Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Ok...Update~ surgery went very well & hopefully, this well relieve some of the pain he's been experiencing. Dr's believe his lack of responsiveness is due to this extreme pain...they were able to uncrimp a nerve caught in the broken bone mess. this should restore movement capabilities in his lower extremities when this pelvic girdle & hip heal.
There was indication yesterday of some brain damage beyond their original report...I believe the report of the Lord that says there is no damage or damage is reversed!
Ok...more late as I get reports. Super thanks to Tracy for being there, praying words of life over Nicki-praying God's word right back to Him. You rock, Sis!!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Nicki is headed into surgery as I type this. 8:00 AM CST to repair/set his broken pelvic cradle and hip. The doctors strongly believe his lack of responsiveness is in most part due to the immense pain he is suffering. They hope once this surgery is complete, he will be in less pain and more responsive. FYI, they predict 8 hours in surgery with a good number more hours in recovery.
The tracheostomy is moving ahead to preserve his vocal chords and larnx. The longer he is intubated through his throat, the most damage to his vocal tract.
Ok..thanks again for praying & inquiring. Makes a world of difference to know there are believers in agreement for healing, restoration and salvation.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Heartfelt thanks & then some from me & my family~
In His Grace,
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life--learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup--they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned--the biggest word of all--LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all--the whole world--had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are-- when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Get the sweet but lethargic girl & swing through McDonalds to get her a Sprite...that's what my mom gave us with an upset tuumy. Does that really work? I guess I'll find out. Anyway, so while I'm talking to the magager about this coupon being an "After School Snack" coupon and there is nothing that say I have to wait until after Halloween to use it...I am also wiping up Gracie as she is doing the sick thing again. Ok...got the Sprite, go down the block to Walmart. While we were waiting just to see how long a battery installation would take, Gracie gets sick AGAIN (X5) in her carseat. Guess we will just go on home without a battery. Doesn't look like I'm going anywhere tomorrow anyway.
Some days are like that, huh? God is good despite the small bumps in our path and even in the magnamimous events that wipe us off the map...He just holds us tighter. I'm thankful~
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Parked in our driveway, enjoying the peace accompanying a sleeping child, I was weeping & praying for the families of recently martyred Christians in Turkey. 3 year old Grace, still buckled in her safety seat, woke up and quickly asked, "Why are you crying, Mommy." I simply told her I was praying for other people who were hurting and asking God to hold them...to heal them. Tenderly, Grace began to pray, asking Jesus to hold and heal.
What a moment for this mission's hearted mom.Even before her birth, I prayed for my daughter to have a heart for the harvest. If you are like, me you want God's very best for your child...every gift cultivated, wisdom in situations, protection and so much more. I've found a great tool to help me pray effectively for my daughter.
A praying parent himself, Bob Hostetler developed a parent's prayer program assists us in covering all the bases when it comes to covering our children in prayer. 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids pairs a character trait or fruit of the spirit with a scripture for every day of the month.Per Mr. Hostetler, feel free to duplicate it -- or improve upon it -- to help you pray specifically and purposefully for your children to experience and evidence:
"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory," (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).
2 Growth in grace
"I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,' " (2 Peter 3:18).
"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them," (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).
4 Honesty and integrity
"May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection," (Psalm 25:21, NLT).
"Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be 'alert and self-controlled' in all they do," (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
6 A love for God's Word
"May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb,' " (Psalm 19:10).
"God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do," (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).
"May my children always 'be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful,' " (Luke 6:36).
9 Respect (for self, others, authority)
"Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands," (1 Peter 2:17a).
10 Strong, biblical self-esteem
"Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are 'God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,' " (Ephesians 2:10).
" 'Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],' but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts," (Proverbs 3:3).
"May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions," (Deuteronomy 31:6).
" 'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions," (Psalms 51:10).
"Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else,' " (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
"Grant that my children may 'be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,' " (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
16 Peace, peaceability
"Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace,' " (Romans 14:19).
"May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit,' " (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
"Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to 'run with perseverance the race marked out for [them],' " (Hebrews 12:1).
"God, please cultivate in my children the ability to 'show true humility toward all,' " (Titus 3:2).
"Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion," (Colossians 3:12).
"Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load,'" (Galatians 6:5).
"Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. …through him who gives [them] strength,' " (Philippians 4:12-13).
"I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them," (Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40).
24 A servant heart
"God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men,' " (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).
"May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit," (Romans 15:13).
26 The willingness and ability to work hard
"Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men,' " (Colossians 3:23).
27 A passion for God
"Lord, please instill in my children a soul that 'followeth hard after thee,' a heart that clings passionately to you," (Psalm 63:8, KJV).
"Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair,' " (Proverbs 1:3).
"Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests," (Ephesians 6:18).
"Help my children to live lives that are always 'overflowing with thankfulness,' 'always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,' " (Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 5:20).
