels. "Well, if Jesus does claim to be the Jewish Messiah, I guess there should be Jewish elements in the worship," I thought dismissively until it occurred to me I'd never seen Jewish elements in the Protestant churches I'd attended as a girl. Why not? I puzzled that one out for awhile. I'm not the kind of dog to drop a bone, so I puzzled awhile.

About the time for the consecration (I had no idea what it was called at the time), I had come all the way around to the skeptical thought, actually accompanied by a quiet sarcasm-laden snort, "What if all this were true?"

Then I was hit repeatedly in the head with a 2 x 4. That process took all of three seconds.
I say that comically, but the wave upon wave of revelation breaking over my stunned mind was actually very painful. And beautiful and exquisite and utterly horrifying. I saw things, felt things, all in quick succession with the complete clarity of the words, "It is all true," ringing me like a bell.

Then an actual bell rang signaling the consecration. Jesus himself was upon that altar, and I was done for. I had a choice to make and it was my very last chance. It was true. I could never again deny the truth of it, but I could still deny Him. A yes would cost me every friend I had, the community I'd built, my reputation. Everything. Was I willing to give it all up?

Oh, God, yes.

Then I came back from that heady place to reality where the Mass continued before me. I was Catholic now, but that priest up there on the dais was the first one I had ever been in the same room with. I was Catholic now, but my husband wasn't. What now? I was Catholic, but I had no idea what that meant. I decided to start with the little pamphlet my husband had given me on a whim as we walked past a display on the way into the church. It was on the Rosary. As I read through the mysteries all I remembered of the life of Jesus came back to me. Then I came upon the Assumption.

"The Assumption?" I thought, "What the hell is that?" (The conversion of my heart was won; my conversion of behavior was incremental) I was a dog with a bone again.
The Mass ended. It was a daily Mass, so there wasn't a crowd. The priest was at the back of the church talking with a woman. They both greeted my husband and I warmly, the priest asking a few questions of the new people. He quickly discovered my husband was an ex-Catholic and I wasn't anything I was willing to own up to publicly yet. I said I wanted to join the Catholic Church and shot a guilty look at my husband. I knew it wasn't nice to tell him like this, but I didn't have the guts to face him all at once. Maybe he could get over the initial reaction and be polite by the time we got to the car.
Then I blurted out my question before I lost my nerve and before the polite chit chat wound down, "What's an Assumption?"

"The Assumption?" the priest looked surprised. He gave an answer too small to satisfy my hunger, "It was when Our Lady was taken to heaven to reign as Queen Mother."
I pressed for more information and he asked me to make an appointment. I was there the next day and in RCIA by the end of the week. I was a thorn in that program's side. I read book after book, and completely ignorant, each question generated more questions. I took to carrying a notebook to jot them in. People would actually groan when at the end of the RCIA class my hand would go up when they asked, "Are there any questions?" I had pages full.

Somebody in Heaven took pity on my classmates and drew my attention to a bumper sticker with the local Catholic Radio station on it. I tuned in my dial and there I found the depth and breadth I craved.

My husband was kinder than I knew. He had been uncomfortable with the direction our spiritual life had taken us and was relieved to come home to the faith. He joined a Landings Group and began his own Catechesis. Meanwhile, my conversion was a big secret from my family and friends. There were two reasons for this: my family and my friends.

My family was Church of Christ. While it was never spoken of from the pulpit growing up, the handouts available on the tables in the vestibule often held tracts that spouted things like the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon and the Pope was the Anti-Christ. A few people in the church had family members convert to Catholicism. This news was greeted in the same manner as people whose family members had come down with cancer: with condolences, disbelief, and shocked horror. Although my mother and father made it clear they did not approve of the tracts, neither did they approve of Catholics and their beliefs. I grew up with the impression that they were a strange cult, like the Moonies.

My friends were another matter entirely. They loathed Christians, Catholics especially. One had told the story of her son accompanying her to visit her mother at a senior facility. Some little old ladies in the lobby had made semi-rude gossipy comments about them as they walked past. The little boy got on the elevator, rolled his eyes and said, "Probably Christians." His mother laughed as she told that story, so did everyone present. I didn't. As far from Christian as I was, I thought she was training up a bigot. That's never funny.

