Gandul de azi
Prieteni, va propun sa meditati zilnic la unele lucruri care ne pot face viata mai usor de trait, mai usor de acceptat. Va invit sa iesim cateva minute din vartejul strsant al zilei si sa ne impacam cu noi si cu Dumnezeu. 28 Mai "Viata este grea. Atunci cand am inteles si acceptat acest lucru, viata nu mai este grea. De fapt nu mai conteaza." Scott Peck - Meditation from The Road Less Traveled 29 Mai "Viata este o serie de probleme. Ne plangem sau incercam sa le rezolvam?" 30 Mai "Fara disciplina nu putem face nimic. Numai cu ceva disciplina punem rezolva cateva probleme. Daca am avea disciplina absoluta, am putea rezolva toate problemele." 31 Mai "Problemele fac diferenta intre succes si esec. Ele solicita curajul si intelepciunea noastra, si mai mult decat atat, ele crează curajul si intelepciune" 1 Iunie Instrumentele disciplinei sunt metodele prin care trecem prin durerea provocata de probleme în asa fel incat le rezolvam cu succes, si in acelasi timp invatam şi crestem. Cand invatam ce este disciplina, invatam cum sa suferim si cum sa crestem. 5 Iunie Timpul petrecut de parinti cu copiii lor le arata acestora din urma cat de importanti sunt cu adevarat. 8 Iunie Poti rezolva orice problema daca esti gata sa dedici timpul si energia necesara pentru acest lucru.
sâmbătă, 16 iunie 2007
"But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They had no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man. ...It was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I understood their final destiny." (Psalm 73) Here is the spiritual biography of a man who struggled thirty centuries ago. Yet, it's amazing how modern his sentiment is. Then, a thousand years later, Jesus comes with promises that are beautiful and appealing. But, you say they have not worked out for you as you thought they should. You, also, are painfully aware that your feet are slipping. You have come to God's house and are not sure you will find anything to steady your feet or meet your needs. There is a hunger, a need...and where can you turn? What was it that came so close to tripping the man in the text above? He was perplexed by God's order of things. He was taught that the good prospered while the wicked went against the wall. Didn't Job's friends ask, "whoever suffered being innocent?" and did not the disciples ask Jesus regarding the blind man..."who sinned, this man or his parents?" Have we not been taught that God rewards us for our goodness? Why then do I have financial difficulties, sickness and family setbacks? It's as if God does not care for my loyalties. We play the game according to the rules and apparently lose. Then the author found a gripping conviction that steadied him. What was it? He had exaggerated the prosperity of the wicked. They prospered only in things...no inner wealth...no real joy. Their prosperity was fleeting. Who will own it tomorrow? Now, he came to realize his own wealth. There is God's constant presence. A mother and child walk down the street. When crossing, the child reaches up and takes the mother's hand. These things are discovered when the Psalmist goes into the House of God. In sunshine, in shadows, when blinded with tears, when making our last mile God satisfies and our feet are steadied. Charles Jackson Fayetteville, Arkansas
vineri, 8 iunie 2007
"We cannot attack these people; they are stronger than we. ...We seemed like grasshopper in our won eyes, and we looked the same to them. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt. We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." (Numbers 14:1-4). I almost did not write this article because it is so negative. On the other hand, the Ten Commandments have seven "nots". Here is a story of a people that threw away its chance. God had trained Moses to emancipate these people. They were brought to the borderland of their dreams. God wished them to go at once and possess the land given them. Then, they appointed a committee. That alone is usually the death of any project. The results were bitterness, disappointment and confusion...for a generation. This story is common. Israel failed because they had no faith. They had a better eye for the difficulties than possibilities. However, faith is the forerunner of every accomplishment. A ship is going to pieces in a storm (Acts 27). 276 men have given up. A little Jew steadies himself upon the deck and, above the wind, cries "men, be of good cheer...for I believe God." (v. 25). Finish these words of Jesus...."if you say to this mountain....". The way we feel about ourselves is everything. People who think they're grasshoppers, act like grasshoppers. There was a man who went to a psychologist saying his brother thought himself a chicken. The Dr. told him to simply tell the brother he is not a chicken. He said he had thought of that but they needed the eggs. Be sure of this, whatever you think of yourself, your associates have already joined you in the estimate. That generation of Jews were not willing to fight. They wanted the land but not the trouble. Every worthwhile goal comes with a corresponding price tag. In the main, we can all have what we are willing to take. But God has little patience with triflers. Once in the Bible we find the Lord disgusted. It was not with the adulterous woman, not money-grubbing Zachaeus or etc. It was when the Lord looked upon a company of people that called themselves a church but were luke-warm and goody-goody. "I'm about to vomit you up." We cannot grow a mighty redwood tree in a coffee can or float a battle ship in a birth bath. If we win mightily, we must believe mightily. Charles Jackson Fayetteville, Arkansas