31 A heart for missions
"Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples," (Psalms 96:3).
"I believe this simple prayer program will not only change how we pray, but also how our children pray…and, by God's grace, how they live as well." Bob Hostetler
Bob Hostetler's books include the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door (coauthored with Josh McDowell) and They Call Me A.W.O.L. He lives near Oxford, Ohio, with his wife, Robin, and two children. You can purchase his 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids prayer cards and other prayer tools at NavPress. Check it out!
Nick has a wife & two cutie pie girls. He needs God...healing & salvation. I know God works through tragedy and believe that Nick is in His hands. Thanks, in advance, for praying for Nick & our family.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 30 for October 12
The Zikri Baluch are an offshoot of mainstream Islam that is concentrated in the Baluchistan Province of Pakistan. There are about 750,000 adherents in this group. Most Zikris live in Baluchistan, but a large number also live in the region around Karachi and Iran. A high percentage of Zikris are involved in fishing, mainly along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Some are also involved in farming, basket weaving and making other hand crafted items.
Muslim But Different
Their practices are based around the teachings of Syed Mohammad Jaunpuri, a 15th century and South Asian Islamic Messiah figure (Mahdi). In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims. Zikris perform five daily prayer rituals called Zikr in which sacred verses are recited which differ from orthodox Islamic prayer. Zikris do pilgrimage to their most famous shrine at Koh-e-Murad, near the city of Turbat in Baluchistan, on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan. “Koh” means “mountain”, and “Murad” is a name, meaning “aim”or “desire”. It has been reported that the Zikris perform rites similar to a traditional Hajj when on pilgrimage to the shrine.
The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word dhikr (pronounced “Zikr” in South Asia) that refers to remembrance, usually of Allah. This is reflective of the Zikri worship, focused on the recitation of Islamic credos. The movement of Syed Jaunpuri started as a reaction to the worldly pursuits of the Muslim elite. Zikris have faced persecution mainly from Sunni Muslims, but this usually has occurred in areas where they are in a minority, or in conflict with non-Zikri power groups. The Zikri came to Baluchistan seeking safety, and in their isolation, they deviated from the Muslim majority practices.
The Future Question
It is probable that many other influences will come into the lives of the Zikri in the coming years. The Pakistani and Chinese governments have been deeply involved in developing the Gwadar deep-sea port which is being linked to the rest of Pakistan, to China and to Central Asia through a system of roads and pipelines. Gwadar’s population is about 50% Zikri. If the forecasted economic development based on the port actually takes place all of Baluchistan and the region will be significantly affected.
It has been reported by a couple of fishermen that Jesus appeared to them in a storm and rescued them while on a fishing trip. Pray that many more Zikri fishermen would truly encounter Jesus, and become real fishers of men!
Prayer Requests for the Zikri Baluch:
* In recent years a number of Zikris who have become followers of Jesus. Pray for growth in the ways of God (faith, hope and love) for all of these new believers (1 Cor 13).
* Pray also that these new believers would make known their faith among their family and friends, and that whole families and clans would become followers of Jesus.
* Pray that the top religious leaders of the Zikris would come to know Jesus, through the Scriptures, testimonies, films, dreams, visions, healings, etc., so that their followers would also embrace the Truth.
Background information, map and statistics about Pakistan can be found on our site here …>>
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 29
Place: Nashik District, Indian State of Maharashtra
Population: 4 million
Christians: Less than 20,000 people, 0.5% (all denominations combined).
Muslims: 600,000 people, 6,7% (mostly city dwellers)
Nashik, (also Nasik), is a medium size, fast-growing city. The river Godavari flows through the city and the temples and steps on its banks make Nashik one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the World. Once every 12 years the city hosts millions of Hindus participating in the pilgrimage festival called Kumbh Mela (the Urn Festival). In Hindu mythology, Nasik got its name when the sister of the demon Ravana proposed to marry the god Rama. Hearing this, Rama ordered her nose (‘nasika’ in Sanskrit) to be cut off. Thus Nashik got its name. This is the context in which Muslims in Nashik live – surrounded by ancient Hindu tradition and culture.
Power to Heal the Sick
It was not until the establishment of regional Muslim kingdoms in the 14th and 15th centuries and the arrival of Muslim missionaries that the Muslims began to form a distinct community. The two leading Muslim missionaries in Nashik were Khunmir Hussaini (1520) and Syed Hussaini (1568). It is believed that both came with zealous preaching and the power to heal the sick, thus many Hindus readily converted to Islam. Devotion to these Muslim saints continues to this day.
The vast majority of Muslims in Nashik (as in all of India) are Sunnis who have been influenced over the generations by Hindu religion and culture. Some of the Muslims peoples residing in Nashik district are the Sayyed, the Pathan, the Malik, Muslims from Rajasthan, the Lakarharas (or wood-sellers who are a mixed population of Shaikhs), and a Shia sect called the Dawoodi Bohra. The majority of Muslims in the city are from the Sayyed group.