I told one friend what was happening with me. She was pretty neutral except that she was worried how it would change the dynamics of our relationship. We still keep in touch loosely. The others were a different story. I announced it finally and endured tears and anger and finally a scathing acceptance of "my truth." I had lost all credibility and, in their eyes, any claim to intelligence. After a few abortive attempts, all contact with that group of friends was lost. No one would return my calls or even my Seasons Greetings Cards. Finally, after a few years I just started sending Christmas Cards thinking what could I loose? One responded and now we exchange biannual letters. The others dumped me because they couldn't be friends with someone like me, an intolerant Catholic.
Hard to believe an average bunch of gals could be so anti-Catholic in this day and age? Not in the New Age. We were actually a group of goddess worshiping pagans and I was a priestess. I was a leader in the community. I taught classes, wrote songs, led rituals, the whole shebang. And for those of you who don't believe in these sorts of things, I was able to do all sorts of unbelievable things, like mild prognostication and other creepy stuff. The allure of these "gifts" is such that I will not go into details. Suffice it to say, my group was astonished that anyone would be willing to give up such power.

Now that I am free, it amazes me how enslaved I was to it all. I didn't see myself as worshiping the devil or demons, I just thought I had found a legitimate power source. I was amazed at the "miracles" I could perform. I was heady with it. The power is the bait. It hooks you and then turns on you. The people involved stagnate and become trapped into cycling through personal issues over and over. It's similar to the stagnation of the personality caused by alcohol and drug abuse, and the experience is very much like an addiction. With this much personal dysfunction, the groups can get ugly. One of the most chilling comments during my "confession" to my group was from the group leader, "There's a reason we used to kill oath breakers." She didn't mean our group in particular but the groups in the largely recreated neopagan past. Her reference was historically dubious, but I was never so glad to dust myself off and move on in my life.

I found myself filling my days not with the chatter of friends, but the chatter of Catholic Radio. It was a lonely but a wonderful time. I was discovering things and growing as a person in ways I never could have imagined. My husband was also undergoing a transformation. Our marriage had never been better. Incrementally, I was learning just how self centered and sinful I was, and I was learning how much I was loved. I had, all my life, yearned for something, unknowing. Now I knew, and I had that something.
In the midst of this, I told my parents. They were not pleased, but they were not condemning either. They said they would tell the rest of the family for me, meaning aunts and uncles. It was their way to spare everyone any unkindness or awkwardness stemming from the initial shock. Then my parents said something that surprised me, "This will be good for your family."

That they found some good in my conversion was an incredible surprise at the time. Of the two groups, family vs. friends, I had expected the opposite reactions. I had feared that my family would disown me and expected my friends to work out a new relationship with me. Exactly the opposite occurred. I was disowned by my friends, but my family and I have worked things out.

Why did I visit that church that day? Like any convert I was looking for something and found more than I bargained for. I was considering attending the Catholic Church because I wanted a community large enough to hide myself in. I wanted respectability without having to actually be respectable. In a sense, Cafeteria Catholics evangelized me. I walked in that door thinking I might go to the cafeteria to pick and choose what I wanted from table. I would remain unchanged.

God had other plans.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Power of Prayer

Across the United States, memorials honor the men and women who served their country in the Second World war. But the memorial in the
little gulf coast town of Seadrift, Texas, is different. It is a testimony to the courage of the soldiers and sailors from Seadrift - and, in a way,
it is a testimony to the miracle-working power of God.

In 1942, the pastor of the First Assembly of God, Robert Caddell, wanted something tangible to remind the church to pray for the church's
men in uniform. So he encouraged members to bring in pictures of their loved ones in the military.

Soon, 52 pictures of soldiers and sailors were collected and Pastor Caddell framed them in a collage.

Members of the church began meeting to pray for the men in the collage. Lora Weaver, who was in her 20s at the time, remembered,
"We all began to get a burden for those boys -­ began to meet and pray, seek God for their safety."

Mary Wilson Neill, who was a young girl with several brothers overseas, said, "I can never remember a night that I went to bed that I
didn't remember to pray for the men. ... And we never had a service in the church that they weren't mentioned, in prayer.

The church prayed for the Gaines brothers  --  Lonnie and Ora, whose young faces smiled out from the prayer collage. Before Lonnie
left for the war, Pastor Caddell had made him a special promise.

"Brother Caddell ... took my hand," Lonnie remembered, "and prayed and said: `Brother Lonnie,' he said, `You're going to come
back. ... I'm going to be on my knees day after day and night after night ... and people are going to be praying for you to see you
through this thing."

As far as Lonnie is concerned, prayer did see him through. "We never lost a man off our ship," he said, "but we came close to it."
Lonnie's ship had one of the most heart rending jobs in the South Pacific - searching for survivors of ships sunk in battle. "A lot of
he boys lost their lives that we picked up," Lonnie remembers. "We picked them up, and some we'd have to take ... up on the
mountain in Okinawa and bury them. ... But I thank God for saving my life."

