Monthly Archives: June 2014

Johndrow: Trading good for God

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By Lee Johndrow
Special to Inside The Pew

All that glitters is not gold or so the saying goes. Actually the words came from Shakespeare in “The Merchant Of Venice,” where it Lee Johndrowsays “all that glitters is not gold.” The meaning is the not everything that is shiny is necessarily valuable,

As a child I would go to the local rivers and dig up “gold” or fool’s gold (Pyrite). Later, I had an amazing pyrite collection, along with some beautiful real gold nuggets. But the pyrite was worth little. And that is the point of the phrase. Lots of things can look like gold but it does not mean they have the same value as gold. Are they?  Hmmm…Probably not!

Yesterday I wrote an article about avoiding or moving past the point of pain. A lot of people read it. A lot less people liked it. I am okay with that. Not everyone will do what it takes to get to the next place or level.

What I am going to say next is going to be controversial to some.

Today while walking and praying, I thought something has changed. All afternoon I felt it. And then tonight I felt, the collective is about to rise up and change things. The results of our expressing His goodness just overturned something. Locally, regionally and nationally. But do not look at the “obvious” but seek out that which is underneath. Earlier this week as the storm moved in, the undersides of the leaves were upturned. Keep watching. That which is hidden is being revealed. The word overturning is in the air.

What does that mean? I am not totally sure, but I am not thinking it is as easy as I would like to believe it to be. Now Ringo Starr said, “It don’t come easy, You know it don’t come easy.” I do not totally agree with that either. There is an ease in God. I believe that and experience that. But sometimes the “world” has a current created by sin. Our job is to overturn that!

Yet I recognize not everything is easy. Back to the gold. Not everything we think to be “gold” is gold. And now I move to the hard part of what I am going to say. If something good happens it does not necessarily mean it is “God” yet I can be grateful. It may not in fact mean I am “blessed” so much as it is because it may simply be a circumstance. Many things are happening these days that are good. (Be grateful.) But not all that is good is God. Hear me please. I am okay with being thankful for good things happening. It makes life easier. But it does not necessarily mean that it is God. Anymore than an accident is necessarily the devil. It may well be…just an accident.

Too many people are believing for something big and accepting something moderate. It takes a lot to wait, to be patient. To bypass good for great.

Any one of those can be a big deal. The end of arguments, with wills and estates distributed. But the one that most unnerves me is acceptance of things that will cause one to stop the growth, give up and “call it a day. My daughter Amy always told me she would never “settle” and I am kind of glad. (A great husband and a new baby.)

I feel it is important to put this on the table. Not all that glitters is gold. It is important to know that. Many things will come down the pike. And they may gleam in the distance, but that does not necessarily make it gold. And the longer you “wait” the harder it is to be sure. “Was it God? Did I miss it?”

Be wary you do not trade “good for God”. (Or “good” for excellence.) It may be a temptation. It may be comfortable. BUT…it does not mean God is on it. So, why rely on Romans 8:28 to “bail you out”? It is the “rest of God” from whence your provision comes from. It is the peace of God that allows for you to be patient. To be joyful.

Every word will be tested. Psalm 105:18-20…They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons; until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples, and set him free …

Easy does not always mean ease. Comfort does not always mean comfortable. What you trade for good may be the very thing you don’t want 5 years from now.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.

Lee Johndrow is a staff member at The Village Church in Swanzey, N.H. Learn more about Johndrow and his dad’s ministry at www.leejohndrow.com.

Three-year-old says Jesus saved her from drowning in backyard pool

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Ella Kimbro

By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News

She leaned over to rescue a cat that fell into her backyard pool. Then she plunged in herself and nearly drowned until JesuElla Kimbros brought her back to life, according to a story by WMC Action News 5 in Memphis, Tenn.

Ella Kimbro, a Gibson County 3-year-old, nearly died May 22 in her family’s pool when she tried to reach in and rescue a cat named Elsa, according to WMC.

Like many parents in the mid-South, Johnny and Christy Kimbro like to spend time in their pool when temperatures rise.

Christy thought the three Kimbro kids were out riding their bikes on that fateful day. But she was surprised when she looked outside and didn’t see Ella.

Christy scanned the backyard carefully until she saw a horrible sight — her young daughter floating face-up in the pool.

“I thought she was dead when I first saw her. I remember yelling ‘Oh My God, she’s dead!’” Christy told WMC.