The Plight of the Muslims
A simple visit to Nashik city will easily demonstrate the plight of the Muslims living there. Many live in congested areas where the city infrastructure is of poor quality. When we wrote this article (summer 2006), there were no known ministries daily reaching out to Nashik’s Muslims with the Gospel. However, this does not mean God is not at work among them.
Many genuine believers in Nashik have been praying for the Muslim community. Some are fearful of Muslims as well, caught up in the historical Indian prejudices between the varying religious communities. Another area for prayer is Malegaon, a city in Nashik district a few hours drive north east of Nashik city which is over 70% Muslim, far exceeding the Muslim population of Nashik city. Malegoan has a reputation for its communal tensions between the religious communities and the more volatile Muslim population.
Prayer points for Nashik, Maharashtra, India:
* May God send labourers into the streets, alleys, homes and families of Nashik to proclaim Christ to the Muslim community (Mt 22:9-10).
* May God prepare the men and women of peace (Luke 10:6) among the Muslims of Nashik who can receive the message.
* May God help the Christians of in the area to move beyond prejudices to really loving and caring for the Muslim community.
* May God pour out His Spirit giving the Muslims a hunger and thirst to know God and His Word (Luke 24:27-32).
Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on our site here …>>
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death. The loss remains profound--a gaping chasm that cannot be filled. I don't cry everyday anymore. Progress. Memories are returning of mom before she sick. For the longest time, I just couldn't see her healthy, happy, confident, loving life self that she was growing up. Worried about this, I asked Russ if he had the same problem. Only memories remained of her healthy self for Russ. He assured me they would return for me as well. That's something Mom would have said, "Don't worry. You'll find them again. You'll be ok in the meantime."
I miss her. I miss her when Grace asks about her Grandma. "Tell me again. Where is my Grandma? Oh, that's right. I remember, she's with Jesus now. I miss her. I love her and she loves me. She sang songs to me and read books to me." Or she might ask me if I have a mommy. Sweeter still is when she asks, "Remember when Nana got me these jammies? They are so cute. Remember when she laughed and laughed when I was jumping in that jumper thing?" Of course, she remembers the anedotes and stories I've told her about her & Nana. No, I won't forget and Grace will remember her Grandma in the stories I tell; in the songs we sing.
Below is a post from last year but fitting for today... a tribute to mom.
Nellie R. O'Neal
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 28 for October 10
The evolving world of Islamic universities has become a major challenge for Christians. The mission of Islamic education is to establish Quranic values and promote Islamic rule and influence worldwide through university community life and studies. The biographies of leading Muslim fundamentalist intellectuals have become essential reading for many students. Muslim academics are often persuaded that the West (which is often perceived as being Christian) is a major threat to Islam through secular democracy, globalisation, individualism, and liberalised morals.
God at work in Islamia University
The Jamia Millia Islamia has become the largest Muslim University in Delhi, India with 10,400 students and over 1,500 faculty and non-teaching staff. In the Urdu language, Jamia means University, and Millia means National. JMI offers bachelors, masters and PhDs in 32 specialised departments with twenty specialised research centres partnering with Universities around the world. Indian Muslims attend the University and international students come from 38 nations including the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia. JMI students and teachers are predominately strong Muslims yet God is at work!
One JMI student recently had an encounter with Christ through a dream, and today he is a committed believer sharing his faith with others. God continues to open several doors at this university for the Gospel. Making disciples of Muslim students and effectively training them to walk with God is vital to reaching Muslims worldwide for Christ.
Strengthening the Moral Character of Islam
The Jamia Markazu University near Calicut has recently become one of the major cultural and educational institutions in Kerala (Southwest India), attracting students from various parts of India. Ten thousand students study Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law, Arts, Science and Technology. According to the university’s web site “Its influence reaches far beyond the walls of communal and social barriers. Its work strengthens the moral character of the Muslim society. By developing the leadership capacities of leaders and the Muslim community, Jamia Markaz directly affects the cities, towns and even the rural areas … Armed with renewed vigour and Islamic spirit, Markaz students return to the society with anew wholeness, a new sense of responsibility and practical skills to bring about a moral revolution.”
Many Indian Muslim students and university personnel are involved in or support the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which is officially illegal. This group is actively seeking to orient Indian society toward Islamic values over against Hinduism and secularism. The movement encourages living on the basis of the Qur’an, the propagation of Islam and jihad for the cause of Islam. SIMI, and groups like them play a significant role in propagating fundamentalist Islam worldwide. The student led movement seeks to present Islam creatively through an intellectual and scientific approach (with some success).
* Pray that Muslim students and staff will have many opportunities to meet Christians with godly life styles and servant attitudes.