luni, 14 mai 2007
With great anticipation, sixteen of us are anxiously preparing for and praying about our trip to Constanta this coming Jun and Jul. Our goal this summer is to serve God and you...and nothing else. We want to talk with you, pray with you, enjoy your company, and share our heartfelt love and care with each of you and your families and friends. Do you remember how it is to feel great anticipation? Like when you are waiting for someone special at the train station, airport, or seaport? My sister and I used to climb up on our swing set in the backyard at the house we grew up in in Colorado and sit up there waiting to see the white Chevrolet automobile come around the corner that was driven by our grandparents from New Mexico. We loved our grandparents and waited with great anticipation for their arrival. We knew they brought love, interest, and much care for our family. We were anxious for their arrival. Or how about your first love? Remember the time spent waiting to be with that special person? It was almost an ache and hurt in your heart and soul because the waiting was so hard. When I used to return from an extended sea tour in the navy, I would almost burst in anticipation waiting for the moment when I would be reunited with my wife Regina and our little boys on the pier. I would work hard in the final days of patrol but I sometimes was so distracted I couldn't think straight. Have you ever felt this kind of intense anticipation and anxiousness? Psalms 84:2 reads, "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." When we are with you in Romania, we believe honestly that we are guests of Godly people and are recipients of his goodness, mercy, and love. This is why we have great anticipation to be with you in the next few months. We love you so much. Please be praying for our safe travels and all of the planning that is taking place.
vineri, 27 aprilie 2007
O scrisoare cutremuratoare despre lucruri cutremuratoare. Va incurajez sa cititi si sa va ganditi la ce inseamna dragostea de Hristos! Letter to the Global Church from the Protestant Church of Smyrna Dan Wooding SMYRNA, TURKEY -- Smyrna is an ancient city (today known as Izmir in Turkey) that was founded at a very early period at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. It was the second city to receive a letter from the apostle John in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paul’s third missionary journey. Due to the fact that the port city of Izmir houses the second largest population in Turkey today, the site of ancient Smyrna has been little excavated. Excepting the agora, theater, and sections of the Roman aqueduct, little remains of the ancient city. But there is a protestant church in there that calls itself "The Protestant Church of Smyrna" and it has issued the following letter to the Global Church which was sent to ANS. Here it is in its entirety: Dear friends, This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German missionary and father of three Tilman Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, “Goodbye, son. I love you.” Tilman rented an office space from Zirve Publishing where he was preparing notes for the new Turkish Study Bible. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town, 35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel likewise made his way to the Bible study. None of these three men knew that what awaited them at the Bible study was the ultimate testing and application of their faith, which would conclude with their entrance into glory to receive their crown of righteousness from Christ and honor from all the saints awaiting them in the Lord’s presence. On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam. On Resurrection Sunday, five of these men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati and his men had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. The men were known to the believers as “seekers.” No one knows what happened in the hearts of those men as they listened to the gospel. Were they touched by the Holy Spirit? Were they convicted of sin? Did they hear the gospel in their heart of hearts? Today we only have the beginning of their story. These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of “faithful believers” in Islam. Tarikat membership is highly respected here; it’s like a fraternity membership. In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat. These young