“She was blue, she was cold. I pulled her out of the pool. She wasn’t breathing,” added Christy. When Ella’s father, Johnny, startedKimbro pool CPR he could see her pupils were dilated. “What I do remember is standing over my daughter and I reached down to feel for a pulse, and I couldn’t find a pulse,” he told WMC.

After a few minutes of CPR something miraculous happened. Ella came back to life!

She was airlifted to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and was on a ventilator for five days, according to WMC.

When she awakened, Christy will never forget the story Ella told.

“She said she drowned. She saw a bright light and a man walking to her with long hair.”

Christy’s sister showed Ella a picture of Jesus on her phone and asked if the man looked like that.

“Ella said that was the man who saved her.” Christy says her 3-year-old had never heard a bright light story before this happened.

Ella has recovered completely, thanks to a Rescuer and Savior with much more than CPR at His fingertips.

 

Round: What will it take to stop the madness?

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By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”—Proverbs 22:6 (NIV).

Did you know the recent school shooting at Reynolds High School inFei Wilkening leaves flowers at a growing memorial at the entrance to Reynolds High School on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Troutdale, Ore. (Statesman Journal) Troutdale, Ore., marked the 74th one since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012? In 2014, so far, there have been 37 school shootings and as of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.

In the latest shooting, at least one student was killed and a teacher was injured by a lone gunman who later took his own life. According to police the teenage gunman had an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and nine loaded magazines in his possession.

Have school shootings become the norm in our country? According to press reports, each gunman, including the ones involved in the Columbine High School massacre, occurring in 1999 were outsiders – loners who didn’t fit in or who had been influenced by our culture of movie and video violence.

In the case of the Columbine massacre, 12 students and one teacher were murdered by two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Although Harris and Klebold’s motives still remain unclear, their personal journals reveal they wanted their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing. USA Today referred to the Columbine massacre as a “suicidal attack [which was] planned as a grand—if badly implemented—terrorist bombing.” The two had also been influenced by violent movie and video games, according to the press.

School shootings have sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms in our country and gun violence involving youths. Discussion has also revolved around the nature of high school cliques and bullying as well as mental illness.

Why has no one stopped to consider that ultimate responsibility not only lies with the parents of the shooters but our society as well? Government cannot fix our broken country. We can’t enact enough laws to stop the madness.

What can we do? As Christians, we have a responsibility—several actually—to not only make sure our own actions reflect our Carol Roundmorals but to help others who are struggling. Can one person make a difference? Yes!

Reflect on these choices:

  • Do your values reflect God’s Word or do you allow culture to define who you are?
  • Do you allow your children to watch television shows or movies or play video games depicting violence or behavior that society deems acceptable?
  • Do you read and study the Bible and pray with your children? Do you attend church regularly?
  • Do you teach your children the value of human life, including accepting others who might be different? Do you tell your children it is wrong to bully others?
  • Do you spend quality time with your children in wholesome activities?
  • Do you teach your children about peer pressure? Do you emphasize the importance of following godly principles instead of the crowd?
  • Are your life choices the ones you want your children to emulate?

This list is only the beginning.  I urge you to reflect on your life and help stop the madness.

Need a speaker for your women’s event? Email carolaround@yahoo.com.

 

 

Vigil held for Christian Sudanese woman who faces death for not marrying Muslim man

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Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani

By Jeremy Reynalds
ASSIST News Service

LONDON (ANS)A variety of Christians from numerous minority groups met outside the Sudanese Embassy in London on June 6 and demanded justice and freedom for imprisoned Christian believer Meriam Ibrahim.

According to a story on the blog of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), people came to the protest after hearing Ibrahim’s tragic story.

Ibrahim is facing death and up to 100 lashes for apostasy (converting from Islam to Christianity), and for “adultery,” marrying a man who is not a Muslim. That despite Ibrahim being raised by her mother as a Christian.

Ibrahim is considered Muslim according to Sudanese law because her father was Muslim. As a result, courts have ruled her marriage to be illegal.

Ibrahim has just given birth to a daughter in prison, and also has a 2-year-old son with her husband, Daniel Wani.

She has continually refused to renounce Christianity. Her commitment to her faith has resulted in a court decision of execution after staying in prison for two years to nurse her baby. The date of her flogging is not yet known.