* Pray for supernatural encounters with God through dreams and visions among the students and the staff.
* Pray for students to be open to the Gospel and become followers of Jesus. May they plant churches among their own people when they go back home after their studies.
* Pray for God’s wisdom for an effective approaches and partnerships among those witnessing to Muslim university students and staff.
Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on site here
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 27 for October 9 (We are posting these one day early to include all time zones.)
Firozabad is a significant city of approximately a half million people located 45 minutes east of Agra by car (the city where the Taj Mahal is located). Firozabad is still being researched for ministry purposes. No local congregation of Christians exists there at the present time. It appears that about half the population is Muslim. The remaining population is comprised of Hindus and Jains (believers in Jainism). A very large Jain temple is located on the outskirts of the city.
Breathing Glass in Firozabad
The glass industry is very well established at Firozabad. It has been called the glass capital of India. Local artisans and factories produce glass bangles (bracelets), drinking glasses and a wide variety of other glassware. Some people have observed that the people of Firozabad do not breath air but glass. Dozens of shops in the markets sell nothing but glass bangles. Thousands of children work in the glass industry around the 300 glass factories polishing and painting the glass bangles in very poor conditions. The city also suffers low literacy and there is significant pollution linked to the glass industry.
The tallest building in the city is the main mosque in the heart of downtown. During Friday prayers this mosque is full with several hundred Muslims present. Large numbers of young boys are attending the Qur’anic school linked to the mosque. It is still not certain if most of the Muslims in this city are truly religiously Muslim or simply culturally Muslim. The women wear traditional Muslim dress.
No Known Churches… Yet
There is no known believer in this city. Some Christians who recently visited Firozabad saw God open doors for the Gospel with four young Muslim men. They gave a copy of the Bible to one of the young Muslims who is also sharing it with the others. Through phone calls and e-mails it seems that they continue to read the Bible. Some of the visiting Christians were even invited to a wedding in the same family as the young man who has a copy of the Bible. The young Muslim men know that the Christians are followers of Jesus and that we pray for them daily. Hopefully Christians visiting the city will continue to find men and women of peace and good will.
Firozabad in some ways is what you would call a forgotten city. It is the closest large city to Agra, the tourist capital of India, and yet there are no tourists who visit this city. When a tourist does come to Firozabad, traffic literally stops on the streets.
Prayer Points for Firozabad:
* Pray for God to raise up workers to go to this city and share the Gospel message (both short term and long term workers are needed).
* Pray for discernment of those who go to work in this city as they do research and minister.
* Pray for God to speak to the city’s youth through His Word (including those mentioned above).
* May people become dissatisfied with Hinduism and Islam and long for more than they presently have.
* Pray for the many children used as cheap labour in the glass factories and for real solutions to the pollution problems.
Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on site here …>>
Monday, October 08, 2007
Population: 11 million
“You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelations 5:9)
Dhaka has been called “the city of the 1,000 mosques”, but at the start of the 21st century the capital of Bangladesh has many more than 1,000 mosques. The region was first exposed to Hinduism and then to Buddhism. Muslim raiders introduced Islam to Bangladesh from North India in the tenth century and later by the Mughal (Mogul) rulers. Almost 90 per cent of the population today follows the Sunni and Sufi forms of Islam, which are dominated by ‘holy men’ and folk Islamic practices.
Dhaka is a busy centre of government and commerce and attracts students from all over the country. Recently identified as the world’s most polluted city, the government is struggling to manage the traffic and provide adequate housing facilities for its growing population of 11 million people. Non-governmental organisations try to help in the huge challenge of alleviating poverty. Bangladesh’s gross national product (GNP) per capita is still among the lowest in Asia, and the country depends heavily on foreign aid. Crime rates are rising and reports of hijacking, extortion, mob killings and murder can be read in the newspaper every day. Political violence is common, and rivalries between the political parties, coupled with corruption, hinder serious efforts to address the multiple problems.
Dhaka’s major waterfront called ‘Sadarghat’ is on the bank of the river Buriganga. This bustling waterfront reflects Bangladesh’s varied and widespread river traffic. It is crowded with all kinds of river craft, from minuscule boats to steamers and fishing boats.
Bihari Muslims of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka is also home for many Bihari Muslims. They fled the riots in the Indian State of Bihar after the partition of India in 1947. Favoured by the government of Pakistan, they sided with the West-Pakistani Army when the Bengalis in East Pakistan fought for their independence in 1971. After the war the new country of Bangladesh was born and the Urdu-speaking Biharis were seen as traitors. To escape from the revenge of the Bengalis they were gathered in refugee camps to await their repatriation to Pakistan. With the help of international relief organisations, half of them have been repatriated over the years, but 250,000-300,000 still remain in the 66 camps in Bangladesh. The Biharis in Bangladesh have a strong Muslim identity. Only a few secret believers exist among them.