men all lived in the same dorm, all preparing for university entrance exams. The young men got guns, bread knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o’clock. They arrived, and apparently the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilman’s hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they tortured our brothers for almost three hours* [Details of the torture-- * Tilman was stabbed 156 times, Necati 99 times and Ugur’s stabs were too numerous to count. They were disemboweled, and their intestines sliced up in front of their eyes. They were emasculated and watched as those body parts were destroyed. Fingers were chopped off, their noses and mouths and anuses were sliced open. Possibly the worst part was watching as their brothers were likewise tortured. Finally, their throats were sliced from ear to ear, heads practically decapitated.] Neighbors in workplaces near the print house said later they had heard yelling, but assumed the owners were having a domestic argument so they did not respond. Meanwhile, another believer Gokhan and his wife had a leisurely morning. He slept in till 10, ate a long breakfast and finally around 12:30 he and his wife arrived at the office. The door was locked from the inside, and his key would not work. He phoned and though it had connection on his end he did not hear the phone ringing inside. He called cell phones of his brothers and finally Ugur answered his phone. “We are not at the office. Go to the hotel meeting. We are there. We will come there,” he said cryptically. As Ugur spoke Gokhan heard in the telephone’s background weeping and a strange snarling sound. He phoned the police, and the nearest officer arrived in about five minutes. He pounded on the door, “Police, open up!” Initially the officer thought it was a domestic disturbance. At that point they heard another snarl and a gurgling moan. The police understood that sound as human suffering, prepared the clip in his gun and tried over and over again to burst through the door. One of the frightened assailants unlocked the door for the policeman, who entered to find a grisly scene. Tilman and Necati had been slaughtered, practically decapitated with their necks slit from ear to ear. Ugur’s throat was likewise slit and he was barely alive. Three assailants in front of the policeman dropped their weapons. Meanwhile Gokhan heard a sound of yelling in the street. Someone had fallen from their third story office. Running down, he found a man on the ground, whom he later recognized, named Emre Gunaydin. He had massive head trauma and, strangely, was snarling. He had tried to climb down the drainpipe to escape, and losing his balance had plummeted to the ground. It seems that he was the main leader of the attackers. Another assailant was found hiding on a lower balcony. To untangle the web we need to back up six years. In April 2001, the National Security Council of Turkey (Milli Guvenlik Kurulu) began to consider evangelical Christians as a threat to national security, on equal footing as Al Quaida and PKK terrorism. Statements made in the press by political leaders, columnists and commentators have fueled a hatred against missionaries who they claim bribe young people to change their religion. After that decision in 2001, attacks and threats on churches, pastors and Christians began. Bombings, physical attacks, verbal and written abuse are only some of the ways Christians are being targeted. Most significant is the use of media propaganda. From December 2005, after having a long meeting regarding the Christian threat, the wife of Former Prime Minister Ecevit, historian Ilber Ortayli, Professor Hasan Unsal, Politician Ahmet Tan and writer/propogandist Aytunc Altindal, each in their own profession began a campaign to bring the public’s attention to the looming threat of Christians who sought to “buy their children’s souls”. Hidden cameras in churches have taken church service footage and used it sensationally to promote fear and antagonism toward Christianity. In an official televised response from Ankara, the Interior Minister of Turkey smirked as he spoke of the attacks on our brothers. Amid public outrage and protests against the event and in favor of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, media and official comments ring with the same message, “We hope you have learned your lesson. We do not want Christians here.” It appears that this was an organized attack initiated by an unknown adult tarikat leader. As in the Hrant Dink murder in January 2007, and a Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in February 2006, minors are being used to commit religious murders because public sympathy for youth is strong and they face lower penalties than an adult convicted of the same crime. Even the parents of these children are in favor of the acts. The mother of the 16 year old boy who killed the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro looked at the cameras as her son was going to prison and said, “He will serve time for Allah.” The