The event was organized by the BPCA in Partnership with Christian Voice.

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said in the BPCA story, “We call on President Omar al Bashir to direct the Sudanese Courts and government to drop all charges and release Meriam Ibrahim immediately, to allow freedom to convert to Christianity in law, and to guarantee the safety of Christians and the ancient Sudanese church.”

Wilson Chowdhry chairman of the BPCA said in the story, “Christian persecution in the Islamic world has reached unprecedented levels. Extremist ideology has been endorsed by fanatical religious leaders and knitted into the fabric of their societies, through stigmatized national curriculum within these intolerant states. This has bred hatred towards minorities and culminated in alienation and conflict.”

BPCA said he added, “Christians have now become the most persecuted faith adherents in the world. Moreover, the effect of these acts of violence and oppression has been an increase in the societal differences in our own communities.”

Lyn Julius, leader of HARIF a group that represents Middle Eastern and North African Jews, said in the BPCA story, “I was moved by the suffering of innocent Meriam Ibrahim. There was once two million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, now only around 400,000 remain. The conditions faced by minorities living in the region has reached (its lowest point).”

A petition was signed by all attendees at the vigil. BPCA said, “However, despite his promise the Sudanese Ambassador failed to receive the petition, opting for it to be left at the reception area.”

 

A son’s sacrifice: ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ strengthens family of fallen soldier

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Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

As a youngster in Cleburne, Texas, 101st Airborne Sergeant Bryan Burgess was an exciting and fun-loving kid who loved to climb

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

trees and play sports. Like older brothers are prone to do, he was protective of his younger sister, Brandi. Bryan always wanted to be a firefighter, police officer, or a member of the military.

Bryan Burgess chose the latter. He served his country well. He gave his life for his country.

Bryan Burgess, 29, died March 29, 2011, in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by the Taliban. According to The Associated Press, another solider was also killed in the attack.

The airborne sergeant’s life is one of many men and women who serve and die for our freedom is told in “The Hornet’s Nest,” a moving documentary now in theaters.

Terry Burgess, father of Bryan Burgess, told Inside The Pew that someone had contacted him about the making of the movie, but, at the time, he really didn’t pay it any attention because he was still grieving his son’s death.

The producers of the movie arranged a meeting with Terry and his family in Dallas and to review the footage of Bryan in action and his fellow soldiers. Terry indicated that it was a moment of joy and sadness but yet uplifting. Footage used in the film shows the ambush that claimed Bryan’s life.

“There was times in the movie we wanted to tell our son to stop and don’t go there,” Terry said.

He said the watching this movie and seeing his son and those brave soldiers give their life of this country renewed his faith in God and God restored him and gave him his purpose and mission to tell the story about these brave men and his son. Terry felt God united them together again in the Spirit.

“It was Bryan’s spirit that help us through this difficult time,” Terry shared.

A soldier is born

According to Terry, Bryan entered the National Guard right out of high school and was greatly impacted  by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was after the attacks that Bryan made the decision to join the Army.

“Bryan told me that his decision was to fight back for real so he joined the Army,” Terry said. “Nine-eleven really hurt Bryan, and he was ready to fight for his country. He was ready for the sacrifice.

“Bryan stated that he wasn’t asking me, he was telling him he was going to join the Army and fight back. I was very, very proud of Bryan for making a decision to what to fight for his country.”

Terry said Bryan’s decision to join the Army provided a mixed bag of feelings. He said his family was proud of Bryan’s decision but, at the same time, they were afraid of the warrior.

“We stood by him because we love him had faith in him; he had faith in God,” Terry Burgess said.

The elder Burgess said Bryan’s faith and spirit carried him where he needed to be, and Bryan believed and lived by it.

Bryan was a member of Glendale church of Christ in Cleburne. Growing up in Cleburne, Bryan Burgess was very active in the church in Sunday school and teaching Sunday school even up until adult life.

Bryan’s Christ-like demeanor was impressionable to superiors and soldiers alike, Terry said.

“Bryan loved the Lord,” Terry said. “Because of what his men saw in him, they stated that they would follow Sgt. Burgess into hell and they pay a heavy price.”

Terry Burgess said he was very happy and pleased about the making of “The Hornet’s Nest” and was ready for the whole world to see these touching moments of this movie.

Learn more about “The Hornet’s Nest” at http://thehornetsnestmovie.com/