Prayer for the Muslims in Dhaka, Bangladesh:
* Pray that the churches in Dhaka will be encouraged to reach out to those who have not yet heard the Good News despite the rising intimidation which they face.
* Pray for unity and mutual trust among the national churches and the Christian organisations working in the city.
* Pray for many church-planting teams to be established that will take on the challenge of reaching out to the vast Bengali Muslim population (including the Biharis).
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 25 for October 7
During the next few nights many Muslims around the world will often spend much of the night praying to God. Many will be seeking divine intervention for pressing needs.
Night of Power
The so called Night of Power, or “Laylat ul-Qadr” as it is known in Arabic, is one of the most significant moments of the Islamic year (It is the 27th night of Ramadan which varies from country to country depending on when people start Ramadan). Muslims believe that groups of angels are sent out on the Night of Power to perform special acts. Some come down to earth to worship Allah, others come to bring about the requests of believing Muslims. Special angels are also said to descend to earth to make proclamations about the coming year. This night is also called the “Night of the Decree or Destiny” by some. This night of “blessing” is supposedly the same night of the month of Ramadan as when Mohammed first received the revelation of the Qur’an. Muslims are often encouraged to stay awake during the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness. This is one moment of the year when Muslims are perhaps a bit less fatalistic and have increased confidence that God will hear and act on their behalf.
The “30 Days” movement wants to encourage Christians around the world to especially pray for Muslims especially during the next 48 hours that many Muslims will really meet the Lord in visions and dreams. We also want you to pray for the success of a special web site which tells the stories of several Muslims who met the Lord in incredible ways (www.DreamsAndVisions.com).
A testimony from the site: Mohammed grew up in a Fulani tribe in Nigeria and started rearing cattle when he was six years old. He did this for almost 10 years until he went to an Arabic school to study the Qur’an. Prior to this, Mohammed had learned about Islam from his father. After several years of schooling, he returned home.
One night he had a frightening dream. Then as second and a third. Then for six nights, Mohammed had similar dreams. Each time, Mohammed saw himself in different places and, regardless of where he was, the same man in white came and helped him. In the last dream (the 9th dream), Mohammed was sitting under a tree reading books that he couldn’t understand. The man in white (Jesus) was sitting beside him. Jesus took a book and said, “This book comes from the Lord and it has the message of God inside of it. In this book, I will show you verses which will help you.” Jesus read scriptures to Mohammed, including John 14:6, which says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” The next day Mohammed told a Christian acquaintance about his dream. Mohammed suffered greatly for his new found faith. He was rejected by his father and several times he was in danger of death by persecution.
You can read his whole story on the dreamsandvisions.com web site.
* Lord, may You break down all thoughts of self-righteousness through religious activity among Muslims who participate in the Night of Power. May You move them toward true humility before You (Dan 4:37).
* May all glory be Yours because of Your loving character and for all You have done. Lord, may You be acting during the Night of Power so that people may have a revelation of Jesus, the Messiah.
* Lord, remember those who are genuinely seeking Your help this night. May You give them the help they need in such a way that they will understand that help comes through the Messiah, Jesus (Ps 34:18, Zech 9:9).
* Lord may the dreams and visions site (dreamsandvisions.com and morethandreams.org) become well known in the Muslim world. Open many doors so that many Muslims can have similar experiences and be encouraged by the testimonies on the site.
Friday, October 05, 2007
How fun! Grace was so proud of herself..."That was my idea, Mom." Kudos to those teachers for capturing a "teachable" moment and incorporating the kids interests into their day!
The forecast today is for a balmy 89 degrees...The beach bag is packed (always) and includes my study materials for an exam on Monday. After we pick up our swim buddy, we are beach bound. We might do a bit of apple picking on the way....we'll see. That seems rather Fall-ish and did I say the temp was near 90 degrees??
Bis spater~~ and speaking of Deutsch (bis spater=until later)
Gracie had her 1st day of German Kindergarten last week. It's one day a week, just a couple of hours but total immersion in Deutsch. Yeah! Come to find out, mom speaks enough German to help out in the classroom. Thus, I'm learning as well. This is GREAT!
Have a good one~ Gotta get the girl ready to play today. Hey...are you praying for a harvest amoung Muslims? Thanks so much for joining your's with mine....Until the whole world knows
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 23 for October 5
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” (Isaiah 35:1)
Mauritania, an Islamic republic in North Africa, is a vast desert; constantly hot, dry and very dusty. Its legal system is a combination of Shari’a (Islamic law) and French civil law. Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania has suffered from a succession of military coups and ongoing tribal conflict. A severe drought over the past decades has devastated the country. In 1957, a small fishing town called Nouakchott was chosen to be the capitol of the new country. Now there are more than 600,000 people living here. The capital has become a crossroads for many ethnic groups with nomadic roots.