    While Lonnie was in the South Pacific, his brother Ora was on a tug boat off the coast of Alaska. Pastor Caddell and the Seadrift
ntercessors were pray­ing for Ora the day that his "big tow boat went down and sank."

Ora remembers that his boat "went down pretty fast. But we all managed to get off. God [was] taking care of us. If He [hadn't], there
wouldn't have been any other way we could've gotten off."

Back in Seadrift, people kept praying, although times were hard for many of the wives and mothers left behind. "I know one of our
 little ladies," Lora Weaver recalls, "she'd come and pray then she'd leave because she was taking in ironing and washing to help
make a living."

Gerald McGowen was an airman flying supply missions with the Army Air Corps. Like other men in the Seadrift collage, Gerald is
con­vinced that prayer saved his life. Gerald and his buddies were on a training mission, pushing mock supply bundles out of the
plane's cargo bay. They had just kicked a bundle out when its parachute opened too soon and became tangled in the plane's tail
assembly. They started losing altitude fast.

"I was stranded on the right side of the open doorway," Gerald remembered, "and I hit the ceiling when the plane started bouncing.
 I kept reaching for a hand-hold ... because I knew I could tumble out. ... All of that time, I was bouncing up and
wn ... I believe there was a hand-hold that I got that I didn't realize then, and that was the hand-hold of Jesus Christ."

Of the 52 men in the Seadrift collage, every one came home from World War II alive.

Today Timothy Smith pastors Seadrift's First Assembly of God, where the collage still hangs in a place of honor.

"I am pastoring those people who prayed during the war," Pastor Smith said, "[and] their children and their grandchildren.
The heritage and legacy of their faith has been passed on from the parents to the children and from their children on down to
the grandchildren. And it shows."

The legacy continues. Each and every person from the First Assembly of God that served in Korea and Vietnam also
returned home safely - thanks to the prayers of the church and the faithfulness of the Lord.

When people comment on the miracle of the Seadrift collage, Pastor Smith refers them to the miracles of protection God
did for the children of Israel.

     He says it's the same today as it was then: "Every time mighty things happened, it was because people were praying."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Imprisoned Under a Death Sentance in Iran

Dan Baumann spent years ministering in Muslim countries. On a two week trip to Iran he was detained at the border.  Dan shares his story.

“Me and a friend felt like we were supposed to go on a two week visit into Iran… and had a great time, and fell in love with the country and fell in love with the people.”
“While we were leaving the country - it was crossing the border - we hand in our documents to be stamped out of the country and we didn’t get them back.  And it was about six hours later that they finally came back to us and said, ‘There was a problem with your documents.’”

“And the reality is that that I had dealt with before I went like, ‘What if you have a problem? What if there could be complications being an American?’  It all came to the surface. And I realized ‘Wow! I really could have a problem. This is for real.’ In my walk with the Lord, and in many dangerous places, I’ve always seen God come through. And all of a sudden the thought hit me, ‘Well, what if this is different?’”

“They separated me and my friend took me into another room and there they beat me for about six hours, kicking me and hitting me.  After those six hours they drag me back down to the lobby where I met my friend again who had been beaten in another room. They put us in prison clothes and they blindfolded us again, and they led us down this basement and they put me into one prison cell and my friend into another one. And there I was imprisoned in Iran. It was out of my hands, there was nothing I could do. Either God would do a miracle or I would stay there.”

“There was no sense of feeling God. I felt like God was far away. All I could really trust in was His character, and that His character would be true no matter what I was feeling and no matter what circumstance I was going through.”

“They put me in a cell in isolation. It had a light in one corner. And that was on 24 hours a day. It was in the wintertime and there was actually snow outside, but the heater didn’t work well. They only let me out of the room to be interrogated, which was once a day or sometimes not at all. And then they would lead me down this hallway and take me into the interrogation room, which was an ugly room; it had bloodstains on the floor, very dark and murky. That was definitely the most terrifying part of the whole experience. The beatings would start and they would be slapping in the face, hitting in the stomach, sometimes kicking.”

“I struggled with faith, ‘Was God with me? Did He love me? If God is good why would He allow me to go through this situation?’  And I remember one day I woke up, and I was done inside. And I remember waking up that day thinking to myself, ‘If I’m going to be here the rest of my life, why not check out?’  My only thought was not to stay there, and the only way not to stay there was to die.