young men involved in the killing are currently in custody. Today news reported that they would be tried as terrorists, so their age would not affect the strict penalty. Assailant Emre Gunaydin is still in intensive care. The investigation centers around him and his contacts and they say will fall apart if he does not recover. The Church in Turkey responded in a way that honored God as hundreds of believers and dozens of pastors flew in as fast as they could to stand by the small church of Malatya and encourage the believers, take care of legal issues, and represent Christians to the media. When Susanne Tilman expressed her wish to bury her husband in Malatya, the Governor tried to stop it, and when he realized he could not stop it, a rumor was spread that “it is a sin to dig a grave for a Christian.” In the end, in an undertaking that should be remembered in Christian history forever, the men from the church in Adana (near Tarsus), grabbed shovels and dug a grave for their slain brother in an un-tended hundred year old Armenian graveyard. Ugur was buried by his family in an Alevi Muslim ceremony in his hometown of Elazig, his believing fiancé watching from the shadows as his family and friends refused to accept in death the faith Ugur had so long professed and died for. Necati’s funeral took place in his hometown of Izmir, the city where he came to faith. The darkness does not understand the light. Though the churches expressed their forgiveness for the event, Christians were not to be trusted. Before they would load the coffin onto the plane from Malatya, it went through two separate xray exams to make sure it was not loaded with explosives. This is not a usual procedure for Muslim coffins. Necati’s funeral was a beautiful event. Like a glimpse of heaven, thousands of Turkish Christians and missionaries came to show their love for Christ, and their honor for this man chosen to die for Christ. Necati’s wife Shemsa told the world, “His death was full of meaning, because he died for Christ and he lived for Christ… Necati was a gift from God. I feel honored that he was in my life, I feel crowned with honor. I want to be worthy of that honor.” Boldly the believers took their stand at Necati’s funeral, facing the risks of being seen publicly and likewise becoming targets. As expected, the anti-terror police attended and videotaped everyone attending the funeral for their future use. The service took place outside at Buca Baptist church, and he was buried in a small Christian graveyard in the outskirts of Izmir. Two assistant Governors of Izmir were there solemnly watching the event from the front row. Dozens of news agencies were there documenting the events with live news and photographs. Who knows the impact the funeral had on those watching? This is the beginning of their story as well. Pray for them. In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Tilman in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. “Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34). In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Tilman has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, “She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do.” The missionaries in Malatya will most likely move out, as their families and children have become publicly identified as targets to the hostile city. The remaining 10 believers are in hiding. What will happen to this church, this light in the darkness? Most likely it will go underground. Pray for wisdom, that Turkish brothers from other cities will go to lead the leaderless church. Should we not be concerned for that great city of Malatya, a city that does not know what it is doing? (Jonah 4:11) When our Pastor Fikret Bocek went with a brother to give a statement to the Security Directorate on Monday they were ushered into the Anti-Terror Department. On the wall was a huge chart covering the whole wall listing all the terrorist cells in Izmir, categorized. In one prominent column were listed all the evangelical churches in Izmir. The darkness does not understand the light. “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” (Acts 17:6) Please pray for the Church in Turkey. “Don’t pray against persecution, pray for perseverance,” urges Pastor Fikret Bocek. The Church is better having lost our brothers; the fruit in our lives, the renewed faith, the burning desire to spread the gospel to quench more darkness in Malatya …all these are not to be regretted. Pray that we stand strong against external opposition and especially pray that we stand strong against internal struggles with sin, our true debilitating weakness. This we know. Christ Jesus was there when our brothers were giving their lives for Him. He was there, like He was when Stephen was being stoned in the sight of Saul of Tarsus. Someday the video of the deaths of our brothers may reveal more to us about the strength that we know Christ gave them to endure their last cross, about the peace the Spirit of God endowed them with to suffer for their beloved Savior. But