Miracles Despite the Heat
A Christian who recently visited the country described the general situation of Mauritanian believers. “You can have freedom of speech, if you are a Muslim. You can have freedom of religion, if you are a Muslim. It is in fact OK to be a Christian, but it is offensive to speak of Jesus as anything other than one of the prophets.” In this setting God is doing wonders, despite the guards that sometimes stand at church doors to ensure that Mauritanian citizens don’t enter. God has given dreams to Mauritanians even in remote areas. In the interior of the country, an Imam showed the Jesus Film in a mosque. The Iman later died and the results are unclear, but such seed sowing needs to continue. By God’s grace, there are now Mauritanians following Christ in many countries around the world.
Testimony from Mauritania:
Soon after coming to faith in Christ, Bokar told his Christian friends that he wanted to do away with a special undershirt inscribed with Koranic passages and interwoven with dozens of amulets. Several Mauritanians were afraid and said the shirt could not be destroyed, that if burned, it would jump out of the fire. This type of shirt makes the wearer impervious to any weapon. It is one of the most powerful enchantments known to the Hal-Pulaar (Fulani). After much prayer, Bokar burned his iron shirt, and the result was tremendous spiritual growth in his own life. Many who heard of the incident gained a new respect for the power of the Gospel.
Subjects for Prayer
* Pray for revelations of the love of God for whole population of over three million people.
* Desperate poverty plagues the lives of most Mauritanians, causing a sense of hopelessness and despair.
* Despite the grip of Islam on the country, animism is practised by most people. The deep-rooted fear of evil spirits (known as jinn) binds many people. Many seek supernatural help through divination and occult practices.
* There are often tensions between different tribal groups, (Soninké, Fulani, Maures, Wolof, etc.) which can lead to violence.
* Corruption is endemic in all areas of society.
* Divorce is widespread, and women and children often suffer the most.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 22 for October 4 (We are posting these one day early to include all time zones.)
“The love of liberty brought us here” was the motto the freed American and Caribbean slaves who founded modern Liberia. Unfortunately Liberia, “the land of the free” was largely destroyed in last decades by civil war (1989-1996 and 2002-2003). Liberia was founded in 1822 by repatriated African American slaves. This West African nation had relative calm until 1980 when food riots sparked an overthrow and eventual civil war. With prayer and action the original vision of a free and prosperous Liberia can be restored.
Muslims in the Northwest
Liberia is a religiously and ethnically diverse country. Religiously, about 40% of the population is Christian, another 40% are animist and 20% are Muslim, primarily in the Northwest. It is made up of sixteen principal tribes and 5% referred to as Americo-Liberians. The predominately Muslim tribes are the Mandingo, Vai, Gbandi, and Mende. In Monrovia, the capital, many Muslims are from other countries. The Muslim presence is highly visible with many mosques, Islamic schools, and people dressed in the traditional robes and head-dress. Islam is growing in Liberia.
Many Liberian Christians know little or next to nothing about Islam. Some have bitterness towards Muslims because of the recent civil war. Charles Taylor’s government (1997-2003) encouraged Islamic practices. To further complicate matters, the current UN peace keeping force is dominated by Muslims. Mosques are being built and renovated around the country. Some of the visiting peace keepers have had children with Liberians and those children are automatically considered to be Muslims.
The country is under-developed. The ethnic or inter-tribal struggles which led to civil war are still active. The church is in its embryonic stages, both numerically and qualitatively. Paganism is at an all time high.
“To maintain Christianity … as an influence in Liberia society, the Liberian Christian community has to do a better job in attending to the needs of the poor, fighting against the systemic corrupt practices in government, condemning ritual killings, and above all fighting for economic and social justice for all. Failure to appropriately address these social ills will result in Islam filling the void and Christianity becoming the marginalised religion.” J. Patrick Flomo, The Perspective
Pray God’s vision for Liberia:
* Charles Taylor’s civil war (ending in 2003) always had religious undertones. Pray that God’s true message of peace can be proclaimed.
* A large number of foreign missionary groups work in the country. Pray that the seeds of truth they have sown will come to bare mighty trees giving hope and refuge to many.
* The Poro and Sande secret societies teach young men and women to seek “supernatural power”. Pray for those locked into these societies to be freed from the chains of darkness.
* The beginning and ending dates of Ramadan cause conflict every year. Pray that the conflict would instead turn to a time to present the Gospel. “All things are possible, only believe.”