“I stuck my head in the sink, I filled it up. And tied one end to a bracket put it over my head and then hopefully would tie the other end tight thinking that with my head in the water in a few minutes I’d be gone.”

“Four times I tried to kill myself, but every time I tried I was too scared to tie the other end. And I’ll never forget the last time.  Again, I tried again I was like, ‘Come on, do it!’ and again, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t tie it tight. And I remember at that moment jerking my head out of the water and if I was ever aware of my brokenness, I was aware of it at that moment. And I remember falling down on the ground and I was broken.  And if I was ever aware of my shame, I was aware of my shame at that moment.”

“And I remember lying down on the ground in that moment - all of a sudden the room fills with this glorious light. And I turn around to see what’s going on and there is Jesus. And He’s standing in front of me with this big grin and smile on His face.  And it was at that lowest point that He met me.  And He looks at me and He stretches out His hands and He puts them underneath me like this. And in the vision as I see Jesus, He looks at me and says this, ‘Dan, I love you, and I promise to carry you through this time.’ And from that day until this day, I’ve never had those thoughts again.”

“And that’s who Jesus is. He meets us at our lowest, and He can rescue us from the depths of us.  And He wants to give us life in the midst of the pain of life. And He meets us and He loves us and He wants to rescue us no matter what we’re going through.”
“God began to challenge me with His love for our enemies. He said ‘Dan, ask Me what I think about this man.’  And He asked me the question about the man who was my interrogator, the man who beat me, the man who seemed to hate me the most. And it was a few days into it that I finally asked God, ‘OK yea, what do You think of this man?’ And at that moment my heart opened up and I began to see God’s love for this man; how He loved him from the beginning, how He made him, how He loved his family. And I’ll never forget the last day I saw him and I remember on this day thinking ‘Oh my gosh!  What’s he going to do today?’  And at that moment, I remember looking at him, and I said this, ‘Sir, if I’m going to see you for the rest of my life every day, why don’t we become friends?’  He’s like, ‘No that’s impossible!’  And I said, ‘Sir, you can start by telling me your name.’  And I stuck out my hand to him, and I said ‘Sir, let’s be friends.’”

And as I stuck out my hand to shake his hand he just stood there and he froze and after a few minutes he started to shake. And all of a sudden I saw his hand creep towards mine and he shook my hand. And as he’s shaking my hand I saw these tears start to roll down his face and for about ten minutes he just shook my hand.  And tears streaming down his face and he finally looks at me and says this, ‘Dan’ - and he calls me by my name - ‘My name is Rizak, and I would love to be your friend.’ And it caused me to see that there is no heart too hard for Jesus; that He can change the hardest heart. God taught me to love my enemy.”

“I heard these guards talking about ‘the foreigners’,(me and my friend), ‘They’re Christians. They follow Jesus.’  And another one says, ‘Oh, these foreigners, they knew they could have problems when they came here. But they have purpose. They have a reason to live and a reason to die. And that’s what I want.’ And I heard three of these men say, ‘Yes, today we are going to follow Jesus. We are going to follow the way.’  And if that was part of the reason God allowed me down there, so be it.”
“And just like those guards in prison I long for people to know today how good Jesus is that He can rescue us in the midst of pain. In the midst of our shame, our brokenness He wants to meet us and that He is good no matter what were going through and that He loves us.”

“I found out indirectly that I was under two death sentences; one for being a missionary and one for being a spy, and again in that prison I heard executions quite regularly. And it was my moment in a court room I stood on a stand, hundreds of people in the room, video cameras, judges, and then came the question, ‘Tell us today sir, ‘Why, why did you come to Iran?’”

“Something rose up within me - the power of God - and I remember looking at the judge and saying this, ‘I came to Iran to tell you about Jesus Christ.’  And when I said that I was like, ‘Oh what did I say?’ And all of a sudden I said it again, and then I said it again. And then something started to grow in my heart and for about twenty minutes I just preached the Gospel. And I told everyone in that courtroom and everyone who could hear me all about who Jesus is, all about how much He loved them.”

“All of a sudden I realized something, I am free! I am free! So what if they kill me. My life is bought by the blood of Jesus, my home is in Heaven. No one can take that away. And I realized that in the midst of death itself, God gave me the grace to stand up and speak the truth. And in doing so, it brought freedom in my heart knowing that this life isn’t it. There is more and I’m going home one day and no one can take that away.”

After nine weeks of imprisonment in Iran, Dan Baumann was released by Iran’s high court. He continues to lead mission trips all around the world.