we know He did not leave their side. We know their minds were full of Scripture strengthening them to endure, as darkness tried to subdue the un-subduable Light of the Gospel. We know, in whatever way they were able, with a look or a word, they encouraged one another to stand strong. We know they knew they would soon be with Christ. We don’t know the details. We don’t know the kind of justice that will or will not be served on this earth. But we pray-- and urge you to pray-- that someday at least one of those five boys will come to faith because of the testimony in death of Tilman Geske, who gave his life as a missionary to his beloved Turks, and the testimonies in death of Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, the first martyrs for Christ out of the Turkish Church. Reported by Darlene N. Bocek (24 April 2007) Note from the church: Please pass this on to as many praying Christians as you can, in as many countries as you can. Please always keep the heading as “From the Protestant Church of Smyrna” with this contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org // http://www.izmirprotestan.org/ © 2007 ASSIST News Service, used with permission Find this article at: http://www.crosswalk.com/11539258/
marți, 3 aprilie 2007
Dragii mei, In ultima vreme trecem printr-o criză, cu toţii, ca familie a lui Dumnezeu. Rugaciunile noastre nu au mai fost la fel de fierbinţi, dorinţa noastră de a fi cu toţii in biserica a fost mai mica şi uşor de înfrânt, părtăşia dintre noi nu ne-a mai mişcat în adâncuri...Nu am mai invitat pe nimeni să participe la serviciul de închinare de multă vreme. Ne înstrăinăm, încet, încet unii de alţii, de noi înşine şi de Dumnezeu. Avem nevoie unii de alţii la fel de mult cum avem nevoie de Hristos! Singur nu pot nimic, dar pot totul in Hristos care mă întăreşte! Ce e de făcut? Vă invit miercuri seara, de la ora 5, la o seară de veghe şi rugăciune pentru unitatea bisericii noastre. Dacă puteţi închinaţi această zi Domnului, ţinând post, fie total, fie parţial. Citeşte şi dă mai departe! Telefonează sau anunţă doi membri ai bisericii despre această întâlnire. Nu ezita, nu amâna, avem de vorbit şi de rugat. E săptămâna când ne aducem aminte cât a suferit Hristos pentru noi! Vino! Ady
luni, 2 aprilie 2007
I used to think about myself as if I were a plant, a plant with small roots, shy stem, but with great ambitions, the necessary leaves, flowers and eventually fruits. Day after day I was adding new leaves, endless to do lists, and in the happier seasons of my life, some flowers. Now and then the fruits, success’ joyful moments, were coming easy, effortlessly. Other times, although I was working hard, organized and continuously, nothing was coming my way and I could not understand why. The problem was that I concentrated on things that can be seen, things that I thought mattered. My efforts never aimed my roots. I have learned the hard way this lessons and I am still learning that without roots, you’re nothing. The longer you spend reading or meditating at God’s word, praying for you and for others, your roots become stronger and they go deeper. Once you start giving up yourself, trusting your problems in God’s hand, life becomes simple and you start seeing what really matters. I had to go through cancer experience for learning a vital lesson. Like in the grain seed parable, if that seed does not die, it will remain alone. I have learned to find time for my roots because only they can give me the energy to love God and love people. It’s like stopping from dreaming all the time what you want to be, because only this will prevent you from becoming who you really are.
vineri, 16 martie 2007
Ziua de azi nu este doar o altă zi care trebuie suportată, în care trebuie să rezişti, sau în care te strădui să uiţi. Ziua de azi nu este obişnuită sau extraordinară, în ea însăşi. Ea devine obişnuită sau extraordinară în funcţie de ce aleg să fac cu ea. Ziua de azi este cea care ar putea să-mi aducă şansa unui nou început. Chiar azi aş putea lua hotărâri care să-mi influenţeze tot restul vieţii. Ziua de azi este neglijată şi nu se plânge. Pierderea e a noastră pentru că trăim în reveria unui ieri sau în utopia unui mâine, când problemele noastre vor fi rezolvate. Descurajarea de moment poate şi trebuie depăşită. Să încercăm, azi, să nu o mai folosim drept scuză pentru inconsecvenţa noastră de a ne schimba stilul de viaţă, cu unul mai sănătos. Azi putem găsi pe cineva care să ne asculte problemele, asta ne ajută întotdeauna să ne recăpătăm optimismul şi o perspectivă bună asupra viitorului. Azi putem găsi pe cineva căruia să-i ascultăm problemele, asta ne ajută şi mai mult. Ziua de azi vine la tine cu un gând simplu: întipăreşte-ţi în minte că vei reuşi (să fii sănătoasă, să ţii boala sub control), şi vei reuşi asta cu ajutorul lui Dumnezeu! Este foarte greu să ai linişte sufletească atunci când eşti într-o continuă alergare. Ziua de azi îţi spune să te opreşti pentru câteva momente, să te linişteşti şi să-ţi spui: Sunt aici, mi-e bine şi Dumnezeu e bun. Luma