* The churches are not prepared adequately to reach out to Muslims nor to train those who are seeking to become disciples. God’s heart for the lost must be the vision of all Christians in Liberia. Pray for practical training for Christians and for those coming to the faith.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
- You are My Sunshine (Veggie version)..........................Gracie
- You've Got a Friend (James Taylor)..............................Renee/Holly
- Our God is One (Pat Little Band)....................................Mom Oelke
- Come Into This House (Carman Praise)........................Kirk Severs
- Drive My Car (The Real Group).....................................Bob
- How Great His Heart Must Be (B&S Gaines)...............Tom Contino
- 911 (Mary J. Blige/Wyclef Jean)....................................Sarah M.
- Always Triumphant (B&S Gaines).................................Tom Contino
- Say Once More (Amy Grant)..........................................Tracy/Renee
- Cherchez La Femme (Dr Buzzard).................................Art Oates
- Home (Broussard)............................................................Bob
- Roam (B-52s)....................................................................Randy/Bob
- Adonai (Avalon)................................................................Steph
- It's the Most Wonderful Time of Time (P. of Grace)...Deb/Gina/& N'Kenge
- Children of the World (Amy Grant)................................Renee
- Good Times (Chic)........................................................... Dave H.
- You Are Faithful (B&S Gaines).......................................Tom Contino
- Every Season (Nicole Nordeman)...................................Bob
- Mother (Cindy Morgan)..................................................Mom Oelke
- Lord I Lift Your Name (Carman)...................................Kirk Severs
- Fifteen Animals (Philadelphia Chickens).......................Nick/Ben & Natalie
- He's Risen in Me (B&S Gaines).......................................Tom Contino
- We Are the Reason (Avalon)...........................................Steph
- September (Earth, Wind & Fire)....................................Bob
- Cupid Shuffle (Cupid).......................................................Sandra/Wilma
- For This Cause (Hillsong)................................................Tom Glinka
- Burnin (Nicole Nordeman)..............................................Bob
- Georgia on My Mind (Ray Charles)...............................Holly
- I Don't Want to Go (Avalon)...........................................Randy
- Top of My Lungs (Phillips, Craig & Dean).....................Lisa
- A Friend Indeed (B&S Gaines).......................................Tom Contino
- Low Rider (War)..............................................................Dave H.
- Dance Dance Dance (The Barclays)...............................Bob
- Glory (Selah & Nicole Nordeman)..................................Tarshwa C.
- In All of His Glory (B. Mason/M. English)....................Val Dixson
- I Catch 'em, God Cleans 'em (Gaithers)........................Carol Z.
- La Bamba..........................................................................Dave H.
- I Write the Songs (Barry Manilow)...............................Kim R.
- Amazing Grace (Avalon).................................................Gracie
- Put Your Records On (Corinne Bailey Rae).................Bob
Now...this is a 3 disk compilation, but if you have a song you would like to see on my playlist...just leave a comment. It may not get on a disk, but I'd get a kick out of what tunes turn your crank. :o) Thanks, Bob...for a truly one of a kind birthday surprise~
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
What a great day--full of surprises and new experiences!
Our first stop was Tea Geschwender Sensual Affair caught my taste buds-not to be disappointed. A fruity, tangy mélange of fresh raspberries and strawberries, rounded off with a touch of vanilla.
Haut Chocolate at Vosges~
I sampled several exotic chocolates...think about add ins such as bacon, dried kalamatta olives, smoked almonds, ginger, wasabi, sea salt. Most tasty; some interesting...but the one I took home harbored Indian cardamon, dried plums and walnuts nestled in Venezuelan dark chocolate. Yum~
We experimented with essential oils, creating our own fragrance & body products at Aroma Workshop.
I brought home Petals & White Tea laced shea butter to smooth my skin. Couldn't resist the Pink Sugar hair cream....sweet as cotton candy. Bob bought some manly desert aloe scent that smelled really nice as well...for a guy scent.
Lunch at Ambrosia then on to Broadway in Chicago~
After a spectacular performance of WICKED at the Oriental Theatre, we dined at my favorite restaurant, Maggianos. Scrumptious!! We finished the evening with a movie...a rare experience for me these days.
What a day...a delightful day~
Oh...not to forget the super compilation of my top songs according to friends & family. The playlist includes favorites like
- Baby, You Can Drive My Car
- How Great His Heart Must Be
- You Are My Sunshine
- Low Rider
- Say Once More
- You've Got a Friend
- Thank You For Being a Friend
- Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Amazing Grace
- Always Triumphant
Those are off the top of my head...That's pretty good considering my head is swimming in all things anatomical & physiological--Tuesday class & test preparation. Pray folks~ Complete playlist to follow...
Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 20 for October 2 (We are posting these one day early to include all time zones.)
In Southeast Asia, facing the South China Sea, the nation of Negara Brunei Darussalam – better known as Brunei, is wedged between the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Brunei was a British protectorate for almost one hundred years until independence in 1984. Brunei became a Muslim nation in the 15th Century after the conversion of Sultan Awang Alak Beter. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei is very rich in oil and the sultan is one of the world’s richest men. The government collects no taxes, but provides health care, pensions, education, and, for those without the means, assistance in making the Hajj to Mecca.
Difficult for Christians
Islamic Shari’a law in Brunei supersedes civil law and it regulates all of life. The national constitution states, “The religion of Brunei Darussalam shall be the Muslim religion.” Life is difficult for Christians in Brunei. Some have lost their jobs without any notice. Christians seeking opportunities for higher education must leave the country to access universities. Evangelism is strictly forbidden and some local Christians have been arrested and detained for planning outreach to the population. Christian based (expatriate) schools must give instruction in Islam to all students and are not allowed to teach Christianity. Recently a foreign English teacher simply prayed for blessings on a Malay family during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations (at the end of Ramadan) was given 48 hours to leave the country.
A number of Brunei Malays have believed over the years, but the very strict, conservative Islamic environment in Brunei is hardly conducive to any Muslim-background believer being open about their commitment. Indonesian Christian broadcasting is easily heard and understood in Brunei. Christian literature for personal purposes (not resale or distribution quantities) can be carried in from neighbouring Malaysia. It is not possible to buy Bibles or Christian books in Brunei. Two recognised churches exist. Both are closely watched by police with spies in nearly every meeting.
Prayer Points (from those ministering to Brunei):
* Pray for expatriate brothers and sisters who are serving in Brunei. Their situation is very sensitive. May their lives provide an example of Christ to those within their circle of influence.
* Pray for the Church throughout Brunei, that Christians will be a light to those within their immediate community. May the congregations welcome the presence of God in their worship and prayers. May they offer encouragement to all local believers while the Lord helps them to build meaningful relationships for the sake of the Kingdom.
* Pray for a stirring in the hearts among the people. May Jesus reveal Himself through dreams and visions. May God work in ways that only he can do to draw the people to himself.
* Pray for the royal family and their influence at every level: the Sultan’s ‘second’ wife, Azrinaz Makar Hakim, from Malaysia; Crown Prince Billah and his wife, Sarah. [Acts 16:31] The parliament is beginning to meet again after being closed for 20 years.
Monday, October 01, 2007
The Northern Coast of Java - Indonesia
30-Days of Prayer for the Muslim World Ramadan 2007 / 1428: September 13 - October 12
For Monday, 1 October, Ramadan 2007. "Loving Muslims Through Prayer"
An Indonesian couple from a Muslim background invited some Christians to help them with their business. The Christians eventually began to share their beliefs with the Muslim couple. The husband and wife came to faith and even began to have Christian gatherings in their home.
Later there was strong opposition from the village leader who forbid the couple to see the Christians. The couple's business of marketing rice suffered. Soon no one wanted to buy rice from them and their faith was really put to test. The wife's faith was strong and she believed that God was going to help them. The next month the wife sold rice as she had never done before; the couple made more profit than in many previous months! They experienced God's faithfulness!
In the 16th century Islam was spread on the island of Java by travelling religious teachers. A group of nine men called the Wali Songo (The nine ambassadors of Islam) were important religious teachers who supposedly did powerful and unusual miraculous acts across the island. The histories of these men are not always clear but their tombs are often visited by local Muslims seeking supernatural help and blessing.
* It is a point of spiritual pride locally that Islam was first established in Java in this region. Pray that appropriate humbling would take place so that people could see the glory of the Lord Jesus and live in awe of Him, the true Lord of all the Earth.
* Pray for men and women of peace to open doors into the Islamic community in Semarang and among the Jawa Pesisir Lor people. While Indonesian Christians live among large populations of Muslims actually the two communities are largely separate and many Christians are fearful. Literally hundreds of church buildings have been burned and thousands of believers persecuted in Indonesia in recent years. Unfortunately Muslims often associate Christianity with the immoral behaviour of some nominal Christians. Pray that real believers would become more evident and find favour with the Muslims (Acts 2:42-47).
* Pray that more religious leaders and teachers will come to the Messiah, influencing their followers for the kingdom of God (Acts 6:7).
* Pray that the love and grace of our Lord Jesus the Messiah (Isa Al Masih) would become more and more evident tearing down the proud arguments falsely set up against the Lord and His followers (2 Cor. 10:4-5 and Matthew 10:16).
* Pray that believers will be protected from curses sent from dukuns (practitioners of black magic). Spiritual darkness is very present (Ephesians 6).
Also pray for...
* Please continue to pray for Aceh province in Sumatra. Possibly 100,000 people in the area are still very poorly housed following the Dec. 2004 earthquake and tsunami.
You are welcome and encouraged to forward these e-mails to others.
30-Days International write the materials and coordinate the translation into some 40 languages where booklets are distributed from around 30 offices around the world. Read Testimonies of former Muslims on our 30-days.net website - also in French from our Interactive Flash Site: 30daysfire.net